2015 Clinton continued...
Yummy Lunch in Windsor.. After stopping in Green Ridge we rode onto Windsor for lunch at The Wagon Wheel. This was a great little restaurant which graciously opened up just for our group. It was a good thing it was reserved just for us because we filled every seat of this tiny restaurant. Service was fast and friendly and they had us back on the trail in no time.
The Trail between Sedalia & Clinton...What can I say it was HARD and everyone would agree. Funny thing is a week earlier while on a chick ride we talked to an older couple who was just finishing the trail in St Charles. We told them about our plans to finish the trail to Clinton the next weekend. They merely laughed and wished us luck as that is the hardest section of the entire trail. Nothing like saving the hardest for last. So I turned to the 3 riders with me that day and swore them to secrecy to not tell anyone this. They would find out soon enough. I did not want to scare anyone off. Well they were right. By lunch it was decided we had pedaled nothing but uphill. It was pushing us all. I was most impressed with my daughter-in-law, Laura, who is a paved-only bike rider. Therefore gravel is definitely a challenge but then add constant incline and it will kick your butt. But even though Laura brought up the end and Nicholas was by her side she was not coming off that trail until reaching her goal - Clinton. Now on the way there I spoke to several girls about planning 100 miles in one day on the trail someday. By the end of this ride I completely took that back.
The last leg to the hotel...Well, to be honest this was the part that almost completely fell apart. I know for everyone else the severity of the situation was not noticed as intensely as by me. I take biker chicks road riding safety very seriously. I spent hours virtually viewing on Google map the route to get us from the trail to our hotel. This all fell apart as we could not figure out where we were in regards to my map. The security team did not have time to adequately scout out the route and we ended up winging it. Not the best idea with 32 bike riders. The plan was to ride through town square and find a nice backroad with little to no traffic to our hotel. As it turned out we were all folllowing the Security trailer with Brett just behind using his GPS. When it was time to circle around town square Brett took a right while the trailer went left. This left all the riders at an impasse. Do we go right? Do we go left? Oh no. At this point I had 20 riders following Brett and the rest following Mark or just stopped in their tracks in a state of confusion. Well my whole motto " no chick LEFT BEHIND" just went soaring out the window at this point. I had chicks all over the place. No one knew where the hotel was. We were all separated over 4-5 blocks. There was no saving this mess. I ultimately ended up following the pack by way of Brett's GPS. Which had us on a sidewalk but on the busiest street in town. Ultimately everyone made it and no one was worse for the wear except poor Jeanie who went down crossing over some railroad tracks. She was pretty banged up but a trooper and was able to ride on Sunday. I was never so happy to have a "Chick-tini" waiting for me as I arrived at the hotel lobby.
HAPPY HOUR upon arrival . . . This was by far the part new feature added to 4th year ride. My parents went ahead of the group and had a wonderful Happy Hour set up at the hotel upon our arrival. Complete with snacks, beer, wine and our newly invented "Chick-Tinis" The refreshment were flowing and went right through pool / hot tub time.There is nothing better than getting off the dusty Katy trail after 6.5 hours and being greeted with a cold,well-deserved drink. This was so enjoyable, I only wish we could have had longer. The pool area was wonderful and the hot tub so huge we could have all been in at one time.
El Camino Real Dinner right across the street...We met in the lobby and walk right across the street to have a wonderful Mexican dinner on their outside patio. The temperature was perfect as well as the fellowship and sharing of stories that evening. They had this amazing Black Margarita which I just had to try. Not everyone was on board with how good I thought it was. I would go back to have one again but not by bike because this last section of the trail was way too hard.
After Party...Always got a few who don't want to call it a night and that always involves my husband. Heck he was riding in a truck all day while was pedaling a bike 42 miles. Fortunately I too was up for hanging out longer in the lobby with the last 9 diehards who were not ready to call it a night. I think we turned in about 12:30pm.
A bit about Chick Security ...only 2 Flat tires but our share of wipe outs. YIKES!
We had our biggest Security Team to date with 7 guys in charge of all Chick mishaps. We were light on flats but heavy on wipe-outs. We had a total of 4 riders hit the ground. I did not witness any of these but fortunately no one was seriously injured except maybe their ego and walked away with a few scratches and bruises. Although Fred really took a spill the first day and was too sore to ride on Sunday.
Lunch at Farrington Park...What a treat, lunch outside under a pavillion with bbq hamburgers and brats cooked up and severed in only the way my parents can. They had a wonderful spread laid out for us we rode up to our lunch stop. A huge thanks to my parents for treating us to yet another wonderful lunch on the trail. You ROCK! We lost a few more riders at lunch. Nicholas and Kaci decided to call it quits completely happy with their 60 miles. This last stretch really kicked our butts. But the old out-rode the young. At our age we need this "ego-boost" It is especially satisflying for the mom to outlast her kids. Only Christopher and myself finished all 85.
Sunday morning...Mark and I always attend mass on these rides and this was the first time I put it out to everyone on the ride. I was overwhelmed to see we had 20 of the 40 people on the ride meet to attend Catholic mass. Now I only mention this because it was so funny. All 20 of us arrived at the church and the bells where ringing and people streaming into mass. We all followed right along and to our surprise discovered we were NOT at a catholic church. If you can picture 20 people all turning around and filing back out to go to the catholic chuch next door. It was quite hilarious. The methodist members would have surpassed their conversion quota.LOL
OK, day two, we are all pretty pumped because it's got to be downhill today. Since yesterday was uphill, surely today would all down with the wind at our backs. Well it didn't take long to figure out we were going uphill again. How is that possible? So what the couple predicted was all too true. THS WAS THE HARDEST SECTION of the KATY TRAIL. And as quoted by Lesia 'we did it twice". I don't think I will be riding to Clinton anytime soon. It is marked off my list and done!
An embarrassing moment for my fastest chick..So I need to acknowlege my FAST RIDERS. We always have a few and we had 7 this year.Hats off to you and GREAT job!!! They would be Brett & Brandon at a good avg 17 miles per hour and Carol and her crew. (her 2 sons and their girls.) So kind of a funny story I need to share. Carol was out in front the whole trip and as she came into the finish with everyone there cheering she was crossing a street and got off balance stopping for a car. She just tipped over - practically in slow motion as descriped to me. Apparently pretty funny.
What a surprise...
At lunch on Sunday the group presented me with this priceless framed picture of the entire Biker Chick group. I don't even know how they pulled it off because we took the picture upon departure at 10:30 from the hotel and I opened the present 2 hours later at lunch. It had the whole gang and the matt was signed by everyone on the ride. It was like magic. Something I will always treasure. A big thanks to Nancy who orchrastrated the whole thing and was the driving force behind this amazing keepsake for me.