Tour de BBQ on Saturday. I'm not enough of a cyclist to ride 60 miles and I'm barely enough of a cyclist to ride 35 miles, but I did it and it's probably my most significant athletic achievement I've ever accomplished. Along the way, I ran into some of the best and worst of Kansas City.
The best - Riding down Grand downtown in a pack of hundreds of bicycles
The worst - Riding uphill on Main from Crown Center up to the Plaza
The best - Not embarrassing myself by falling behind the group
The worst - Not getting to Smokestack BBQ quick enough to avoid a huge crowd scene at the food line forcing me to skip eating at Smokestack
The best - Seeing my kids cheer me on in Corporate Woods
The worst - The cubes of fatty meat that were served at Hayward's
The best - The greatest sandwich I will ever eat, the Oklahoma Joe's bbq shredded beef (?) sandwich after riding 29 miles
The worst - The headwind we faced riding through the hills of Fairway, Mission Hills, and KCMO on the way to Oklahoma Joe's.
The best - Turning onto Walnut at 20th (or wherever we were) and seeing the finish line and hearing the volunteers cheering for the people finishing. (If I find the picture of me finishing I'll put it up on this post, because I must have looked like the most miserable yet elated son of a bitch on the planet).
The worst - Lifting my bike up to put it on the rack
The best - The little Kit Kat bar someone gave me as I crossed the finish line
The best - I had the greatest Boulevard Wheat I'll ever have. I made my way straight through the barbecue tent, got me a Wheat and savored every drink of it. It was truly wonderful and made me all happy inside.
The best - A little open faced Gates BBQ ham sandwich on white bread. It was literally a piece of ham on white bread to which I added some Gates Original sauce. It was fabulous. I had 3.
The worst - Johnny's BBQ had ham and a roll that was not good. I dumped it.
The best - A slice of Spin! Pizza's pepperoni. I was really hungry for some pizza back around mile 20.
The best - Heading to the Saucer and drinking a Free State Octoberfest.
The worst - Rogue John John Hazelnut Brown. I don't say this about too many beers, but that one was truly awful, it tasted like a glass of cheap rum you've left sitting out too long and all the ice melted making it a watery whiskey. I really was looking forward to that one.
The best - Having my Saucer bartender dump the Rogue John John Hazelnut and getting me a Milk Stout. On this day milk was truly a great choice.
The worst - Going to the bathroom for the first time since I left the house and seeing the sad shape my friend was in, like George said on "Seinfeld", he's like a frightened turtle. Don't judge people's bulges in their bicycle shorts.
The best - Talking to the bearded Matt about Mort's in Wichita.
The best - The little taster Matt got me of the Grand Teton Whiskey Dopplebock. Even though I'm an avowed hater of whiskey beers, I could appreciate this one.
The worst - My feelings for the people who were just finishing a full 2 hours after I did. Granted they probably went the full 60 but 6 hours is a long time to ride a bike especially in the heavy wind we faced on the way back downtown.
The Tour de BBQ was a great time. It was pretty cool to see the reflection of nearly 2000 people on bikes in the Sprint Center glass before the 60 mile group got started. They were hoping to get to 800 people this year and they far exceeded that total more than quadrupling the total from last year. With that kind of growth again we could be seeing 10,000 cyclists taking over KC for a day. I'm sure the Lance Armstrong Foundation and KU Cancer Center made quite a large amount of money to beat cancer. For all the volunteers for the day and all of the drivers who waved some bicyclists through a stop sign and the people who stood on their driveways and cheered us on and all of the bicyclists that gave a rank amateur a break and not yelling at me for weaving or going slow, I give you a great big thank you. It was a great time.