Find some Gatorade. Ice cold from the cooler. Now I have a (much worse) headache.
Wake up again. Fart loudly. Again. Having one of those "why didn't god kill me in my sleep" moments. I hear others ambling about, banging pots and starting stoves. I guess I need to get up now. Despite having a proper mustache, I felt the dead opposite of how it feels to bronze in an Olympic mountain bike race.
It's already warm. Humid. I eat a couple Pop Tarts. Andy gives me some slightly browned water. It's much easier than making my own coffee, so I appreciate the kindness. I consider putting on a special outfit, reconsider the heat, inconvenience of it all, and non-breath-ability of the fabric. I put on a kit instead. Shanna's wandering around the campsite with her ass cheeks hanging out of her princess outfit. I feel immense guilt and shame. Return to the tent, squeegee the chamois cream out of my bibs for reuse, and change into something more single speedy.
Head over to the start and just sit there regretting at least seven but no more than fifteen things I did the night before. None of them illegal. Well, we were stopped before we completed the more illegal of the things we considered, but it was more of a borrow situation in our collective minds.
We line up for a LeMans start. Doug announces that when he finishes chugging his beer, we can go. A few seconds in, some of us decide that since we're just walking to our bikes anyways, might as well go now.
Watts comes running by me on the way to his bike.
"You're trying too hard, Watts." ~ me
He responds by shrugging his shoulders.
I get to my bike and hop into the melee. Rider density maxed out at the entrance to the single track. There is no flow in flow trail when you're riding a train. I regret not at least jogging to my bike to stay outta the traffic to maximize fun potential.
I make a few passes, and Bill Nye is no longer in the active role as my wing man. I'm without friends. Sadness and a lingering hangover to keep me company. I see Buck at the side of the trail fixing his bike. He tells me to wait up. I soft pedal. He catches me, passes me... leaves me. Meh.
I pass Montucky and Cinder Block at the side of the trail. I decide shortly after that they will be my friends. I stand at the side of the trail and wait.
Montucky catches me. No Cinder Block. We get stuck behind some riders who can't figure out a switchback.
"You want some hot wine?"
Montucky's sales pitch left a lot to be desired, but I was going to be caloric-deficient on the day and not in a place to say no. We stand there and clog up the trail until we finish up, unknowingly holding up the first place woman. Not our fault (that she didn't want hot wine).
Out from a trail and into the open, we are told that we are 15th, 16th... so on. I tell Montucky that either we are trying too hard or others are way better at hardly trying. We need to slow down.
We get to the hike-a-bike. I can see Buck up ahead. Montucky stomps by me, puts his bike across the entire trail.
"You want some hot wine?"
Yeth. As if I have a choice.
We finish pushing up the hill and catch Buck at the first beer stop. We drink some of that. It's bueno.
A loose alliance is formed. We ride off together. Montucky's Bluetooth speakers playing what sounds like a Quentin Tarantino movie soundtrack.
photo cred: Chris ReichelWe stop when we need to. We stop a few times because we don't but there is a bench so, stop anyways. We pick up another rider that knows Buck but refers to him by his other nickname, "Asshole." Now we are four.
We ride together, stop together, navigate our way by suggestive arrows together. At some point, Montucky starts running on fumes... so he's left behind.
"Where's Montucky?" ~ Buck
"He dead." ~ me
It's hot, we're tired, we're flailing. We ride together until the finish, which was some indiscernible distance between five and twelve miles for the last couple hours (it seems).
Eat. Water. Water. Consider a nap. Think better of it. Change into evening wear and relax in the only shade in the campground, which unfortunately (for the children) was the playground.
photo cred: Andy Forron
I see people prepping for a foot down competition. I assume it's part of the deciding. I watch.
It's actually to decide the real SSUSA champion, because racing is dumb. I'm also dumb because I miss the opportunity to play bike games.
The decider event happens, and it's leaf blower polo.
photo cred: Colleen O'NeilBellingham, WA beats New York in the finals.
photo cred: Colleen O'NeilI'm happy because that means I don't feel like I need to go.
More regrettable things happen. Still pretty sure nothing illegal is successfully pulled off, but perhaps there were some offended parties. Nothing out of line for a single speed event tho.
Sometimes you get urine on you. C'est la vie.
The evening ended with Bill Nye's and mine own bikes missing, a walk back down into the holler, I might have chased a skunk on foot...
And by "might," I totally did.
Just wanted to pet it tho.