For the second year in a row, the Fitbirds have taken to the LSU campus for their annual Tailgate Ride. For those that don't know, the Tailgate Ride tradition began one year ago after a group training ride on the levee. Tired and thirsty, the group rode around campus until they came upon the early morning game day setup of one of their team member's nephews. As the tents and cooler had been left unattended, it was a unanimous decision that this favorite nephew would want his auntie and her friends to imbibe in a cold one (or two). Beers were chugged and the training ride was finished with grins all around. It was not until later that we learned that we had commandeered the wrong tailgate cooler and had stolen (borrowed) an innocent tailgater's beer. In true Fitbird fashion, the beer was replaced with an additional beer donation for the mistake, and the story went down in Fitbird history.
|Fitbird Departure - Sunrise 6:50 am|
|Stephanie "Crash" Cauley, ME Christian, Linda "Freebird" Adams, Kristy "Sunshine" Mayes, and Cherith Craft|
Enter 2011. In an attempt to begin a true Fitbird tradition, efforts were made to revive this infamous ride with an early morning departure from around the LSU lakes. As many of our current Fitbirds were not part of the inaugural ride, there was some confusion as to what was involved in a "tailgate ride", and there seemed to be some hesitation amongst members as to whether to participate. The plans for early morning food and beverages fell apart as members tried to squeeze their training ride into their already busy schedules. The group met as scheduled, rode their "race pace" 18 mile route on River Road, and then quickly began to disband. If it wasn't for the efforts of team social leader McCall "Dazzle" Dempsey to recruit and instigate team another team member to purchase some alcohol, the quickly disappearing tradition might not have been revived.
|The Sunshine Krewe ~ Dazzle, Canada, Crash, Sunshine, and Coug (photog)|
It may have been small, it may have been lame, but it was undertaken with the same fervor that a true tailgating experience would be. The "Boone's Farm Circle" as it shall be referred to in the future, symbolized the coming together of friends for a celebration of good times, Personal Records, and for a "cheers" to the conclusion of a nice training ride. And as much of a beating as Boone's Farm gets about its product, it wasn't bad at all. It was Fitbird Quality after all.... cold and Sunshine Pink.
So the Tailgate Ride Tradition was upheld, even if in a smaller way than initially planned. I think next year, with more organization and enthusiasm we can easily surpass the 2K10 Tailgate Ride. It shouldn't be hard. But it should be required.