Saturday, February 23, 2013
On Feb 16th 2013 I rode in the GLMC PopCycle derby in Belle Plaine MN. It was my first time riding on ice for any length of time. It sure was a fun way to kick off the 2013 riding season. ST Rich gets the credit for the awesome photo of my Sportster. It looks pretty mean wearing knobbies and ice spikes.
Here's a synopsis of my 2013 PopCycle andventure:
First off I set my alarm for 5:52 PM instead of AM so right off the bat I'm and hour and 20 minutes later than I wanted to be. Got on the road headed south about 7:35. I get to Belle Plaine right at 10 am when they were starting to sign people up.
The the bike wouldn't start, I had it on the battery charger all night but it was just a little to cold. So I shut the trailer doors and fired up the Mr Buddy propane heater. I went inside and registered while the bike warmed up. Came back a little later and it fired up but my starter was sounding pretty sick. After warming up in the trailer for 20 minutes it started. Rolling the bike off the trailer I was thinking alright I'm here, the bikes running, lets do this.
Rich says to me "your front tire looks a little low on air". Dammit he's right. We figure out there's a Kwik Trip a couple blocks away. "I'll go pump up the tire and be right back". Rich lends me a $5 bill in case it's a machine that takes quarters because I didn't have any cash on me.
While riding the 3 blocks to Kwik Trip the front tire falls off the bead. Dammit it must have been lower on air then I thought. Shit now what. I tried the Kwik Trip air pump anyways but it just wouldn't go. Not enough air pressure or volume. Limp the bike back to the bowling alley.
I get back there and I'm very upset because of my darn flat tire. Daggy points out that there is a co-op tire place just a couple blocks up Commerce St. He hops in his car, drives up there, and does some recon. They are open and willing to help me. I hop on the bike and go the 3 blocks up there real slow so I don't dislodge the tire from the rim.
It's about 12 minutes before the first rider is scheduled to leave at this point. I get to the co-op and the guy starts helping me right away. I lifted the bike backwards against the jiffy stand to get the front tire off the ground and he worked the air hose and got the tire beaded up again. I tried to give him the 5 spot Rich lent me but he wouldn't take it.
I got back to the bowling alley and all the guys are sitting on their bikes ready to go. I'm rider number 6 so I have about 7 minutes to get all my winter riding gear on and get in line to depart. In my haste I set my glasses down when I was putting my helmet on and didn't put them back on. Rich runs inside gives me a route card. Shit I don't have anyway to secure the card to the bike for riding. So I look at the first couple directions, stuff it down in between my legs and seat and pull my last glove on just as Rich is saying 5-4-3-2-1-GO!
I'm off and riding. The first few miles are hard to figure out what I'm doing. I didn't get to talk to any of the experienced riders for tips and tricks before we left. I didn't reset my trip meter so the guideline miles are just a guesstimate. I arrived at the first checkpoint and found Sev doing math for the second card of the morning stretch. I decided to follow him and I mostly kept up with him. I got a little lost in town, but still made it back earlier than required. I have 10 points after the morning ride.
At this point the morning is a blur to me. I can't believe that I am there, that I made it, I didn't wipe out and I'm generally very excited. Everyone has a buzz about them from the ride and it's very fun to have accomplished. I gave Rich his 5 bucks back. We get ready to go inside and Sev says to me "grab your helmet and bring it inside to keep it warm". I said "why". Then he explained to me that it was only halftime and we had another route to look forward to after lunch. This made me even happier.
I went inside and wolfed down a sloppy joe. I chatted with the guys for a bit and went outside to install some fresh ice screws into my tires on the knobbies that didn't have them yet. The exsisting ones were pretty worn down. I was really glad I added some fresh screws.
The first card of the afternoon course was a really slippery section for most of the route. I got about 7 minutes behind and stayed behind for the whole afternoon. I did find some battery tender alligator clips in the pick up and I used them to secure my route cards in the afternoon. That was alot better than digging in my seat for the card everytime I needed to make a turn.
Over all I had a fantastic day. I didn't wipe out. I finished with 35 points for 5th place. Not to shabby for a first timer wingin' it. Thanks to everyone who put this event together.