Bike the Barns!

>> Thursday, October 2, 2008

I was back in Madison last weekend for the very awesome Bike-the-Barns ride.

(Also, I love this logo. Last year they used red, this year blue, next year ? There's something wonderfully whimsical about the rider with baskets full of produce going through the fields.)

The ride started at Drumlin Community Farm, about 4 miles from my old apartment, and we were greeted with coffee (key for Joel and Jenny), apple pastry (my dad would have loved that), hard-boiled eggs (protein of the day for the vegetarians), and multi-grain rolls (nice accompaniment to the eggs).

Jenny and I raring to go, showing off our tongues and tenuous connections to Stanford Athletics.

Aside from the delightful farm stops and supporting CSAs, I like this ride because it draws such a diverse crowd of riders. Our little group was a microcosm of this:

Sybil and her dad completed their first group ride. Note the fantastic purple, florescent yellow, and turquoise jacket sported by Sybil's dad. He bought it in San Francisco in 1990 when it was on sale as the company stopped manufacturing it, and he continues to wear it proudly. Sybil proved her medical education is taking her places when she came to the rescue of a rider who fell and hit her head.

Kate might epitomize the jolly Brit as she rocked out the 35-mile pre-lunch ride on an old Schwinn. It might be non-mountainous Wisconsin, but those pre-lunch hills weren't for the faint of heart.

Jenny, our fearless leader who completed the Madison Ironman a mere 3 weeks ago, cycled back to rally the troops and aid those with flat tires (that would be me, after the long pre-lunch climb. The ailing tire might explain its difficulty).

This is a self-portrait of Joel, taken while biking. He also did a fair amount of looping back and made sure Kate made it (kind of important, since she now pays half the rent).

Yours truly, who hadn't been on a long ride in a while, but what's 70 miles between friends and farms? Many thanks to the volunteer mechanics who fixed my flat much more quickly than would have happened without them.

Moving right along, our first official stop was at Blue Skies Berry Farm. Jenny and I arrived, ate a lot of raspberries off the bushes, and then proceeded on to our lunch stop at Tipi Produce to await the stellar arrival of the rest of the crew. Lunch included homemade tortillas, eggplant + beets for the veggies, a cabbage and beet salad, kale, and possibly some other stuff I've forgotten. After lunch, Jenny, Joel, and I soldiered on (well, I soldiered, they rode like champions) another 35 miles through Wisconsin farmland back to madtown, with a stop at Blue Moon Community Farm for an afternoon snack of bruschetta and cookies with homemade maple ice cream.

A Bike the Barns post wouldn't be complete without some pictures of a barn, some tractors (about 18 years ago, my brother would have been clambering to get up on that tractor), and bikers in proximity to those tractors.

And finally, to end somewhat symmetrically, the very cool We Are All Mechanics logo:


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