Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Fargo Reunion Ride- Part 2

Riders assembled and getting ready for the Fargo Reunion Ride
Arriving in Nerstrand, finally, I was a bit relieved. The anxiety of making it somewhat on time had passed, but now the worry about how I would ride began. Typically, drinking the evening before a big ride has not gone well for me on the next day. I had pretty much sworn that drinking before a ride thing off after an Odin's Revenge several years ago. However; I hadn't seen Ben or his family in a very long time, and the reunion of friends often times means a bit of celebration, so there ya go. It was what it was. Now I just had to shut up and ride.

Of course, since we arrived a little late, the rest of the crew had gotten wind of the previous night's escapades. Jason was giving us the business, as he should have, and noted that several Guitar Ted Death Rides had started out similarly. Yes......it is true.Well, I had to put on my "big boy pants" and suck it up. I had no one to blame but myself if there was some friendly ribbing or a tough day in store for me.

Besides myself, there were eleven riders there. One, Timothy, from as far away as Kentucky. MG, of course, Martini, Justin The Younger, my friend Tony, and several people I met for the first time. It was a good group. The first order of business after mustering was to head over to the famous Nerstrand Meat Market to load up on meat products.

The Nerstarnd Meat Market is a fifth generation family business.
The Birthday Boy doing what he loves- Riding with friends and taking pictures!
The ride finally got going when we headed out of Nerstrand with a stiff Southerly wind at our backs. Tailwinds to start! Probably a good thing for myself and others who were still a bit iffy at the beginning of this ride. The day was starting off overcast, a bit on the chilly side, and the roads were somewhat wet. Oh! And the roads up there in Southern Minnesota are completely different than what we ride on here in Iowa. It was like a paved road compared to our chunky goodness which is not unlike being rattled by a paint shaker at times. Well.....a lot of the time, to be perfectly honest. Southern Minnesota roads could spoil a person right quick, I'd say. Very smooth gravel up there and barely anything rough.

(L-R) Tony, Timothy, and MG following in the wake of the County Maintainer. You couldn't do that in Iowa!
Good conversations, good views, good roads.
I was cruising along pretty well, and after about an hour into it, I was feeling 100% better. I had my legs and wits about me, and I was going to be just fine. Now it was just time to ride smart, have fun, and enjoy the great day. The wind was relentless and as the route came around we were forced to ride more into cross winds and eventually into head winds. Being smart and staying with the group helped tremendously.

Jason said, "Barns for GT!" as we rode past this farm.
Martini, a photography buff himself, was snapping away all day on the ride.
The level of preservation of some farms and barns was amazing. Here even the garage survives seemingly intact from original. 
We stayed together pretty well throughout the first half of the ride so no stopping to regroup was really necessary or called for. We finally came around to a point where there was some indecision on Jason and Ben's part on which way to go. I recognized the corner as the same as the one that tripped us up back in 2010 on the Rawland Ride. Eventually Jason and Ben were convinced we needed to turn back, so we headed the other direction which turned out to be correct. Eventually we reached a lone ceramic block silo which Jason called for us to stop at.

This way boys!
MG describing the contents of the silo. There was a package of Oreos in there!
Products from the Nerstrand Meat market were being consumed along with some good conversation at the silo stop.
This was approximately the half way stop, so we took our leisure here and relaxed. Some riders answering the call of nature, others were chewing meat sticks and other items brought from the Nerstrand Meat Market. Others were simply hanging out.

MG was a curious soul and stuck his head into the slot of an opening on one side of the silo. He then commenced to give us all a description of the contents of the silo which were well below ground level. Apparently, there was a package of unopened Oreos down there. No one offered to retrieve those, so we began to slowly get along to remounting our bicycles and getting back on to the road to more sights and bigger hills than we had ridden all day.

Of course, this big loop was mostly based off of the old Rawland Route, of which I was very familiar with having ridden it back in 2010. I remembered that there was a big climb on a Level B Maintenance road called "Shady Lane". I wondered if we might be heading there sooner or later. I was wondering if I was up to the task of tackling that hill. I didn't know for sure, but it was such a cool climb on such a beautiful road that I almost didn't care if I wasn't up to it. Roads like that one are hard to come by! With no cue sheets and only Jason's and Ben's directions to go by, I would have to wait to find out.

Tomorrow- The Fargo Reunion Ride- Part 3

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