Thursday, May 2, 2013

Falling in love with May Day all over again

Riverwest 24 sign up

I have vivid childhood memories of heading down to Powderhorn park in Minneapolis each May 1st to see, and be a part of, the May Day parade, put on by Hear of the Beast.  To me, May Day was one of my favorite holidays.  It was about celebrating life, being playful and welcoming Spring.  I'm not sure how many May Day baskets I made--full to the brim with dandelions--but I'm quite positive each of my relatives received one.

When I moved out of Minneapolis, ions ago, I stopped celebrating May Day.  The places I moved to didn't have large gatherings--heck, I'm not sure many of my friends even knew what a May pole was.  It wasn't until last year when I began to celebrate this wonderful day once again--but this time in a different way.

Teams Garage 707 and Church of the Spoken Wheel
May 1st now translates to Riverwest 24 sign-up day.  A glorious day to cancel all plans and head to Milwaukee with friends to wait in line for one of the best bike events in the world.  You can see my last year's post here.  As some of you know, RW24 has gotten quite a bit of attention and is now so big one must arrive early in the morning to secure a spot.  This year, four of our six team mates rolled into the little park next to the Public House shortly after 9am.  On our drive there, a friend who was already at the park, called and informed us that over 100 people were already in line.  My heart started to race as I did the math in my head, knowing it could essentially be more than half full before we even got there.  Now, I know we were stuck in rush hour traffic for a reason.  As I found the end of the line, I was greeted by part of the team Garage 707.  I can't quite describe how shocked I was.  You see, last year, we were just behind these guys in line AND they are the team that allows us to use their home as a base.  On top of all this, we never planned any of it.  It was just meant to be.

Me resting at the Schlitz Audubon center in Bayside

Patiently waiting

Since we had four people in line this year, it allowed us to take of in twos and do a bit of riding around Milwaukee--always something I look forward to.  This time around, we wound our way North, along the river and into the burbs of Shorewood, Whitefish Bay, Fox Point and Bayside with an end point of the Schlitz Audubon center.  It was such a treat seeing all the different architecture since Madison is definitely lacking in that category.  It was also just so nice to spend a day with friends, doing what we all love best.  Here's to another year of adventure--vive le RW24!

Markham, with the heavens shining down upon him, after signing us up

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