Just add bacon

Have you ever wondered where rest stops come from?

You’ll be out in the middle of nowhere, famished, both bottles empty, halfway between nowhere and purgatory, alone, miserable, regretting the last-minute decision to do the stupid ride, and then bam! You’ll see a rest stop on the side of the road.

It will have water and drink mix, bananas and pbj squares, cookies (if you’re at Phil’s Fondo), and all manner of heavenly delights. It seems so natural, but really, it’s kind of amazing. Let’s go over it again:

  • You are in the middle of nowhere.
  • On a bicycle.
  • Starving and thirsty.
  • Wishing you were dead.
  • Up pops a fully staffed aid station.

How does it get there? Does someone plant seeds the year before, water them, and then they magically grow, perfectly timed?

The birds and the bees and the bacon

Actually, aid stations occur because these mystery things called “volunteers” get up long before dawn, drive to the start/finish, load their car with tents, food, water, and pickle juice, drive way out into nowhere, and set it all up.

Take, for example, last Saturday on the Circle of Doom, where the first rest stop atop Crystal Lake wasn’t simply an assortment of bananas and energy drink, no, it was something way more awesome than that. It was fried taters and bacon.

Scientists have concluded that the very finest fondo food is bacon and taters, and at the Circle of Doom, this magic was created by the Flawless Diamonds, a group of women who donate their time, energy, and money to feeding children, feeding the homeless, and feeding the hungry in southeast L.A. In other words, they know how to fry up bacon.

And fry it they did, as Flawless Diamonds Toni Smith, Valerie Casborn, and Special Jones lugged their deep fry skillets, cooking oil, cooking utensils, and everything else up the mountain, setting it up, and cranking out the best bacon ever served anywhere, much less on a bike ride.

Even though they fried up what looked like a hundred pounds, the riders scarfed it so quickly that the stragglers almost didn’t get any. It was inhaled.

Of course no good deed goes unpunished, because as they were driving to the set-up, a CHP motorcycle cop cited them for DWB. No matter that the cop could have pulled over dozens of other cars for crossing the yellow line in order to safely pass the cyclists, DWB is apparently a very serious crime in the San Gabriel Valley.

They didn’t let it dent their day, though. They set up, fed the hungry, then broke camp and did it all over again at the start/finish party area. I guess it doesn’t really take a village. It just takes the Flawless Diamonds. And bacon.

END

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10 thoughts on “Just add bacon”

  1. Yup it is a bigger issue than anybody wants to admit! Check out the new movie DRIVING WHILE BLACK by up and coming star Dominque Purdy! It needs to get out there. Yes it is a plug and worth a view since it was brought up in this article.

  2. Do we mind when autos cross the yellow line to safely pass us? I assume that safely pass does not include around a blind curve or over a blind bump, and not into actual oncoming traffic, but I would rather have them cross the yellow line than not give me an adequate safety buffer, or push me off the road all together.

    We did have an over zealous office of the law who wanted to cite US for passing each other in a double yellow line zone. Pulled us all over and was extremely aggressive. Fortunately one of our guys “knew” someone, and was on his phone immediately. 10 seconds later the officer got a call on his radio to leave us alone. White P.

    1. Yep. We love it when cars give us a wide berth and a slow pass, as everyone was doing. Guess which vehicle got stopped? Oh, no need to guess!

    2. Wait, drivers are NOT supposed to cross the double yellow line into oncoming traffic just to pass cyclists?

      Around here, the oncoming traffic has to find the road shoulder or something as there are no other options for drivers than passing cyclists RIGHT NOW.

    3. I am slow on the uptake sometimes. What wasn’t clear to me at first (read how this reply began), was that these lovely ladies gave a wide berth to cyclists on the road, as did other drivers, and crossed the yellow line. It was only that they were Black, that they got pulled over and not all the lovely white people. I did not read it that way the first, second and third time I re-read that passage. I had to paint walls in my basement before it finally clicked. Click!

  3. Hello fsethd and All,

    Now I am hungry ………… and it is good to hear a story of goodness …. it helps relax the mind from the daily tension.

    “The bike is a good place to work for a writer,” wrote Paul Fournel in Need for the Bike. “First, he can sit down; then he’s surrounded by windy silence, which airs out the brain and is favourable to meditation; finally, he produces with his legs a fair number of different rhythms, which are so much music to verse and prose.”

    And to speaking of crossing lines:

    https://cyclingsavvy.org/lane-width-space

    ‘The Elements of Style’ should note (if it does not) that it is not called a ‘rest stop’ ….. but rather …. an ‘aid station’ …. keeping in mind … no rest for the wicked …. or the just ….

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