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April MEOW Mixer

For the Mixers this year, we will have a different international food choice each month, so the MEOW Mixer will be a Multicultural Eats Of the World.  Each month, we’ll meet and eat at a different international food restaurant. We will have weekend lunches and weekday dinners.

 

APRIL MEOW MIXER

We had originally planned to have Peruvian food this month, but the restaurant we were going to was supposed to move to a larger location and that hasn’t happened yet.  Their current location is teeny tiny and we’re concerned that we won’t be able to squeeze in.  So, we’re going with the best country in the whole world first…AMERICA!  We will eat Peruvian food in July.

Plan to meet at 11:00 and this is a rain or shine event.  If it’s too cold or raining, cage it!  Five Guys is a burgers and fries restaurant.  You can view their menu by clicking on their website link below.

Please RSVP by April 4th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HB4116

Rolling with the Punches – October 14, 2017

ADJUST: verb: ad-just: to adapt or conform oneself (as to new conditions.)

And that  was the word of the day on Saturday, October 14th. For the days leading up to the Kitty Road Trip, I studied not one, not two, but three weather apps, hoping that someone, anyone, would give me better news. I celebrated with each minor drop in the chance of rain, but while it may have improved in the morning, it worsened in the afternoon. If it improved in Wichita, it worsened in Peabody. With the soggy return trip from Milford Lake still fresh in everyone’s minds, I knew that I had to get this right. To knowingly take a pack of 17 Kitties out with a better than 50/50 shot of getting wet would result in an unquestionable dethroning from my Queen Kitty status. Done. Kaput. Never again to be heralded as the Queen that I think I am. So, I self-imposed a Friday evening deadline for making the call. Option A: we ride. Option B: we ride….in a cage. As I was about to start my long post on Facebook about my final decision, I got a text from Paula who said and I quote, “Hey, you Black Kat of the Krome Kitties, you did it again! You’re like Pig Pen from the Peanuts cartoon, but instead of a dust cloud you bring a raincloud everywhere you go. Well, I for one want nothing to do with you and your stupid wet crap! Call me a Puss but I’m out!” Ok, I may have taken a great deal of poetic license on that quote, but I heard her loud and clear and I took that as a sign that I was doing the right thing by pulling the plug on the conventional way of Kitty riding. We’re going by cars bitches! And to my great pleasure, every single Kitty who had signed up to motorscoot their way to Peabody agreed to pile in cars and caravan their way to Peabody! You guys rock!!

Of course, then I started second guessing myself and I especially had judgement anxiety when on Saturday morning, it was all bright and shiny outside. After a quick check on my not one, not two, but three weather apps, I saw that the chances of rain had actually decreased! What. The. Hell? Oh well, what’s done is done and there’s no turning back now so onward we go, but for the first time in Kitty history, I was actually HOPING it would rain! I needed validation! Needed it bad!

And I didn’t have to wait long to get it! As Alice, Denise and I were heading north on Highway 135 to meet at the Park City QuikTrip, it was very dark and stormy looking ahead of us – right where we were going. That’s when I knew that I was just as smart as I thought I was – brilliant even. Not to mention that my Kitty crown was safe from confiscation, so there’s that, too.

After all the Kitties arrived at the QuikTrip in their non-traditional Kitty Road Trip clothing of capris and flip flops and we all gathered around the non-traditional Kitty Road Trip mode of transportation of Toyotas, Fords and Chevys, Suz started pimping the 50/50 tickets. We chatted a bit and then I started assigning passengers to cars and did my best to keep Alice from getting in the wrong line. After potty breaks and drink purchases, we were on the way to the metropolis of Peabody USA!

We hardly even realized we were in Peabody before we were pulling into the Coneburg Grill and Pub. What was the very first thing every single one of us saw? The parking lot! It was perfectly suitable for Toyotas, Fords and Chevys, but for motorcycles…not so much. There was about a postage size spot of pavement and the rest was potholed gravel, which by then were water filled potholes from an earlier rain. Shelley sized it up perfectly when she said, “Every single one of us would be crowding into that wee bit of pavement over there had we been on bikes.” True dat Shelley!

Just after we got seated, we were joined by Amy, who drove in from Newton, and Annette, who resides in none other than Peabody. This was Annette’s very first introduction to the Kitties and in fact, she officially joined on Saturday. So how did she hear about the Krome Kitties way out in Peabody, KS you ask? Well, let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, a Kitty named Alice was at Hartman Arena purchasing Willie Nelson concert tickets. Right there in line with her was a gal who had the most darling Harley Davidson handbag. Not one to ever let a sweet handbag escape her attention (and trust me, I know this for fact; I saw the tubs of purses Alice moved to Kansas from Colorado!), Alice commented to this gal, who just wanted to buy a couple of Willie Nelson tickets, about how lovely her purse was. “Why thank you”, she says. To which Alice says, “Do you ride, I mean like your own bike?” “Why I sure do, Nosy Stranger. And since your hellbent on knowing all about me, I just moved here from New York and am ever so lonely since I don’t know a single soul here other than my Mom and sister.” To which Alice aka Nosy Stranger replies, “Well, have I got a group for you! You see, there’s this here group called the Krome Kitties and oh my gosh, they are so awesome and friendly and fun and wild and crazy! And don’t even get me started on the Founder, Janice. She is SO amazing and pretty and smart – I mean like, she’s the total package!” (In full disclosure, this is a very loose interpretation of the conversation, but it’s my story so I get to say (or embellish) however I darn well please!) By then the New Yorker, who Alice learned was named Annette, was either too scared to say no or too intrigued to say no, shared her contact information and agreed to meet this girl biker gang for lunch on Saturday right there in her hometown. And they all lived happily ever after. The End. So that’s how a girl who just moved here from New York one month ago found 25 new friends right there in her own backyard. And for those of you who weren’t able to make the trip Saturday, let me tell you that Annette is super friendly and super fun and super excited about all the adventures she’s about to have with her new friends. As we were chatting over lunch, Annette said her sister has lived in Wichita for years and doesn’t really have friends. I said, “Well, you tell your sister you’ve only been here a month and you’ve already made 25 new friends!”

After chatting and eating and chatting some more, the long-awaited moment had come. Who was not going to win the 50/50 pot (me and Nellie immediately came to mind.) There was $43.00 up for grabs and as much as I would love to have $43.00, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never, ever, not in this lifetime, win the pot. I gave Annette the honors of pulling the ticket and when she read the number, all you heard were crickets. Not one Kitty claimed it. Well, Linda tried to but she was a liar liar pants on fire. My heart skipped a beat as I thought maybe, just maybe, my time had come and it was me! I hadn’t even bothered to pull my tickets out. I mean, why should I? It isn’t like I even thought I had a chance to win. Just as I was fumbling in my purse to see if I actually had the winning ticket, Annette dashed all my hopes said, “Oh my gosh, it’s me! I have that number!” I tried, really really tried, to not resent Annette just a little bit for her stupid, uh I mean good, luck and we all were dumbfounded as this was like the umpteenth person who won on her very first outing with the Kitties. So, I guess the moral of the story is I gotta quit the Kitties and then rejoin to win that dadgum pot! Is that what you want?? Please don’t answer that….

And then the most amazing thing happened! All of us are still trying to wrap our heads around this monumental event, but as hard as it is to believe, I promise you, it’s true. Brace yourself….are you ready? OK, here goes….Paula doesn’t have a flip phone anymore! That’s right, she now has a brand spanking new IPhone! We’re all absolutely flabbergasted over this major life event and now she can not only TAKE pictures, she can actually SEE them on the bigger than a one inch square screen! Congratulations, Paula, and welcome to the world of smart phones!

After commandeering our waitress, and the only waitress in the joint, to take our group picture, we all made our way to the door to start our long journey to the Flint Hills Gypsies store. Why, what do we have here? Rain! I mean like real rain! Not that drizzling stuff but rain that made every single one of us so glad to not be struggling with rain suits and sitting on wet motorcycles. Finally! Finally, I get to be a hero and not a zero! I guessed right on cancelling the motorcycle part of our day and I hope in some small, tiny, miniscule way I’ve been redeemed from the 143rd St. gravel debacle in August.

We made our way through town, which took like 4.5 minutes, to the Gypsies store, while we listened to the sound of raindrops pitter pattering on the car. We did our ladylike run to the door and Holy Moth Balls! this place was jammed packed full of vintage everything! Everyone scattered in different directions to scope out what little treasures they just had to take home with them. Colleen, Maureen and I proved that you are never too old to play dress up and tried on the same vintage dress and yet not one of us bought it. I’m still kind of regretting that; it would have been so perfect for the Bridesmaid Christmas Party. As we were meandering through the store there was a big clap of thunder, followed by darkness. The lights had gone out in the store right when I was about to go to the bathroom…..in a room with no windows. Thankfully, technology came to my aid and my phone, now turned flashlight, lit the way so I in fact, peed in the toilet and not the sink or some other vintage pot in the bathroom.

After we hugged our good-byes to each other, we all piled back in our Toyotas, Ford and Chevys for the dry (you’re welcome!) ride home because you see, it never….stopped….raining….all the way home. So, on October 14, 2017 Mother Nature gave us a one two punch, but we brushed ourselves off and rolled with the punches and made a gloomy, wet day another fun Krome Kitty day with a bonus. We didn’t have to navigate on that teensy weensy parking lot!

That’s a wrap and drop the mic! We had a great season of rides and comradery; we added six, yes I said SIX, new Kitties (Sue, Tricia, Mona, Sherri, Chris and Annette); we patched ourselves up with member numbers; we added our mascot, Kit E. Kat, to the litter; we gave a whole new meaning to Kitties Rock with Kitty Rocks; we rolled out a kick-ass website; we tu-tued our way to Burrton, KS in April and a new opening ride tradition was born; we acted like Pioneer women at the Mercantile in Pawhuska, OK in May; we Zoo’d it with the Wichita Family Crisis Center Moms and Kiddos in June; we tried to go to Wilson, KS in June, but ended up in Dexter and Winfield and no, I wasn’t leading!; we escorted a croquet champion in July; we tried to go to Wakita, OK in July but found ourselves in Anthony, KS because sometimes family situations are more important; we got gravel road experience and camped out (Janice style) at Milford Lake in August and nearly drowned coming home; in the same month, we dished up ice cream for the Moms and kiddos of the Wichita Family Crisis Center and over-stuffed their van with badly needed items; we Tom Katted our way to Elk Falls in September (which is ironic since we Tom Katted our way to Cottonwood Falls last year. I guess we better find another Falls town in 2018!); and we made the best of a bad weather situation by driving to Peabody, KS in October. A great big HUGE thank you to each and every one of the Kitties for making our 13th riding season one to remember. A MASSIVE thank you to Nellie and Maureen for finding us fun and interesting places to go to this season! The Kitties rock in so many ways, but the friendships we’ve made and strengthened has to be at the top of that list. Winter activities will be announced soon so make time to stay connected and until we ride again in April 2018, keep the shiny side up!

Those on board for the Rolling with the Punches Road Trip were Janice, Paula, Annette, Shelley, Kathryn, Melaina, Alice, Bobbie, Chris, Maureen, Christine, Denise, Colleen, Suz, Nellie, Linda, and Amy.

 

Janice, KKMC Founder

 

HB4116

Rolling with the Punches – October 14, 2017

ADJUST: verb: ad-just: to adapt or conform oneself (as to new conditions.)

And that, my Feline Friends, was the word of the day on Saturday, October 14th. For the days leading up to the Kitty Road Trip, I studied not one, not two, but three weather apps, hoping that someone, anyone, would give me better news. I celebrated with each minor drop in the chance of rain, but while it may have improved in the morning, it worsened in the afternoon. If it improved in Wichita, it worsened in Peabody. With the soggy return trip from Milford Lake still fresh in everyone’s minds, I knew that I had to get this right. To knowingly take a pack of 17 Kitties out with a better than 50/50 shot of getting wet would result in an unquestionable dethroning from my Queen Kitty status. Done. Kaput. Never again to be heralded as the Queen that I think I am. So, I self-imposed a Friday evening deadline for making the call. Option A: we ride. Option B: we ride….in a cage. As I was about to start my long post on Facebook about my final decision, I got a text from Paula Franklin who said and I quote, “Hey, you Black Kat of the Krome Kitties, you did it again! You’re like Pig Pen from the Peanuts cartoon, but instead of a dust cloud you bring a raincloud everywhere you go. Well, I for one want nothing to do with you and your stupid wet crap! Call me a Puss but I’m out!” Ok, I may have taken a great deal of poetic license on that quote, but I heard her loud and clear and I took that as a sign that I was doing the right thing by pulling the plug on the conventional way of Kitty riding. We’re going by cars bitches! And to my great pleasure, every single Kitty who had signed up to motorscoot their way to Peabody agreed to pile in cars and caravan their way to Peabody! You guys rock!!

Of course, then I started second guessing myself and I especially had judgement anxiety when on Saturday morning, it was all bright and shiny outside. After a quick check on my not one, not two, but three weather apps, I saw that the chances of rain had actually decreased! What. The. Hell? Oh well, what’s done is done and there’s no turning back now so onward we go, but for the first time in Kitty history, I was actually HOPING it would rain! I needed validation! Needed it bad!

And I didn’t have to wait long to get it! As Alice Friedman, Denise Johnson and I were heading north on Highway 135 to meet at the Park City QuikTrip, it was very dark and stormy looking ahead of us – right where we were going. That’s when I knew that I was just as smart as I thought I was – brilliant even. Not to mention that my Kitty crown was safe from confiscation, so there’s that, too.

After all the Kitties arrived at the QuikTrip in their non-traditional Kitty Road Trip clothing of capris and flip flops and we all gathered around the non-traditional Kitty Road Trip mode of transportation of Toyotas, Fords and Chevys, Suz Tiede started pimping the 50/50 tickets. We chatted a bit and then I started assigning passengers to cars and did my best to keep Alice Friedman from getting in the wrong line. After potty breaks and drink purchases, we were on the way to the metropolis of Peabody USA!

We hardly even realized we were in Peabody before we were pulling into the Coneburg Grill and Pub. What was the very first thing every single one of us saw? The parking lot! It was perfectly suitable for Toyotas, Fords and Chevys, but for motorcycles…not so much. There was about a postage size spot of pavement and the rest was potholed gravel, which by then were water filled potholes from an earlier rain. Shelley Bonnell sized it up perfectly when she said, “Every single one of us would be crowding into that wee bit of pavement over there had we been on bikes.” True dat Shelley!

Just after we got seated, we were joined by Amy Hammer, who drove in from Newton, and Annette South, who resides in none other than Peabody. This was Annette’s very first introduction to the Kitties and in fact, she officially joined on Saturday. So how did she hear about the Krome Kitties way out in Peabody, KS you ask? Well, let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, a Kitty named Alice Friedman was at Hartman Arena purchasing Willie Nelson concert tickets. Right there in line with her was a gal who had the most darling Harley Davidson handbag. Not one to ever let a sweet handbag escape her attention (and trust me, I know this for fact; I saw the tubs of purses Alice moved to Kansas from Colorado!), Alice commented to this gal, who just wanted to buy a couple of Willie Nelson tickets, about how lovely her purse was. “Why thank you”, she says. To which Alice says, “Do you ride, I mean like your own bike?” “Why I sure do, Nosy Stranger. And since your hellbent on knowing all about me, I just moved here from New York and am ever so lonely since I don’t know a single soul here other than my Mom and sister.” To which Alice aka Nosy Stranger replies, “Well, have I got a group for you! You see, there’s this here group called the Krome Kitties and oh my gosh, they are so awesome and friendly and fun and wild and crazy! And don’t even get me started on the Founder, Janice. She is SO amazing and pretty and smart – I mean like, she’s the total package!” (In full disclosure, this is a very loose interpretation of the conversation, but it’s my story so I get to say (or embellish) however I darn well please!) By then the New Yorker, who Alice learned was named Annette, was either too scared to say no or too intrigued to say no, shared her contact information and agreed to meet this girl biker gang for lunch on Saturday right there in her hometown. And they all lived happily ever after. The End.  So that’s how a girl who just moved here from New York one month ago found 25 new friends right there in her own backyard. And for those of you who weren’t able to make the trip Saturday, let me tell you that Annette is super friendly and super fun and super excited about all the adventures she’s about to have with her new friends. As we were chatting over lunch, Annette said her sister has lived in Wichita for years and doesn’t really have friends. I said, “Well, you tell your sister you’ve only been here a month and you’ve already made 25 new friends!”

After chatting and eating and chatting some more, the long-awaited moment had come. Who was not going to win the 50/50 pot (me and Nellie Taylor immediately came to mind.) There was $43.00 up for grabs and as much as I would love to have $43.00, I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never, ever, not in this lifetime, win the pot. I gave Annette South the honors of pulling the ticket and when she read the number, all you heard were crickets. Not one Kitty claimed it. Well, Linda Moreland tried to but she was a liar liar pants on fire. My heart skipped a beat as I thought maybe, just maybe, my time had come and it was me! I hadn’t even bothered to pull my tickets out. I mean, why should I? It isn’t like I even thought I had a chance to win. Just as I was fumbling in my purse to see if I actually had the winning ticket, Annette dashed all my hopes said, “Oh my gosh, it’s me! I have that number!” I tried, really really tried, to not resent Annette just a little bit for her stupid, uh I mean good, luck and we all were dumbfounded as this was like the umpteenth person who won on her very first outing with the Kitties. So, I guess the moral of the story is I gotta quit the Kitties and then rejoin to win that dadgum pot! Is that what you want?? Please don’t answer that….

And then the most amazing thing happened! All of us are still trying to wrap our heads around this monumental event, but as hard as it is to believe, I promise you, it’s true. Brace yourself….are you ready? OK, here goes….Paula Franklin doesn’t have a flip phone anymore! That’s right, she now has a brand spanking new IPhone! We’re all absolutely flabbergasted over this major life event and now she can not only TAKE pictures, she can actually SEE them on the bigger than a one inch square screen! Congratulations, Paula, and welcome to the world of smart phones!

After commandeering our waitress, and the only waitress in the joint, to take our group picture, we all made our way to the door to start our long journey to the Flint Hills Gypsies store. Why, what do we have here? Rain! I mean like real rain! Not that drizzling stuff but rain that made every single one of us so glad to not be struggling with rain suits and sitting on wet motorcycles. Finally! Finally, I get to be a hero and not a zero! I guessed right on cancelling the motorcycle part of our day and I hope in some small, tiny, miniscule way I’ve been redeemed from the 143rd St. gravel debacle in August.

We made our way through town, which took like 4.5 minutes, to the Gypsies store, while we listened to the sound of raindrops pitter pattering on the car. We did our ladylike run to the door and Holy Moth Balls! this place was jammed packed full of vintage everything! Everyone scattered in different directions to scope out what little treasures they just had to take home with them. Colleen Williams, Maureen Stout and I proved that you are never too old to play dress up and tried on the same vintage dress and yet not one of us bought it. I’m still kind of regretting that; it would have been so perfect for the Bridesmaid Christmas Party. As we were meandering through the store there was a big clap of thunder, followed by darkness. The lights had gone out in the store right when I was about to go to the bathroom…..in a room with no windows. Thankfully, technology came to my aid and my phone, now turned flashlight, lit the way so I in fact, peed in the toilet and not the sink or some other vintage pot in the bathroom.

After we hugged our good-byes to each other, we all piled back in our Toyotas, Ford and Chevys for the dry (you’re welcome!) ride home because you see, it never….stopped….raining….all the way home.   So, on October 14, 2017 Mother Nature gave us a one two punch, but we brushed ourselves off and rolled with the punches and made a gloomy, wet day another fun Krome Kitty day with a bonus. We didn’t have to navigate on that teensy weensy parking lot!

That’s a wrap and drop the mic! We had a great season of rides and comradery; we added six, yes I said SIX, new Kitties (Sue Harman, Tricia Carruthers, Mona Thomason, Sherri Carver, Chris Emond and Annette South); we patched ourselves up with member numbers; we added our mascot, Kit E. Kat, to the litter; we gave a whole new meaning to Kitties Rock with Kitty Rocks; we rolled out a kick-ass website and then quicker than we got it, we lost it (see more about that in the website article); we tu-tued our way to Burrton, KS in April and a new opening ride tradition was born; we acted like Pioneer women at the Mercantile in Pawhuska, OK in May; we Zoo’d it with the Wichita Family Crisis Center Moms and Kiddos in June; we tried to go to Wilson, KS in June, but ended up in Dexter and Winfield and no, I wasn’t leading!; we escorted a croquet champion in July; we tried to go to Wakita, OK in July but found ourselves in Anthony, KS because sometimes family situations are more important; we got gravel road experience and camped out (Janice style) at Milford Lake in August and nearly drowned coming home; in the same month, we dished up ice cream for the Moms and kiddos of the Wichita Family Crisis Center and over-stuffed their van with badly needed items; we Tom Katted our way to Elk Falls in September (which is ironic since we Tom Katted our way to Cottonwood Falls last year. I guess we better find another Falls town in 2018!); and we made the best of a bad weather situation by driving to Peabody, KS in October. A great big HUGE thank you to each and every one of the Kitties for making our 13th riding season one to remember. A MASSIVE thank you to Nellie Taylor and Maureen Stout for finding us fun and interesting places to go to this season! The Kitties rock in so many ways, but the friendships we’ve made and strengthened has to be at the top of that list. Winter activities will be announced soon so make time to stay connected and until we ride again in April 2018, keep the shiny side up!

Those on board for the Rolling with the Punches Road Trip were Janice Friedman, Paula Franklin, Annette South, Shelley Bonnell, Kathryn Langrehr, Melaina Phares, Alice Friedman, Bobbie Cole, Chris Emond, Maureen Stout, Christine Allsman, Denise Johnson, Colleen Williams, Suz Tiede, Nellie Taylor, Linda Moreland, and Amy Hammer.

Elk Falls (2)

No Falling at Elk Falls – September 10, 2017

Here’s what I’ve learned….be careful what you wish for. I really wanted to have a good turnout for the Tom Kat ride so I was encouraging, asking, and begging people to go. When the RSVPs started coming in, the list got longer and longer and longer. We had 15 Kitties signed up to go, which is a nice sized group, but not like crazy big. However, these 15 Kitties are so proud of their Kitty Klub that they invited lots o’family and friends to join them. By the time the deadline came and went, we had 40 people signed up to go! Holy Fur Balls! That’s a huge group of big bad bikers, and in fact the largest in KKMC history, and now the pressure was on…the pressure to get everyone there without any turnarounds; the pressure to keep everyone together; the pressure that the restaurant could even accommodate that large of a crowd since we had originally told them it would be about 20 people; and the pressure to get everyone in the teeny tiny parking lot at Elk Falls, which isn’t even really a parking lot all but rather just a dead-end road. But more on that later.

Then as Sunday, September 10th, approached, a couple of cancellations and/or changes came in. First up was Melaina who contacted me to say that her entourage of six had a scheduling problem so they were going to just meet us in Sedan for lunch. OK, that’s six less people to lead down the road. Then Christine and her Tom Kat, Dorrin, had to cancel because the daggum guy who was working on her bike STILL didn’t have it done. I can tell you one thing, I would NOT want to be that guy when he told her he didn’t have it done. Holy smokes! He deserved and got an old-fashioned butt chewing! Because Christine wasn’t going, neither was her brother, Mike, and nephew, Zack, who had signed up to go as her guests. OK, that’s four more less people so we’re up to 10 fewer people. Then the morning of the ride, Kari texted me to say that while she was still sending her Tom Kat, Daryl, she was a no go. OK, that’s now 11 less people going down the road. Whew! That seems a lot more doable now. I know that sounds like I’m glad these people didn’t go and that’s not the case at all and we super missed Christine, Dorrin, Mike, Zack and Kari, but I was freaking out people! That said, it made me proud and pleased as a Momma Kat that you all think enough of KKMC that you would want to invite your family and friends to join us on the Tom Kat ride and give them a glimpse into just how much fun we have. So on with the ride…..

We met at the Quik Trip at 143rd and E. Kellogg and while I was braced for some poking and jabbing that I imagined would go something like this, “Janice, isn’t this the same Quik Trip that we left from on the overnight trip and you led us down about 20 miles of dirt road? Huh, Janice? Isn’t it?” Well, all I gotta say is you love me, you really, really love me! Not one Kitty brought up that painful memory and for that, I thank you! Bike after bike after bike came swarming into the parking lot, each one more beautiful than the last. Man, these Kitties, Tom Kats and friends got some awful purty bikes! After Linda pimped a boat load of 50/50 tickets and we did the usual meet and greet, I gathered the group in a circle to give them the lowdown. First order of business was to break the group into two with my Tom Kat, Greg, leading the first group and Nellie and her Tom Kat, JT, leading the second in the Whiz Bang Machine. Greg had assured me that he had scoped out the route and he was good to go. So, you can imagine how my heart just about dropped out of my chest when, in front of God and everyone, he said, “Does anybody know how to find the actual falls in Elk Falls?” WHAT?? You’re just now trying to figure this out? What happened to that confidence you had shown the night before? What happened to that, “I got this” from earlier this morning? Well, one of the good things about having a crowd of bikers in front of you is someone has more than likely been there done that and thankfully, that was the case that Sunday morning. Some kind, more INFORMED, soul spoke up and said, “There’s a sign there in town where you turn.” Greg’s response, “OK, I just don’t want no bitchin’ if we have to do a turnaround.” Oh Lord, help us all……

And He did. Greg led us right to Elk Falls and then right to the parking “lot” of the falls. Let’s talk about that parking lot, shall we? Way back in 2005, the Kitties went to Elk Falls when the Club was in its infancy and I was in my infancy of riding. As we were planning this latest trip to Elk Falls, I recalled that hairy scary parking “situation”, which it will henceforth be referred to as because it ain’t no lot, as being pretty much terrifying. For those of you who weren’t on the trip, let me describe the setting. Once you turn off the road in Elk Falls to get to the falls, it turns to gravel. You drive a bit on the gravel where it dead ends at a bridge. The dead end, my Feline Friends, is the parking situation. And what does dead end mean? That’s right, you have to turn yourself around to get back out….on gravel. Back in 2005, I wasn’t at all used to riding on gravel and that drive to the parking situation seemed to be VERY long and it scared the bejeebers out of me. And then there was the actual parking. I remember I got turned around, but it wasn’t at all pretty. Now fast forward to 2017, and yep, there’s that gravel road, but thanks to the On Gravel We Travel Road Trip, it didn’t seem to be nearly as long or nearly as horrifying. However, I’m sad to say that the getting turned around part had not improved one iota. There was no way I was going to make a smooth U-turn in that narrow little gravel space, so I decided walking my bike around was the best course of action. Of course, the beauty of being the lead rider is absolutely everyone gets to witness you making this pitiful attempt and as a matter of fact, let me recount for you the play by play that Dawn’s Tom Kat, Gene, was giving to Dawn. It went a little something like this….”Wow. I’ve heard of baby steps, but those are infant steps. Well, she just killed her bike. No, I guessed she didn’t. Oh look, now she’s fallen into a rut. Oh look, she got it out. Well there you go, now she’s sliding. Good grief, how much longer is this going to take? Should I go help her? I can’t watch this train wreck any longer. Finally, she’s almost there…getting closer…why is she laughing? Please make this nightmare end!” So long story made not very short, I did get turned around but here’s what I’ve learned: 1) After 14 years of riding, I’m much more comfortable riding on gravel. 2) After 14 years of riding, I still suck at parking and am especially sucky on gravel. 3) When you know you are going to have to make a U-turn on gravel, make sure you’re the very last bike in so there are no witnesses.

After some got turned around and others just stopped and decided to defer the agony of turning around to when they left, we all started scattering. There were those who made the small hike down to the falls and some who decided seeing the falls from the bridge was good enough. We took lots of couple and family photos; we witnessed Suz tip toeing out onto the falls and then witnessed her son, Brett, having to go save her from herself; we witnessed five people standing at the edge of the embankment staring into the water like they had never seen anything like it in all their lives; and we got to finally meet Paula’s Tom Kat and caught a glimpse of her making out with him. I don’t know about you, but the whole thing seemed a little filmy to me.

After we shutterbugged our way to exhaustion, we biked back up and left that parking situation forever in our distant memories. Next stop, Sedan! Once again, Greg came through and led us right to Granny’s Green Door Café and what do we have here? The final sweep rider was Nellie in her Whiz Bang Machine and when she arrived in Sedan, right there in the passenger seat was Kit E. Kat! That frisky little puss hitched a ride along with Nellie and said it ain’t a record breaking Tom Kat ride without me! Well, come on then you big headed Kitty Kat!

As we walked up to the Green Door Café’s green door, we were greeted with a sparkly gold and silver sign welcoming the Krome Kitties. Well, ain’t that just the friendliest small-town welcome ever?! We also hooked up with Melaina and her band of bikers and one car rider. Melaina’s Tom Kat, Tim, isn’t a biker but after nine Tom Kat rides, he put on his riding gear of shorts and a t-shirt, jumped in the car and said what the heck, let’s just see what this Kitty Klub is all about. Well, Tim was so down with the Krome Kitties, he even impersonated Kit E. Kat!

All my fretting about the restaurant being able to accommodate such a large crowd was for naught as they were set up for us; they were super friendly; and they were as fast as jack rabbits in getting food to a lot of hungry bikers. Of course, there was only one thing on everyone’s mind while we were chowing on fried chicken and giving Suz’s Tom Kat, Jim, and Kari’s Tom Kat, Daryl, a few quiet moments to themselves at the private corner table, and that was how much is in the 50/50 pot and I gotta have it!

These were some high stakes people! There was $165.00 in that there flamed bag which meant one lucky Kitty or Kitty guest was going home with $83.00! I kept thinking, if there ever was a time for me to win, this just HAS to be it! Kit E. Kat insisted on being the one to call the winning number, but after being told she had to play nice with others, she allowed Granny, the owner of the café, to pull the number out of the bag.  And once again, I was wrong in thinking that this just HAD to be the time I would win, because for the like bazillionth time in a row, I was a big. fat. loser. The winning ticket belonged to Chris’s guest, Mark! Not that I’m bitter or anything, but Mark, I liked you just fine at the Falls, but now, not so much. OK. Ok. I still like you, but what’s a girl gotta do to win that stinking pot?!

After the disappointing loss of the 50/50 pot, I asked the Tom Kats who had attended last year, and were gifted little plastic Tom Kats, if they remembered to bring their Tom Kats this year. There were a few who remembered and gleefully presented them. Some thought the whole thing was a bit silly but what these menfolk don’t realize is we find great delight in silliness! Of course, then we had to document these little plastic Tom Kats’ attendance by photographing them eating off Linda’s Tom Kat, Jim’s, dinner plate and flirting with Hello Kitty outside.

While the flirting was being photographed, several of the bikers who couldn’t make the 48-mile ride to Severy for the scheduled gas stop, rode down the block to a small gas station to get gas. A few members of the group decided to go ahead and head for home and others stood around chatting. After a while, Greg sent Nellie’s Tom Kat, JT, down to where I was photographing to ask how much longer it was going to be? “I don’t know JT, when everyone gets done getting gas, that’s when!” was my response, all the while JT was stepping back in quick retreat. It was reported that when JT got back to where Greg was, he said, “I ain’t asking her again. If you want to know, ask her yourself!” When Greg worked up the nerve to approach me about how much longer it would be, I pretty much let him have it with “We will go when everyone gets done getting gas! How about you just slow your roll! Huh? How about that?!” After a bit longer, Greg and probably all the other Tom Kats who aren’t accustomed to the practice of Kitties aren’t in a big hurry to get home, had had enough and said “Let’s go. Those who are still at the gas station will see we’re leaving and will fall in behind.” As we drove by the gas station, I looked over to make sure they saw we were leaving and that’s when I saw it. The bikers that I had so resolutely stood my ground with JT and Greg and said we aren’t leaving until they are done, weren’t even part of our group. Yep, total strangers. Oops, my bad.

While on the road to Severy, I was thinking about what a spectacular day it was, how grateful I am to have all these people in my life and what a perfect day it ended up being, despite my overthinking and overworrying about it for days leading up to it. What I didn’t know was it wasn’t quite as peaceful behind me. Somewhere between Sedan and Severy, an SUV driver decided this would be a good time to start fishing for something she dropped or looking at her phone or putting on make-up or whatever it was that caused her to be completely distracted and cross the center line right into our line of bikes. There were several who had to use some masterful defensive driving skills to avoid being hit head on, namely Linda and her Tom Kat, Jim; Suz and her Tom Kat, Jim; Paula; and Kari’s Tom Kat, Daryl. There may have been others, but those are the ones I’m aware of. Hey lady in the dirty SUV, how about the next time you see a big ole line of motorcycles coming at you, you not worry about whatever it was you were doing while you weren’t doing what you were supposed to be doing and that’s driving!

So that’s how the largest Tom Kat ride in Krome Kitty history went down. Thank you to all those who joined in the fun and made this day so memorable! Those on board for the No Falling at Elk Falls Tom Kat ride were Janice and Greg; Chris and Mark; Maureen, Larri and Shelby; Tricia and David and guest Joe; Nellie and JT; Linda and Jim; Dawn and Gene and guests Dallas and Michelle; Suz and Jim and Brett; Daryl; Sue and Bill; Bobbie and Al; Melaina and Tim and guests Stuart and Cissy and Mike and Stacy; Paula; and Sherri.

Janice, KKMC Founder

Elk Falls (2)

No Falling at Elk Falls – September 10, 2017

Here’s what I’ve learned….be careful what you wish for. I really wanted to have a good turnout for the Tom Kat ride so I was encouraging, asking, and begging people to go. When the RSVPs started coming in, the list got longer and longer and longer. We had 15 Kitties signed up to go, which is a nice sized group, but not like crazy big. However, these 15 Kitties are so proud of their Kitty Klub that they invited lots o’family and friends to join them. By the time the deadline came and went, we had 40 people signed up to go! Holy Fur Balls! That’s a huge group of big bad bikers, and in fact the largest in KKMC history, and now the pressure was on…the pressure to get everyone there without any turnarounds; the pressure to keep everyone together; the pressure that the restaurant could even accommodate that large of a crowd since we had originally told them it would be about 20 people; and the pressure to get everyone in the teeny tiny parking lot at Elk Falls, which isn’t even really a parking lot all but rather just a dead-end road. But more on that later.

Then as Sunday, September 10th, approached, a couple of cancellations and/or changes came in. First up was Melaina Phares who contacted me to say that her entourage of six had a scheduling problem so they were going to just meet us in Sedan for lunch. OK, that’s six less people to lead down the road. Then Christine Allsman and her Tom Kat, Dorrin, had to cancel because the daggum guy who was working on her bike STILL didn’t have it done. I can tell you one thing, I would NOT want to be that guy when he told her he didn’t have it done. Holy smokes! He deserved and got an old-fashioned butt chewing! Because Christine wasn’t going, neither was her brother, Mike, and nephew, Zack, who had signed up to go as her guests. OK, that’s four more less people so we’re up to 10 fewer people. Then the morning of the ride, Kari Miller texted me to say that while she was still sending her Tom Kat, Daryl, she was a no go. OK, that’s now 11 less people going down the road. Whew! That seems a lot more doable now. I know that sounds like I’m glad these people didn’t go and that’s not the case at all and we super missed Christine, Dorrin, Mike, Zack and Kari, but I was freaking out people! That said, it made me proud and pleased as a Momma Kat that you all think enough of KKMC that you would want to invite your family and friends to join us on the Tom Kat ride and give them a glimpse into just how much fun we have. So on with the ride…..

We met at the Quik Trip at 143rd and E. Kellogg and while I was braced for some poking and jabbing that I imagined would go something like this, “Janice, isn’t this the same Quik Trip that we left from on the overnight trip and you led us down about 20 miles of dirt road? Huh, Janice? Isn’t it?” Well, all I gotta say is you love me, you really, really love me! Not one Kitty brought up that painful memory and for that, I thank you! Bike after bike after bike came swarming into the parking lot, each one more beautiful than the last. Man, these Kitties, Tom Kats and friends got some awful purty bikes! After Linda Moreland pimped a boat load of 50/50 tickets and we did the usual meet and greet, I gathered the group in a circle to give them the lowdown. First order of business was to break the group into two with my Tom Kat, Greg, leading the first group and Nellie Taylor and her Tom Kat, JT, leading the second in the Whiz Bang Machine. Greg had assured me that he had scoped out the route and he was good to go. So, you can imagine how my heart just about dropped out of my chest when, in front of God and everyone, he said, “Does anybody know how to find the actual falls in Elk Falls?” WHAT?? You’re just now trying to figure this out? What happened to that confidence you had shown the night before? What happened to that, “I got this” from earlier this morning? Well, one of the good things about having a crowd of bikers in front of you is someone has more than likely been there done that and thankfully, that was the case that Sunday morning. Some kind, more INFORMED, soul spoke up and said, “There’s a sign there in town where you turn.” Greg’s response, “OK, I just don’t want no bitchin’ if we have to do a turnaround.” Oh Lord, help us all……

And He did. Greg led us right to Elk Falls and then right to the parking “lot” of the falls. Let’s talk about that parking lot, shall we? Way back in 2005, the Kitties went to Elk Falls when the Club was in its infancy and I was in my infancy of riding. As we were planning this latest trip to Elk Falls, I recalled that hairy scary parking “situation”, which it will henceforth be referred to as because it ain’t no lot, as being pretty much terrifying. For those of you who weren’t on the trip, let me describe the setting. Once you turn off the road in Elk Falls to get to the falls, it turns to gravel. You drive a bit on the gravel where it dead ends at a bridge. The dead end, my Feline Friends, is the parking situation. And what does dead end mean? That’s right, you have to turn yourself around to get back out….on gravel. Back in 2005, I wasn’t at all used to riding on gravel and that drive to the parking situation seemed to be VERY long and it scared the bejeebers out of me. And then there was the actual parking. I remember I got turned around, but it wasn’t at all pretty. Now fast forward to 2017, and yep, there’s that gravel road, but thanks to the On Gravel We Travel Road Trip, it didn’t seem to be nearly as long or nearly as horrifying. However, I’m sad to say that the getting turned around part had not improved one iota. There was no way I was going to make a smooth U-turn in that narrow little gravel space, so I decided walking my bike around was the best course of action. Of course, the beauty of being the lead rider is absolutely everyone gets to witness you making this pitiful attempt and as a matter of fact, let me recount for you the play by play that Dawn Morse’s Tom Kat, Gene, was giving to Dawn. It went a little something like this….”Wow. I’ve heard of baby steps, but those are infant steps. Well, she just killed her bike. No, I guessed she didn’t. Oh look, now she’s fallen into a rut. Oh look, she got it out. Well there you go, now she’s sliding. Good grief, how much longer is this going to take? Should I go help her? I can’t watch this train wreck any longer. Finally, she’s almost there…getting closer…why is she laughing? Please make this nightmare end!” So long story made not very short, I did get turned around but here’s what I’ve learned: 1) After 14 years of riding, I’m much more comfortable riding on gravel. 2) After 14 years of riding, I still suck at parking and am especially sucky on gravel. 3) When you know you are going to have to make a U-turn on gravel, make sure you’re the very last bike in so there are no witnesses.

After some got turned around and others just stopped and decided to defer the agony of turning around to when they left, we all started scattering. There were those who made the small hike down to the falls and some who decided seeing the falls from the bridge was good enough. We took lots of couple and family photos; we witnessed Suz Tiede tip toeing out onto the falls and then witnessed her son, Brett, having to go save her from herself; we witnessed five people standing at the edge of the embankment staring into the water like they had never seen anything like it in all their lives; and we got to finally meet Paula Franklin’s Tom Kat and caught a glimpse of her making out with him. I don’t know about you, but the whole thing seemed a little filmy to me.

After we shutterbugged our way to exhaustion, we biked back up and left that parking situation forever in our distant memories. Next stop, Sedan! Once again, Greg came through and led us right to Granny’s Green Door Café and what do we have here? The final sweep rider was Nellie Taylor in her Whiz Bang Machine and when she arrived in Sedan, right there in the passenger seat was Kit E. Kat! That frisky little puss hitched a ride along with Nellie and said it ain’t a record breaking Tom Kat ride without me! Well, come on then you big headed Kitty Kat!

As we walked up to the Green Door Café’s green door, we were greeted with a sparkly gold and silver sign welcoming the Krome Kitties. Well, ain’t that just the friendliest small-town welcome ever?! We also hooked up with Melaina Phares and her band of bikers and one car rider. Melaina’s Tom Kat, Tim, isn’t a biker but after nine Tom Kat rides, he put on his riding gear of shorts and a t-shirt, jumped in the car and said what the heck, let’s just see what this Kitty Klub is all about. Well, Tim was so down with the Krome Kitties, he even impersonated Kit E. Kat!

All my fretting about the restaurant being able to accommodate such a large crowd was for naught as they were set up for us; they were super friendly; and they were as fast as jack rabbits in getting food to a lot of hungry bikers. Of course, there was only one thing on everyone’s mind while we were chowing on fried chicken and giving Suz Tiede’s Tom Kat, Jim, and Kari Miller’s Tom Kat, Daryl, a few quiet moments to themselves at the private corner table, and that was how much is in the 50/50 pot and I gotta have it!

These were some high stakes people! There was $165.00 in that there flamed bag which meant one lucky Kitty or Kitty guest was going home with $83.00! I kept thinking, if there ever was a time for me to win, this just HAS to be it! Kit E. Kat insisted on being the one to call the winning number, but after being told she had to play nice with others, she allowed Granny, the owner of the café, to pull the number out of the bag.  And once again, I was wrong in thinking that this just HAD to be the time I would win, because for the like bazillionth time in a row, I was a big. fat. loser. The winning ticket belonged to Chris Emond’s guest, Mark! Not that I’m bitter or anything, but Mark, I liked you just fine at the Falls, but now, not so much. OK. Ok. I still like you, but what’s a girl gotta do to win that stinking pot?!

After the disappointing loss of the 50/50 pot, I asked the Tom Kats who had attended last year, and were gifted little plastic Tom Kats, if they remembered to bring their Tom Kats this year. There were a few who remembered and gleefully presented them. Some thought the whole thing was a bit silly but what these menfolk don’t realize is we find great delight in silliness! Of course, then we had to document these little plastic Tom Kats’ attendance by photographing them eating off Linda Moreland’s Tom Kat, Jim’s, dinner plate and flirting with Hello Kitty outside.

While the flirting was being photographed, several of the bikers who couldn’t make the 48-mile ride to Severy for the scheduled gas stop, rode down the block to a small gas station to get gas. A few members of the group decided to go ahead and head for home and others stood around chatting. After a while, Greg sent Nellie Taylor’s Tom Kat, JT, down to where I was photographing to ask how much longer it was going to be? “I don’t know JT, when everyone gets done getting gas, that’s when!” was my response, all the while JT was stepping back in quick retreat. It was reported that when JT got back to where Greg was, he said, “I ain’t asking her again. If you want to know, ask her yourself!” When Greg worked up the nerve to approach me about how much longer it would be, I pretty much let him have it with “We will go when everyone gets done getting gas! How about you just slow your roll! Huh? How about that?!” After a bit longer, Greg and probably all the other Tom Kats who aren’t accustomed to the practice of Kitties aren’t in a big hurry to get home, had had enough and said “Let’s go. Those who are still at the gas station will see we’re leaving and will fall in behind.” As we drove by the gas station, I looked over to make sure they saw we were leaving and that’s when I saw it. The bikers that I had so resolutely stood my ground with JT and Greg and said we aren’t leaving until they are done, weren’t even part of our group. Yep, total strangers. Oops, my bad.

While on the road to Severy, I was thinking about what a spectacular day it was, how grateful I am to have all these people in my life and what a perfect day it ended up being, despite my overthinking and overworrying about it for days leading up to it. What I didn’t know was it wasn’t quite as peaceful behind me. Somewhere between Sedan and Severy, an SUV driver decided this would be a good time to start fishing for something she dropped or looking at her phone or putting on make-up or whatever it was that caused her to be completely distracted and cross the center line right into our line of bikes. There were several who had to use some masterful defensive driving skills to avoid being hit head on, namely Linda Moreland and her Tom Kat, Jim; Suz Tiede and her Tom Kat, Jim; Paula Franklin; and Kari Miller’s Tom Kat, Daryl. There may have been others, but those are the ones I’m aware of. Hey lady in the dirty SUV, how about the next time you see a big ole line of motorcycles coming at you, you not worry about whatever it was you were doing while you weren’t doing what you were supposed to be doing and that’s driving!

So that’s how the largest Tom Kat ride in Krome Kitty history went down. Thank you to all those who joined in the fun and made this day so memorable! Those on board for the No Falling at Elk Falls Tom Kat ride were Janice and Greg Friedman; Chris Emond and Mark; Maureen Stout, Larri and Shelby Brown; Tricia and David Carruthers and guest Joe Erdman; Nellie and JT Taylor; Linda and Jim Moreland; Dawn and Gene Morse and guests Dallas and Michelle Hastings; Suz and Jim Tiede and Brett McQuitty; Daryl Miller; Sue and Bill Hartman; Bobbie Cole and Al Brumbaugh; Melaina and Tim Phares and guests Stuart and Cissy Volz and Mike and Stacy Haire; Paula Franklin; and Sherri Carver.

#3

On Gravel We Travel – August 25, 2017

Settle in people, this is going to be a long one!

You know the old biker saying, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey?” Well, as we started the overnight trip to Milford Lake on Friday, August 25th, it was all about the destination because the beginning of the journey sucked. Sucked in an epic way. Let’s set the stage, shall we?

I had offered to lead the ride to Junction City and then Nellie would take over and get us to Milford Lake. Nine of the Kitties were to meet at the Quik Trip at 143rd St. and E. Kellogg. The Augusta girls of Suz, Nellie, Linda and Christine, who was riding shotgun with Nellie since her bike was in the shop, did not want to ride east only to have to ride back west, so we agreed the better plan would be for them to ride to El Dorado and fall in behind us as we rode into town. Since I was leading the ride, I looked at a map on the World Wide Web and saw that 143rd went north all the way to Highway 254. We would then take Highway 254 to El Dorado and then Highway 77 all the way to Junction City. I consulted with my husband, Greg, and he agreed and even encouraged me to go that route. Easy peasy, right? Uh, that would be a big fat N.O.

I blame the World Wide Web and Greg for what happened next. Both of whom should have known this was a very bad idea. We pulled out onto 143rd St. heading north and we’re riding….riding….riding…WHAT THE HELL?? Out of nowhere, we went from a nice smooth paved road to a lumpy, bumpy gravel road! At the moment it happened, I was looking in my rearview mirror to check on the string of bikers behind me and I was on the road before I could do anything about it. I knew the last thing anyone would want to do was make the dreaded U-turn on this treacherous road so onward we went. And let me tell you it went on FOREVER! So many things were running through my head, but at the top of the list was how stinking mad all those girls behind me were going to be; we were going to be late meeting the Augusta girls; and they were going to be worried. In hindsight, it was good that I was so focused on these things because the least of my worries was having to ride on this gawd awful road. I ended up getting way ahead of the rest of the pack in FINALLY reaching Highway 254 so I got there before everyone else. I immediately shot my kickstand in the down position and got off my bike to greet the angry mob that I could see coming up in a cloud of dust. After apologizing all over myself for the worst start to a journey in Krome Kitty history, we finally rolled onto the pavement we all had dreamed of for the last 15 or so minutes, which seemed more like 60. In the meantime, I got a call from Suz through my Sena system and like I knew she would be, she is wondering what the heck is going on. I was still rattled from the gravel road experience and I think some foul language might have been used. Fortunately, Suz does not have ladylike ears and totally overlooked my potty mouth. While I was on the phone with her, I see Bobbie come screaming up from behind and motioned for me to pull over. What now?? Is there a bike problem? Did something shake off a bike from the aforementioned nightmare we just lived through? After we pulled over, Alice yelled from behind me, “Your saddlebag is open!” Damn! I sure was hoping I could blame someone else for this unexpected stop and I yelled into the phone to Suz, CAN THIS BLANKETY BLANK DAY GET ANY WORSE? You can probably guess what should be inserted in the blankety blank spot. After about 10 more minutes of me, and probably everyone else, fuming and trying to calm down, we pulled into El Dorado and come hell or high water, I was not going to miss the one turn we had to make to get on Highway 77. Thankfully, I didn’t. So, I guess like the one time you finally convince your husband to do the laundry and he ruins a whole load so you will never ask him again, so goes the notion of Janice leading a ride. I screwed this up so bad, no one will ever let (make) me do that again!

After about 100 miles of uneventful riding (which we were all grateful for because we had had all the excitement we needed for one day), we pulled into Junction City’s Harley Davidson City Cycles Sales dealership. The dirt riding girls dusted themselves off and we piled into the dealership where we were greeted and treated like Rock Stars. The staff all wanted to know who this band of badass girls were; Nellie, a native of Junction City, ran into an old boyfriend (awwwkward!); cameras were pulled out to take our pictures; and credit cards were a flyin’. If we were real Rock Stars, we would have been comped on all the things that were being thrown onto the sales counter, but I guess we haven’t reached that status just yet. I made a call to Cynthia’s One Bite Delight, the lunch destination, and asked if 13 hungry Kitties could converge upon them and she said if you promise you will show up, we’ll set up for you. I pinky swore we would not let them down and would be there in about 30 minutes. Several of the girls found the perfect shirt, which I announced I already had because I got it at the last Kitty Christmas party, and now several of us have matching not-quite-a-Kitty-shirt-but-we-are-Bad-Kitties shirts. All too soon, I was herding Kitties out the door because, after all, I did pinky swear that we would be at Cynthia’s in 30 minutes. One of the staff followed us out and took several pictures in the parking lot and then walked up the road to get a few shots of us leaving. Thank you for taking such good care of us City Cycle Sales! Nellie took over the lead and drove us right to Cynthia’s One Bite Delight, where we were greeted by a not so lovely gravelly parking lot. Geez, we cannot get away from this gravel today! True to her word, the waitress had a table for 13 all set up for us and we all got ourselves situated. And that’s when I made a dreadful discovery. I couldn’t find my regular eyeglasses in my saddle bags and after a phone call to Greg, he confirmed that yes, they were indeed still sitting on the kitchen counter. Dadgumit! I really, really, really debated getting back on my bike and riding back to Wichita to get them. Suz offered to go with me if I wanted to go, but common sense prevailed and I decided riding all the way back home and then back to Milford Lake all in one day just wasn’t worth it. I would just have to wear my prescription riding glasses the entire weekend…which I hated….and made sure everyone knew it…on numerous occasions.

All sorts of different menu items were selected, like catfish, shrimp, and oxtails, and everything was delicious and as homecooked as it gets. If you ever find yourself in Junction City, please take time to eat at Cynthia’s One Bite Delight. I promise you will not regret it! After filling our bellies and chit chatting a bit, the all-important moment came. Who was walking away with some spending money?! I patiently waited for our wonderful waitress to finish taking care of the table next to us and all the while, I noticed a gal who had on the same red shirt as the waitress, sitting on a chair against a wall on her phone. When the waitress was free, I held up the flamed bag with the tickets and all I got out of my mouth was, “Would you mind drawing…..” and that’s when like she had been shot out of a cannon, the phone-talking, red-shirted gal came running over and said, “No! I wanna do it! I’m the owner and I should get to do it!” Well, I could tell she was a feisty one so I responded, “You sat over there all this time on your phone and didn’t pay one bit of attention to us! You had your chance and you blew it, so no! our sweet waitress gets to do it!” And that’s how our friendship with Flo, the one-time attorney who took over the restaurant from her mother, began. But more on Flo later….we got a drawn ticket and it damn well better be mine! I didn’t even have enough time to get my tickets out of my side purse before I heard Suz yell, “That’s me! I won! I won! I won! In your face Janice! You’re a loooooser and I’m a winner! You’ll never win because you’re too stupid to win!” Okay, maybe she didn’t say some, or any of that, but that’s how it felt. This is really starting to sting people! So, Suz walked away with 33 smackeroos, which hardly even made a dent in the wad she left behind at City Cylce Sales!

We chatted a bit with Flo and found out she always wanted to learn to ride and seeing all the bikes pouring into their parking lot and then realizing we were all GIRLS, well…she was inspired! She asked to come outside and have her picture taken on one of the bikes and, of course, we were happy to oblige. She got to pick the bike she wanted and Flo selected Paula’s black beauty. After summoning (more like yelling) at a gal named Jill from across the parking lot to get on over here and take my picture on this motorcycle, we snapped a few group shots. We then hugged our good-byes and she made us promise to come back again someday and we made her promise to get on a bike someday.

In 15 short miles, we were pulling into the Acorns Resort at Milford Lake. Great. Just great. While the road was paved, the parking was…you guessed it…gravel. If there’s anything a Kitty hates worse than riding on gravel, it’s parking on gravel. But like the big girls that we are, we all managed to get our bikes parked and we commenced to unloading saddle bags and deciding who was going in which cabin (we had two) and who was going to snuggle up with who for the next two nights. Then came time to decide who was going to paddle board and who was going to couch surf for the next couple of hours. Bobbie, Denise,  Maureen, Christine and I went to the lake while the rest of the group rested up and enjoyed the AC and each other’s company, although several other Kitties came down later to see how the lake Kitties were doing with the paddle boarding. Unofficial awards were given in the following categories: Fastest to Get Wet goes to Denise; First to Get to a Standing Position goes to Maureen; Best Yoga Pose goes to Christine; The Only One to NOT Get Wet goes to Bobbie; The Farthest Distance from Dock goes to Maureen; and The Most Clothes on While Paddle Boarding goes to Janice. One final award was given to Maureen for The Only One to Lose her Flip Flops on the Lakeshore. It’s still a mystery as to what happened to said flip flops – they were either stolen or were too close to shore and floated off.

After returning to the cabins, a liquor order was taken and Nellie and her Whiz Bang Machine, along with escorts Linda and Bobbie, went to fetch the booze and pick up a few snacks. Good Lord! What they came back with would have supplied a frat house for days! There wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell we were going to eat or drink all that stuff, but that’s what happens when you shop when you’re hungry and thirsty! We had a pre-dinner cocktail and then got ready to walk to the Cove Restaurant for dinner. That’s when Kit E. Kat, the Krome Kitty mascot, finally made her appearance. Lots of pictures were taken to document her attendance on the ride but she was more than a little put out when she found out she wasn’t invited to actually eat with us. Get over it Kit E. Kat, no one likes a pouty Kitty! Dinner at the Cove Restaurant was delicious, the service was outstanding and to top it off, we got to see a gorgeous sunset over the water.

After dinner, we walked back to the Party Cabin; tried our best to drink some of the massive amount of alcohol; and laughed until our faces hurt and our bellies ached. I would like to say that we partied way into the night, but let’s be honest….none of us are spring chickens anymore so we called it an early night with orders to be ready to roll at 9:00 the next morning.

The next morning everyone was up and out the door right on time and as I was walking to my bike, what to my wondering eyes should appear? Like an old-fashioned Texaco gas station attendant, Dawn was cleaning everyone’s windshield! This is one of the many reasons we love you Dawn – you are always thinking ahead and thinking of others!

The first order of business was to put some fuel in our bikes and that’s when Kit E. Kat came back out to play. She gassed up Suz’s bike; she posed in a variety of positions and even got all playful on Bobbie’s bike by stretching out like the sun-loving, frisky Kitty that she is.

Suz planned a lovely day of riding for us which took us through miles and miles of Kansas countryside; alongside Glen Elder Lake; and several small towns. I have to mention a little something about the lake. When I say “lake”, I mean a very large body of water. Not a pond, not a stream. It. Was. A. Lake. We’ve all seen a lake, right? They are hard to miss, right? Especially when we’re riding right alongside one, right? Imagine our shocked reaction when someone mentioned at lunch about how pretty Glen Elder Lake was and Denise responded, and I quote, “What lake? I didn’t even see a lake.” We are stared in silence at her with our mouths agape with incredulity. That lasted for a brief moment before the questions came fast and furious. “What? How could you miss the lake?” “What were you doing that you couldn’t see a lake?” “You do know what a lake is, right?” There were more, many more, but now I feel like I’m beating a dead horse or an embarrassed Kitty so I’ll stop. Denise’s only defense….”I guess I must have been looking at the road.” Hey, Denise, we appreciate your lazer-like focus on the road and if there’s roadkill or a pothole or a dead body on it, we know you’ll be the first to point it out, but it’s OK to look up every now and then!

Speaking of lunch, a short distance from the invisible Glen Elder Lake was Cawker City, where we jockeyed our way into the Lakeshore Tailgater Bar and Grill parking lot (I bet Denise wondered why it was called “Lakeshore”) and filed into the restaurant for some hamburgers and french fries. Kit. E. Kat also had a chance to peruse the menu a couple of times but the finicky Kitty that she is, didn’t even order anything. We learned from the waitress that the Word’s Largest Ball of Twine was within easy walking distance and if you called this lady named Linda Clover, she would meet us there so we could add some twine to the ball. Hell yeah we want to add twine! Nothing a Kitty loves more than a ball of string!

As promised, Linda Clover met us at the Big Ol’ Ball of Twine and provided a bit of history of how all this started. I was so busy taking pictures, I didn’t catch the entire story, but I did hear that it was started by Frank Stoeber in 1953 and he gave the ball to Cawker City in 1961. It currently weighs over 20,000 pounds!! Cawker City has taken this notoriety very seriously and even has painted twine on their sidewalks. I was selected to tie the twine onto the ball and Linda was great about letting us go round and round and round again in order for everyone to take a turn in adding twine to this historic ball. We agreed that since Alice was the newest member on the trip, she would tie it off. Thanks to the Kitties, they can now record a pound or two more to that Big Ball’s total! While we were all taking silly pictures with Kit E. Kat, a sidecar that looked very vintage, but come to find out really wasn’t, pulled up. We were like bees to honey and swarmed that poor man who just wanted to come and spend a few quiet, reflective moments with the Ball of Twine. Turns out he was on a cross country trip on his sidecar bike, called a Ufal, which tops out at about 50 miles per hour. I bet HE saw the lake!

After we sufficiently saw everything there was to see at The Ball, we walked back to the restaurant and biked back up for the next stop on this 270 mile Tiede Tour de Kansas. Rock City here we come! There we were riding along with music a playin’ in our ears or thoughts a runnin’ through our heads when suddenly, the pavement ended and gravel began. What The Hell? This is almost starting to be funny that we cannot escape the gravel on this trip! As I’m riding along, two things crossed my mind. One – I no longer have any fear whatsoever in riding on gravel. We had done it so much that it beat that anxiety right out of me. Two – you’re welcome Kitties! You’re welcome for providing some practice time on 143rd St. for what was to come! I guess I’m not such an idiot now, am I? That’s a rhetorical question – please do not answer. Now we just gotta get everyone used to riding in the rain, but no chance of that on this trip. Or is there….

The gravel did seem to go on and on and on, but we eventually found paved road again and pulled into Minneapolis – the KS one, not the MN one. We gassed up and regained our composure from the gravel experience and decided who was and was not interested in riding the very short distance to Rock City. Turns out, you had to ride on a dirt road to get to Rock City and between that and being hot and thirsty, five Kitties decided to stay at the Casey’s gas station to cool off and rehydrate and eight Kitties and Kit E. Kat rode on to Rock City.

Rock City is actually a park with about 200 ginormous Dakota stones. They each have a name based on what they resemble. A few that I remember were Turtle Rock, Donut Hole Rock, Shipwreck Rock and Mushroom Rock. I went on a rock climbing expedition on Turtle Rock and was able to successfully summit but then had to get back down, which was actually a lot harder and required a bit of sliding on the ole’ derriere. Kit E. Kat aka Paula and Dawn recreated a scene from the Lion King and everyone agreed they nailed it! After group pictures, we got back on our bikes and rode back to Casey’s to get the rest of the Kitties and ride the 40ish miles back to Milford Lake.

“So, what’s for dinner?”, I ask when we returned. Hot cheese and hamburger dip and snacks was the answer. Someone’s gotta eat all that food sitting on that there countertop! So, a few of the Kitties started frying hamburger and melting cheese and ripping open bags of chips and cookies and candy bars and crackers and sausage. Are you getting an idea of how much food there was? We all grazed off the countertop and made a half-assed attempt to drink all that alcohol, which we had no chance of actually ever doing. We all sat around and laughed; chatted; watched Bobbie break her glasses; and after watching Denise ignore the ranch dressing that had spilled on her hand for about ten minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore and walked right over to her and licked it. Hey, someone had to do it! We also did a lot of studying the radar. “Looks like rain is heading our way in the morning,” says one Kitty. “What will we do?” says another. “We get wet,” says yet another. The original plan was to meet for breakfast at the Cove Restaurant before heading for home in the morning; however, in light of the wet weather scheduled to hit in the morning, we aborted that plan and decided to meet at the bikes at 8:30 with an 8:45 departure.

No sooner had the Kitties in my cabin rose from their slumber that Sunday morning, we got a call from the other cabin. “We’s got to go and we’s got to go now! Be ready in 20 minutes!” The Kitties in that cabin had apparently been up for like hours looking at radar and talking to husbands back home and knew rain was coming our way. Because of their early rising, they had a very leisurely time of getting things and themselves ready and packing bags on their bikes. In my cabin, it was utter chaos as clothes were being stuffed in bags; rains suits were being unrolled; clothes were being thrown on; Denise was worried her rain suit wasn’t going to fit anymore; and saddle bags were being packed. As we were walking out the door, right on cue, the skies opened up and it poured. Does this mean Dawn isn’t going to clean our windshields? I guess not because she was already biked up and ready to roll. Nellie took the lead and after a quick stop for gas, we got on the road for the long, wet, cold ride home.

That long, wet, cold ride home was even longer for Suz. You see, somewhere between Herrington and Florence, there is a roundabout. Suz was riding sweep and Linda was right in front of her. Suz and Linda got separated from the rest of the group by a car at the roundabout and we lost sight of them, presumably because they were behind a few cars. The group got to El Dorado where we pulled over at the Quik Trip to regroup and take a break from the weather. I called my husband, Greg, to let him know where we were and I would be home soon. That’s when he said, “Did you hear about Suz?” My heart dropped not knowing what was going to come out of his mouth next. “No, what happened to Suz?, I asked. “Her bike died and she is sitting all alone in the rain. She tried to call her husband, Jim, but he didn’t answer so she called me for help. I was going to give it 15 minutes of trying to get hold of Jim and if he didn’t answer, I was going to hook up the bike trailer and go get her.” Three things then happened. First, I said “FBomb!” and then I asked what happened to Linda and then I asked if some of us needed to go back. Greg went on to say that he was able to get hold of Jim and he and Nellie’s husband, JT, were on the way to get her. He stressed that Suz did not want anyone to go back for her. Turns out Linda pulled over in Florence and called Suz. Suz explained what happened and that she had called the Highway Patrol and an officer was coming to take her to a dry waiting spot. She told Linda to go on so this meant that Linda was riding all by herself in the rain. (I found out later that Linda made it home safe and sound and wet and cold.) After being convinced that Suz was being rescued, we hugged our good-byes and got back on the road headed to our respective homes. As soon as I got home, I called Suz and she was sitting in a restaurant with her husband and JT having lunch, the bike had been loaded and while she was very wet and cold, she was safe. But that’s not all folks. The Highway Patrol who was supposed to come get her and take her to a safe and dry waiting location…never showed up. Turns out there was some sort of crises going on in Ellsworth, KS and it took everyone’s attention, most notably the dispatcher’s. She had forgotten all about Suz and didn’t even call it in. Not to the Highway Patrol and not even to the Sherriff’s office. Here’s another little fun fact, Suz literally counted every car that went by and it took 69 cars before anyone stopped to see if she needed help. That person….a biker driving his car. Number 70 also stopped. Yep, another biker in a car. They had each asked if she needed a ride somewhere, but knowing the Highway Patrol was coming, she turned them down. If only she had known….. In the end, Suz did everything right and I for one, am grateful that she used whatever resources she could (even if they failed her); kept her wits about her; and didn’t panic. She even did the most important thing in a situation like this. She took a selfie. Well done Suz! Oh, and the reason Husband Jim didn’t answer his phone? He was vacuuming…or so he says. He at least had the good sense to have the vacuum out when Suz got home to lend credibility to his story.

So there you have it! We rode 504 miles on this trip; we made memories that will be talked about, and laughed about, for years to come; and provided some valuable lessons in gravel riding (again, you’re welcome!) and rain riding and crisis handling. These overnight trips never disappoint in bringing members closer and strengthening friendships already made. We missed those who were unable to come and hope that they will be able to join us on the next one. I think Paula said it best when she commented that it’s so refreshing to be with a great group of women who truly enjoy one another and don’t bring drama with them. I couldn’t agree more!

Those on board for the On Gravel We Travel Overnight Trip were Janice, Malaina, Christine, Nellie, Dawn, Maureen, Denise, Suz, Linda, Alice, Paula, Colleen and Bobbie.

 

Janice, KKMC Founder

#3

On Gravel We Travel – August 25, 2017

Settle in ladies, this is going to be a long one!

You know the old biker saying, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey?” Well, as we started the overnight trip to Milford Lake on Friday, August 25th, it was all about the destination because the beginning of the journey sucked. Sucked in an epic way. Let’s set the stage, shall we?

I had offered to lead the ride to Junction City and then Nellie Taylor would take over and get us to Milford Lake. Nine of the Kitties were to meet at the Quik Trip at 143rd St. and E. Kellogg. The Augusta girls of Suz Tiede, Nellie Taylor, Linda Moreland and Christine Allsman, who was riding shotgun with Nellie since her bike was in the shop, did not want to ride east only to have to ride back west, so we agreed the better plan would be for them to ride to El Dorado and fall in behind us as we rode into town. Since I was leading the ride, I looked at a map on the World Wide Web and saw that 143rd went north all the way to Highway 254. We would then take Highway 254 to El Dorado and then Highway 77 all the way to Junction City. I consulted with my husband, Greg, and he agreed and even encouraged me to go that route. Easy peasy, right? Uh, that would be a big fat N.O.

I blame the World Wide Web and Greg for what happened next. Both of whom should have known this was a very bad idea. We pulled out onto 143rd St. heading north and we’re riding….riding….riding…WHAT THE HELL?? Out of nowhere, we went from a nice smooth paved road to a lumpy, bumpy gravel road! At the moment it happened, I was looking in my rearview mirror to check on the string of bikers behind me and I was on the road before I could do anything about it. I knew the last thing anyone would want to do was make the dreaded U-turn on this treacherous road so onward we went. And let me tell you it went on FOREVER! So many things were running through my head, but at the top of the list was how stinking mad all those girls behind me were going to be; we were going to be late meeting the Augusta girls; and they were going to be worried. In hindsight, it was good that I was so focused on these things because the least of my worries was having to ride on this gawd awful road. I ended up getting way ahead of the rest of the pack in FINALLY reaching Highway 254 so I got there before everyone else. I immediately shot my kickstand in the down position and got off my bike to greet the angry mob that I could see coming up in a cloud of dust. After apologizing all over myself for the worst start to a journey in Krome Kitty history, we finally rolled onto the pavement we all had dreamed of for the last 15 or so minutes, which seemed more like 60. In the meantime, I got a call from Suz Tiede through my Sena system and like I knew she would be, she is wondering what the heck is going on. I was still rattled from the gravel road experience and I think some foul language might have been used. Fortunately, Suz does not have ladylike ears and totally overlooked my potty mouth. While I was on the phone with her, I see Bobbie Cole come screaming up from behind and motioned for me to pull over. What now?? Is there a bike problem? Did something shake off a bike from the aforementioned nightmare we just lived through? After we pulled over, Alice Friedman yelled from behind me, “Your saddlebag is open!” Damn! I sure was hoping I could blame someone else for this unexpected stop and I yelled into the phone to Suz, CAN THIS BLANKETY BLANK DAY GET ANY WORSE? You can probably guess what should be inserted in the blankety blank spot. After about 10 more minutes of me, and probably everyone else, fuming and trying to calm down, we pulled into El Dorado and come hell or high water, I was not going to miss the one turn we had to make to get on Highway 77. Thankfully, I didn’t. So, I guess like the one time you finally convince your husband to do the laundry and he ruins a whole load so you will never ask him again, so goes the notion of Janice leading a ride. I screwed this up so bad, no one will ever let (make) me do that again!

After about 100 miles of uneventful riding (which we were all grateful for because we had had all the excitement we needed for one day), we pulled into Junction City’s Harley Davidson City Cycles Sales dealership. The dirt riding girls dusted themselves off and we piled into the dealership where we were greeted and treated like Rock Stars. The staff all wanted to know who this band of badass girls were; Nellie Taylor, a native of Junction City, ran into an old boyfriend (awwwkward!); cameras were pulled out to take our pictures; and credit cards were a flyin’. If we were real Rock Stars, we would have been comped on all the things that were being thrown onto the sales counter, but I guess we haven’t reached that status just yet. I made a call to Cynthia’s One Bite Delight, the lunch destination, and asked if 13 hungry Kitties could converge upon them and she said if you promise you will show up, we’ll set up for you. I pinky swore we would not let them down and would be there in about 30 minutes. Several of the girls found the perfect shirt, which I announced I already had because I got it at the last Kitty Christmas party, and now several of us have matching not-quite-a-Kitty-shirt-but-we-are-Bad-Kitties shirts. All too soon, I was herding Kitties out the door because, after all, I did pinky swear that we would be at Cynthia’s in 30 minutes. One of the staff followed us out and took several pictures in the parking lot and then walked up the road to get a few shots of us leaving. Thank you for taking such good care of us City Cycle Sales! Nellie Taylor took over the lead and drove us right to Cynthia’s One Bite Delight, where we were greeted by a not so lovely gravelly parking lot. Geez, we cannot get away from this gravel today! True to her word, the waitress had a table for 13 all set up for us and we all got ourselves situated. And that’s when I made a dreadful discovery. I couldn’t find my regular eyeglasses in my saddle bags and after a phone call to Greg, he confirmed that yes, they were indeed still sitting on the kitchen counter. Dadgumit! I really, really, really debated getting back on my bike and riding back to Wichita to get them. Suz Tiede offered to go with me if I wanted to go, but common sense prevailed and I decided riding all the way back home and then back to Milford Lake all in one day just wasn’t worth it. I would just have to wear my prescription riding glasses the entire weekend…which I hated….and made sure everyone knew it…on numerous occasions.

All sorts of different menu items were selected, like catfish, shrimp, and oxtails, and everything was delicious and as homecooked as it gets. If you ever find yourself in Junction City, please take time to eat at Cynthia’s One Bite Delight and tell them you’re a Krome Kitty. I promise you will not regret it! After filling our bellies and chit chatting a bit, the all-important moment came. Who was walking away with some spending money?! I patiently waited for our wonderful waitress to finish taking care of the table next to us and all the while, I noticed a gal who had on the same red shirt as the waitress, sitting on a chair against a wall on her phone. When the waitress was free, I held up the flamed bag with the tickets and all I got out of my mouth was, “Would you mind drawing…..” and that’s when like she had been shot out of a cannon, the phone-talking, red-shirted gal came running over and said, “No! I wanna do it! I’m the owner and I should get to do it!” Well, I could tell she was a feisty one so I responded, “You sat over there all this time on your phone and didn’t pay one bit of attention to us! You had your chance and you blew it, so no! our sweet waitress gets to do it!” And that’s how our friendship with Flo, the one-time attorney who took over the restaurant from her mother, began. But more on Flo later….we got a drawn ticket and it damn well better be mine! I didn’t even have enough time to get my tickets out of my side purse before I heard Suz Tiede yell, “That’s me! I won! I won! I won! In your face Janice! You’re a loooooser and I’m a winner! You’ll never win because you’re too stupid to win!” Okay, maybe she didn’t say some, or any of that, but that’s how it felt. This is really starting to sting people! So, Suz walked away with 33 smackeroos, which hardly even made a dent in the wad she left behind at City Cylce Sales!

We chatted a bit with Flo and found out she always wanted to learn to ride and seeing all the bikes pouring into their parking lot and then realizing we were all GIRLS, well…she was inspired! She asked to come outside and have her picture taken on one of the bikes and, of course, we were happy to oblige. She got to pick the bike she wanted and Flo selected Paula Franklin’s black beauty. After summoning (more like yelling) at a gal named Jill from across the parking lot to get on over here and take my picture on this motorcycle, we snapped a few group shots. We then hugged our good-byes and she made us promise to come back again someday and we made her promise to get on a bike someday.

In 15 short miles, we were pulling into the Acorns Resort at Milford Lake. Great. Just great. While the road was paved, the parking was…you guessed it…gravel. If there’s anything a Kitty hates worse than riding on gravel, it’s parking on gravel. But like the big girls that we are, we all managed to get our bikes parked and we commenced to unloading saddle bags and deciding who was going in which cabin (we had two) and who was going to snuggle up with who for the next two nights. Then came time to decide who was going to paddle board and who was going to couch surf for the next couple of hours. Bobbie Cole, Denise Johnson, Maureen Stout, Christine Allsman and I went to the lake while the rest of the group rested up and enjoyed the AC and each other’s company, although several other Kitties came down later to see how the lake Kitties were doing with the paddle boarding. Unofficial awards were given in the following categories: Fastest to Get Wet goes to Denise Johnson; First to Get to a Standing Position goes to Maureen Stout; Best Yoga Pose goes to Christine Allsman; The Only One to NOT Get Wet goes to Bobbie Cole; The Farthest Distance from Dock goes to Maureen Stout; and The Most Clothes on While Paddle Boarding goes to Janice Friedman. One final award was given to Maureen Stout for The Only One to Lose her Flip Flops on the Lakeshore. It’s still a mystery as to what happened to said flip flops – they were either stolen or were too close to shore and floated off.

After returning to the cabins, a liquor order was taken and Nellie Taylor and her Whiz Bang Machine, along with escorts Linda Moreland and Bobbie Cole, went to fetch the booze and pick up a few snacks. Good Lord! What they came back with would have supplied a frat house for days! There wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell we were going to eat or drink all that stuff, but that’s what happens when you shop when you’re hungry and thirsty! We had a pre-dinner cocktail and then got ready to walk to the Cove Restaurant for dinner. That’s when Kit E. Kat, the Krome Kitty mascot, finally made her appearance. Lots of pictures were taken to document her attendance on the ride but she was more than a little put out when she found out she wasn’t invited to actually eat with us. Get over it Kit E. Kat, no one likes a pouty Kitty! Dinner at the Cove Restaurant was delicious, the service was outstanding and to top it off, we got to see a gorgeous sunset over the water.

After dinner, we walked back to the Party Cabin; tried our best to drink some of the massive amount of alcohol; and laughed until our faces hurt and our bellies ached. I would like to say that we partied way into the night, but let’s be honest….none of us are spring chickens anymore so we called it an early night with orders to be ready to roll at 9:00 the next morning.

The next morning everyone was up and out the door right on time and as I was walking to my bike, what to my wondering eyes should appear? Like an old-fashioned Texaco gas station attendant, Dawn Morse was cleaning everyone’s windshield! This is one of the many reasons we love you Dawn – you are always thinking ahead and thinking of others! The other thing that caught me off guard was we had a genuine celebrity riding with us today. Willie Nelson’s sister, Nellie Nelson, had joined this band of Bad Kitties and no one is badder than a Nelson!

The first order of business was to put some fuel in our bikes and that’s when Kit E. Kat came back out to play. She gassed up Suz Tiede’s bike; she posed in a variety of positions and even got all playful on Bobbie Cole’s bike by stretching out like the sun-loving, frisky Kitty that she is.

Suz Tiede planned a lovely day of riding for us which took us through miles and miles of Kansas countryside; alongside Glen Elder Lake; and several small towns. I have to mention a little something about the lake. When I say “lake”, I mean a very large body of water. Not a pond, not a stream. It. Was. A. Lake. We’ve all seen a lake, right? They are hard to miss, right? Especially when we’re riding right alongside one, right? Imagine our shocked reaction when someone mentioned at lunch about how pretty Glen Elder Lake was and one Denise Johnson responded, and I quote, “What lake? I didn’t even see a lake.” We are stared in silence at her with our mouths agape with incredulity. That lasted for a brief moment before the questions came fast and furious. “What? How could you miss the lake?” “What were you doing that you couldn’t see a lake?” “You do know what a lake is, right?” There were more, many more, but now I feel like I’m beating a dead horse or an embarrassed Kitty so I’ll stop. Denise’s only defense….”I guess I must have been looking at the road.” Hey, Denise, we appreciate your lazer-like focus on the road and if there’s roadkill or a pothole or a dead body on it, we know you’ll be the first to point it out, but it’s OK to look up every now and then!

Speaking of lunch, a short distance from the invisible Glen Elder Lake was Cawker City, where we jockeyed our way into the Lakeshore Tailgater Bar and Grill parking lot (I bet Denise Johnson wondered why it was called “Lakeshore”) and filed into the restaurant for some hamburgers and french fries. Kit. E. Kat also had a chance to peruse the menu a couple of times but the finicky Kitty that she is, didn’t even order anything. We learned from the waitress that the Word’s Largest Ball of Twine was within easy walking distance and if you called this lady named Linda Clover, she would meet us there so we could add some twine to the ball. Hell yeah we want to add twine! Nothing a Kitty loves more than a ball of string!

As promised, Linda Clover met us at the Big Ol’ Ball of Twine and provided a bit of history of how all this started. I was so busy taking pictures, I didn’t catch the entire story, but I did hear that it was started by Frank Stoeber in 1953 and he gave the ball to Cawker City in 1961. It currently weighs over 20,000 pounds!! Cawker City has taken this notoriety very seriously and even has painted twine on their sidewalks. I was selected to tie the twine onto the ball and Linda was great about letting us go round and round and round again in order for everyone to take a turn in adding twine to this historic ball. We agreed that since Alice Friedman was the newest member on the trip, she would tie it off. Thanks to the Kitties, they can now record a pound or two more to that Big Ball’s total! While we were all taking silly pictures with Kit E. Kat, a sidecar that looked very vintage, but come to find out really wasn’t, pulled up. We were like bees to honey and swarmed that poor man who just wanted to come and spend a few quiet, reflective moments with the Ball of Twine. Turns out he was on a cross country trip on his sidecar bike, called a Ufal, which tops out at about 50 miles per hour. I bet HE saw the lake!

After we sufficiently saw everything there was to see at The Ball, we walked back to the restaurant and biked back up for the next stop on this 270 mile Tiede Tour de Kansas. Rock City here we come! There we were riding along with music a playin’ in our ears or thoughts a runnin’ through our heads when suddenly, the pavement ended and gravel began. What The Hell? This is almost starting to be funny that we cannot escape the gravel on this trip! As I’m riding along, two things crossed my mind. One – I no longer have any fear whatsoever in riding on gravel. We had done it so much that it beat that anxiety right out of me. Two – you’re welcome Kitties! You’re welcome for providing some practice time on 143rd St. for what was to come! I guess I’m not such an idiot now, am I? That’s a rhetorical question – please do not answer. Now we just gotta get everyone used to riding in the rain, but no chance of that on this trip. Or is there….

The gravel did seem to go on and on and on, but we eventually found paved road again and pulled into Minneapolis – the KS one, not the MN one. We gassed up and regained our composure from the gravel experience and decided who was and was not interested in riding the very short distance to Rock City. Turns out, you had to ride on a dirt road to get to Rock City and between that and being hot and thirsty, five Kitties decided to stay at the Casey’s gas station to cool off and rehydrate and eight Kitties and Kit E. Kat rode on to Rock City.

Rock City is actually a park with about 200 ginormous Dakota stones. They each have a name based on what they resemble. A few that I remember were Turtle Rock, Donut Hole Rock, Shipwreck Rock and Mushroom Rock. I went on a rock climbing expedition on Turtle Rock and was able to successfully summit but then had to get back down, which was actually a lot harder and required a bit of sliding on the ole’ derriere. Kit E. Kat aka Paula Franklin and Dawn Morse recreated a scene from the Lion King and everyone agreed they nailed it! After group pictures, we got back on our bikes and rode back to Casey’s to get the rest of the Kitties and ride the 40ish miles back to Milford Lake.

“So, what’s for dinner?”, I ask when we returned. Hot cheese and hamburger dip and snacks was the answer. Someone’s gotta eat all that food sitting on that there countertop! So, a few of the Kitties started frying hamburger and melting cheese and ripping open bags of chips and cookies and candy bars and crackers and sausage. Are you getting an idea of how much food there was? We all grazed off the countertop and made a half-assed attempt to drink all that alcohol, which we had no chance of actually ever doing. We all sat around and laughed; chatted; watched Bobbie Cole break her glasses; and after watching Denise Johnson ignore the ranch dressing that had spilled on her hand for about ten minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore and walked right over to her and licked it. Hey, someone had to do it! We also did a lot of studying the radar. “Looks like rain is heading our way in the morning,” says one Kitty. “What will we do?” says another. “We get wet,” says yet another. The original plan was to meet for breakfast at the Cove Restaurant before heading for home in the morning; however, in light of the wet weather scheduled to hit in the morning, we aborted that plan and decided to meet at the bikes at 8:30 with an 8:45 departure.

No sooner had the Kitties in my cabin rose from their slumber that Sunday morning, we got a call from the other cabin. “We’s got to go and we’s got to go now! Be ready in 20 minutes!” The Kitties in that cabin had apparently been up for like hours looking at radar and talking to husbands back home and knew rain was coming our way. Because of their early rising, they had a very leisurely time of getting things and themselves ready and packing bags on their bikes. In my cabin, it was utter chaos as clothes were being stuffed in bags; rains suits were being unrolled; clothes were being thrown on; Denise Johnson was worried her rain suit wasn’t going to fit anymore; and saddle bags were being packed. As we were walking out the door, right on cue, the skies opened up and it poured. Does this mean Dawn Morse isn’t going to clean our windshields? I guess not because she was already biked up and ready to roll. Nellie Taylor took the lead and after a quick stop for gas, we got on the road for the long, wet, cold ride home.

That long, wet, cold ride home was even longer for Suz Tiede. You see, somewhere between Herrington and Florence, there is a roundabout. Suz was riding sweep and Linda Moreland was right in front of her. Suz and Linda got separated from the rest of the group by a car at the roundabout and we lost sight of them, presumably because they were behind a few cars. The group got to El Dorado where we pulled over at the Quik Trip to regroup and take a break from the weather. I called my husband, Greg, to let him know where we were and I would be home soon. That’s when he said, “Did you hear about Suz?” My heart dropped not knowing what was going to come out of his mouth next. “No, what happened to Suz?, I asked. “Her bike died and she is sitting all alone in the rain. She tried to call her husband, Jim, but he didn’t answer so she called me for help. I was going to give it 15 minutes of trying to get hold of Jim and if he didn’t answer, I was going to hook up the bike trailer and go get her.” Three things then happened. First, I said “FBomb!” and then I asked what happened to Linda and then I asked if some of us needed to go back. Greg went on to say that he was able to get hold of Jim and he and Nellie Taylor’s husband, JT, were on the way to get her. He stressed that Suz did not want anyone to go back for her. Turns out Linda Moreland pulled over in Florence and called Suz. Suz explained what happened and that she had called the Highway Patrol and an officer was coming to take her to a dry waiting spot. She told Linda to go on so this meant that Linda was riding all by herself in the rain. (I found out later that Linda made it home safe and sound and wet and cold.) After being convinced that Suz was being rescued, we hugged our good-byes and got back on the road headed to our respective homes. As soon as I got home, I called Suz and she was sitting in a restaurant with her husband and JT having lunch, the bike had been loaded and while she was very wet and cold, she was safe. But that’s not all folks. The Highway Patrol who was supposed to come get her and take her to a safe and dry waiting location…never showed up. Turns out there was some sort of crises going on in Ellsworth, KS and it took everyone’s attention, most notably the dispatcher’s. She had forgotten all about Suz and didn’t even call it in. Not to the Highway Patrol and not even to the Sherriff’s office. Here’s another little fun fact, Suz literally counted every car that went by and it took 69 cars before anyone stopped to see if she needed help. That person….a biker driving his car. Number 70 also stopped. Yep, another biker in a car. They had each asked if she needed a ride somewhere, but knowing the Highway Patrol was coming, she turned them down. If only she had known….. In the end, Suz did everything right and I for one, am grateful that she used whatever resources she could (even if they failed her); kept her wits about her; and didn’t panic. She even did the most important thing in a situation like this. She took a selfie. Well done Suz! Oh, and the reason Husband Jim didn’t answer his phone? He was vacuuming…or so he says. He at least had the good sense to have the vacuum out when Suz got home to lend credibility to his story.

So there you have it Kitties! We rode 504 miles on this trip; we made memories that will be talked about, and laughed about, for years to come; and provided some valuable lessons in gravel riding (again, you’re welcome!) and rain riding and crisis handling. These overnight trips never disappoint in bringing members closer and strengthening friendships already made. We missed those who were unable to come and hope that you will be able to join us on the next one. I think Paula Franklin said it best when she commented that it’s so refreshing to be with a great group of women who truly enjoy one another and don’t bring drama with them. I couldn’t agree more!

In closing (please forgive my foul language, but it needs to be said), I have one last thing to say….
FUCK PAULA! (A little inside joke.)

Those on board for the On Gravel We Travel Overnight Trip were Janice Friedman, Malaina Phares, Christine Allsman, Nellie Taylor, Dawn Morse, Maureen Stout, Denise Johnson, Suz Tiede, Linda Moreland, Alice Friedman, Paula Franklin, Colleen Williams and Bobbie Cole.

 

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Anthony – July 15, 2017

A Kansas tornado spins you around and then often spits you out at a different location than you expected.  And that is what happened to us for the second month in a row.  We expected to go one place and ended up going somewhere different, just like life.  But everything came out OK in the end.

On a hot Saturday, at 9:30 a.m., the Krome Kitties met at the Quik Trip located at Maize and Kellogg with initial intentions to ride to Wakita, OK, where the film Twister was shot; eat lunch at the Twister Café, and visit the Twister Museum.  Sadly, due to the restaurant owner’s husband’s recent passing, the Twister Cafe was closed. We kept the owner in our thoughts and completely understood why the restaurant was closed. But we needed another place to eat lunch, and our wonderful excursion Kitties made a great plan B.

They selected Kristy’s Café in Anthony, KS for our lunch destination since it was on the way to Wakita, OK.  Because the weather was quite hot, we decided while we were at the Quik Trip in Wichita that a ride to Anthony for lunch and back was a good, modified plan. The Kitties on the road to Anthony, KS included Dawn (who was graciously volunteered to be our lead rider), Maureen, Suz, Alice, Brenda, Linda, Sue, and Nellie, was our sweep rider.  Our Oklahoma based Kitty, Sherri, met us at Kristy’s.  It was great to see her.  She had a longer ride to get to Anthony than the rest of us had from Wichita. 

We enjoyed our lunch with yummy sandwiches and Italian dishes.  Alice won the 50/50 drawing, and came away with an extra $20!  After our lunch, we decided we needed to support Anthony’s downtown merchants, so we shopped at Country At Heart, next door to Kristy’s.  They had such cute things and many of us left with more than we had when we got there (except for money).

Prior to leaving town Dawn, Linda, and Alice stopped back by Kristy’s to use the facilities and it was there that we learned that the Kitties were the talk of the town. The townsfolk weren’t quite sure what a group of female motorcycle riders were going to do in their little town so they were interested to know more.  We learned that one of the Anthony residents sitting at the bar across the street called us Female Hells Angels.  We found the comment amusing to say the least.  Little did they know we were there to eat, visit, and shop.  After lunching and shopping, we got on our bikes and headed back to Doo Dah.  Luckily, it wasn’t as hot as it could have been, but it sure was hot enough to be damn hot.  It was a good ride enjoyed by all.  We missed our Kitty sisters who weren’t there with us…but we know that there is next time!

Alice

KKMC Member

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Anthony – July 15, 2017

A Kansas tornado spins you around and then often spits you out at a different location than you expected.  And that is what happened to us for the second month in a row.  We expected to go one place and ended up going somewhere different, just like life.  But everything came out OK in the end.
On a hot Saturday, at 9:30 a.m., the Krome Kitties met at the Quik Trip located at Maize and Kellogg with initial intentions to ride to Wakita, OK, where the film Twister was shot; eat lunch at the Twister Café, and visit the Twister Museum.  Sadly, due to the restaurant owner’s husband recent passing, the Twister Cafe was closed.  We kept the owner in our thoughts and completely understood why the restaurant was closed. 
But we needed another place to eat lunch, and our wonderful excursion Kitties made a great plan B.  They selected Kristy’s Café in Anthony, KS for our lunch destination since it was on the way to Wakita, OK.  Because the weather was quite hot, we decided while we were at the Quik Trip in Wichita that a ride to Anthony for lunch and back was a good, modified plan. The Kitties on the road to Anthony, KS included Dawn Morse (who was graciously volunteered to be our lead rider), Maureen Stout, Suz Tiede, Alice Friedman, Brenda Berry, Linda Moreland, Sue Hartman, and Nellie Taylor, our sweep rider.  Our Oklahoma based Kitty, Sherri Carver, met us at Kristy’s.  It was great to see her.  She had a longer ride to get to Anthony than the rest of us had from Wichita. 
We enjoyed our lunch with yummy sandwiches and Italian dishes.  Alice Friedman won the 50/50 drawing, and came away with an extra $20!  After our lunch, we decided we needed to support Anthony’s downtown merchants, so we shopped at Country At Heart, next door to Kristy’s.  They had such cute things and many of us left with more than we had when we got there (except for money).
Prior to leaving town Dawn, Linda, and Alice stopped back by Kristy’s to use the facilities and it was there that we learned that the Kitties were the talk of the town. The townsfolk weren’t quite sure what a group of female motorcycle riders were going to do in their little town so they were interested to know more.  We learned that one of the Anthony residents sitting at the bar across the street called us Female Hells Angels.  We found the comment amusing to say the least.  Little did they know we were there to eat, visit, and shop.  After lunching and shopping, we got on our bikes and headed back to Doo Dah.  Luckily, it wasn’t as hot as it could have been, but it sure was hot enough to be damn hot.  It was a good ride enjoyed by all.  We missed our Kitty sisters who weren’t there with us…but we know that there is next time!
Alice Friedman
HB4116

Scratching Made from Scratch – June 25, 2017

Rule #1 for a bike trip – Expect the Unexpected.  On June 25th, twelve Kitties piled into the Quik Trip parking lot on the northwest part of Wichita all ready to ride to Wilson, KS and eat at the Made from Scratch Café.  As I was walking out of the QT with my cup of hot tea, I was accosted by Kitties who all had their radar pulled up on their phones.  What I saw was a whole lot of blue, green, red and yellow and it was the red and yellow that gave me the most concern.  And where should all that blue, green, red and yellow be?  Right smack dab in the middle of where we were headed.  If we didn’t get wet getting there, we sure as heck were going to get wet getting out of there.  With imploring eyes, I heard one Kitty after another say, “Please Janice, don’t make us go there.  We don’t want, need or can survive another Oh Hail No ride!”  Ok Kitties, where do you want to go?  From the radar, it appeared all the wet activity was north of us, so instead of being Kitties today, let’s be Snow Birds instead and head south.  Suz Tiede suggested Attica, but the memory of the Oh Hail No ride is still too fresh so Attica was scratched.  Kathryn Langrehr suggested Winfield with a stop in Dexter to visit the Henry’s Candy Company.  We all agreed that was doable and after Suz Tiede begged on her hands and knees that we NOT eat Mexican food (something about stomach cramps and diarrhea – Oh, was I not supposed to share that?  My bad.), we agreed that Montana Mike’s would have something for everyone and especially those with delicate tummies.  So Kathryn Langrehr, with the map of Kansas hard wired in her head (seriously, how is it that Kathryn knows every single back road in the state of Kansas and I have to Mapquest how to get across town?), she quickly rerouted us from northwest Wichita to southeast Kansas.

However, before leaving we all welcomed Sue Hartman, who was making her debut ride, to the group.  Let me just say that this is one Kolor Koordinated Kitty!  Her bike is a beautiful teal color and she has embraced this color to the absolute max!  Her shoes were teal, her Kitty shirt was teal, her jacket was teal and her little backpack was teal.  She even has a daughter named Teala!  We may not know a lot about Sue yet, but we sure as heck know her favorite color!

With Kathryn Langrehr in the lead and Nellie Taylor bringing up the rear, we were in Winfield in no time flat, despite a slight delay by a passing train.  As we pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant, I didn’t see one single indication that this was Montana Mike’s.  As we parked our bikes, I looked over at Colleen Williams and said, “Where are we?”  Her response, “Just outside of Winfield.”  OK, I had that coming with my inability to lead myself out of a paper bag, but what I mean is what is this place?  My little bandanaed head was spinning around looking for a sign that said Montana Mike’s, but it appeared we were eating at the Now Open Restaurant as that was the only sign in sight.  Oh well, fine by me so long as it’s not Mexican food because if it is, I ain’t riding behind Suz Tiede!  Turns out, Montana Mike’s had closed and it was under new ownership, but the signage hadn’t been installed yet.  Despite the fact that 12 Snow Birds showed up unannounced and unprepared for, we were immediately seated and received excellent service from a super friendly young waitress.  However, in spite of seeing 12 gorgeous bikes parked outside, she only commented on one.  Nellie Taylor’s Whiz Bang machine.  I swear, riding with Nellie is like being the ugly girl with a group of pretty girls in a bar.  We are categorically ignored!  Darn you Nellie Taylor and your Whiz Bang machine!  You know how I like being the center of attention!  You’re ruining everything! I conducted the normal Kitty business while waiting for our lunch to arrive by selling pins, patches, taking orders for Kitty swag and trying my best to keep track of all the cash that was being thrown my way.  To an outsider, this must look like some serious drug dealing going down with all the trading of cash back and forth.  After lunch, I counted out the 50/50 money and BAM!  Someone is going home with 30 smackeroos!   We gave Sue Hartman the honors of pulling the winning ticket and was it me?  No.  Again.  The winning ticket belonged to SECOND TIME WINNER DAWN MORSE!  I’m seriously thinking of changing the bylaws to say that no Kitty will be allowed to win twice until this Kitty is allowed to win just once!  Congratulations to Dawn!  Kinda.  No seriously, I’m happy for you.  Sorta.

As we were wrapping up our meal, Kathryn Langrehr announced that weather was moving into Hutchinson, where she lives, so she was going to make a run for it and try to beat the rain.  Colleen Williams, who was fighting a splitting headache, said she was going with her and Bobbie Cole, who believes it’s better to travel in threes said she was joining them, as well.  So as those three Kitties headed north, nine Snow Birds stayed south and travelled the short distance to Dexter.  But first, we made a gas stop at the very same Dillons where the Fob debacle happened last month.  All eyes were on Christine Allsman to make darn sure she had her Fob and she secured her Fob!

Upon arriving at the Henry’s Candy Company in Dexter, we all filed inside to buy as much candy as we could stuff in our saddle bags.  Denise Johnson and Suz Tiede had their picture taken to commemorate a picture that had been taken there in 2014 to see if they had aged any – they have not.  After paying for our goodies and taking a water break, we all biked up and said good-bye to our Snow Bird days and headed north to uncertain weather.

Dawn Morse led us back to Wichita via Augusta.  So far so good, not a raindrop in sight.  However, as we arrived in Augusta, I looked to the east and it didn’t look good.  Not good at all.  I looked over at Denise Johnson and said, “We’re going to get wet.”  Well, not all of us, just those of us who live any further west than about Greenwich Road.  Linda Moreland, Suz Tiede and Nellie Taylor made it home high and dry.  Dawn Morse got a little wet, but the rest of us?  Soaked. To. The. Bone!  None of us had rain suits on and only one of us even had a jacket on – that being Smarty Pants Denise Johnson.  I debated pulling over to put on my jacket but it wasn’t a rain jacket so that just meant another piece of clothing would be drenched so I just trudged on.  Christine Allsman found the silver lining to all those dark clouds and was grateful that the rain had cleaned off all the bugs from her half chaps.  I, however, just longed for my Snow Bird days…..

Thank you for another great day on the bikes!  We reinforced what we already knew…it’s not where you go that matters.  It’s who you go with that’s important!  Those on board for the Scratching Made from Scratch Road Trip were Janice Friedman, Kathryn Langrehr, Bobbie Cole, Maureen Stout, Christine Allsman, Denise Johnson, Colleen Williams, Suz Tiede, Nellie Taylor, Linda Moreland, Dawn Morse, and Sue Hartman.