Old 08-14-17, 08:43 PM
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I'll guarantee any pics above showing a grimace actually are a joyous pain.

Starting with the way cool banner and poster art, IAB may not have been physically there but was in spirit. It depicts a rider on an old lightweight 'honking' the driftless region, truly a perfect area for roadies.

Also at the top of my list is Robbie, his family, relatives and friends whom assisted and put on a wonderful spread of food and drinks Friday night. Thank you again. I indulged a serving of everything that was offered - three full plates plus a packed plate of desserts. Later Jerry lit the campfire while us slackers sat around under that cool Wis. summer air. Terrific host and more so. Only until then I finally was able to unwind after a pretty hectic last month. Seriously almost canceled going in the last days leading up to the weekend.

Retired to a neat old comfy home in Mineral Point and with five hours sleep, my internal bell went off and quickly zoned on the ride. Felt good. Miguel and I arrived early and ready. With the temp in the mid 50's I decided on wearing a windbreaker.

Funny to see a few among our gang scrambling yet the next moment we're waiting at the grid for them..... but unbeknown they were already gone! So much for the big photo op and I'm in our newly created second group 'vintage' and 150k start. Our group cracked some remarks and the announcer told us to get on with it and good luck.

The first miles were just beautiful with that morning sun lifting the glistening moisture off the rolling pastures. My fave time of day and where I just soaked up the scenery and smells, marginally hanging with the speedy pair of Kim on her Merckx Motorola and Randy on his incredible barn-find Masi GC.

Arrived to the first stop and couldn't believe the line at the PP's! What the? Then I looked around and spotted one depressed fellow next to his plastic bike with a complete fractured off seat post. Game over. Cruel but it crossed my mind to take a selfie next to that bike and my steel mount- hehe. Thought better and figured better not as this ride can bite back in a very bad way. No mishaps for me but others mentioned of another cracked up bike and its rashed rider. After that was a quick sector to the stop in Mineral Point. Plumbing, check / bike, check. Go.

Rode along with Miguel on his classy Melton and up to the stop in Linden. Had a nice fuel up with roast beef piled high sandwich and in rolls Daryl already wrapping up his loop... of the 200k. Daummm. Mind you, that Daryl was riding a vinti Bottechia with I'm guessing a low to mid 40's gear inch! Don't kid, this guy sandbags and again, think about how fast he is ON a bike like that! Mig and I headed separate ways and on came the first loop of the 150k. My left leg was telling me to lighten up and find a lower gear.

By the time I finished that loop and back into Linden, food was scarce and the crews were packing up. Left leg was fine and all the way to the finish. Two others rolled in on CF bikes, one was a UFO with the now banned non seat-tube. The UFO asked if he could join me (???) for the remaining portion of the 150k back loop. I snickered and replied he'll be sorry to miss the last call for brew by the time we get in. But I did head out before him and funny was never to be seen again. So, that either confirms rocket TT boy looked fast but wasn't or it was a 'genuine' UFO.

Chugged on and with Dodgeville town limits, passed Lands End and thought, yeah! But no.... just another five more or so thrown in for good measure. Some fellow on a Shiv came up on me chatted for awhile. He commented on our group and cool old bikes, mentions of an RB1 of his and just might give the vintage ride a chance at this event next time around. Only wished he could tow me in but best he hustle on. Then a trio on CF bikes passed me, was reeling them in but just didn't have enough left to catch the draft. Who was I kidding and why? Just a few clicks more to the finish. Always a feel good moment, rode right into the building and parked at the vintage display. Great day.

We cleaned up the display, enjoyed the live entertainment, sipped a few more cold ones and waited for Hodgy out on the 200k. He rolled in with a mile long smile. Awesome. Tells us the last rest stop was shutting down and tossed the water! He scooped the ice from a cooler and was enough to get him to the finish. Well done, Kris!

The route was well marked and clean roads. Only one area was sketchy. Passed a barn or some sort of fireworks factory, dropped into a fast descent with sweepers, the bright sun alternating between trees made it tricky visual while wearing shades. On top of that, you have some heavy brake modulating action and where motor vehicles do the same -creating divots in the asphalt. There was some dust / dry dirt runoff in the middle portion. Carrying speed but cautiously scrubbing it, the bike warned me over one of those asphalt recesses. Then I was into the dust sandy stuff, I released the brakes and let it ride baby.

Along with Dave (iab) we missed others of years past but was a pleasure meeting some new faces. There was Joe (Joel?) sporting toe-clips / cleats, team Renault / ELF jersey riding a Gitane he originally purchased in '72. The patina on his bike shows an owner who's obviously loved that machine since day one. Its as the bike rewards and gives back for caring and riding it! I thought it was really neat.

Then we had Jill, although longtime in the sport -many aspects, she's now bitten by the vintage fun and pretty sure she gets it. Won't go into all here but proud of this gal whom took a project on, first time of this type, including paint and building the bike! Early LeMond in tribute team Z livery. Specifically setup for her and climbing, stealth duty, she's got it all going on plus matching jersey 1991. B.W.T.M..... she came over early one day last week and assembled it, maybe only got a few miles in on it.... amazingly was set for this event! How does that magic happen? Awesome.

Now for P.H., well twice and we're familiar with the routine -LOL. His '72 Mondia was a last minute 'full preservation project' and its gorgeous. The irony and exactly as last year on his vintage Trek (ultimate last minute build), a downshifter clamp was slightly loose and slipped, throwing him off a shift. What happened later between his mechanical issue and SAG is something maybe he could explain. Lets just say for anyone planning to ride this event, no secret or regardless of bike, one absolutely needs to get everything done and prepped well in advance and most important, do a pre-ride shakedown.

My only regrets these gatherings go by too quick. Every bike was neato and unique. Doc flys in with bag in hand, zips open and assembles Schwinderella, ready to roll. Now that bike has some thought into it. Robbie and his outrageous Klein with nightmare to service - disappearing shift cables. Daryl and his other Bottechia -1989 'Blue Chip' investment. Ralph and that '64 Paramount w/ GB Coureur 66 clampers. Much more in bikes but anyways, we humbly ride them but deeply know there's more to it. Thanks all and hope we could do it again next year.
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