|The original plan was to ride to Latham for our “L” ride with Melaina Phares and Christine Allsman at the helm. Unfortunately, they chose the hottest day of the new millennium to do their test ride. That historical day was Sunday, July 10th, and the thermostat topped out at 111 and broke all kinds of weather records. Little did they know when they headed east on Highway 400 that the intense heat was just one of the reasons that made them question their sanity for riding and not driving. Things like multiple turnarounds; riding for miles on a gravel road before finding a farmer with out of control barking dogs who steered them in the right direction; helping a convenience store clerk chase a bird out of the store; and the best MIS-adventure of all…..Melaina watching in slow motion as hot sticky Coca Cola was sprayed all over her bike, helmet, and facemask by none other than her “supposed” good friend, Christine! Seriously, it sounded like the only good thing about that test ride was the Bourbon Slushies that were consumed the Friday before at the planning meeting….which, by the way, raise your hand if you were invited to participate in said consumption of Bourbon Slushies. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
So, that was the original plan, but as Saturday got closer and closer, Melaina, Christine and I started discussing an alternate destination that ideally would get us home earlier in the day and out of the heat. We settled on Lindsborg, a mere 71 miles from Wichita. Let me just say that that mere 71 miles felt more like 710 miles of riding through the infernos of hell on the way home, but more on that later…..
Eight Kitties were on board for this trip – Janice Friedman, Melaina Phares, Christine Allsman, Libby Beckman, Dawn Morse, Maureen Stout, Nellie Taylor and Sandy White. Dawn and I were the first to arrive at the Quik Trip meeting location and found this lovely little patch of shade to wait for the others to arrive. But wait, there’s already a biker dude there. I looked at Dawn, shrugged my shoulders and said, Girls Rule Boys Drool, and proceeded to join him in his little slice of shade. In my most charming voice, I told him we decided to share his shade with him. He rebuffed my charm with a very unfriendly, unbiker-like smirk, started up his bike and drove off…..a whole 20 feet away to another little slice of shade. Just as I was thinking…wow…I’ve really lost my touch with men, about a dozen fellow bikers starting pouring in the parking lot – all crowding into his smaller bit of shade than what we took from him. OK, our bad for stealing your shade from you, but geez, just say something and we would have moved……maybe.
Libby Beckman volunteered to be the lead rider and we fell in behind her at 9:10 a.m. sharp for the 71 mile trip to Lindsborg on north Highway 81 all the way. The trip was uneventful and actually very comfortable, which is not a word I’ve used in reference to the great outdoors in weeks.
We arrived at 10:30 and decided it might be a little early for lunch so we enjoyed the AC in a little Swedish gift shop and of course, took the obligatory picture on a big red Dala Horse as Sandy exclaimed with excitement, “So THAT’S what a Dala horse is!!!” We then moseyed on down the road in search of an eatin’ spot when out of nowhere, a mysterious gravitational pull drug Melaina, Nellie and Christine into a wine and art gallery. I’m sure I heard Nellie scream with delight when she found out they provided free samples and while the three sinners partook in the free devil juice, the rest of us enjoyed more AC, admired some very expensive art and listened in amazement as Maureen told us that after her cable TV broke 3 years ago, she hasn’t had any television service. OK, that might be the most remarkable thing I heard on the entire trip. Oh wait, the most remarkable thing might be that the Friedmans don’t have internet service in their house.
We finally drug the winos out of the wine gallery and decided to eat at the Ol Stuga (which translates into Ale House in Swedish). After a lively hour or so of Kitty chat and good food, we decided we better get on the road before it got too hot. We soon discovered that ship had sailed and it was already too hot. When we walked back to our bikes, we found a little miniature Krome Kitty admiring our bikes while riding her own little pink Hog. She posed for a picture with our bikes and then hightailed it into the house because “I know it’s gonna get loud now.”
Libby led us back on Highway 135 for the quick trip home and I don’t know about the other ladies on the trip, but that 71 miles seemed like the longest in my life. Here are the lessons I learned:
1. If your body is screaming STOP AND GET SOME WATER….I NEED TO DRINK…..I’M OVER HEATING……I’M FEELING SICK TO MY STOMACH… then for God sakes…. STOP!
2. When it’s a 100 degrees outside and the weatherman has announced Excessive Heat Warning, he ain’t kidding and plan some indoor activity. For me, it might be watching TV. For Maureen, it’s well…..what the hell do you do???
3. When I get home and I’m literally crawling in the door and gasping for water and my husband says, “Does this mean we’re not riding tomorrow?”count to ten before throwing your heavy Harley boot at his family jewels. He can’t help it that he’s an idiot.
All that aside, it was another wonderful day spent with good friends, enjoying some lively and sometimes shocking conversation and visiting with the folks of another lovely Kansas town.