Friday, August 28, 2009

geting there...

was probably the hardest part,
not counting the last five miles to the finish.

Yes, like everyone else I was counting down days.
But like everything else in my life, things kind
of pile up at the end, leaving you in the frenzied
rush with the looming "WHAT DID I FORGET".

The bike was cleaned, extra tubes and new tire put on.
The bag was packed, cooler packed, ran through the list:
shoes? bike? helmet? all the stupid stuff I always forget?
DONE! And a day before at that!

But I had to work on Saturday, no getting out of it.
So no Saturday registration, or meet up with Fatties,
the next registration opens Sunday at 5:45.
I finally ride home, load and gas the van, and head out,
and it's 8pm. I estimate a four hour or less drive.
Midnight? There might be some people up, or I at least
get five hours of van sleep.

Problem 1: Rain, and lots of it. Three separate storms
on the way down. I start to question my decision to NOT
bring rain gear. Now I'm following Jersey drivers doing
45 mph with the hazard lights on. Its gonna be a LONG drive.

Problem 2: do you question Mapquest? I know the basic way
to Philly. I rode the first event years ago, and I've driven
past Philly enough times on my way to DC. But the directions
say exit 17, and the Jersey part starts at 57. Is there a
typo? I swear 17 must be Cape May or something. I stop every
ten exits trying to reference a map. Lets not get into NJ
drivers, but I'm not a fan. As I get to 78 and still no exit 17,
then I'm nervous. Thankfully right after the 78/Philly exit,
it pops up. Mapquest is right! Open up the family truckster,
and start flying. It's all good. We'll get in a little late.
202, then 611 north then 202? Ten miles away? Twelve miles go
by, now there's a problem. Where the hell am I?

I pull into a WAWA, don't get me started on that name, I don't
know. But I figure I need to backtrack ten miles and take a
different turn. NOPE! That ten miles turned into 30? According
to the guy at the counter, I need to go about 30 miles south.

"take a left, go to the next light and go right, then go through
a town, take a left, follow that road until you see such and such,
then turn, and it's a couple miles down the road, just watch for
SUCK! I need a large coffee then.
Needless to say, he was right, and by about 1 am I rolled into town.

Now where is the Double Tree?

My plan is to get up at 5:15, do a quick registration, then rush
back to the hotel and do the group ride in.
The hotel has to be close, right?
I drive up and down the Pike, nothing. Sleep time is slipping away.
So I pull into another WAWA.
It's 1 am and it's packed.
So a grab a coffee for the morning,
cold is better than nothing.
Just as I near the register,
the kid in front of me passes out.
Freaking kidding me?
He keeps trying to stand, and then falling.
The drunk stagger is annoying,
beer cans don't come with training wheels,
figure this out before you go out.
So the whole place goes into EMS mode,
cops are called. Awesome.

Fianlly I get someone,
"where's Germantown, the Double Tree?"
"no idea!"

Seriously? It's not a big town, so I'm off to explore again.
Just before 2 am I'm on Germantown, driving around what looks
like an office complex, with signs randomly pointing to

As I round the corner, I SEE BIKE RACKS ON CARS!
And a Win Susan on the back of a truck. And SAG vans.
I circle looking for Jason from, but he
escapes getting a rude awakening at 2am.
So I find a quiet spot (ok, all spots are quiet at this hour).
Take out my contacts, grab the ipod to calm all the coffee
ingested during the drive, and SET EVERY POSSIBLE ALARM CLOCK.
I could totally see myself sleeping until 8am,
and missing the entire ride - THAT'S MY LUCK.

What feels like ten minutes later I hear cars starting.
It's 5am, and the SAG vehicles are pulling out. Time to
get up and going! Pop in the burning contacts, grab the
cold coffee and we're off!

I decide to drive around to where the start line is.
Park in the neighborhood, and walk over. Spend about
fifteen minutes trying to find someone that knows where
registration is. I gotta get this done and get back to the
Double Tree! I'm directed across the parking lot.
"should I drive over there? I'm parked across the street."
"no, you should be ok"

So in my sandals and FC socks I go trekking across the lots.
Did it rain the day before?
Judging by my wet socks, I'ld say yes.
Pull my socks off, and go squishing through the mudfest.

Early registration. So early my camera can't even see straight.

As I walk back to the van, I realise there's NO WAY I'm making
it back to the hotel. I may as well pull around into the parking lot.

By the time I get to the van,
turn around,
get redirected twice,
and finally file into the lot,
it's daylight.
And I still haven't changed.
Fat neked man falling over in a van,
trying to get suited up,
soooooo NOT AWESOME!

Sorry to all the passer bys.

Then begins the 'did you forget?' back and forth to the van.
Seriously just sleep deprived,
thought I put my shorts on backwards,
I could've just checked, but no.
Went back into the van to resuit up,
only to realise I was all good,
after I unsuited. Seriously?

gloves? camera? extra tubes?
back to the van.
back to the van.
water bottle?
back to the van.

technically I was the first Fatty in the lot, 5:20 am.
by the time I was ACTUALLY THERE (ready to ride)?
about ten minutes before Elden & Team Fatty rolled in
from the hotel.
I'm swimming upstream here.

1 comment:

Jason Crane said...

This is linked over at RocBike, man.