It was 1:45pm and I was running late. Nothing new there. On this occasion, I was tardy by 15 minutes, which wouldn’t have been so bad, but I still hadn’t left my house. My name is Kurt Stafki and I’m never on time. It was to be a day riding an easy 30-40 miles to St. Paul and back. I was on my Niner RLT 9 Steel and ready for a mix of pavement and dirt.
By the time I arrived at Angry Catfish to meet up with Zach, It was almost 2:00pm, 30 minutes past when I said I would be there (again, always late over here). The ride to the shop was colder than I thought it would be. The day’s advertised sunshine was absent; in its place were clouds and a wind that put a chill in the air. But after a couple new goodies from Angry Catfish–Search and State merino long-sleeve jersey and wind/waterproof gloves because my hands are always cold and I fucking hate wind–I was set.
“The rest of our crew has arrived,” Zach announced as a handful of cyclists rolled up. I wasn’t planning on rolling seven deep, though I always enjoy the opportunity to bike with a group and meet new folks.
I cut the tags off my new purchases, ignored the money I just spent (that was reserved for a Norway trip next month), and threw a leg over my bike. Rollin’ out!
Every cyclist in Minneapolis and St. Paul was on the road. We checked; they were all there. It’s still early in the spring and if there is a day that even entertains the possibility of wearing shorts on a ride, you better believe we relish it. Our newly assembled crew rode past Fort Snelling, across the Mendota Bridge, down through Lilydale and the buttery-smooth new pavement along the river, up the Ohio hill, down the high bridge, and Summit to the river to our final destination: beer and wings.
See, one of the best parts of rolling with a crew is eating bar food and toasting pints with said crew. Even the MIA sunshine from earlier in the day decided to make an appearance as we left the bar, then quickly retreated to its spot behind clouds no more than two minutes later. But, hey, at least we were in good company.