Saturday, March 23, 2024

Mid South Report: The After-Party

Sunday morning Sunrise.
 Sunday. The event was over, yet we had one more thing to participate in. It was arguably more important to Ben, Marty, and Michael than the riding was. It was the day that these guys were to cook a special home-cooked, Mid-western themed meal for the Mid-South crew including Bobby, Crystal, and their special guests. The guys told me that they expected up to 40 people. 

The venue would be a rented home about a block or so from Bobby and Crystal's home. It was a two story home with a small back porch and a huge back yard. The full kitchen was well appointed but perhaps a tic too small for three guys trying to cook a big meal. At least Ben was outside grilling the two hams in a Weber grill. 

But before all that happened we had gone down in the morning for breakfast at a Mexican restaurant. It was a good place and we all got our fill of vittles. Then it was downtown to meet up with the weary-eyed District crew. The day was a bright, Sunny day, warm, but not hot. The wind was up and it was breezy downtown. The doors to District were flung open and a few people were wandering around. 

They were tearing down the finish line arch when we got there.

The Merman bikes are really cool and ride very nicely.

This custom mountain bike had an insanely painted Cane Creek Helm fork on it.

Check out that paint! I was told it is called "Bad Magic".

That drop out insert? Anodized with a special process.

We hung out at District for a bit. Bobby came by and his voice was blown out. He sounded like an 80 year old man with a three-pack-a-day habit. We ended up going across the street to shop a bit, then over to a local brewery for drinks. 

Shopping for the special dinner later.

My photo shoot with Erik Mathy was in the late afternoon on Sunday.

There was grocery shopping and my photo shoot with Erik Mathy, which I rode to. Ben wouldn't let me out of the Air BnB without a sandwich for lunch. So, there I was, hustling to make my 3:15-3:30pm appointment with Erik out in the country with a turkey and cheese sandwich hanging out of my mouth. It's really hard to breath, eat bread, and ride hard all at the same time, by the way!

Then the guys picked me up and we went in to town to the home that was rented out for us to cook at. Well, not me, because I only barely assisted. I pretty much was a hangar-on at this deal the rest of the night. And what a night! YouTube guitar professional Rhett Shull showed up and he and Tyler from District Cycles played some tasty guitar tunes. Bobby even jumped in for a bit of finger pickin' goodness. Lots of great people showed up, maybe a little more than two dozen in the end. 

Bobby playing guitar, (back to camera) with Tyler (obscured) and Rhett Shull.

The house party was a pretty special thing. Probably the best part of the entire weekend. Out of respect for the details that were shared in that house I will leave it at that.

Suffice it to say that good food was enjoyed by some damn fine people and we all got to know each other just a bit better. I won't be forgetting that night for a long, long time, if ever. 

Towards the end of the night I wasn't feeling so hot, so I sat by myself and just listened to the people's conversations and watched as people tried to say goodbye and leave but were still wandering around the house a half an hour later.  

That wasn't some pent-up, socially awkward Mid-Western thing either. It was a genuine feeling - I think - that people that had experienced that evening did not want it to end, but, as with all things, there was an end. 

Someone or another finally took pity on me and Justin motioned that we were headed back to the house. I was happy to get back to a bed and a bathroom, and I used it, I'll just put that out there like that. I was fine afterward, but anyway, enough detail on that!

Then all that was left was to get home to Waterloo. I'll have that bit and a final take on Mid-South next.

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