Monday, May 26, 2014

Classy Goes to the Jamboree

I have a photo album of pictures we took on Pedaler's Jamboree this weekend. 

But, it's not as fun without a story.

So, here we go!

-C McG


I've been a runner for some time now. I also live for buffets and much-needed brain rot at the casino. 

My husband loves biking. And camping. And buffets (whew).

In an effort to find something fun we could both do together, and to complete my yearly goal of doing something that takes me out of my comfort zone, we signed up for Pedaler's.

The ride begins Saturday in Columbia, MO, and lands in Boonville, MO (about 30 miles away). Riders spend the night in Boonville, eating, drinking, and watching an amazing concert before making the trek back to Columbia on Sunday. There are lots of hotels around, OR you can camp in the park Saturday night. 

To further my adventures, we camped in the park.

You don't HAVE to bike both days, but it was very important to me to have both rides before I let myself have Shakespeare's Pizza in Columbia as my reward.

There's no time limit to finish the ride, and there are bands and drinks in towns along the way. I could count on two hands the number of bikes rides I've been on as an adult up to this point, so I appreciate the laid-back nature of the event. 

We spent May getting used to the bikes again, getting lots of help from friends who know bikes and have been on this ride before. 

I just really needed to know ahead of time that I wasn't going to die.

Friday, we loaded up everything we theoretically needed for the weekend (we remembered the bikes!) and headed to Columbia.

We enjoyed cable TV and an indoor pool and take-out food Friday night before heading to the trail Saturday morning.

We met at Flat Branch Park. That giant yellow moving truck on the right there? We threw them our camping gear to pick up on the other end of the ride. 

Aaannnddd we're off!

Of note: I hate sunscreen, but I burn very easily. I will always opt to wear more clothes to combat the need for said sunscreen. No matter the temperature. The answer is really thin snap-button shirts. Classy.

Dirt Leg Benders playing on MKT Trail just before we hit Katy Trail.

To add to the challenge, we got stuck in quite the rain about 10 minutes after that picture. Luckily, Lucy's Bar in McBaine had White Trash Blues Revival and a giant tent for us to wait in. And beer.

See, the muppet face keeps me from crying. 
Good thing rain ponchos were on our list! 

Note: People also wear garbage bags, just FYI in case you hate shopping for ponchos.

Note: I couldn't figure out what was worse, biking with glasses (rain sticking to the lenses), or biking without glasses (rain stabbing you in the eyes). Ultimately, I landed here (clip-on shades over my regular glasses):


More music at Katfish Katy's, except I can't tell from our itinerary who this is! Sorry, guys!

I also got to learn what happens when you bike in mud without mud guards.

Every person who rode right after that rainfall that afternoon mostly looked like they had shit themselves. It really appealed to my 4th grade sensibilities.

We traveled through lush landscape and overcast skies the rest of the afternoon.

The Katy Roundhouse in Franklin was our last stop before Boonville. Bands were still going strong, so were the bikers.

We arrived at Kemper Park to set up our borrowed tent for the night. I trusted husband to know how to set it up. He did a pretty good job.

We picked a place far away from the stage, just in case the music/crowd was too obnoxious. 

Next, the Classy part of the weekend, we stopped at the casino that was a few blocks away. We had a coupon for BOGO buffets at Isle of Capri. It was a great break from the energy bars and barbeque food-truck food I couldn't eat. 

Also, slot machines. Hello.

Finally, we found some friends and settled down to watch the concert. We were particularly impressed by the group SHEL, musician sisters from Colorado.

We also shopped the merch booths and I got a massage from one of the vendors (uh, it was a massage vendor, not just a random pottery one, or whatever).

Day 2 was less about photos and more about getting to pizza. We woke up for yoga and breakfast, packed up camp, hit the trail, and got back to Columbia as soon as we could.

The weather was very warm and sunny, pretty much the opposite of Saturday. It was exhausting, and I probably ate a lot of bugs.

But, hey! We made it!

Stray observations:

Cyclists want to comment on everything all the time. Your gear, your biking, just lots of helpful-seeming-but-mostly-patronizing words. Runners tend to keep those kinds of things to themselves. Besides, you can't get away from someone quickly enough if you shout a passing comment about their running form.

It could be mostly because the loud cyclists seem to always be in the throes of drinking. I say that with a lot of love. You have to appreciate a sport you can do while drunk and wearing flip-flops. They don't even let you do that at the bowling alley.

You know how Scrabble (or Monopoly or whatever) is a fun game until it's over and you have to put all the pieces away to reset and start over again? That's how I feel about camping. Packing up your site is the WORST. Especially when you are probably sunburnt and exhausted (and/or hungover) and ready to move on with your life.

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