YES, 80 MILES ON DIRT ROADS, OR MOSTLY DIRT ROADS. I PLANNED TO HAVE A SOCIAL RIDE, AND IT WORKED OUT PERFECTLY. I HOOKED UP WITH RYAN OFF THE START, THEN MATT, AND THEN SHELIA, BRIAN, MIKE AND ANGIE CAME UP. SO WE HAD A NICE LITTLE SUPPORTIVE GROUP, ALL 7 OF US FOR MOST OF THE RIDE. SHELIA HAD THE FIRST FLAT OUTSIDE OF CLEARWATER, AND MIKE FIXED IT FOR HER. I HAD THE NEXT FLAT AND RYAN AND MIKE FIXED IT, WITH RYAN USING HIS BIG FRAME PUMP. NICE! I LOVE PEOPLE WHO CHANGE MY FLATS FOR ME! WE MADE FREQUENT STOPS FOR FOOD,
PEE, AND JOKES. AT THE GAS STATION, BRIAN HAD A FULL LUNCH OF HOT SOUP, NUTS,
CHIPS, YOU NAME IT. I THINK WE WERE THERE OF MORE THAN HALF AN HOUR. THEN
CAME THE OFFICIAL STOP WITH WONDERFUL MONSTER COOKIES. (I HAD THREE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.) AT ABOUT 60 MILES
MATT DROPPED OFF--HE WAS RIDING A FIXED SINGLE SPEED! WHEW. THEN SHEILA HAD TWO MORE FLATS IN A ROW. GREAT! MORE REST AND CANDY BARS! WE PUTTED ALONG TO THE FINISH--OVER 7 HOURS AND A GREAT TIME! AT THE FINISH ALMOST EVERYBODY WAS GONE! BEN SAID JIM BELL FINISHED IN A LITTLE OVER 4 HOURS, 3 HOURS AHEAD OF US. GOOD JOB, JIM. THANKS TO BEN ET. AL. FOR PUTTING ON A FUN EVENT. I HAD NEVER SEEN OR RIDEN MOST OF THE DIRT.
I went down to do the first MBS race, got there after 9 and watched the citizens race, then I went out to pre-ride the course which I figured I could do before the rain hit. But hell no, half way around the bike patrol stopped me and said the "course was closed!" because , well, it was going to rain. I mean, WTF? why can't you ride the course before the race starts? Particularly when the race wasn't going to start for another 2 hours! A while later it did indeed rain pretty hard and I left without racing in the mud.
Mattress Burning is a fun event that happens every spring around here. Sort of a local version of Burning Man. Usually the event begins at night, say 2 or 3 in the morning. Everybody gathers around the fire, and the police come with their flashing lights, and they hang around talking. Everybody has a great time!! I mean, it unites the community and is sort of a farewell party as people are leaving to go back to the lake or where ever they came from. An added feature is abandoned couches.