It's been awhile since I've had an interesting lead in going into a race. Perhaps a better story than the race itself.
Wednesday was spent in the car coming home from Florida with the family... watching a bunch of others get a jump on me for the fund raising efforts support the PA Interscholastic Cycling League. I knew going into this, we'd all be tapping the same social media resources, so being behind the eight ball trapped in a car felt like a bit of a set back. Meh. The Pie and I brainstormed and came up with the idea of a raffle. A quick email to Industry Nine and a generous response means I get to take my time and launch a raffle for a set of hubs (or an equivalent amount of credit towards a full Torch wheelset).
Thursday. Wake up. Go to work. Dragging ass. Time to catch up on the world.
Check my email. Meh. My landlord contacted me to inform me that our lease is up in thirty days, the rent's going up, they're only offering a one year lease, and basically we need to be out by the end of April if we don't like the deal. I do some quick surfing around and find out that the housing/rental market in Charlotte has indeed changed in the last two years. Contact The Pie, we decide we need to talk about everything and discuss our options (Nia is going to high school next year), and we let the landlord know we'll get back ASAP.
In the mean time, I discover an online payment I made on our travel rewards credit card weeks ago never went through. We pay it off every month, but we were super donkey close to the limit WHILE we were on vacation.
Deal with that. Finish my work day. Talk to The Pie. Decide we'll sit on the lease thing over the weekend. She had found a pretty neat property close by we should probably check out. Relax. Watch Better Call Saul to decompress.
Send the landlord an email. We want to stay, please.
Next morning and no response from the landlord. I did get a text from Nick "Dip 'n Spray" Barlow saying that due to dog-related duties, our original plan of him staying at my house that night to slap beers out of each other's hands so that we show up at the race in the best condition ever was off the table. Shit. I like plans, and I don't like canceling plans. I text him "NO BEER" and hope for the best. I wait until about midday, as leave my landlord a voicemail asking for a more timely response.
"I know you can take 24-48 hours to respond to emails, but I'm slightly concerned that less than 12 hours after you offered us a new lease, our house is available for rent to EVERYBODY. Please get in contact with me."
I'm not going to get a good night's sleep or have a good race if all I can think about is that the clock is ticking to find a new place to live.
Get off work at 4:58PM. Get an email at 5:03PM from my landlord. Everything's okay and sorry about the early listing. Hooray. I'm not homeless.
The family was in Charleston for the Cooper Bridge Run. I went from super bummed to wanting to celebrate (a little). Not be alone. Ride past The Spoke Easy. Don't see a familiar bike out front. Ride past Common Market next. I see Big Worm, Jeff, and Merrill. Worthy co-celebrators. I pull in... and see Nick standing there with a beer in his hand.
"Bastard. No beer."
I go inside to get a beer and the economics of buying one tasty beer VS a six pack causes me to pause and deliberate internally. Go with a six pack. I can have a couple and save the rest for tomorrow.
One, two... three.
Food gone, I still have an agenda at home. I ride alone in the almost darkness with no lights, take a shower, put my things in order (I mostly packed the day before), and start two boxes of Annie's mac and cheese for race day food. Open a Hop Hunter and watch some Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Mac and cheese done, and it looks good. I sit down on the couch with the whole pan to eat some. I end up eating all. In me now or in me tomorrow? What's the difference? Two episodes of ASiP, and I'm in bed by 10:09PM.
Up at 5:00AM and get about my business. Breakfast, coffee, morning constitutional, get ready to load the car. Go to grab the keys off the hook. They're not there. Oh yeah...
Since we were on vacation last week, I don't like leaving keys to a car in an obvious spot just in case someone breaks in. Maybe it's silly, but why give them another vehicle with which they can cart away more of my stuff? So yeah, I hid they keys... and apparently from myself as well.
It took about five minutes to find them. Back in business. Load the car. I'm ready to go get Nick at the agreed upon time. Key in the ignition. The car responds with some unfamiliar noises, but does not start. Fuck. Seriously. Fuck.
Call Kürdt. No answer. Call BC. He picks up. He can come over, try to jump me, and if all else fails, get to the business of scooping everybody up and squeezing Nick and I somewhere into his Element. I call Nick and tell him to start riding towards my house. I google "Honda Fit won't start," remember that some cars have this random button you have to push that has some purpose, but only really seems to keep your car from starting for no reason. Go in the house, get a picky tool, pull off the cover, push the button. Nothing.
BC pulls up, and I have the jumper cables ready. My dad had bought me the best cables known to man back in the early '90s when The Pie and I were poor and all our cars were shit. They're long enough that I probably coulda ran them from my house to BC's.
Of course, it worked. My car is about six years old, but it sits for weeks at a time. Perfect recipe for killing a battery. That's what I deserve for being smug about barely needing a car.
I scoop Nick at a gas station that's somewhere between our houses. We're on the road... and now it's raining. Not on my phone. Not on Nick's phone. But outside where it counts.
Rain stops as randomly as it started. Take off my wedding ring because I don't ride with it on. Attempt to put it in the console where I keep it. Drop it next to my seat. Shit.
Then literal shit. We stop at a rest stop. Have to go in shifts because I can't turn the car off. Me first, then Nick. My turn complete, I decide to hunt for my wedding ring. I see it, I go for it, it drops in further... and then disappears into a point where it can no longer be accessed. I commence to tear apart my car and use the dental pick tool that just happened to be in my car to retrieve my ring before Nick even gets back. Win... except I got some of that black grease that you find in random places in a car on my good, going-out-of-the-house shorts. For an anal compulsive person like me, this will negatively impact the rest of my day.
We stop one more time for the race food we never got, pick up some Pringles (car still running), get to the venue, Paul Stahlschmidt tells us that Faster Mustache/Bike Source will be in the same pit as usual... and find ourselves to be the first ones there. Victory.
Now all we have to do is race.