Monday, August 01, 2011

So There We Were in the Cornfield.....

So my cousin Rhonda and I herded the boys into the van, filled the coolers up with ice and headed down the road to provide hydration, nourishment and roadside reparte for passing bikers pedaling their way across our beautiful home state of Iowa.

Inventory. Bandanas, coozies and the all-important accessory for bikers who find themselves heading to a cornfield for roadside relief: toilet paper.
You'll note one of the boys is a bit of a party animal, beaded up and ready to roll.

He's also our main man on the grill. Dogs, anyone?????
Hotels? For these hard-core camper girls??? Are you kidding??? Rhonda's little single-person tent pops up easy as pie but we left the rain-cover off so she wouldn't melt in the July heat. Even after dark it was soooooo dang hot and humid. I crashed on a mattress in the back of the van, propped the doors open and watched bats flying around catching mosquitos in the glow of an overhead security light in the park. Would they nest in my hair? Or just keep eating bugs?? I pondered that question until the winds picked up and the lightning show started. That's when we got up and rigged Rhonda's tent with tarps and clothespins so she wouldn't drown in the anticipated deluge. Looks kinda like an alien space pod, doesn't it??

So the next morning we set up alongside the road by 7 AM and the bikes started to trickle in.
By 9 AM it was a steady stream until late afternoon. I'll let the pictures tell the story.

The boys are in charge of inventory.

Sustenance for the Gatorade Girls: homemade iced coffee, skillfully mixed road-side using Hazelnut syrup and.....yes, we'll admit it....Half and Half.
Late in the afternoon, the parade has thinned down quite a bit.

My favorite biker.
My daughter Sara who's crossing the state on RAGBRAI for the 14th time.

Yup. Lance passed. Sort of in the way a squadron of fighter jets in formation pass. Fast enough to send a breeze through your hair while you stand there wondering, "What was that...........??????" He and his Livestrong team members actually stop and visit along the way, enjoying the countryside and small town folks who come out to say hello to all the riders. Other than a few promos for Livestrong to promote cancer awareness along the way he's pretty low key, just another one of the bikers enjoying the scenery. No one hardly even notices him.

These guys on the other hand........
Can you say, "In real life I'm a sales manager for First National Bank but one week out of the year my wife let's me come to Iowa, dress up as a Holstein and act silly with my buddies!" ?? Love, love, love the teams with all their crazy bike shirts and hats. We send them home to their families sunburned, legs cramping....with big ol' smiles on their faces.  
Long day. Hot day. CRAZY day!
We didn't pedal a single mile but we sold through about 500 bottle of water and Gatorade, stacks of bandanas and went home feeling like we'd been run over by 10,000 bicycles.

                             And that folks, is my kinda fun.
                                            Now I need a long nap.

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