Monday, July 23

I don't want to have to do this to you...

Last year, I did not come straight back from ORAMM with a race report. Instead you got the ORAMM Pre-Race Report, in which I went up a day early, rode the Kitsuma loop, laid in the sun for hours waiting for my roomies and dehydrating, ate too late, ended up with stomach cramps, slept with my feet under a defrosting mini-fridge, and woke up at 3:30AM soaking wet from the thighs down.

Why would I think this year would go any differently?

I went up early, but not as early as last year. I rode my loop around Kitsuma and then headed over to Old Fort to pick up my race packet. Smooth.

Jake from Industry Nine had offered me his little cabin in the woods about ten minutes from Old Fort since he was away at the Beech Mountain Downhill Nationals for the weekend. I got there, cleaned my bike with his bath towels, peed in his sink, showered with the curtain wide open, and readied myself for dinner with Garth "I now only blame him for some of my problems" Prosser. Making dinner plans with someone traveling from Ohio was not a whole lot smarter than making plans with guys who left Charlotte hours later than expected (2011). By the time Garth got in and did his Kitsuma hot lap, it was around 7:30... around eight hours since my last meal.

Fish tacos, beans, rice, piles of chips, and a Gaelic Ale, and I was back at Jake's by 8:30. Too early to go to bed, I decided to watch a movie on Netflix (Jake is a non-TV owning hippie).

Something relaxing...

After the movie, I tried to sleep on the couch. That failed, so I moved to the guest room where I was expected to sleep anyways.


I heard a smoke alarm go off. At least I thought that's what I heard. I looked around the house and didn't see a fire nor was the alarm still alarming. Maybe it was a dream. I went back to bed feeling a bit anxious. I lie there staring at the alarm watching the green light occasionally and ever so briefly turn red.


I definitely hear a smoke alarm.

Not the stupid chirp noise indicating a dead battery (at 10sec), but an alarming burst of warbles and bleeps (at 30sec). Assuming it was coming from the one in the guest room, I pulled up a chair and inspected the problem. The detector is hard wired to the ceiling. Never had I seen such a thing, but maybe the backup battery is dead. I searched Jake's house for a 9volt, but my search was to no avail.

I moved out to the couch again and shut the guest room door. I stared at one of the detectors in the living room. The green eye blinked red at me. I laid there listening to my elevated heart rate.


An alarm went off again. I don't know which one. Jake's got something like seven in each room of his 1,000 square foot house, Either he has been a victim of a house fire in the past, or he likes to smoke in bed and weld in his living room. Confused and bewildered, not knowing what to do, I looked all over for better sleeping options. With Jake's house lacking a sound-proof kidnapper closet (that I could find), I moved out to my car. The back of my Honda Fit was filled with two bikes, so I reclined in the front seat, which was slightly more comfortable than lying on seven layers of footballs.


This isn't going to work.

I realized Jake's an outdoorsy kinda guy, and he probably has a sleeping bag and a pad. I rummaged through his bedroom, and I found a sleeping bag which was being used to cover up his immense porn collection. No pad, but I managed to find a comforter in his closet under a misplaced aluminum garbage can lid.

This was the next step:

I moved out to the porch, considered the futility of it all, and posted it to facebook. I then realized that I needed to shut off all the stupid notifications on my iPhone so all the smart-ass comments that were sure to pop up wouldn't endanger my possible sleep.

I remembered that the trashcan next to the front porch was knocked over when I first got to Jake's booby-trapped cottage. Wonder if that was the wind, racoons, or a bear? No wind today, raccoons will only scratch my face, and a bear might consider me just a slightly oversized piece of garbage.

More lying awake... listening for sneaky bears.

The crickets were sooooo loud. Not as peaceful and idyllic as the movies make them out to be. I wanted to punch them all in their ugly cricket faces.

The stars were quite pretty, but given the opportunity I woulda punched them as well.

I went into the house and found my earplug (I'm deaf in one ear). I put it in although I hate to use it. My functional ear has become hyper vigilante, and I can actually hear the expanding friction of the foam insert. I started to fucking lose my shit.

I sat up and considered just staying awake. Maybe I should just go over to the start line and sleep under the Blue Ridge Adventures tent. I wanted to flip out, but I realized that if an asshole flips out in the woods and nobody is around to see it, did he really flip out?


I went back in the house. I pulled down a smoke detector in the guest room and inspected it. Although it was hard wired, it had a clip mechanism. I unclipped it and the hated disc made a disappointed smoke detector noise. One last act of rebellion or a call out to his fellow detectors to rise up against this unwelcome wire clipping interloper? I went ahead and took down the one in the living room that had been winking a red eye at me and took them both out to the porch. Not satisfied with that, I went back in and got a pillow and stuck them under the it just in case they reanimated.


I finally went to bed under Jake's fabulous guest duvet. I felt the anger leaving my body and after a half hour of trying to think happy thoughts, I finally fell asleep.

Twenty seconds later it was 6:00AM and my alarm went off. Time to get my ORAMM on.

Super fucking fantastic.


Kenneth Gilbert said...

ugly cricket faces

Too funny. Waiting for the Real race report.

Anonymous said...

your struggle should have ended when you discovered the porn collection.

Anonymous said...

That was one of the funniest and best posts I have read in a long time. Sorry to hear you had such a hard time sleeping before ORAMM, but at least it brought us some good laughs. And that's really what this blog is about, No?

Big E said...

BEST ORAMM POST EVER!!!! I was waiting for you to go all Lord of The Flys and drop a rock on poor Piggy's (The smoke alarm) head. Can't wait fo another installment.

Your Personal Stalker (YPS),

Big E

Chris said...

That wasn't a smoke alarm. It was your conscience. That or Steven Thompson.