I try to be an easygoing, roll-with-the-punches type of person. It makes life a lot easier, taking any disappointments in stride and finding new opportunities through them. But finding out there won’t be an official Ocean City Bike Week 2020 blindsided me. You know the look on a kid’s face when they drop their ice cream on the sand-coated boardwalk after only one lick? Yep, it stings like that because I’d hoped the rally was scheduled late enough in this surreal year that it would escape the covid closings. While there are still plenty of scenic and fun places to go in that area, it was the band lineup that had me really looking forward to the event this year. Some of the acts will carry over to next September, some won’t. So…time to regroup, eliminate the whining noise coming from my mental engine, and indulge in a fun flashback from OC BikeFest 2019.
When you’re riding, it’s easy to come around a curve to find yourself dealing with something unexpected. Sometimes these surprises are nerve-wracking, maybe gravel or a critter in the road. Sometimes you’re shocked with something awesome like a scenic overlook. In this case, I was on two feet instead of wheels. It started under the big tent at the Inlet where we’d staked out a spot at a makeshift spool table with two other couples. Cheap Trick had finished their set, and people were packing in elbow to elbow for ZZ Top. It would be another hour and a half before they got started, and I realized I wouldn’t make it without an empty and a refill.
I told my boyfriend I was heading out to the bathroom and would grab a couple of beers on the way back. He looked around at the thickening crowd and kissed me stating it was, “in case I never see you again”. I laughed at that, took note of a few markers that might help me find my way back, and started bobbing and weaving my way through the throng of fellow rally goers. Aiming for one of the tent openings, I hunched down and slithered along trying not to annoy anyone when suddenly, I hit a clearing…literally. Once I broke into open air, I accidentally launched into someone. My left cheek came into contact with someone’s shoulder, the corner of my eye scraping across…sequins?
Sequins indeed, I turned to see a sparkling black jacket, long beard, sunglasses, and a Nudu beanie hat. I’d rammed my face into Billy Gibbons himself. As I realized I’d inadvertently crashed a VIP ZZ Top meet and greet, I looked forward to discover a small crowd of people taking pictures of one of their musical heroes. And I have to wonder if I’m in some of those shots, a shocked photo-bomber looking equally awestruck and thoroughly embarrassed. Sorry ‘bout that! Luckily I was able to find my way back to my own sharp dressed man again. Admittedly, it was after emerging at another spool table a few feet in the wrong direction where I realized, “oops…wrong people”. But ultimately, we got to enjoy the concert together. Although plans have changed for the next vacation, I’m sure it will be another great one: wrong turns, pleasant surprises and all!