The Tour de BBQ I Did Not Knows

Ready to ride
Maybe it's because I'm 20 pounds lighter, maybe because I'm in much better shape or maybe because there was no 30 mph headwind this year, but the Tour de BBQ didn't absolutely kill me this year. That doesn't mean that the first 10 miles, from downtown to Smokestack Barbecue, that was basically uphill didn't make me feel like my heart was going to explode. The chicken wing and slightly cold baked beans at Smokestack didn't do much to make me feel good about the next 10 miles to Oklahoma Joe's. Once we got there, I knew it was going to be okay, 15 miles to go, mostly downhill or flat, with 3 more barbecue stops on the way back to downtown. The RJ's Bob-be-que pulled pork sandwich was wonderful, the oranges at Johnny's were much needed and the chicken at Woodyard wasn't that great.

Last year's ride inspired a best/worst list because for much of the ride, a good 2 hours, I didn't know if I was going to make it. That kind of feeling makes you feel everything a little more acutely than you feel things when you're just a little fatigued. But, I did learn some things along the way this year.

I didn't know I could eat a package of fruit snacks in 2 seconds.

I didn't know I could eat approximately 5 pounds of nachos which I did a couple of hours after the ride.

The curve on Grand, headed to Main
I did know that Boulevard Wheat is immensely refreshing after 35 miles on the bike.

I didn't know that the video I shot of me finishing the race was not going to be worth carrying my phone in my hand and inside my bicycle shorts for the ride between Woodyard and downtown.

I didn't know that Nebraska Infinite Wit is as refreshing, if not more, after a long ride than Boulevard Wheat.

I didn't know that I could eat the equivalent of 2 oranges in under a minute.

I didn't know that looking a sign advertising lemonade while stopped at the longest light in KC (by the Popeye's in Mission) could make me so thirsty for a lemonade that I would contemplate stopping into to Popeye's for a drink.

I didn't know that Southern Tier Pumking, which is wonderful any time, could taste even better than it does normally.

I didn't know that sticking my phone in the waistband of my bicycle shorts and underwear wouldn't hold the phone and I would have to dig it out from inside my pants and wipe the sweat off the touch screen.

I skipped Smokestack last year because the line
 was too long.
No issues with that this year.
I didn't know until I was resting at RJ's that I enjoyed George Jones as much as I did.

I didn't know how sad I could be that I forgot to grab a fun sized bag of Skittles at RJ's.

I didn't know that Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' could taste as great as it did after a long ride.

I didn't know that I could regret falling asleep early in the evening last year as much as I did when Stella got "Something Borrowed" from the Blockbuster Express because she thought I would fall asleep on the couch like last year anyway.

I didn't know there was something I wouldn't like from Oklahoma Joe's, but the Oklahoma Joe's blend of Roasterrie coffee isn't that good.

I didn't know how bad of an idea it was to drink coffee before a long bike ride.

I didn't know I could get tired of eating barbecue, but by the end of the ride, I certainly was.

I did know and know even more now how great it feels to finish the Tour de BBQ.

I now know what it feels like to finish the Tour de BBQ strong.

I don't think I enjoyed the Tour as much this year as last. It seemed like there were more casual riders than last year and since there was about 2300 riders I would guess that half of the extras had never ridden in an organized ride such as the Tour de BBQ. They staggered the riders so much this year which meant that there was little to no waiting for barbecue at all the stops which was wonderful. There was more barbecue, but it seemed like less volunteers along the way and less people cheering along the way. Stella and the kids and a mother/daughter near the golf course at Belinder and Shawnee Mission Parkway and volunteers at each rest stop were the only people I saw along the way cheering riders on. I hope that in lieu of cheering for the riders that everyone in KC gave a donation through the Tour de BBQ to benefit Livestrong and the KU Cancer Center.

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