INTO THE RIDE #93
RANS Rally 2010
by Randy Schlitter
It was our second RANS Rally and what a hoot! About 60 to 70 riders attended for three days of rides and other activities, including a dinner and showing off elements of the 2011 line up. The weather was on good terms, with cool temps and winds within reason. It all started with a 6-mile ride to the local malt Shoppe, where we loaded up on much needed and important fuel. That fuel came in handy that evening as we cruised the town having a narrated tour of the historic sites. I learned even more than last year! Hays was a real Wild West town, shootings, hangings, saloons, brothels, and general stores, all because of the railroad heading west. We have the original boot hill, and they are still digging up human bones when any new construction happens near the graveyard.
After that ride about 28 of us ended up at the local microbrewery, to load up on some even more important fuel for Saturday’s ride. Of course you cannot have a gathering like that without the usual shenanigans; the good news was no arrests or broken noses. In fact the locals were quite unaware of the biker gang in their midst, lest for the dozen or more bikes leaning against the café windows!
To a crisp cool morning and light wind we launched out for the 38-mile Cathedral ride. This was a good-sized group with a great cross section of bikes, mostly RANS, but a healthy mix of other brands, and even a few tadpole trikes running with three or more Trizards. I lead off the ride with a good 20 MPH plus clip to spread out the group, a pace I would not keep for long. Soon a pod of Xstreams, F-5’s, Enduro’s, and other high racers passed me. For the front-runners the push was on; I met some of that group at the magnificent Cathedral in Victoria Kansas, where they took photos, and enjoyed a breather.
All the while our staff graphic artist was snapping away photos, and by the end of the even had shot over 700 photos. The pick of the crop is posted for your access, please go to RALLY PHOTOS 2010 and feel free to find yourself!
As people returned from the Cathedral ride they poured into the plant and started demo-ing bikes. We had not only the full current line-up, but also many of the new bikes ready to ride. After a short lunch break we continued the demos until 5:00 and met everyone back at the plant at 6:30 to begin the night’s proceedings.
After the group feasted on a locally made pizza and other fixings we started showing off the 2011 line-up. We had a blast showing off the new goodies, and there was great audience participation. At the end of the program we offered up the new bikes for everyone to test ride in the fading sunlight. Some took the 29ers and other off-road bikes through their paces on our test track out behind the plant; others sampled the Ti and Aluminum framed Alterra with the dropped bars, and every one road the 20X20 CF with big smiles. We hitched up a 6-unit-long Trizard train and gave several fast paced rides around the parking lot well after dark.
The night ended early enough for us to catch some shut-eye for the Sunday ride. The next morning about 24 of us ended up in Lucas around 9:00 AM to do the mildly hilly but very scenic ride that crosses the Wilson Lake dam. This was a more challenging ride due to the hills and wind. In our group were 5 trike riders, 13-year-old Daniel and his father Ben Schwenk on tadpoles, and a family of three (Scott & Cindy Bullis and their daughter Kmiko) on Trizards. The trikes took off right away, and the bulk of the group soon followed.
I forgot my most important things and was getting melodramatic about the fact my custom seat, bike shoes, and pedals were not to be found. I had forgotten those ever-so-important items. So I decided to ride anyway and starting setting up the Alterra Road, while Terri Brown watched. I set the seat and hopped on and found my legs were too short, so I then repeated the list of items I left in Hays and included that I must have left my other legs, since they were at least 2” short. At the point Terri broke into this infectious laugh that could be heard clear over to the K-18 Café, at least 200 feet away. The whole group of riders started laughing with Terri, because you simply had no choice, even if you had no idea why you were laughing.
We all left as a loose group into a stiff south wind (20 to 30). I was charged up, determined to not let flat pedals rob me of a good ride. Oh boy! It was a blast! Somehow I found a good rhythm and pounced all the hills and set a good pace. Sara K and brother John were there riding a couple of Carbon Aero’s, and we played chase off and on through most the ride. Finally with only 6 miles to go John decided he’d had enough of me and kicked in the afterburner. I held at least a 16 MPH plus average, impressive for not having the right pedals and shoes, let alone the wrong legs!
The Wilson ride went off without any mechanical calls and only a couple SAG calls. A good part of the group gathered at the Made from Scratch Café in Wilson and enjoyed fine dining and great conversation. We all had a blast riding together, so we slowly said our goodbyes, and promised to return. It was a great weekend, lots of fun miles, new and old friends, saw a lot of heart in a handful of young riders making the course on trikes, and a junior sized CF. I was impressed with the young riders and the feats they accomplished over the past three days. At one point a young 13-year-old boy was pushing another young trike ride up a hill. The scene captured the spirit of the weekend – people really into the ride!
Thanks for stopping, see you next month!