Monday, August 22

SSUSA '16: Preamble

Up and in the truck early in the morning on a Friday to do the thing I said I wouldn't; travel eight hours to ride less than forty miles the next day only to turn around and go home the day after.

So we're basically heading up there for two parties and one ride with friends.

Jim scoops me and then Bill Nye.  Then highway, and more highway, and PA back roads.  We pass this tiny bar around 3:00 in the afternoon, just about a half hour away from Raystown.

"Man, I remember passing that place on my way to the Trans-Sylvania Epic so many times."  ~ me

Jim applies the brakes in a less than gentle manner and the truck heaves ho into a turn around.  We're going in.

Steele's Tavern

As America as it gets.

Cheap beer. Cheaper pool.

Hot bologna, you say?  I dunno.  On crackers?  Why didn't you say so?  You had me at $1.25

A few games of cut throat pool and we get back on the road.

We roll into the parking lot at 5:05PM, five minutes after registration opened.  Couldn't have not planned it any better.

No sooner am I signing my life away and I'm handed a beer.  I guess I brought two kits for no reason.  We're not riding today.  Business done, set up camp so I know I have a place to sleep tonight (if I can find it all the way down in the holler), and head back up to the Pine Shelter to see who crawls out of the woodwork as the night progresses.

A lot of the usual suspects showed up, along with all manners of celebratory accoutrements.  Miscreants, scoundrels, thieves, drunkards, ruiners of things... friends.

The night went more blurry than a crappy iPhone photo rather quickly.

Some things were done that were instantly regrettable and other things that had regret attached to them that wouldn't be felt until the morning came and the self-induced haze burnt off entirely.

Now I've got to restart my heart and moisten the cotton someone apparently shoved in my mouth before I went to sleep.  We've got some simulated bike race thing to do.

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