Thursday, June 5

The 2014 Trans-Sylvania Epic: Aftermath and Afterglow and Afterbirth

It begins with two of the three best friends that anyone can have (and about 200 others)...

photo cred: Chris Merriam
And then it ends.

The infamous (more than famous) Stage Eight did indeed happen again.  On a lower scale than previous years to some degree.  Less beer chugging.  More fluffy pastry eating.  Still plenty of this:

photo cred: A.E. Landes
and this:

photo cred: A.E. Landes
I have not participated in Stage Eight ever since I almost killed myself and my little friend, Cheryl Sornson.  Drinking and riding (into head-on traffic) doesn't mix. 

Things I may have skipped over.

After I won Stage Six, I mighta over-celebrated (if there could be such a thing when you make great bike race).  I went straight to the fridge, drank the beer, insisted Chris take me on a beer run, missed the packy store right down the road, ended up at a place where beer can only be bought in quantities of 24 or more, left with 54 beers, came back, had beer for supper, podiumed...

photo cred: A.E. Landes
like some sort of boss (yes, I'm waving at Jeremiah Bisquick), went back to Eagle Lodge, had more beer, tried to eat a microwave bag of rice and quinoa only to be sabotaged by some sort of "hot sauce" that should not be used like ketchup,

dropped my iPhone only to have Dave Pryor pick it up and run away with it, went over to the Freeze Thaw Bike Shop Zone to drink more beer even though 75% of the TSEpic was on the porch at Eagle Lodge because Buck told me I should be there, was told by Dave Pryor that he dropped my phone in the woods, stumbled around in the woods for a half hour looking for my phone while I still managed to somehow post on FaceBook simultaneously...

Oh, my funny little bigger friends.

Eventually my phone was found, my head stopped hurting and the beer started flowing again less than ten hours later.  Good for that.

I did tell myself for most of the week that I wasn't going to head back up in 2015 for my sixth TSEpic.

But then at the final awards, they called all us five year vets up to the front and rewarded our efforts with a very manly pedal wrench.

Bring on the waterworks.  They get me.  They really get me.  This is not just a pedal wrench.  It's a Medieval All-Angle Pedal Wrench from Efficient Velo Tools... with the Knuckle Saver Pedal Wrench Adaptor.  It costs like a million dollars.  Pretty much my new retirement fund.  I will miss punching chainrings with my knuckles though.
Maybe when I hit year ten, I'll get an electronical E-Z Lift Repair Stand.

Throw in the annual gifting of the Official TSEpic Stabbing Weapon and all the warm hugs from promoters and fellow competitors?

I have to be honest. 

That feeling I had when I crossed the line after Stage Six?  Money.  More than money.  I felt like I did a thing on purpose and it felt good.  I don't get that feeling on a daily basis.  Say that it's narcissism at its finest worstest, but I felt good for me.  I'll carry that for awhile...

Who am I kidding?  It will be gone before the end of the week.  But I will remember remembering that I felt something at some time.  The first few lyrics from AC/DC's Problem Child play over and over in my head.

I’m hot 
and when I’m not
I’m cold as ice

That's me.

You might have heard about a stomach bug that ran through camp towards the end of the week.  It happens.  Put people in close proximity, compromise their immune systems with daily super hero efforts, and then introduce a bug.  It will get around.  I was careless and carefree, and I got it.

photo cred: Chris Merriam
It hit me Sunday night.  It gave me explosive events, sweaty hobo dreams, and a crazy night of crawling all over the sectional couch looking for a "good spot."  Twelve hours later, I got off the couch and tried to go to work.  The Pie saw me pushing my bike up the driveway and offered me a ride into town.  I accepted.  I only lasted an hour.  Once I saw that many others suffered the same fate, I realized I was doing the wrong thing exposing my fellow employees and extending my recovery time.  To be honest, I was useless anyways.  I called The Pie for a scoop, and essentially called in "sick" for the first time since 1996 (not including the time I called in unconscious with a missing front wheel in the '02).  I spent the rest of the day on the couch or wheeling around in my bike room on an office chair working on my bike and standing as little as possible.

Lesson learned... the same lesson I learned after getting five-day explosive diarrhea after Stage Three of the BC Bike Race last year.  So, lesson relearned and shared so others may learn from my mistake(s).  I don't endorse the constant use of hand sanitizer, but in this case, I do.  You're never going to be able to get to a sink and wash your hands often enough in a stage race environment.  Get some, put it in your pocket, use it often.

Or don't... if you like to shit your pants.

Just a tip from a Dick.

photo cred: Chris Merriam
Or just wear Nitrile rubber gloves all week... if you're The Angry


Anonymous said...

You all let a guy on a 26" take the overall?!?! WTF?!?!

dicky said...

I wouldn't say I let him...

He earned it. Talented, strong... (and squishing and drooping).

The Angry has the skillz to pay the billz.


Anonymous said...

Oh my, does somebody have a bit of a man crush? Sounds like it!

dicky said...

He's not my type.

He has Multi-peni Syndrome.

BUCK said...

It should be easier to keep "clean" at le Tour. Can I borrow your sanitizer?

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I missed it, but what was your gearing? And The Angry's?