Bursting with pride. That was the feeling I had on the Krome Kitty’s first ride to Dexter a decade ago. Our Club had gone from five members to a whopping eleven in the span of 30 days. Good old-fashioned word of mouth had caused this idea we had of an all-female riding group to spread like wildfire through the biking community and new member applications were coming in faster than a stuck throttle. Ironically, there were eleven riders on that first Dexter ride which was the exact number of riders who were signed up to go on this second Dexter ride on Saturday, August 23rd. However, last minute cancellations brought our number down to eight by the time we pulled out of the QuikTrip in Derby.
Aside from what we considered to be a HUGE number of bikers on that first Dexter trip, there was something else significant about it. For members Kathryn Langrehr and Libby Beckman, this was their very, very first trip with the Krome Kitties. I’m sure as they pulled into that same QuikTrip parking lot all those years ago, they were thinking, “OK, I’ll give this a shot and if I don’t like it, all’s I’m out is 30 bucks and a Saturday afternoon.” Well, they hung in there with us and survived some growing pains along the way and now they’re the second and third oldest Kitties. Wait. That didn’t come out right. That makes them Kitties who’ve earned some serious street cred. Yeah, that’s much better.
Getting back to the 2014 Dexter ride, our time at the QuikTrip meeting location was spent patting ourselves on the back for a job well done at the Krome Kitty Kare Project to benefit the YWCA Women’s Crisis Center of the Thursday before; selling anniversary pins and new patches; and pimping 50/50 tickets. With the forecast predicting 100+ temperatures in the afternoon, the decision had been made to get an earlier start and ride to Dexter first and then Winfield for lunch. This meant we were having dessert before our meal and let’s be honest, wouldn’t we always prefer it that way? With the route safely tucked away in my little noggin, we pulled out and were on our way. Next stop – Dexter, Kansas.
Our outbound trip took us through some pretty Kansas countryside accompanied by some surprisingly pleasant temperatures. After a brief separation anxiety while going through Winfield and a missed turn thanks to yours truly, we regrouped at a gas station. I looked over at Kathryn Langrehr and said, “I think we were supposed to turn back there, but I didn’t see the Highway 15 sign.” To which she responded, “I grew up in Winfield and yes, we needed to turn on 9th Street.” To which I responded, “You did? Why the heck am I leading this ride then? You clearly would have been the better navigator.” Kathryn must have had more faith in me than I did in myself, because she motioned for me to go ahead and surprisingly, I managed to get ourselves to the Henry Candy Company parking lot lickety split.
We discovered there aren’t a lot of people shopping for candy at the Henry Candy Company at 9:30 on a Saturday morning as we had the entire place to ourselves. Having been in business since 1956, several Kitties remarked about how they remembered coming to the Henry Candy Company when they were little girls. One of those who had a long-time memory was Linda Moreland who said she used to come to Dexter with her grandparents to buy Christmas candy. Seriously? You came all the way to Dexter, Kansas to buy Christmas candy? You know you can get that at Dillons, right? “Yeah, but you don’t get to watch them making it at Dillons.” Nuff said. I’ll shut up now.
Miss Preparation Kitty Christine Allsman announced that she had brought a cooler with her so anyone who wanted to buy chocolate, shop away. And shop away we did. After sufficiently contributing to the Dexter economy, taking some pictures and checking out the Henry Candy Company’s ladies room, we wandered back out to the parking lot where lots of selfies and fun pictures were taken. Linda Moreland made the task of “make me look skinny” in the pictures nearly impossible by sticking a helmet under her shirt making her look about 11 months pregnant. Come on Linda, we can only do so much with Photoshop, ya know!
Not wanting to go back to Winfield from the same direction in which we came, I suggested we take the Grouse Creek Road, which I had heard was a beautiful tree-lined road with some nice sweeping curves. “Ever heard of it?” I asked Kathryn with imploring eyes. She read my message loud and clear and agreed to take over the lead. Good. No one wants to attempt a U-turn on a tight two lane road under my leadership, which was a strong possibility.
Grouse Creek Road certainly lived up to its reputation. It’s like Augusta’s Thunder Road on steroids and Denise Johnson got her first real opportunity to practice her leaning skills, which she handled like a seasoned Arkansas rider.
In no time, we were back in Winfield and pulling into the Nieves Mexican Restaurant parking lot, which was a good thing cuz all of our bellies were screaming, “Feed me!” We all got settled at our table and that’s when we first met our new biggest fan, Sergio. Sergio was our waiter and he made no secret that he thought we were just about the coolest things since the invention of Nieves cheese sauce. He entertained us from start to finish and even made me a flower from a drinking straw. I thought he wanted to take our relationship to the next level when he asked if we wanted to see his elephant trunk. Well, sure, but shouldn’t we have a little more privacy? Turns out what he was referring to was a dollar bill a customer had folded into the shape of an elephant. Oh…THAT elephant trunk! Am I the only one who was slightly disappointed about that whole incident? With all the attention Sergio bestowed upon us, we gave him the honors of drawing the winning ticket for the 50/50 raffle. As I was counting out the money, Christine Allsman proclaimed she probably would be the winner since it was the smallest pot we had had thus far. Proving the theory that if you believe it, it will come true, Christine was indeed this month’s winner – going home $20.00 richer. Congratulations Christine! I’m saving my win for the Tom Kat ride!
After eating as much good Mexican food as we could handle and saying our good-byes to Sergio, we filed back out to the parking lot. Ahh, there it is. There’s that hot August weather we were promised. Some of the group chose to go back the way we came to end up closer to the west side while others chose to go home under the leadership of Kathryn Langrehr via the Haverhill Road route, which would lead us to Augusta. After dumping off Nellie Taylor and Linda Moreland in Augusta, the three remaining Kitties in my group made the last leg to Wichita. That’s when I realized the decision we made to start the day earlier was one of our better ones as by the time I got home, I didn’t think I could go one more mile without some hydration.
August 23rd was 170 miles of pure fun and I was reminded once again why I love this Club and every single member in it. And next time I need Christmas candy – I’m heading to Dexter!
Those on board for the Delectable Dexter and Delightful Dining trip were Janice Friedman, Linda Moreland, Nellie Taylor, Suz Tiede, Christine Allsman, Sandy White, Denise Johnson and Kathryn Langrehr.