A few years back, a pretty cool tradition began. It started out simply. A long ride to get me back on my bike after my first daughter was born -- kind of a Father’s Day present to myself. Invitations went out, a route was planned, and finally eight guys set off from my house for a bike ride. We shared stories, talked shit, told lies, and rode bikes. Long miles, no frills, big fun.
Strangely, each year things repeated themselves. Along the way we learned a few things… First, we determined that the Peckerhead Invitational needn’t be a mandatory death march. We have three routes now. One is about 35 miles, one 55 miler, and one about 75 miles. Some are pretty damn hilly, others not so much. They’re all very scenic, because I like scenic. Marked routes are cool & people appreciate a map, so we have those too. Also, I find having some estrogen around makes things generally more enjoyable, so ladies have been welcome for years and attend in great numbers. Our biggest discovery happened when we stumbled upon the fact that bike riders like cookouts. And beer. So we added both of those things.
Finally, entry fees suck. So we don’t have them and never will. Our community of friends has been more than generous over the years, and we thank them for their support.
All that stuff mixed together has turned into something very cool, I think. Riding the Invitational and hanging out afterward always reminds me of why I started to ride bikes in the first place.
The qualities of a true Peckerhead, abridged.
First, hubris is key. A true Peckerhead really believes that 70 miles in the hills of Richland County is no biggie. He knows his vast experience (old age) and steely resolve (self-delusion) will surely make up for no training and fifteen extra pounds.
Second, a sense of humor in the face of humiliation and suffering is required. Reference item number one.
Third, referencing items 1 & 2, the true Peckerhead knows how to say, "Aww, screw it! Let's have a beer!" For the Invitational is neither a race nor a tour. It is a ride. A semi-orchestrated improvisational jam session. A rolling reunion. The Peckerhead Invitational is like seeing old friends at some townie bar where the cable's out and the popcorn machine won't work - but you don't give a shit. You have to be special cat to dig that vibe. In that situation, a true Peckerhead just orders pizza, listens to the game on the radio, and chats up the waitresses. Again, reference item number one regarding hubris.
So come out and ride with us. If you have friends that fit the profile, bring 'em along. If your friends are lame, leave 'em home.