“Lisa needs to go get coffee,” ventured the TSA agent at LAX.

So true. By the time I reached the airport, I’d remembered that I’d forgotten my:
Gold sharpie
Hairbrush
Car phone charger

My faith in the security screening process restored, I boarded my plane and slept all the way to Kansas City.

I might have been on a plane that landed here before, but my feet had not touched the ground.

I took the TSA agent’s advice upon arrival at MCI. It only took two attempts to get the double espresso macchiato right. Which is good, because one more snafu and the barista might have been hiding here:

20131004-160032.jpg
Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas… yet.

Then there was the car rental. Apparently, I climbed into the wrong silver Fiat 500. Security caught it, and sent me back, just in time to see someone else driving off in my car. I flagged her down, only to see that they’d assigned her the same car. I headed back in, one of the managers assigned me a different spot, but when I got to it, there was an SUV parked there. Back into the office to learn, “Bank Error in Your Favor”. I’d been upgraded to the SUV. Which was fortunate, since I’m not sure how I would have squeezed the rental bike in the Fiat.

20131004-160052.jpg

And to top it off, the Trek Store of Kansas City had a gold sharpie they were gracious enough to let me use:

20131004-160042.jpg

Bike set up, it was off to my gracious hostess’ home, and then back out to pick up my registration packet. As at the CHAFE 150, at check in, I learned I’d received donations I didn’t know about. Thanks to all my sponsors! This year, the Tour de BBQ is focusing on supporting Transitions, which to my West Hollywood ears, sounds like where Chelsea Manning might want to spend some quality time, but no, it’s for pediatric cancer survivors who have survived to adulthood.

Then my classmate/alumni newsletter editor whisked me off to another mini-college reunion. Two weeks ago, I was the eldest, the ghost of Christmas past, as the departed was a freshman the year I graduated, and his bride and most of the mourners were even younger. This time, I was greeted by my freshman resident advisor. It was another chapter of my life, entirely.

Saturday morning, I was up before dawn, and in the interest of making up the missing miles (the long route was 62 miles, mostly in Kansas,) I biked to the starting line:

20131006-133108.jpg

20131006-133119.jpg

This was one ride that didn’t skimp on the rest stops. Having gone 25 miles without a stop, and almost 50 without a porta-potty on some other rides, it was delightful to be on a ride organized around the stops. The 10 miles before stop 1 was the longest stretch of the course without food or water, but I made it:

20131006-133143.jpg

and into Kansas (although the Garmin suggests I’d been there earlier)

20131006-133747.jpg

Mile 14: the BBQ joint everyone said I MUST visit in Kansas City:

20131006-133807.jpg

Mile 19.87:

20131006-133833.jpg

Mile 26.59:

20131006-133845.jpg

Waiting for a train (I thought I had video):

20131006-133902.jpg

The skies start to get ominous:

20131006-133819.jpg

Chili Mac at the REI Grand Opening:

20131006-133916.jpg

Murray’s Tables and Tap at Bikesource. Nom Nom Nom!!!

20131006-133934.jpg

Mile 46.33: The beans were AMAZING!

20131006-134002.jpg

Mile 55.75. They had beer, but I knew I still owed Missouri some miles…

20131006-134016.jpg

So, I crossed the finish line, and assessed what I needed to do:

20131006-134616.jpg

The Tour de BBQ volunteers gave me a cue sheet for the 35 mile route, and I headed back out. This time, I’d be riding without BBQ stops. The first part of the course was similar. I was slower. Then I headed east, out toward the prairie. I half expected to see Pa and Laura coming along in their covered wagon. There was a 1.46 mile stretch along Blue River Road that was just magical. This was a decidedly country stretch of what had been an urban ride. Then I turned west on Bannister Road and was hating the climbing and the traffic and the headwinds, and knowing that the clock was ticking toward 3pm, when the course became officially unsupported. When I hit State Line Road, I turned north, hoping I’d have enough miles when I got close to where I was staying. Not that I really wanted to miss the finish line festivities, but I was over riding solo. No luck, so back into downtown Kansas City, just in time to see everyone packing up, so back down Main Street for the third time that day, and wandering through some hills, and done.

20131006-134700.jpg

For a grand total of 102.22 miles.

I’m pretty sure it was at least 50 in each state, but I consider all those miles on State Line Road transferable.

And then I returned my bike to the Trek Store and got my obligatory “Lisa lubs the doggies” shot;

20131006-134926.jpg

Advertisements