Where do I begin?
Saturday was a gorgeous fall morning, all sunshine and cool temps with the fall leaves littering the yards. We layered up on clothing, threw some PBR's in our bags, and mounted up on the single speeds, headed out for the meeting spot to begin our 7th Homey together. Our first Homey together, back in 2006, was an eye-opening experience... as if someone lifted the veil to a entirely different existance... and I felt instantly at home. step through the looking glass, Alice
Fall colors and coolness that heighten the thrill in the air, sounds of bikes on the trail, laughter, beers and debauchery .... friends amongst strangers and a smile for both all the same... "I knew who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then"... it was my first time on a mountain bike, first time really hanging out with Jay's friends, and I knew in my heart I was utterly falling for this man. It was the night of our first kiss and the new beginnings that would change the path of my life indefinitely. It was, by far, the best Homey ever. This year though, was definitely second!
We started off at a very Northwoods-feel dive bar where you were lucky to get a beer in under 20 minutes. I had just enough time to polish off a Bud with Tyson before the Mad Hatter arrived to begin the journey. We headed off towards Hidden Falls and stopped off once for a derby which I was content to watch from the sidelines... something about a tightening circle around park benches makes me worry about crashing... or maybe it was the lack of bevies in my blood..
Once at the falls, we lounged casually in the leaves, laughing with friends and watching the climbing and coasting feats of strength that played out in front of us. Ahh, THIS is what relaxing is... the fresh air, bikes, and good company.
After some beers and good fun, we headed down the creek a bit for the next derby and this time I didn't hesitate to join in. People stood around aimlessly, so I joined Geno and Hollywood in buzzing them as we widened the circle, coaxing them to join us. The circle filled up quickly and the rubbing began. Round and round we pedaled and the pack began to thin. Jubilant laughter mixed with rubbing tires and tangled handle bars as we all tried not to dab a foot.
In a trance, I circled again and again, watching my opponents through my peripheral, utilizing everything from bump-n-run to stalling out to keep myself in the game. All of a sudden, we were down to me and three dudes as the crowd began moving in on us, tightening our circle. All three of them were battling it out on the opposite side of the tree we circled so I matched their pace, hoping they'd start taking each other out.
In one hard move, Thor took out them both, emerging from the mangled fun as I rounded the tree and made a hard charge at me. Hoping to catch him off balance, I pedaled straight for him, ramming him hard and bracing as our tangled bikes began to tip his way. Tipping ever so slowly, I got my feet up and shouts filled the air as he put his foot down to catch us. In pure excitement, I tumbled backwards off my bike, hands in the air, with the biggest shit-eating grin stretched across my face.
Last year was the first time I'd even made it 1/2 way through the derby, and here I was the winner! I guess the pigtails probably didn't hurt my cause, but I didn't care... I rode the high for the rest of the night.
We continued on, deeper into the rabbit hole, farther from a 'normal' existence, riding our bikes along trails covered in leaves on our way to the river for the next contest.. Rock Skipping across the river! I, unfortunately, have absolutely no skill in that category, so I sat and watched happily like the Cheshire Cat. It was great fun to watch my friends line the river's edge for a simultaneous stone throw.
Once to our final destination, the riff raff jumped their bikes off the base of a tall oak as we stood below, watching and wondering from conversation to conversation. The beers continued to flow and the stunts never ceased as the afternoon stretched on.
We stayed until the sun began to melt into the horizon and our hunger took over. Making our break for it, we got back on our bikes to try and make it home before dark, stopping only once to grab some pizza to fill our bellies with. Satiated and warm at home, we dozed off to sleep for an early evening nap to recover from the festivities. It was definitely one of the most fun times I've had with the crue and a smile tugged at the side of my lips as night grew and we laughed about the fun we'd had.
I think Alice said it best... "I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy. My reality is just different than yours."
Kristy Kreme in Wonderland...