|Wally Kilburg displayed his work at the Pre-Race Meat-Up|
Moving to the Pre-Race Meat-Up location, the Grinnell Steakhouse, I was eager to see everyone that was to show up there. The Bonk King and Gumby were already there waiting, and not long afterward Tony, Mike Johnson, Wally and George, and Tim Bauer from NoDak were there ready to get the scene up and running. The Bonk King and Gumby handled all the bag stuffing and watching over the cues. Tim and Tony manned the registration table, and the rest of us floated in and out while riders steadily streamed in to register for the eleventh running of Trans Iowa.
|Two bottles for the number "11". Jason Boucher's image of me at the Pre-Race Meat-Up|
I always am really happy to see how the Pre-Race plays out. So many folks reconnecting or making new friends and acquaintances. Families, friends, mothers, fathers, relatives, and all there to see their loved one get ready to hit the gravel the next day. The buzz in the room gets louder and louder every year as more and more riders feel comfortable talking with other riders. It's like one big gravelly, dusty, bike riding family reunion. Only there are no weird cousins and drunken uncles. Well........maybe a few odd balls!
|MG and the Bonk King look over the bags racers would get later in the evening at the Pre-Race Meat-Up|
|The massive indoor grill at the Grinnell Steakhouse which was busy all night Friday night.|
|After the Meat-Up, The Wisconsin Gravel Syndicate sponsored a beard contest. (Image by Wally Kilburg)|
|Coop telling us the story of a 1939 Schwinn Paramount- the white bike hanging up there.|
With that over MG and I made our way downtown where we were to shack up above Bikes To You. First we spent some time down stairs with Coop and a few others as Coop showed us various cool old things like a Schwinn Paramount and other stuff that you just don't get to see all that often. Bike geeks geeking out!
Then we went up and got settled in up in the empty loft apartment. MG and I chatted a bit before we bedded down and tried to get some shut eye before our 3am alarm went off. I fell asleep fairly quickly, but at about 1:40am I woke up, feeling very hot, and I had to use the restroom. Then I couldn't really get back to sleep. A freight train laying on the horn going through town at two in the morning sure didn't help. Oh well......
Next: Hopes Dashed In A Lonely Truck