As the last dusty sweat-drenched episode of summer, the Night Bison occurred. On a Sunday afternoon, Andy swung by the Milk Lodge, and I tossed my Nature Boy in the back of his truck. We drove west from Chicago, flying through every toll (we neglected to bring my iPass or any cash) until there was nothing but corn. We arrived and it had really felt like I was just there days ago for the Gravel Metric. We headed to T.J.'s for a pre-ride BBQ and a couple brews. Thanks again, T.J. and family for the excellent hospitality.
I've attended all of the Night Bison(s) so far, but this was definitely the most enjoyable. It was the first time that I, more or less, rode with a single group throughout the entirety of the ride. In the past, I had let impatience get the best of me, and broke away from my buds. This time, I rode with my pals Marcus, Andy, and Jake. We all rode together, and we rode surprisingly fast, believe it or not. Andy's a bike messenger now, so he's used to riding fast all day. Marcus was practically turning a track gearing on his vintage Puch fixed gear conversion with monster tires. I was really quite impressed that he was able to turn that crank on gravel, and in fact, I had trouble keeping up with him on my gravel-geared All-City.
Sure, we had our fair share of fun too. In fact, the Rapha race trailer showed up to bring the party about mid-ride, with some tallboys of Coors, fresh shots of Stumptown espresso, and the tunes to get us goin'. It was a nice opportunity to hang out and light off a couple fireworks.
We finished tired, drenched in sweat, and coated in a veil of beige dust. We consumed a lot of pizza, and even more High Life. All-in-all it was a good time, and riding at night in the country is cool, and friends, and yadda yadda ok back to work...
|Pre-Ride hangz at T.J.'s. Awaiting nightfall.|
|Just before the ride. About 250 in attendance or so...|
|Mid-ride breaky with some treats.|
|Thanks to Rapha for the outstanding support. What a surprise!|
|The only riding photo I got, blurry as all heck, but you can see the giant tires on Marcus' very old Puch conversion (with bullhorn bars). An unexpected gravel shredder.|