Monday, November 3

The Backyard Experience 2014: presented by Faster Mustache

I didn't race, but helped our Faster Mustache team put it on... so a boring story of being a helper boy.

Friday night before, Halloween.  It ends when the skies open up on my family, and we run a mile or so home in the rain.  We knew it was coming.  Weatherman said so.  Like Icarus, we flew too close to the candy sun.

I wake up at 6:30AM on Saturday.  The rain is still coming down. Also predicted by the weatherperson in my computer.  As a matter of fact, he/she canceled the beautiful weather that was predicted for our event just days before and replaced it with plenty of moisture, winds and cold temps... just expected to last long enough to affect our race.  Then more sunshine the next day.  Dickhead.

Coffee, Pop Tarts and pack my Ortlieb Velocity bag... very selectively.  I'm gonna need clothes as much as beer, but how much of each?  Twenty beers make the cut, much wool is packed, even more put on my body.  I leave the house in the dark rain.  Much meh ensued.

Get to Sheridan's house a little after 8:00AM.   Things that needed to be done had been already.  Nothing really to do but drink coffee.  After having more than I needed, Sheridan convinced me to swap to beer.  Better.  I would need my liquid raincoat soon enough.

The racers weren't heading out until 11:00AM, but I needed to ride the first stage to check the course tape.  Highly unlikely that anyone woulda messed with it, being that it's been raining for fourteen hours, but you never know.  Ride with all the beers, a roll of course tape and a pair of extra gloves... only to pitch my wet gloves because it was too hard to use my phone and my two-way radio that was apparently on the wrong channel.  Somewhere out there, the rain stops, but I'm moist from heavily sweating in my "hang out in the wood all day in the cold rain" clothes.  More meh.

They start stage one, and I head over to pre-ride stage three.  I haven't been able to give away any beer, but I've managed to lighten the load by a couple without help.  I hear stage two start over the radio (now that I'm on the right channel), and I just miss it, being barely inside the woods enough from the treeline where I might have seen some action.  Still no idea how many people showed up for the race.  Even more meh.

I get done with my responsibilities, aside from the whole "staging the course marshals for stage three right before the start" thing.  I'm there for the end of stage two, see the finish and catch up with Paul and Stephanie (score keepers) to see how things all shaking out.  That's when Kürdt announces the jump line bonus points session.  Surprise, racers!

I got to see some of the action.  There were guys really throwing up some succulent air, despite the slick conditions.  No-handers, shirtless feats of strength, tail whips... whatnot.  Qualifiers, finals, points calculated.

Photo cred: Nik Fedele
Put my volunteers in place, stage three starts, place Kate in the woods with her camera, find someplace for my own body to watch.  This looks like a great place.

Slippery, uphill skinny.  The Mountain Khaki roadie handles it like a champ.  Next guy?

Rider down.  And so it goes.  Some make it, some don't, others take the ride-around.  The stage ends, I watch stage four begin, and head back to Sheridan's house to be there (wearing dry clothes) when everyone gets back.

Wait for the final tally.  Beers and chili and fire.

The score keepers return.  Apparently, the jump session was a tie and the tie-breaker would determine first place overall.  A chug, spin, run throw down commences...

And wieners are determined.

Yeah, I found out some time later that the Mike King who won the whole thing was THE Mike King.  I forgot he's running the BMX track down in Rock Hill.  Others on the podium?  Will Murray... just another World Champ.  The other guy?  Ben Renkema.  I was told he's a champion of something, but the details are pretty hazy at this point.

Women's podium. April Wells on the top step, Emily Sordinas-Watts on the two box, land shark for scale.

And my day ended at some time near dark, back hurting, tired... home in time to drool on myself on the couch "watching" a family movie.

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