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.
Good times, better bacon. Please consider subscribing … Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!