Tuesday, January 18, 2011

westcoastin', part one

Two things about the team vehicle: First, it once was (and so still closely resembles) a public transit bus—forcing Murphy to fend off would-be boarders as he collected the East Bay contingent from MacArthur BART. “Sorry man, private shuttle. Bunch of special needs kids.” Oh, indeed.

Second, under the highway code it is effectively a recreational vehicle. A very recreational vehicle, therefore, and between this distinction, intermittent napping, and a half-dozen food stops, the drive flew by. Want to hear a funny noise? Open a box of Animal Style fries in front of a curious vegan1: “REEOOAARRRUGGGHH!”

Ready to roll. Photo stolen from ... ?

The valley lay hidden under a weird yellow nuclear fog. When I saw the course it broke my sedentary heart: fast as hell and largely un-technical, it would have been my dream ride a few months ago when I was feeling less gelatinous.

The worldly Mr. Snead informed us that we were looking at a classic SoCal grass section. “It’ll always seem a lot wider and have one 30-foot mud pit. If there isn't, they’ll turn the fucking sprinklers on and make one so they can look like they’ve been riding in the rain all year.” A pause to reflect. “Whatever.”

Murphy shocked me by charitably fixing my rear brake instead of cuffing me around the head and telling me I didn’t need it2. Thus equipped, I proceeded to misappropriate my pre-ride for repeated failures to hop a tiny curb that was later sandbagged anyway. Real strategic.

The remainder of my race prep comprised a feeble attempt at a solid meal (feeble on my part, not that of the child labor), a chamois-clad soak in the tepid motel hot tub3, and a few hours of ribbing Shia Labeouf. I fell asleep telling myself to “bring the rain” but instead had vague nightmares about the meth-heads we hypothesized had stolen the coffee pot. Goodnight, Bakersfield.
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1. I personally put the cheesy headline on that article, back in my bike-less life. How the world turns!
2. "Brakes just slow you down!"
3. Here I had some nostalgia for my first collegiate race, when Josie and Kim demonstrated the most efficient way to fit four bikes in a Motel 6 closet. Roadie life skills.

1 comment:

Slonie said...

Eagerly awaiting part two. And theoretically, my own report. I promise that my blog post will in fact "bring the rain."