Saturday was the SMNDFBR of course, it's almost every Saturday but it was also the celebration of another trip around the sun for me so I brought some birthday donuts to help fuel our ride.
Joe even brought me some tasty barley pops from his trip down to Stillwater last week when he was playing in the mud during Landrun.
The plan for the ride was to head out to Elmwood and then circle back to Eagle and meetup with the Great Plains Bicycle Club folks at Baily's Local for their St. Patrick's Day festivities but that didn't exactly happen as planned, more on that later. They were also having a costume contest so Joe got all snazzied up in his St. Paddy's Day best. The rest of us sticks in the mud just wore the normal cycling garb, so in theory Joe wins our costume contest. I guess I'll have to come up with a prize for him now.
Scooted through town on the MoPac and on out to Walton where we switched over to A Street and hilly gravel.
Gravel was dry and winds were minimal so speeds were a little vigorous out of Walton, I had hoped it would have been a little sunnier or a little warmer but I suppose you can't have everything. The sun and warmth would get there eventually but not for a couple of hours yet.
While the clouds might have been blocking out most of the sunshine, they were kind of cool in their own rights I suppose.
Even ran into a traffic jam or two out on the gravel. Saw a few tractors out on Saturday, I wonder if they are itching for nicer weather as much as we are so that they can get an early start tilling the fields.
17 miles in a straight line on A Street meant that we got a little stretched out now and again as often will happen on rides like this.
Several regroups were in order but on days like Saturday, stopping a chatting for a spell isn't all that bad.
286th Street meant we were almost to the halfway point and a refuel stop in Elmwood.
Some of us stopped at the COOP for refueling and looked around only to discover that the majority had gone elsewhere but where could they have gone?
Following the large pile of bikes up the street at the Quonset we figured that this must be the place and decided to go inside.
Sure enough, there were the missing members of the group. Carlos has a nose for beer, if there is any within a mile he can sniff it out and Saturday was no exception and they already had frosty mugs in hand.
Not to look a gift beer in the mouth, Dave bought me a birthday brew, we decided that we might as well eat here and hope to catch the GPBC folks on the tail end of their event. Given that the slogan at the Quonset is "Fast Service, no matter how long it takes" how could we go wrong.
Roy and Stephanie even bought me a birthday cookie, it was delicious. Almost as good as the ice cream cone from the Thursday ride last year. Actually all of the food there was good, the beer was cold and the service was pretty good. They've only been open for a few months so if you find yourself out in Elmwood on a ride give them a try, you won't be disappointed. Plus it's always good to have places like this to stop at on a hot summer day which is even more reason to give them a few of your dollars while you're passing through and help them stay in business. Always support local when you can, that way your dollars go right back into the communities they service.
They even have giant trikes in Elmwood, if it had rubber it'd be a lotta fun to ride I bet.
Since the hour was getting late we high tailed the 7 miles to Eagle. Not much for pictures since it was almost a dead sprint to the finish so to speak to try to catch them.
Despite our best efforts, we just missed the GPBC group but from the sounds of it they had a good turn out, waitress said there had to be at least 50 of them.
Racing to Eagle made us pretty thirsty so of course we had to re-hydrate, Sarah was especially thirsty and opted for a pitcher rather than a glass.
Once properly hydrated it was time to push on to the hut and another regroup, one simply cannot just pass up the hut after all. Many a good time has been had at the hut and Saturday only added to that growing list.
I'd like to say that after the hut we all slow rolled back to Cycle Works but that wasn't the case, seems like there isn't much slow in this group but sometimes that's not a bad thing. While we didn't make Bailey's in time for the St. Patrick's Day ride, I'd have to say it was a great way to spend a birthday. Gorgeous weather, cold beer and a fabulous group of people to share it with, it really doesn't get any better than that.
We will have to see what next week brings for the ride, there are a few days in the forecast with rain but so far it doesn't look like it's going to amount to much. Hopefully we will find plenty of dry dirt or gravel to ride. Hope to see you next week and I hope you all had a fantastic St. Patrick's Day weekend. First day of spring is tomorrow!