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Dayton


It has been a long time since we have had access to a computer and I rarely notice it when we do.  Usually it takes Ken to spot it.  Big surprise.  Nerd.  Anyway, here’s a re-cap of my week in Dayton…alone…just team A.  It was a long week and a half in Dayton, but it is still Dayton so here are just a few highlights.

In Indianapolis we had two options:  either take a rest day there and partake in Karen-oke on Tuesday night or not take a rest day and make it to Dayton by Wednesday night for karaoke at Blind Bob’s.  Of course, with my persuasion we opted for an early arrival in Dayton.  Ken performed his staple Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show, which brought the house down.  The only other act that came close was my good friend Jon Gassett’s rendition of Material Girl.  Both fabulous in their own respects.

The next night we grilled out on Emily’s back patio.  I made up some bleu cheese stuffed burgers, Nathan’s hot dogs, grilled corn on the cob, potato salad.  Delicious.  I regret not having my camera around but don’t mind being distracted by great company.

Friday night we went to see the Dayton Dragons play the Michigan minor league team.  Dayton blew it 0-6.

Saturday was Brett’s big day.  Again, thanks to EP maggie and emily we all looked pretty decent for the occassion.

Sunday afternoon was supposed to be spent bridge jumping in Pleasant Hill with Brett and the rest of the wedding party.  That didn’t happen.  Instead Emily, Noelle, Casey, Ken and I all went to Yellow Springs to swim at Glenn Helen National Park.  It was beautiful.  There are two waterfalls and one emptied out into a deep area that allows you to jump off the top of the waterfall.  Although, you have to shimmy up a fallen tree to get back to the top.

After the weekend I lost track of days.  It’s a miracle I remembered which day to leave for Columbus to meet back up with Ken and Quinn.  The rest of the trip was awesome, though.  We finally did end up going bridge jumping in Pleasant Hill.  That is where Eric grew up and bridge jumping is how he spent his childhood summers.  It was Eric, Maggie, Emily, Martin, Martin’s daughter Penelope, and myself.  The bridge is only about 15′ high but you have to go up to the roadway and make sure you don’t get seen by any passersby or they might call the police.  It’s not neccessarily legal.  There was also a swinging rope hanging from the bridge into the creek.  It was only about 5′ long but still fun nonetheless.  And just to ease the nerves of the parents, every year the kids move rocks to dam the creek to make it deep enough to jump in.  No worries.  There was also another waterfall further downstream we could stand under.  I never knew Ohio had such magical places.  Later that night I even experienced my first Drive-In movie.  We saw Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  It was pretty entertaining and made me wish NYC had drive-in movies.  Or bike-in movies.

For me, this trip has been the first time I’ve met a lot of babies of friends and family.  In Milwaukee I met the adorable Mabel Steffeck, Roxanne’s daughter, and Miles Divozzo, my nephew, I also got to meet my other nephew Peyton Allen, my sister Rachel’s little girl.  To all the new (and experienced) mothers, your children are beautiful and I’m glad this trip has allowed me to meet them because who knows when I’ll get another chance.

One of the last nights I was in town my friend Eric Hoyer took me on a bike ride.  Just about the only time I used my legs while in Dayton.  There is a group ride every Thursday night around 10pm that he organizes.  In all about a dozen people, maybe a couple more, showed up.  We rode with the pack for a bit but then we broke off and he took me up into some of the only hills Dayton has to offer.  It was real fun and I’m glad he reminded me Dayton can be fun to ride around.  He was pretty upset that I wasn’t winded though, given his competitive nature.  But Hoyer, I’ve been doing this for 2.5 months now!  Don’t be mad.  When we were on our way back downtown the skies opened up and began to pour.  It was great!  Nothing I love more than sweet summertime rains.  That about does it for Dayton.  I thank the whole of Gem City for being so awesome.  Always a hole in my heart for ya.

In our idle hours over these past eleven days, I vowed not to let all of my 3,500+ miles of hard work come to naught as my body withered and weakened from disuse. An accumulated half-day’s worth of time at Dayton’s Pacchia cafe, shocking my muscles into jittery flexion from overdoses of caffiene was the first step. Thanks again to all the baristas and pastry chefs there who facilitated my fixation.

A second step was a return trip to the refreshingly bike-savvy town of Richmond, Indiana, our last stop before Dayton. My rainjacket had been misplaced at Chris Hardie’s place and seeing as there were six days to kill in the city where flight was born (the Wright Brothers began their aviation-destined entrepeneurial ventures with a bike shop in Dayton), I took off one morning on a 90-mile round trip to collect my coat. By 8:30 in the morning, I was on the road already once traveled, averaging a solid 22 miles per hour with a disparaging tailwind. Disparaging only because tailwinds work just one way. By 10:30 I had made it to Richmond in time to witness the celebratory parade in honor of their selection as an all-American city. Congratulations, Richmond! By 1:30, I was back in Dayton, 90 miles more not-atrophied, relishing in the celebratory accolades of the baristas & pastry chefs at Pacchia who thought I was nuts for riding so far by so early in the afternoon.

Later, Andy and Emily picked me up and we went hiking deep into the excruciating woods of Ohio to jump off waterfalls in Yellowsprings, kicking ferociously against the deadly undercurrent to reach salvation at the surface of the frigid waters below. Then we checked out a Birds of Prey sanctuary, where all these badass birds who’ve lost wings, legs or eyes are cared for. It was adorable and sad.

All of these activities were meticulously planned so that I could ride to Columbus in an indirect fashion along old railroad trails on a hot, humid day with headwinds. Furthermore, I logically started at noon so as to ensure I rode during the most oppressive parts of the day.

Twoarmparty was now officially split up. Quinn was in Syracuse, Andy was still in Dayton, and I was on my way to help one of my best friends get married in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. It wouldn’t be until Sunday (as I write this) that we’d be back together again.

During my flight to Philadelphia, I kicked the seat in front of me constantly for the entire duration of our 90-minute trip. It was ok because it wasn’t a very crowded flight. The people on the flight back to Columbus weren’t so lucky. Sorry about that, lady. Had to keep the legs in shape.

Once in the ill-nicknamed City of Brotherly Love (have you ever met many Philadelphians? They hate eachother. And everything) I demanded that Jon, my friend of 27 years, ferry me by motorcycle so that in my high-speed, two wheeled terror, I would try to crush his pelvis as I held on for deal life with my phenomenal thighs. Route 611 from his home in Furlong to the wedding in Stroudsburg was hilly, massively scenic, and full of blind curves Jon took at breakneck speed with me behind him. My legs were sore and his hips were so collapsed, he could barely dance. But not before we took our blushing groom-to-be out for a night on the town. Rampant chicanery ensued, I promise you that. Details will not be explained here. Let it be known that some members of the bridal party are not allowed in certain bars and may owe the city of Stroudsburg some money after the tickets are processed.

Getting back to dancing, it is now a well known fact that all Staneks love to dance and are great at it. Michelle (the little sister) has been a better dancer than you since she started studying at Miss Pat’s on Greenwood Avenue 20-mrrmmmphhh years ago. Patti (the mom) couldn’t be torn off the dance floor. Don (the dad) had hip replacements a few years ago which were apparently bionic. And I, of course, pledged to not stop shakin it all day and night long, singing “She’s a maniac” and running in place even when Scott (the groom) and I went hiking in Jacobsburg park three hours before his wedding. All of the following photos from the wedding are from my sister. Thanks, Michelle.


The groomsmen. From left: “Hutch”, Jon, “Silent” Ken (the best man), Scott (the groom), Joe, myself


OMG, I look good in a tux!


Me & Mom


The whole fam.


From left, Me, Jon, Scott, his bride Liz.

Through this intense, well planned training regimen, I feel quite ready (not to mention seriously anxious) to re-begin our trek tomorrow morning. It’ll be two long days to Pittsburgh, then some grueling days through Pennsylvania. Having flown over the state in less than a freakin’ hour, I’m psyched to do it the hard way, over the better part of a week. Easton, I’ll see you again just after the fourth of July!

 

that's Brett's dad in the middle..

that's Brett's dad in the middle..

Everyone riding to the reception

Everyone riding to the first party spot

 

the married mobile

the married mobile

 

Eric and Andy (andy rode Eric's BMX bike all day)

Eric and Andy (andy rode Eric's BMX bike all day)

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after the wedding we went to this bar, then the reception, then eventually back to this bar.

all the single fellas

all the single fellas

It was a blast going to Brett and Janell’s wedding.  Congratulations!   Janell looked soooo beautiful.  Brett was very handsome – i love the beard.    It was really nice to get out of my one outfit and feel like a lady again.  We all made our way out to the dance floor at some point and showed off our moves, none of which compare to those of Brett’s dad.  He was amazing!!

During these next few days, team QAK splits up.  Andy’s hangin in Dayton, I’m flying to Syracuse to see my family, and ken’s headed to his home town to be in his friends wedding.  I was anxious to get to Syracuse so I scheduled an early monday morning flight.  This meant that i had to get up and ride to columbus today to catch my flight tomorrow.  Didnt actually get to sleep till 2, but felt good in the morning and was siked for my solo ride…and i made pretty good time considering there was no one to draft off of.  Got into Columbus at 3 and met Lee who rode with me back to his place.  Ken, Andy and I will meet at Lee’s place on the 28th and get back on the road the following morning. Hopefully our muscles won’t disappear in the meantime.

The ride to Columbus was much nicer than I expected – I had high expectations as there were bike trails the whole way, but it was really a beautiful ride… very quiet, with loads of wildflowers and wildlife.  And the bike trails took me all the way to London, about 25 miles outside of Columbus.  On my ride, I passed a friendly older couple that said hello and then caught up to me a bit later when i stopped to stretch and call my dad, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!… well, i rode with them for a few minutes and told them about the trip and they insisted on taking me to lunch.  More amazing people.  Phillis and Bill Evans have toured all over the country and ride the Ohio bike trails frequently.  Thank you again!

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Two awesome shirts found by Eric's talented girlfriend, MAGGIE. Dorothy, we thought of you when looking at the shirt andy's got on.

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a bit confused.  trying to fix a hole in ken's pants - i went over and took care of it after laughing for a bit...  love this photo.

a bit confused. trying to fix a hole in ken's pants - when i saw the photo op, i couldn't stop laughing. Â i eventually tagged in and fixed the pants for them.

Getting all dolled up.   The bride on the left with Maggie to her right.

Getting all dolled up. The bride on the left with Maggie to her right.

Emily doing a beautiful job on Janell's hair.

Emily doing a beautiful job on Janell's hair.

A little tooo tight...

A little tooo tight...

We’re going to a wedding!

Dayum, do we clean up nicely.

Dayum, do we clean up nicely.

And the shoes! It's gotta be the shoes!

And the shoes! It's gotta be the shoes!

Quinn, getting all gussied up by a bridesmaid. The bride is in the photo, with her back to the camera.

Quinn, getting all gussied up by a bridesmaid. The bride is in the photo, with her back to the camera.

Brett Wayne Barker and Janell Kathleen Broering, congratulations!