Cirque 04, Saturday, Game Day!
Saturday dawns cloudy and close, smelling of rain. Im up semi early as I brought some real world work with me and wanted to knock it out to clear the rest of the weekend. Oh, %*$&#, the floppy drive on the office laptop is no go. I cant use the template document, and will have to type the whole thing from scratch and a hard copy sample. Sigh. After a couple hours of tapping, I cant stand being grown up anymore, so I roll down to the Battleground lobby around 0800.
Bikes, bikes everywhere. And riders too. I dont know how the rest of his life goes, but Roy Drinkwater should be canonized right now for his name tag project. 1,000 thanks, Roy. I shake plenty of hands, inspect drop out filing, admire drivetrains and lug edges, and generally wallow in bikie Valhalla for an hour.
Time to get ready for the 0900 ride. Hmm, the MKM is ready for day two, but the Ephgrave looks sooo inviting. Being a weak, spineless type, I ignore all the time I spent polishing and cleaning her for the show, and hop on the Eph. Down to the lobby and over to the shop we go; a steady stream of nuts.
I think the CDO parking lot before a Cirque ride takes off is maybe the happiest place Ive ever been. Lovely bikes are rolling in every minute, friends youve known for years are there, as well as lots of friends youve known but never met.
CR members, being as organizable as earthworms, failed miserably as we roughly tried to sort ourselves out into the two divisions: 20 mile leisurely city ride and 30 mile sprightly country ride. Off goes a group! But which one is it? Oops, it was the leisurely city group, so now Im riding sprightly. Maasland rolls in solo on the Tandem just as the city group goes, taking his stoker with them. Dale looks bemused as the groups slither out of the lot in kind of a spontaneous combustion ride start. I hang with the sprightlys for the first 6-7 miles of the 30 mile route, but then we start hitting some long rollers, and I proceed to the end of the pack, dangle for a bit, then drop. Still, Im keeping them in view, even as the pack in front of me subdivides further. We seem to be doing all right, but every now and again we stop to regroup and wait for a CDO leader or local club member to point us in the right direction. Finally, Im in with a pack of about 12, with Ann P., Ken (?) Sanford, Dan Artley, Nitro Bob Frietas and a few others. We have a local clubbie with us, and we take what we hope is the correct turn. Meanwhile, the sky, which has been spitting on us intermittently, grows darker. Thats what you get for taking out the shiny clean bike. Sorry, everyone. A severe wrong turn now means a very long ride in the rain, so tensions rise in the pack. But then, off in the distance, the skyline of Greensboro! A cheer goes up! Were saved! Back in town, and we turn for CDO. The Saturday traffic in Greensboro is so light in provokes amazement from big city types. Hmm, the computers are registering about 25 miles as we near home. So there were three groups: leisurely city, sprightly country, and just right. It takes years of experience to be able to do this just right. Then more parking lot mingling as I trade test rides with Paul Raley and his knockout gorgous Jack Taylor.
We sprint for the Battleground to change and shower for the noon seminars (if you detect a pattern of constant rushing to the next fun project, you are very astute). Up to the community center, we slither into our seats as Bill Boston gets rolling. Bill, it turns out, started building because someone told him it couldnt be done. Amazing what a contrary lot these frame builders are. Talia Lempert gave a slide show of her bike paintings, John Slawta told us the history of Land Shark, and Pat Grady, the publisher of Asphalt spoke about the magic of road riding (I finally subscribed, and am happily reading my first four issues). Pat nearly brought down the house when he asked how many of us owned more than 3 4 bikes, apparently expecting only a few hands. 4 oclock rushed up way too fast; I could have sat there for hours more. Hopefully the DVD version of the talks will be available soon.
Back to the Battleground and after a short nap and some more typing, its time to carpool to the Painted Plate for the big Saturday banquet. Dale, I dont know where you found this place, but thank them again for us. The rooms were lovely, the food excellent and the service top drawer. I pull up a chair at a table but was met with a mock growl from Larry Osbourne that Im blocking his view. But Larry laughs as I get up and move to the side, salaaming as I go. I had a great table, but were there any bad tables at this banquet? Jim Kerr was on my right, Maasland on the left, Dan Artley, Funk meister H. Sachs, the good looking Sanford of the DC Sanfords, and others I cant remember now. We laughed and talked the whole evening.
Richard Schwinn gave us the Schwinn/Waterford story, and amused and delighted all. When he asked how many of us in the room had owned Paramounts, I bet over 80% of the hands went up. There were door prizes, and the cap of the banquet was when Mike Kone won the Richardson award for service to the vintage community. Mike is certainly one of the founding fathers of vintage bike-dom with his newsletter and Bicycle Classics business. Congrats, Mike.
Its already 10:30 at night, but were just warming up as we race back to CDO for the Pergolizzi auction. This year its a charity event, with at least 10% of the proceeds going to the Make a Wish foundation. I personally do extremely well, selling an Ideale 92 saddle and pair of Stronglight 105 drillium rings for strong money, and stealing an Italian national team jersey from Jan Johnson/Woolistic. Like any auction, some stuff went high, some low, but all of it was great fun as Pergolizzi and assistants J. Barron and H. Sachs worked the crowd. I nearly died when John conducted an olfactory test on the Ideale and pronounced it NOS. I finally poop out around midnight, so I miss the absolute best deal of the night, a gift certificate for a full custom Landshark going for $900. Arrgh! Never leave the auction till the last bit goes. I understand over $1,800 was raised for charity. Hats off to John and his crew. I stagger back to the Battleground, read for a whole 3 minutes and fall asleep. Its the end of Day two, Cirque 2004.
Tom Adams, Shrewsbury NJ