Sunday, October 2, 2011

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.


  1. you know there is a program that turns video 90 degrees. but this way it has a certain special charm.

  2. In lieu of a phone in your shorts, perhaps a jersey pocket could suffice? That's where mine was with my workout recording in the Map My Ride app with the route they posted pre-loaded. Seeing the route posted online at (Garmin files also available) was a good early indicator to me that this event was well organized, which I thought ended up being true.

    This was my first Tour de BBQ (a mandatory wedding attendance kept me from it last year). The staggered start was nice when it came to the stops but I didn't really like waiting 40 minutes at the starting line waiting for several groups to start. Next year I'll definitely try to get in line earlier to avoid that.

    Overall I thought the event was really well organized and obviously had some dollars behind it. I missed out on some of the stops since I only did the short route (35 miles), so next year I'll shoot for the full experience. They key thing there is that there will be a next year for me, as I imagine a lot of riders will want to return and this event will only continue to grow.

  3. Oh, and beer... Post-ride I had a N.B. Hoptober which tasted great at the time. Later that night I passed out early drinking a Life & Limb 2 watching SNL. Half a glass of that left this morning...almost drank it still.

  4. The mental image of you in biker shorts, 20lbs lighter or not is not a pretty one. Also, hopefully you've upgraded your scoot since last year.

  5. 'The baked beans were slightly cold.' You sure do seem to bitch a lot.

  6. This was a very well-organized event. I loved getting to see Kansas City on a bike--you can observe so much more that way. We drove through part of the route yesterday, and it wasn't the same. Being in a car creates separation from your surroundings.

    Anyway, Tour de BBQ definitely felt like a "fun" ride. Even some of the semi-serious-looking cyclists were pounding beer at rest stops (and even on the course). It was my first organized ride, and barring conflicts I'll be doing it again next year.

    I never had to wait more than a couple minutes for a restroom or food at any of the stops, which was nice. The only quibbles I had were the pre-race packet pickups were chaotic (I hope they mail them next year) and yeah, the staggered times probably weren't great for those who didn't show up a little early. We got in line at 8:10 for an 8:30 start, and ended up in the 3rd "wave" which left at about 8:50. I would guess there were at least 3 waves left behind us, so it would have been a bummer to get there at 8:30 and wait for an hour to start after the materials emphasized that there's no reason to get there early.

  7. The George Jones realization is probably the most important thing that happened.

  8. sure seem to lurk a lot.