One thing I knew for sure when I headed out the door for Cable, Wi on Saturday morning was that I would ride. The rest of the day I kept open for what ever came my way, but riding the killer trails of the CAMBA system was paramount.
In addition to riding there was talk of some water skiing and a rodeo. Now, I was all about the water sports and I must admit a bit intrigued by the rodeo. I've been to one rodeo in my life, but I was about 8 at the time so it was hard to fully appreciate the experience.
A group of 5 convened to ride the "Ojibwe" trail near Cable, Wi. The event started with a near miss of a bike getting run over by a mini van. Note to self, "don't lay a bike down next to the car when there is an opportunity for another car to park next to you". With the idea of a squashed Specialized Epic behind us my good friend Zac got suited up in his first pair of bibs and we were ready to ride, albeit after some hysterics around him and the bibs. Zac would later go on to comment several times throughout the ride about how glorious the bibs felt, it started to get weird.
The heat and humidity began to get the best of our group and after completing one "go round" (rodeo speak) all except for this writer decided to head back to the cabin. The trail was just too sweet to leave, I needed one more lap. I'd meet them back at the homestead after I communed with the tasty single track one more time.
Back at headquarters the talk centered on getting to the main event. I watched with mouth agape as my friends stirred about donning sleeveless flannels, cowboy boots, and hats. I felt sort of out of place in my Chacos and Salsa T-shirt, but hey I was never meant to be a cowboy. We packed up several families and headed out to Spooner, Wi for the great "round up".
Now, being without children the notion of road tripping with small kids and hundreds of pounds of gear that applies to them was foreign to me. I found myself standing off to the side watching the finely oiled machine of familydom work. I knew at some point we'd end up watching horses and cattle, I just didn't know when. One thing I learned was that schedules become extremely flexible when there are a bunch of "buckaroos" in tow. It was fine, I had my own "buckaroo" with me, I named him "suds".
Then, it happened, we were in the venue watching the rodeo. I immediately ascertained that if I were forced to be a cowboy in a rodeo I would choose to be a bronc rider, preferably the kind who get to use the saddle. Those "dudes" looked like real athletes and there's no question they spend a great deal of time in the weight room when they're not on the back of an untamed beast. The bull riders just seem insane! They might as well be riding around on top of a throttle stuck Prius with no one behind the wheel. I know for a fact I wouldn't want to be one of the monkeys that had to ride on top of Border Collies that were herding sheep. I felt bad for those little guys, their eyes were bulging out of their little monkey heads. As confusing as that was I found that "suds" helped me understand it more.
Rodeo life shares similarities with racing bikes I figured. These sports both involve a ton of driving, moments of high level excitement, injuries, and at times turns for the super surreal (i.e. monkeys riding dogs).
Ryan and his buckaroo
Ryan and his buckaroo
I want to thank my friends Zac, Ryan, Jill, Don, Theresa, and Eric for making it a great time! I had a blast, see you all on the next "go round".