I should have seen it coming. From the moment I woke up and peeked through my horizontal blinds and saw light rain pitter pattering on the pavement, I should have anticipated it was going to be anything but a leisurely morning of preparing myself for a Krome Kitty ride. No, the morning of Sunday, May 18th, was a complete whirlwind of checking radar on phone; answering emails on phone; answering texts on phone; continuing to peek outside; actually going outside to check temperature and status of light rain; putting on make-up; answering more texts; doing my hair; wishing I had better hair; being grateful for no more light rain; being wracked with indecision; and then finally, with the help of Dana Branam, shitting or getting off the pot and finally calling a rain delay. The day may have started chaotic, but from then, it only got better.
Sadly, because of the late start, we had to scrap the Big Loop trip which mimicked the original Beaumont trip in 2004 when five Kitties, myself, Lori (Resnik) Gibbs, Donna Hudson, Monika Barshney and Regina Scuffam went on the second ever Krome Kitty ride. That meant we didn’t get the photo opportunity at Fall River that I wanted to repeat, but maybe it was just as well. After all, Kitties don’t like getting wet, am I right? What we did get to do was give two young lads at the departure location something to talk about for the rest of the day as they got to climb on our bikes; honk the horns; start our bikes and do something that I doubt many of us have ever done…sit in a motorcycle sidecar! That’s right – Guest Rider Irene came rolling up with a sweet little sidecar attached to her bike. Now that’s a sight you don’t see very often! I like to think we inspired these two little guys to someday ride their own motorcycles and will remember for a long time to come the 14 lady bikers who they didn’t expect to meet while getting gas with their Grandpa that beautiful Sunday morning.
After Linda Moreland and I pimped raffle tickets and we all welcomed newest member, Linda (Lily) Nordyke, and our two guest riders, Irene and Penny, we decided our bellies had gone long enough without food and decided to do something about it! Beaumont, here we come!
Kari Miller led the convoy of bikers while unknowingly, we were filmed by her Tom Kat, Daryl, as we rode through Andover. Dang! Another pageant wave opportunity missed! The ride was perfect…not too hot, not too cold and more importantly, NOT TOO WINDY! Who among us hasn’t had enough of the wind this spring?? In no time at all, we were parking our bikes in front of the historic Beaumont Hotel. Some were parking more smoothly than others. Me…not so much. With my short legs; no upper body strength and puppy dog eyes, Maureen Humbolt came to my rescue and gave me a push back.
We all filed into the restaurant and eyeballed the buffet as we walked by. Some ordered the buffet, some ordered burgers and in the end, everyone wished they would have split a meal. Holy amazeballs! The portions were huge! Not so huge, mind you, that we didn’t leave room for dessert, but let me just repeat for the record…the portions were huge! One brownie a-la-mode could have easily fed an entire family. Somehow, we all managed to suffer through it and Kitty licked our plates clean.
And now for the moment we all had been waiting for…the drawing of the winning 50/50 ticket! I counted out the cold hard cash and HOLY ILLEGAL GAMBLING!! We had collected an impressive $75.00! Lily Nordyke had the honors of pulling the ticket and the winner was…drumroll please…DANA BRANAM! Congratulations, Dana, on taking my $38.00 home with you!! Lily, don’t worry, I’m sure I will be over my bitterness for you drawing the wrong ticket…which was any ticket that didn’t have a matching one on my side pouch.
I was surprised at how many Kitties hadn’t been to Beaumont before and was then later regretful that I didn’t do what I did on the trip in 2004 with the four other Kitties sitting around the table. You see, back then I believed that we should make every ride a learning opportunity so during lunch, I would share a little history about the location in which we were eating or visiting. Sure, I was made fun of, pointed at and snickered at, but hey, didn’t they also poke fun at the Wright Brothers, or Einstein, or Alexander Graham Bell?? So, I fought through the ridicule and forced a little education on my fellow Kitty Sisters. I recall that after lunch on the 2014 ride, I threw out a small morsel of history by saying that this here water tower is the only all wooden water tower left in the country…yes, I said…in-the-country…right here in little ole Beaumont, Kansas. I am pleased to report that the new and improved Kitties are a much more polite group of Kitty Kats. Not one person said, “Enough with the history crap, Janice!”
After lunch, we grabbed a couple of beer swigging good ole boys to take our picture in front of an airplane and the historic water tower. You might be wondering why there’s an airplane on the property of the Beaumont Hotel. Well, I’m glad you asked. You see, another very unique fact about Beaumont is it’s not only a favorite destination for bikers, but it’s also a favorite pit stop for aviators. There is a landing strip right there in little ole Beaumont, Kansas and pilots can fly their planes right up to the front door. OK, now I’m certain I just heard someone say, “Enough with the history crap, Janice!” Message received loud and clear!
All too soon, it was time to bike back up and head back to the east. We were all riding along in perfect formation when all of a sudden, I noticed in my rearview mirror someone in a black Suburban doing a hop, skip and a jump in between our riders. This guy was a complete moron and this moron wasn’t done. No siree, here he came for another attempt to run a Kitty over and just barely squeezed in between Dawn Morse and Linda Moreland. OK, now calling him a moron is being too kind. He was a complete and utter clueless idiot! As I was shaking my head and yelling expletives at an idiot who couldn’t possibly hear me, it reminded of the road incident we had on this same Beaumont trip in 2004.
There we were, the five us riding along, enjoying the beautiful weather and feeling slightly more confident in riding our bikes than we did on the trip to Abilene, when out of nowhere a pick-em-truck appeared before us. Well, Old McDonald was apparently making a trip to the landfill and was hauling a huge load of crap in his truck…none of which was tied down in any manner whatsoever. As things were a bouncing and a shifting in his ole beater of a truck, a blue plastic swimming pool came floating up, up up and then down, down, down directly in our path! By some miracle, or maybe it was because we were all such skilled and masterful riders…no, scratch that, it was a miracle…we managed to miss riding into the pool, or each other or Old McDonald. The driver pulled over to collect his baby pool out of the middle of the road and as we each rode by, I’m pretty sure the gesture we made was with one finger and one finger only.
Those on board for the Boys, Burgers and Beaumont trip were Janice Friedman, Dawn Morse, Dana Branam, Melaina Phares, Maureen Humbolt, Linda Moreland, Lily Nordyke, Bobbie Cole, Kari Miller, Suz Tiede, Denise Johnson, Laura Kidder and Guest Ri