Waterworld Hustle: Drenching Happened

Up until a couple weeks ago, no one had claimed hosting for the July Hustle. Josh and Eric wasted no time putting together a crazy fun race. Here’s how it went for me…

Signing up, you got either a pink or a black pirate bracelet. This would be your team affiliation. Your team would score points collectively in addition to the awarding of first place male and female finishers. We were told we’d be getting water balloon “babies” at the first stop, and these were worth 50 points at the end. Popping of other racers’ balloons — legit. Also on order for bonus points: first three people to show up at the finish with a 5+ pound bag of ice got big bonus points for the team.

The meet up was at the beach at Holmes Lake. This guy was cruising through the park, passed by a couple times, and then got talked into joining. He proceeded to crush it through town on his vintage Schwinn. Welcome to the Hustle, Steven!

Jake brought his two sons in the trailer, towing them along on a singlespeed. That’s some training for ya. The boys were adorable in their swimtrunks.

There were several new faces last night, including four new women racers! Super stoked on that.

Around this time, Josh nonchalantly walked out into Holmes Lake with the spoke cards. Oh great.

Ryan the birthday boy showed up in his infamous teal suit, and it was go time. You can see Josh in the water in the background.

With Josh in the water, I figured I’d get ready. No use soaking my jorts right away. Josh explained that there were two different sets of cards, and that we’d need to grab a card and go. We split our 8-member team half and half, but admittedly were operating on a pretty each-to-their-own mentality. Since overall finish time didn’t matter for the whole team, it wasn’t that important.

Josh was chest-deep in the water and it was go time to fetch the cards.

First stop was close by, at 65th and Franklin, which is relatively easy to navigate from Holmes. I made one wrong turn that added a couple extra blocks, but got to the yard to find the water balloon filling station. Also on tap was finding the next address, on the not-so-recognizable Evergreen Drive. Phone wasn’t loading, and neither was my teammate Michael’s, and on top of that it had started to rain. Knowing the next address on the list, we headed west. After about 15 blocks, though, I started thinking this was a really bad idea. It was pouring, and we stopped at the gas station at 56th and Randolph to check a map. Sure enough, Evergreen was just a few blocks from the first checkpoint, so we headed back that way, and proceeded to get way lost again in that neighborhood. I lost Michael at this point, too.

Evergreen was my friend Katie’s new house (wish I’d have figured out where she lived beforehand…), and she had frozen t-shirts for us to put on. There was a pool to help in the process, but it was still not easy. It had stopped raining at this point, and was humid enough that messing with a frozen shirt felt kind of nice. When I pulled up, a couple guys from the black team were there and not holding their bags, so I decided to try to go for their balloons. Yeah, I picked a fight. They were almost ready to go, and so after I called truce to work on my t-shirt, they made their way…but not without totally tightening down my brake before they left. I deserved it…

Katie sent some photos from her checkpoint. Check out the adorable set-up this graphic designer had waiting for us!

 These are the guys I messed with who tightened my brake…

Using the pool to my advantage.

 Michael with his high-powered water gun, which he used successfully while riding on numerous occasions.

 Jake’s kiddo — so cute!!

 After I got my brake loose enough for the front wheel to move, I jetted out of the neighborhood and bombed down A Street to the Sunken Gardens. By 33rd and A, I’d caught the dudes, and blazed by them and onto Capitol Parkway. Because of some off-road traversing, Steven beat me to the Sunken Gardens fountain, where we had to run up and down the stairs to the statue of Rebekah pouring out water, fill cups, and bring them down to Eric, who had pitchers waiting to be filled. Steven totally grabbed both cups, and so I resorted to using my water bottle to fill the pitcher with nasty park fountain water. Gross. But effective.

From the Sunken Gardens it was off to Eric and Shauna’s house, where a water hopscotch and slip’n’slide demanded our attention. She was taking pictures, so I’ll update with those when I see them. At this checkpoint, I ran into Aaron, and spied a bag of ice in his pannier.

Shauna gave us two possible addresses for the finish, both near each other and on the west side of town. Several c-stores were right in her neighborhood and on the way, so I decided to bank on the fact that I might be in the top few finishers and stopped at CVS for a bag of ice. It started pouring again on my way there, so I walked into the store dripping wet and looking quite the sight, I’m sure. Grabbed my ice and hit the road for West A Street, trying not to slide out the turns on my slick new tires.

The first of the two addresses was right on the way, and so I should’ve known it was the wrong one. I pulled up to see Clint and Aaron being given “nasty juice” and was given some, too…some sort of punch with a bunch of salt in it. Oh well, electrolyte replenishment…

A few blocks further and I arrived the fourth finisher (first female) at the finish, where I had 20 seconds to gather as many coins as I could from the bottom of the big pool. I got 9. My water balloon baby was intact. Stopping for ice was worth it, too, since that ended up putting my team over the top for the points win.

Drenched. So fun. Racers trickled in, and eventually the pool and then the hot tub were both full of people and glowsticks.

Super fun shenanigans with friends, and so fun to see several new faces, particularly women. Emma and Tori, welcome to Lincoln. You ladies are rad, and I’m glad you found our scene. Thanks so much to all the checkpoint hosts, and especially to Kristina and Andrew for hosting a bunch of dirty cyclists for a pool party.

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