Note: No pics in order to help keep the innocent bystanders protected!
Well, I'm back......most of me anyway! I left a few brain cells at the doorstep of the Monona Center, I'm sure. Anyway, here is a brief rundown of events that took place over just a 24 hour period.
Friday afternoon: We get out of work a little later than planned. Finally running out of W'loo by about 2:30pm for Mad-town and the Trek World dealer show. The drive was uneventful, but not horrid either. Nice conversation with Leans on Wood on the way. We get into Mad-town and then it happens.....
The Rush Hour: First off, why do they call it "Rush Hour" when typically you are crawling about as fast as a two month old baby down a steaming ribbon of concrete. Hmm...........anyway! We quickly realize that we are not going to make our 5pm dealer check in cut off. This is bad if we run into any rules nazis because you need to check in to get your dealer tag, which in turn gets you into all the places non-Trekkies are not supposed to be. We decide to park the car, forget about the hotel check-in, and assess the situation on the ground at the Monona Center.
The Theatre of Pain: We get parked, sling on our messenger bags/back packs, and trudge off to the Monona Center to see what is up. Well, we find out that we are not the only peeps in late-late land. Someone from Trek shows up and say to just head on over. A bus would take us to the theatre and we would probably just barely make it in time for Head Honch John's big speech. We get on a bus that went around a convoluted, tight route for.......seven blocks! Ya think Trek coulda hired some pedi-cabs for this, but nooooo! Let's burn up some diesel and talk about decreasing our carbon foot print! Had I known, I would have forced a walk, and we still would have beaten the bus too! Anyway, the theatre was an old one made back when people didn't have Wheaties to eat, so the seats were a bit, shall we say, cramped? Tight? Sardine like? Yeah, well, Head Honch John and a few of his cronies rambled on for well over an hour, which was just enough time to make my blood coagulate and my muscles start to atrophy into uselessness.
The Big Shew! So, after the pomp and circumcision is over, we march over to the hotel, which is conveniently on the way back to the Monona center. Curiously, nearly everyone walks while the buses sit grumbling and waiting for anyone to board. We get our room keys from a pleasant, if not somewhat nonchalant desk girl, and head on over to the show. Leans on Wood finds another crusty former racer friend in the crowd and starts to regale him with tales of legendary insignificance. Finally, we arrive and go back to see if the dealer check in is back up and running. It is. We get into the hall and immediately grab a "Big Guy" brew. (Did I mention anything about eating yet? No?) Anyway, we get into the show and I start working it. I got my camera. I am clicking them off. I grab another brew and keep on working my way over to the Fisher booth.
Mr. Fisher, I presume?: I get over to check out the Fisher road bikes (which are looking good, but aren't anything technically stunning yet. See 2010) and I run into Gary Fisher himself. We had a nice little chat about the road offerings. I continued on my merry way. (Did I mention anything about eating yet? No?) I have a Spotted Cow beer. Hmm......nice! I continue to flash pics and talk to Bontrager and Fisher folks. Good stuff. Read about it here.
Just Chillin' Ya'all!: I see Brandon and Jerry from Milltown Cycles are up. I stop and talk to them a bit. They are cookin' up a plan to see if they can bribe the hired hands at the bar to give them an entire bottle of wine for ten bucks. You know, just for the sport of it! They were still scheming as I left them with another Spotted Cow in hand. I stop by to check on Leans and I find him regaling a couple guys with tales of enormous mediocrity. I hand him a Miller Lite and go about my bidness... I ended up yakking with Natacsha of Bontrager about shoes and saddles and what not that Bontrager is into now. I decide I'd better go back and check on the marathon tale-teller and his audience. Still there. Hmm..........I go and get another Spotted Cow. (Have I mentioned anything about eating yet? No?)
This Place Closes In Five Minutes!: After standing aloof for a bit, listening in on Tom's story about his "John Deere bike", (which is rather funny, by the way), I decide that my glass has developed a hole in the top and all the Spotted Cow has spilled out. I go over to the bar and see Gary again. He asks if I'm having a great summer. We chat for a second or two. He's really a great guy, down to earth. I appreciate his attention and grab my Spotted Cow. I see Brandon and Jerry. They modified their plan of attack. They decided to ask the hired hands if they would stuff as much beer as they could in Brandon's back pack for ten bucks. They got the job done and were heading out. You know, it was just a sporting proposition. That's all. Well, Leans on Wood wants a mixed drink and offers to take me out to a nearby piano bar. I have to slam my Cow and run. (Have I.......oh, never mind!) Two Guinness's later and I'm meandering to the bed at the Best Western with my name on it. I set my alarm for 6:30am and crash like a sacked quarterback on the frozen tundra of Green Bay.
A New Day, A New Meal! I decide that eating solid food might be a bit high on my agenda this fine Sunday morning. What I didn't know was that the Monona Center had croissants and rolls for our breakfast. Croissants........yeah. I was thinking eggs, hash browns, coffee, well, I did get the coffee at least! Leans on Wood and I listen to a guy stretch 15 minutes of good information into a two hour seminar. man! I missed my calling. I could B.S. people for an hour and forty five minutes easily and intersperse that with some solid info. And they paid this guy handsomely, I'm sure. Wow! Talk about getting ripped off. Anyway, I get to yakking with the Bontrager folks about wheels and tires and next thing I know, I missed the bus ride to the bike demo. Ahh.......crap! Demo Ken probably hates me now. (Sorry dude! I think I fried some "responsibility cells" the night before!) Anyway, I putz around and see ShockStar and his mate Zach from Decorah Bikes up wandering about. Seems that they slammed some urban up in Mad-town the night before. Smarter than I was! I wander up and eat lunch. Ahh! Satisfying, yet still healthy food. Nice. I am pounding the water and the results are good. I am not hurting too bad. In fact, I feel pretty good.
Get back, Get Back To Where You Once Belonged! So, we split about 1:45 and I got home right at five. Started working the photos and downloading. Lots of info. Lots of fun. Met some good folks and made new friends too. 24 hours.....amazing!
The Sweet Stop - Preston, MN
4 hours ago