Nov 2016 04

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Renaissance And Masher are both Libras, as Tim celebrates his birthday in late September and mine (Kevin) in mid October. Our idea to celebrate getting older by riding our bikes with friends seems like the perfect idea 3 years later now. Initially I thought it’d be a nice gesture to give away some Kentucky bourbon after the ride and then inform our guests this is how we celebrate our bdays, as opposed to telling them upfront and tempting them to bring gifts. It’s not about receiving, as much as it is ¬†about being connected.

 

RAM Cycling has planned/organized a couple other group rides, but none have become an annual event like Oktoberfest (or RAMtoberfest, as Tim calls it). It’s safe to say, I looked forward to this ride more than any other the past two years! I’m very thankful that the weather has cooperated each year, especially this year. We have hosted the ride early in October the previous two seasons, but due to some conflicting schedules, this year’s ride took place 1 day before Halloween. Ironically, it was much cooler the two years we had it in early October, this year it felt like how I would imagine Christmas in Florida feels…temps were in the upper 70s with a mild southern breeze. Everyone rode in shorts and short sleeves!

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The venue was relocated this year to Masher’s new home turf in Frankfort, the Capital of Kentucky. The route left from the Capitol building and toured out towards the west side of the county finding some hills and beautiful scenery along Kentucky River valley. We left the valley and headed into Anderson Co briefly, then back into Franklin as we turned towards Shelby Co. Never leaving Franklin Co again, we then ventured along Taylor Branch and ridge before descending into Benson Creek valley. Another good hill climb and descent down Devils Hollow took us back into downtown. We rolled into Buffalo Trace distillery for a brief rest stop with snacks and beverages delivered by my sons Charlie and Dawson. The route continued north in the Owen Co direction for our steepest climb of the day up Lewis Ferry from the river behind Buffalo Trace. Then another ride along a ridge, and descent back into town took us home with a final sprint up to the Capitol building.

 

Historically, the bourbon is given to the overall points winners based on their performance in the segment challenges on several sprints and climbs. The bourbon went to newcomer Ryan this year, and the second bottle went to Tim for an honorary win. He learned his dad had passed away Friday night (after being sick in a Louisville hospital for nearly 9 weeks now), just two days before Oktoberfest ride and he wouldn’t let me postpone the ride. I did not expect him to ride and did not want to host our event without him, but I was very excited when he showed up. His dad was a bourbon guy, a fan of the Pappy, and Tim deserved a bottle of bourbon as much as anyone that rode! As far as Ryan, he earned it too! Several cyclists in the group are very strong, and rode hard in the segment challenges (unfortunately, I was not one of them), but none had the speed to match Ryan.

 

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I have to give out a huge thanks to our loyal riders Linn and Adam! I really appreciate you guys joining us every year that we’ve hosted Oktoberfest. A special thanks also goes to our first-timers… Jeremy, Toby, Schmidty, Gene, Leighton, and Ryan. It’s always great to ride new roads, with new friends, anything new, as long as we’re riding. We definitely missed a few regulars… Bena, Phil, Oleg, Stephanie, and St. Onge! Hope you guys can make it back next year.

 

Speaking of next year, Gene asked me when the next big climb is. I’m thinking a return trip to Clingmans Dome in the spring sounds like a great idea. I know some of our friends get into the triathlon season early and may not want that much climbing as they train for flatter races, but logistically it seems to make the most sense to knock it out early (just don’t ask Linn and Tim how that worked out last time ;-). Be on the alert for the planning of this group ride in April 2017. In the past, I’ve found myself really get motivated to take on big things in the next season when I wrap up the previous season with some great events, and I’m feeling pretty motivated right now after a great ride first at the Bike To Beat Cancer event in September, and now following another very successful Oktoberfest.

 

Keep your wheels rolling … ¬† @KPtheMasher

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