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The team was called out after the virtual no-show last year. E-mail started flying out from the Mothership in the spring while Rick was talking it up and recruiting in his spinning class. By the time the snow was free of the ground in the greater Midwest, there were already four confirmed for the entire trip: Laurie, Heidi, Steve and Rick. Three of them got new bikes; the other one got a trailer to lug more stereo gear. By the time summer arrived, Barb had been volunteered as the driver. She was just too good in 2001 to be staying home this summer. The talkers from Chicago and Omaha stayed true to their moniker and used only their lips. Chris and Michelle, due to whitey supression, could only kiddie-loop. Sockman at the start and City Girl in the end.
Steve drove into Omaha and Heidi flew into Chicago on the Friday prior. While the girls had to drive from Chi-town to Dubuque that night, the boys drank martinis. There are some pluses to being on the starting edge of the state. What wasn't a plus was Dave (the official snail's pace filmographer of the team) bringing out of retirement the Clarence Carter CD. That man will burn in hell for releasing that fucking Strokin' song.
The next morning the van was loaded up. When the bike rack was being attached Rick noticed a little problem: no bolts. A quick trip to Ace Hardware to get some. You know, those things are only 12 cents each, so why not buy a couple extra. When you don't, the laws of Murphy take over. Just how much torque does it take to break a bolt while tightening a nut? (You might be able to find an answer at an S&M club.) The rack gets attached so everything is copacetic, right. Now where did that sun go? According to the National Weather Service we're supposed to have a great week. Lyin' bastards. What could bring us luck? How about loading coolers with beer in a high school training room. Hey, free crushed ice is free crushed ice. The drive up to Onawa was easy, but would finding the other half of the team be as simple. Our RAGluck is working as we arrive in town at the same time. In a few short moments we were united and TeaMartini was ready to roll.
Onawa - The Eve
Setting up camp in our primo curbside spot went quickly (helped by the many snooty beers). Les has to take off for Fort Dodge. Don't forget your socks and drawers. What was that, he already left? It looks like our first swirly is a duffle bag of Les delicates. Is that Ho House up yet? Rick's bike makes for a nice camp stereo. Thank God he brought three large batteries. It sure is nice to have those kybos so close. It will be convenient for the team, especially the man with the bad colon. As soon as Laurie finishes filling her flask with vodka we can head into town. Just how many things can be turned into a funnel? Now that our systems are infused with good beer, it's time to find some beverages with the word "light" or "lite" attached.
The first bar isn't too full. The Marsha Traeger point is earned immediately. No new offspring to keep her from damaging her liver this summer. Add in some Bad Boys and the stage is set. Hope Rick made and brought enought CDs. It looks like they have someone at the door who might keep us from enjoying our frothy treats outside. Just act cool and you can slide on by. Food is now at the top of the list. Why are there still lines this late in the evening? While refilling our nourishment centers, the Evil contingent saunters by. It's always good to see our men and women in black. It looks like they're intent on winning the ride this year. Rick is intent on finding a clean bathroom. After dinner, it's back to the bar. The meet and greet is almost complete as Angry is there. As often happens, the team gets seperated. Rick hangs with Angry for a while and then is in need of some food. Why he didn't eat with the rest of the team is still weighing heavily on his mind. The rest of the team is in the beer garden doing what come naturally. As Rick makes his way down the street he runs into Kayla and Aaron. Chatting must give way to drinking. Rick lets the Die Hards know where he's camping and makes his way to the Pizza Slut. Some low-budget 'za and a Sammy A make a nice late night dinner. Rick heads to tent and later that night the rest of the team perform the Slut-beer-tent combo.
When you go to tent, that usually marks the end of the day. Not if you have a sorry excuse for a colon. Rick gets up in the middle of the night and makes it to the super close kybo line. What a godsend they are! On the way back he notices Aaron and Kayla setting up camp. He does his best to assist with Guinness. Kayla was presented with her graduation present: specially packaged TeaMartini CD. The non-hilly alternate route for tomorrow is presented and accepted. It's late and sleeping is a must. This time for good.