Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Baloney Pony & My Homies

This weekend market my eighth year at Homie Fall Fest, and one of the best ones yet.  Although defining HFF to the layperson alludes most of us, I think you can start with... single speed mtn bikes, personal style (or costume), beer, flasks, feats of strength, derby, more beer, ride, beer, final stop with more feats of strength, bonfire, and more beer....

With my MUSS, "The Baloney Pony", and my hubby, it was set to become another awesome day.  And along the way, we had some fun and make some memories... some of which we only remember once we turn the camera back on and we find out what we did.
Riding along hidden trains in the Minneapolis, challenging ourselves to do something stupid (or let the rest of the Homies tell you not to), we congregate with our friends we see often in our community, plus the ones that come from caves far far away to enjoy yet another year of drunked debauchery.
 This year took us along the river for miles, exploring areas I'd never seen before, hanging out under bridges drinking beer as the warm October sun tried to keep the chill at bay.

Somewhere under a bridge, down by the river, someone came up with a peculiar way to drink beer with a stocking over our heads.  Though the creep-factor was awesomely bad, Stevil proved the difficulties of drinking through the (hopefully clean) stocking.

So we improved and ripped mouth holes into them!  And then we drank some more..

The turn out was incredible and we took a moment for a very sweet and innocent family picture...

With one more stop to go, we got back on our bikes and followed the leader down the trail.  Hwood, me and a handful of others missed the final turn into the woods and didn't catch it till we'd made it some 20 yds down the path.  

When we decided to turn around and go back, I was caught completely off-guard when I saw a black figure barreling down on me mid-turn at a speed I couldn't beat.  The impact was fierce as we collided and slammed onto the ground.  Hwood and the guys rushed to my side to make sure I was okay.  I got up and took inventory, I couldn't find any injuries, even after the extra check to compensate for the booziness that may mask something.  He, on the other hand, had a bloody lip and this handlebars wedge within my front wheel.  It had bent one of my spokes and threw my wheel out of true, but it still got me to where I needed to go.

Once we got to the final camp, we settled in, cracked another beer and enjoyed the ride.  I got in on the relay with Hwood and Murph from Swobo, raging round and round the fire as we laughed and tried to take it to Geno and his dream team. I don't even remember who won... but I do remember that it was even harder to pull off the 2-person race with Jay on the pedals and me on the handlebars.  The booze definitely made the falls easier to take.

When darkness fell and we realized that the lights I intelligently grabbed for our ride home were dead, we decided to hit the trail and head home.  Leaving from Eagan with a cold headwind, we started to think of better ways to get back fast... When we got to Bloomington, we decided to hop on the light rail at the airport and get as close as we could to home.  The ride was slick, smooth, and we were soon back at the house and chowin' on some hot food.

After eight years, it's still awesome, and I love the tradition Jay and I have of bailing for pizza and laughing about the antics before we fell asleep (aka passed out).  My first Homie Fall Fest lead to my first kiss with my future hubby, my first mountain bike and a healthy bike new addiction.  I look forward to what more is yet to come...

Bruised, Boozed, and Smilin',
Kristy Kreme

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bike Therapy

Last week I got my ass kicked by the latest strain of flu bug.  Luckily, I'm married to the boss man, so it didn't take much to convince him that I needed to go home when the body aches and chills started to set in.  Straight to the couch in my jammies and robe, I waited for him to get done with work as my fever climbed.

By the time he got home, I was frozen solid, curled up in my comforter on the couch with the puppy and a strong fever of 101.  Food made me nauseous, so I survived the next couple days and a fever that maxed out at 102.4 by sipping ginger ale and sleeping with a copious hours of the day.  In an effort to keep my hubby healthy, I slept on the couch so not to breathe my germs on him all night... but something in that quarantine was just so lonely.

I felt like hell.. and all I wanted was to be held..  Yeah, I'm a baby when I'm sick, so what!  But I didn't want my hubby sick, and neither did he, so the puppy had to play the part of nurse & cuddler.  But somewhere in the lack of food, isolation, and body aches, I just got depressed.  Although the fever broke after 2 days, I was still weak and fatigued by my flu-hangover and lack of nutrition.

The cold air set in my bones when I went outside, and all I wanted to do was get back into bed.  With Green Acres CX taking up the weekend, I tried with all my might to rest and eat and get back on the bike, but I battled between motivation and healing constantly, going back and forth with myself on whether or not I was ready to ride.

Mother Nature decided for me, keeping the races cold and rainy.  So I stayed bundled up and had to watch it all from the sidelines.  Lucky for me, though, I had a few Girl Fiends to cheer on and help lighten my glum mood.  It was awesome cheering for Dana & Sarah as they took on the mud and the rain!  And Morgan came out just to cheer and drink beer which is always great for good belly laughs and silliness.... though I'm always leery the next morning about what I may have agreed to do...hmmm.

Finally this Monday, I got back on my bike.  It was only for a 2 mile jaunt to work and I was probably wearing more layers than I needed, but it felt fabulous!  My mind wandered about as I pedaled down the bike path and the fall colors were stunning.  It was so awesome, I did it again on Tuesday and joyfully, with all the same side effects.

Jay and Chucker took me out on mtn bikes last night to get in a longer and little more interesting ride.  We started by Lake Calhoun and hit up some barely traveled singletrack all the way to the new Theo Wirth flow trails.  There were some wrong turns, a creepy "Blair Witch" moment, some nefarious goings-on by nude men in the woods, but most of all it was lots and lots of singletrack on a beautiful fall night.  It was quiet and beautiful as we stopped at the top of one of the trails and enjoyed how pretty Minneapolis looks at night.

With happy legs beneath us, we returned to the lake to fill our bellies with some tasty Burger Jones treats.  Bikes, laughter, high-fives, and friends... it was a perfect night.  And it was a great week of coming back from darkness...

Sometimes it's can get heavy under the load of bills, family hardships, car troubles, whatever... then knock yourself out with illness and loneliness...  it's not something I like to write about.  But in the end, its my puppy, Jay, my friends and loved ones and my lil 2-wheeled contraption that makes it all go away.  And I'm grateful for every last one of 'em!  You know who you are - I love you!

Enjoying the sunlight,
Kristy Kreme