Saturday, September 1, 2012

It's my birthday and I'll bike if I want to!

Tunnel break near Bellville

Birthdays mean two things to me (neither have anything to do with getting one step closer to the grave).  #1  It's a cheap excuse to get together with a bunch of good friends.  #2  It's a great time to have an adventure.  This year was no exception.  Last night, about fifteen minutes 'til the end of my birthday, my husband and I met about ten friends--as well as forty others--down at the capitol for the start of Pick Me Up At The Border.

I must say that my husband is such a trooper.  I have gotten him into some nutty cycling adventures this year, and even though he had to work the entire following day, he agreed to do an overnight ride to the Illinois border with me on no sleep.  Around midnight, we rolled off the capitol square and onto the Badger State Trail that would lead us South about 45 miles.  The first six to ten miles were paved and smooth as a baby's bottom.  The rest were hard packed limestone with hidden gopher holes, sweepers and bridge crossings.  This year's ride fell on a blue moon--the second full moon of the month--but cloud cover forced us to use our bike lights.  No bother.  It was unbelievably serene limiting our world to a small circle of light and watching the red blinky dots dance in front of us.

my bike in the tunnel
Pick Me Up At The Border was started several years ago by a guy named Richard aka brass nipples.  Essentially everyone starts out together, then when we hit the limestone, it's a race to the state line.  The first rider there "gets" to hook up a trailer full of beer to their bike and start the slog back to the Bellville tunnel for a social hour of sorts.  If you haven't hit the border yet, you turn around as the caravan engulfs you.  After the tunnel, riders take their own pace back to the capitol for coffee and pastries.  Richard puts this thing on by donation only and all of the profits go to the Badger State Trail.

Okay, I'll admit it.  A few of us didn't hit the state line.  We made it to the town of Monroe, about five miles away.  Knowing I was running on about 24 hours of zero sleep (I still haven't slept), and my husband faced an entire day of work, we were being conservative with our energy.  All said and done, with the ride to the start and back home, we put in about 90 miles.

the beginning of a beautiful sunrise
Riding back to Madison, we were treated to skies that turned shades from deep midnight blue to purple and then to pink and orange.  We were also treated to a nice little headwind that just about did me in.  The screaming in my quads was only silenced after squelching them with sugar and caffeine.

Next year I get to do two birthday adventures.  Of course we'll partake in the border ride again, but we are also planning a ride around lake Superior.  It's times like this that I want to scream " feels great to be alive!"

The trophy we won for being good citizens and buying a trail pass at 2am

1 comment:

  1. Tell me more about the Lake Superior loop! I have heard about it (mostly by Harley riders) and would love to do it myself. It is on my list for sure. See ya on the border ride!