There's nothing so cheery as good friends waving to you enthusiastically as you walk up to Roadie's, the North Liberty bar that is the first stop on the Bud Ride. Kris R. and Kris S. both greeted us and Kris S. bought us drinks. There was so much to catch up on, but it was hard to talk over the extremely loud music. However, we persisted.
When Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and a few other good tunes came on, I just abandoned myself to the music and quit fighting it to move in time to the beat and relax. The sound quality was great until I walked past one of the huge speakers near the DJ on the way to the bathroom and grabbed my ears in self defense. It's no wonder so many young people are going deaf. One of our daughter's friends has already had ear surgery for his hearing.
A hot, windy, dry, hilly bike trip to Tiffin in a headwind awaited us when we finally left to join up with Nancy and Carol, friends at Slim's who were waiting for us and also Kris R. No more drinks for me. I felt faint and sick at the top of one of the last hills into Tiffin. I pulled on my water at Slim's and tried to regain my cool with two glasses of ice cubes for my water bottle. I ordered a beer for my husband and was happy the music settled to a reasonable volume so we could talk.
Kris R. came in a bit later after riding 33 miles from North Liberty to Oxford to Tiffin. She looked as hot as you'd expect someone to look who'd pulled off such a feat. It wasn't quite the Death March to Bataan, but it was more hills than we wanted in the heat, and she made it clear that after doing most of the Bud Ride, she was done.
When everyone else went home to shower, Jim and I went to Red's Ale House to relax, eat dinner, and cool down. We bought two Fat Tires at Red's so we could both enter the contest for the New Belgium Brewery bicycle hanging up near the bar. I can't drink beer and Jim didn't want a second one, so we gave it, untouched and still cold, to a young lady at the next table, who didn't need to be asked twice. She wished us well in the drawing for the bike.
We met Alex Hoyer at another table nearby. He'd just gone sailing with friends and works for Iowa Public Radio. I'd heard his name on the radio, so that was exciting. I was surprised, though, that there weren't wind advisories for Lake MacBride yesterday. Kris R. said she stood up to ride up a hill between Oxford and Tiffin, and the wind was so strong she had to sit right back down again.
The New Belgium Brewery bicycle being raffled off at Red's has the size, weight, and strength of the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses. It's too heavy for a road bike, but is certainly a collector's item. Plus it doesn't need the care, feeding, and grooming of a Clydesdale.
New Belgium Brewery recycles their water, uses environmentally friendly production methods, and rewards each employee after a year of employment with a free bicycle. It sounds like an ideal place to work.
New Belgium Brewery understands the importance of protecting Mother Nature and also understands the intimate connection between bicyclists and an ice cold beer at the end of a ride or, as the case might be, at every bar stop on the ride.
I remember my husband lying in a hospital bed after hip replacement surgery with tears in his eyes, telling his surgeon, "Doc, I just want to be able to ride my bicycle from bar to bar."
Spoken like a true MelonHead.
Dr. John Callaghan, our orthopedic surgeon at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, assured him that he could do just that once he recovered, and darned if he wasn't back on his bicycle within six weeks after surgery. We've been riding ever since.