Oh Hail No! – April 19, 2015

All week long as I looked at the radar on my phone, I saw nothing but lots of blue, green, yellow and red.  I was certain the Kitties wouldn’t be going anywhere on Sunday morning.  When we all tucked ourselves into bed on Saturday night, it was pouring rain.  Again, I thought for sure we wouldn’t be going anywhere in the morning.  But being as optimistic as possible, I set the alarm for 8:00 so if the ride had to be cancelled, I could get the notice on Facebook well before the appointed 9:00 deadline.  And then lo and behold!  When the alarm went off, what before my wondering eyes should appear?  Sunshine! Beautiful glorious sunshine!  Sure, it wasn’t going to be one of those 80 degree days we’ve had lately, but it ain’t raining and it’s sunny!  I posted on Facebook that the Kitties needed to gear up and head out – we’re riding to Attica today!

Kitties started arriving at the QuikTrip at the designated time and did a fabulous job of backing up to the curb, although there were some weird looking, colored metal plates all over the place which made solid footing a little tricky.  Kitties started de-biking; saying their hellos; oohing and ahhing over the first glimpse of the Kitty transfers (which look marvelous!) and then oohing and ahhing some more over the helmet décor several of the Kitties were sporting.  We also bought and sold raffle tickets – each of us feeling certain we had the winning ticket in our clutches.

That’s when a gasoline truck driver had the audacity to say, “Hey pretty ladies, y’all gotta move them there bikes.  I gotta unload gas you’re sitting right on top of where my nozzle goes in.” (Be honest – how many of you just now thought, “that’s what she said.”) So, THAT’S what those metal plates are in the ground!  So, we hopped back on our bikes and moved a few yards down the curb and commenced with the visiting, oohing and ahhing, and buying raffle tickets.  In the amount of time that we had been at the QT, it clouded up but strangely enough, it felt warmer and I remember thinking, “This is gonna be a perfect riding day.”  I’ll admit I’ve been wrong once or twice before, but NEVER as wrong as I was on Sunday, April 19th!

Given that Suz’s Mother is from Attica, Suz knew exactly how to get there so she offered to lead the group, while Sue volunteered to be the sweep.  At precisely 11:00, we were off on the first ride of 2015 – the beginning of the Krome Kitty’s 11th season!  MEOW!

Not long after we departed and were heading down K42, the sun popped out and I patted myself on the back for being so smart and so right about what a lovely day we had in which to ride.  The beauty was amplified when we came across fields and fields of bright yellow flowers.  From a distance, they looked like neon green and were a striking contract against the emerald green of the surrounding fields.  Who says Kansas doesn’t have stunning scenery??  We later were educated by Farmer Bobbie  that these were Canola fields and I began to wonder just how much Canola oil Greg and I could consume if I planted that in my entire backyard.

In lickety split time, we pulled into the Krazyhorse Restaurant and were greeted by a lady with a camera.  As natural as kitty kats are magnetized to catnip, the Krome Kitties are magnetized to cameras and we instinctually started getting into our posing mode.  After a few shots were taken, we were introduced to our personal photographer, who happened to be Suz’s cousin, Cheri.  Cheri and several members of her family had come to greet the Kitties and welcome us to Attica, Kansas!  Now that’s downright neighborly, don’t you think?

Ordering our lunch went super-duper quick as we had two options:  fried chicken and meatloaf.  If you ordered the fried chicken, the ordering was somewhat more complicated as you had to choose between white and dark meat; all dark meat; or all white meat.  Feeling a bit left out, Sue decided she should have a choice in her meatloaf selection and demanded that her meatloaf be all dark meat.  That Sue…such a finicky eater!

“Because she loves me” was the reason Cousin Cheri gave Suz a Selfie Stick and the majority of the lunch was spent figuring out how to use it and then experimenting with it.  I’ve never actually seen one of these in person, but I have to say it’s pretty brilliant!  However, Suz was cautioned that using it to look up lady’s skirts would be highly inappropriate – like a friendly warning could ever stop Suz from doing anything!

And then the time we all had waited for had arrived – the drawing of the 50/50 raffle!  There was $33.00 at stake and each of us wanted it…wanted it bad!  We gave our friendly and lively waitress the honors of drawing the ticket and drumroll please…DAWN was the winner!  Suz tried to trade her Selfie Stick for the $33.00 but Dawn wasn’t having it.  We all tried to get Dawn to pick up our tab and she wasn’t having any of that either.  If memory serves me correct, this is Dawn’s second time at winning the 50/50 raffle.  I have never won.  Not to make anyone feel guilty, just sayin…

After devouring some delicious fried chicken (and dark meatloaf), mashed potatoes, corn, and bread pudding, we headed outside to get one last picture in front of the Krazyhorse sign, which by the way, I appreciate the restaurant keeping with the tradition of replacing all “C’s” with a “K” in our honor.  As soon as we stepped outside, we all observed the weather had taken a turn for the worse.  Everyone grabbed their phones and started looking at radar and decided we needed to get out of Dodge in a hurry.  We made a quick stop for gas and to put on rain suits, which begs the question…is it really necessary to make these things so difficult to put on?  If it weren’t for Suz serving as my personal dressing assistant, I would probably still be in Attica, sitting on a bench at a gas station, trying to figure out that whole suspender thing.  Seriously, Harley Davidson – make these things easier.  We’re trying to put these on in a hurry for crying out loud!

We fired up the bikes and I believe we went about six feet before the raindrops started to fall.  The further we went, the wetter it got.  Before long, we were in a full-on downpour.  I agreed to take over the lead from Suz and slowed my speed to 55 mph on account of the rain.  That’s when all hell broke loose.  Mother Nature gave us all she had with wind that was blowing about as fast as we were riding and hard rain that felt just like hail.  Wait a minute…that ain’t rain… that IS hail!  Holy ice balls!  We’re being hailed on!  I quickly pulled over and cried Uncle!  Rain I can deal with.  Wind I can deal with.  But HAIL??  Yeah, I ain’t doin’ that!  So, there we were – trying to brace ourselves against the wind, trying to shield our faces from the hail and those without helmets were huddled under a true.  Just then, out of the corner of my eye I see blue and red flashing lights.  Oh thank God, the PoPo is here to help us.  Uh…no.  The PoPo said we had to get our bikes off the side of the road before we got killed.  Didn’t he realize riding in the hail would end in the same result?  Here’s where I gotta give some serious street cred to all those Kitties, who in the worst of conditions, executed perfect U-turns in the middle of the road and rode to a driveway of a farm house a short distance away.  Operating under the theory of “make ‘em tell you twice”, I stayed put because I was certain the hail couldn’t last much longer and I thought we could proceed with getting home.  After longer than I thought, the hail did finally stop and the only two people still on the side of the road were Kari and myself.  I looked at Kari and asked, “Whadya want to do?”  To which she replied, “I wanna go home.”  I said, “Let’s do it then.”   Unbeknownst to Kari and I, a few of the Kitties left shortly after us and the remaining Kitties had been invited to seek shelter in the farmer’s shed.  They were high and dry and enjoying the company of Mr. and Mrs. Old McDonald and their kitty kat and puppy dog.  While the worst of the storm was over, all of us had the strong wind and rain to deal with in getting home.   What I found to be remarkable is by the time I got to the part of town where I live, the streets were completely dry.  Looks like we should have gone to my house for lunch!

After about an hour of getting home, I confirmed that every single Kitty had made it home safe and sound, a little worse for wear and whole lot wetter, but alive.  This ride will be one of those experiences that you know just by one word.  Attica.  All you have to say is Attica and 12 brave Kitties will know exactly what you’re talking about.  Every rainstorm will be compared to this and it will either be “not as bad as Attica” or “a lot worse than Attica”, but regardless, Attica will always be synonymous with thunderstorms.  And next time the weather forecast says thunderstorms possible in the afternoon, how about we just stay put?!

Those Kitties on board for the Oh Hail No! ride were Janice, Christine, Melaina, Dawn, Suz, Nellie, Kathryn, Linda, Sue, Kari, Bobbie and Sueanne.


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