After yesterday’s long, but successful slog, I slept well. I woke up feeling nearly human. No hacking cough, no headache, clear lungs. If I ever see Alexander Fleming I am going to give that dude a bone crushing hug.
Today was the annual Tour de Fat in DC. This event is a bicycle themed party put on by New Belgium Brewing. All proceeds from beer sales go to local bike charities, like WABA. WABA’s event team runs the show, New Belgium handles the beer and eccentric performances. Last year’s event was a spectacular success. The crowd was huge and the sun shined down. This year nearly every forecast I saw called for rain, winds, and cold. All day. They lied.
I drove in the rain to L’Enfant Plaza and rode Little Nellie to Yards Park, the site of the event. When I got ther
e I became aware that the 10 am family ride had been canceled for safety reasons. I parked my bike and went to a nearby coffee shop where I saw a bunch of WABA people (see photo on right), including Nelle (again? though curiously not in photo on right), hanging out. After about an hour, I trucked back to the venue where I was instructed in how to pull draft beer. (Kinda had this party down about 40 years ago, but I was rusty.)
The two beer tents, the specialty beer booth, and the beer bike vendors were all moved into one set of tents. At around noon people began to show up. As it turned out, my beer was most popular. It was
called Heavy Melon. I pulled beer after beer after beer. I kept seeing friends of mine but they couldn’t see me in the shadow of the tent. Also, I had my back to the customers about half the time. I only spotted one person I know, Chris, who ironically I rarely recognize while out on a bike.
After 2 1/2 hours of dishing suds, I ha
d a chance to enjoy the festivities. I ran into Brian. While we were talking, a friend of Katie L’s walked past. I yelled “Lyndsey” two times. She didn’t react at all. Okay, come to a party and be antisocial. Seconds later I remembered her name is Lauren.
How ironic that it was Katie L. herself who told me to get my fusiform gyrus checked out. I gotta get on that.
Over the course of the event, I saw or had discussions with over a dozen friends: Kathy, Katie L. and her friend Mike, Lauren, Dave and Jean, Katie B. (whom I haven’t seen in ages) and her brother Michael and boyfriend John, Darren, Jeff (but not Sam), Ricky (who is back on his bike after being hit by a car a couple of months ago), and a bunch of WABA people (Greg, Katie H., Nelle, Michelle, and Colin).
I had a great time but my energy level wasn’t really back up to full power yet so I left a little early. The ride back to L’Enfant was a tad grungy but uneventful.
Thanks so much to the hard work of the folks who put this on, to the volunteers, to the performers, and the people who showed up despite the forecast.
Very special thanks to Michelle Cleveland, WABA’s event director, who worked her tail off and stressed out mightily over the weather. You done good. Again. As always.