The Road to Paris: OTB Spring Classic #2 Ride Report

Yesterday was the second in the Over the Bars Spring Classic Series with a ride to Paris and back.  As usual we met at Cranky Al’s for a pre-ride meeting to discuss strategy, pick the domestiques for the day and choose a leader.  In keeping with the European practice of bribery in the peloton, Russell paid us all off with a promise of a lifetime supply of brass nipples, for which we agreed to leave ourselves on the pavement to secure his victory.

Seriously, Steve, Kurt, Denny, Russell, Gary and I met for tasty fried dough and hit the road south promptly at 8am.  We were graced with a “Simpsons Sky” and a medium tail wind for our ride to Paris, WI, the singular-most Francophilic center of Kenosha.  Steve and Denny had to cut the ride short, but we were happy to have their company along for the first 20 miles or so. On our way back we ran into Sugs just north of Union Grove.  He got a late start from Brookfield but rode down solo to meet us. 

All said, we had a nice ride.  Kurt managed to actually go over the bars on our way home doing a cyclocross manuever whilst trying to avoid some ice on the Oak Leaf Trail near the Wilmarth Woods.  With little more damage than a bruised ego, I thanked him for the authenticty that a truly spectacular crass adds to any spring classics ride. I only ask that next time he warn me so I can have video rolling. I was home by 1:15 with 77 miles in and an average speed 16.8 mph. Words and statistics alone cannot convey the splendor, suffering and drama of an OTB Spring Classic Ride. In their stead, I submit the following documents:

Why we do what we do.

Cursing the lack of rough european style country roads, Russell would not stop yelling "Au diable les Producteurs laitiers!"

Nous arrivons! This is about all there is to downtown Paris, WI.

Click on the image to see a larger photo. Old cemeteries are filled with interesting and sad stories. I couldn't read the small type on this headstone, but when a child dies before the parents, they count the days and the years they shared together.

 

We managed to find Crepes in Union Grove. The hand warmers Russell brought.

I opted for Belgian Waffles because I did not get them when we road to Belgium last weekend.

We would have gone euro and had a mid-ride beer, but the import list was a bit lacking.

Halfway home, we left Union Grove with sated hungers and a resolve to test our early season temper fighting the cold headwinds from the north on the asphalt of southeastern Wisconsin.

Leader of the union group that is behind all of our un-Belgian smooth paved roads in Wisconsin.

We were so close to home when Rob channeled Bubba and ruined the ride ... twice.

Just as Bubba's soul-crushing spirit rained despair on the shoulders of the peloton, the name on the door of a dump truck sitting on the parkway north of Bluemound lifted the spirits of the riders and had them dancing on the pedals for the dénouement of the tour.

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 11 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave lives with his wife Liz and daughter Frankie in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's west side.

6 thoughts on “The Road to Paris: OTB Spring Classic #2 Ride Report

  1. Dave, what a cool ride. I live so close to Cranky Al’s but a) we were up til 2 am the night before and b) did you notice the temperature? I’d love to know the route you took. Do you ever use runningmap.com to lay out a route? C’est très facile.

    • Thanks for reading. I did notice that temperature, it was 26 degrees or so when I got up, and? I mostly use Google maps and just make my own map, save it and make it public. Next weekend is a nice short ride to brunch. We won’t start until later in the morning so you can sleep off the 2am night before, then put on something nice, pedal over to brunch and have a bloody mary. Watch the OTB for details soon.

  2. Great story. Classic final picture.

    I ran accross you blog a couple of weeks ago and find it very enjoyable. I’m hoping to get my bike out shortly for my first ride of the season but am dealing with the 17 inches of snow Green Bay got last week.

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