I screwed up pretty much everything possible at my Cyclofapfesting activities. Or at least, that's what some and/or most would say.
On Wednesday, I went straight to The Spoke Easy after work. The ride was supposed to leave at 6:00PM, and I wanted to get my ass on a demo Surly of some sort for the ride. I got there and there's no Surly demo truck yet. I ordered a beer.
And then another.
And then another.
And then... another.
Somewhere in and amongst the anothers, Surly arrived sometime well after the 6:00PM start. Bikes were tossed assunder on the sidewalk out front. I flicked some tires and whatnot. It was apparent that the ride was going to happen at some point but when?
I ordered another beer and decided that I wasn't headed out on a ride that would take me further from home and last until an hour my old person brain couldn't handle on a school night.
I drank the remainder of my evening's beers in front of the TV watching the last presidential debate... possibly ever.
Thursday and Friday, people started coming into town and texting me.
"What's going on tonight?"
I have no idea. I planned on doing nothing Thursday and a date with The Pie on Friday. See you...
Saturday. Get up at 7:00AM and ride my bike towards a coffee shop a few miles away to meet up with Kangalangamangus and Dave. On the way, I realize I will probably be all full of fail today. Not sure why, but I can certainly sense it.
Watch Kangalangamangus and Dave eat and drink things until they're ready to go. Once we get to Cyclofapfest, we go our separate ways. I roll towards what looks like an entrance. A security type person asks me for my pass, I don't have one, and I'm instructed to go to the entrance all the way on the other side.
Go around and get in line to register. Seven people deep. Someone I know cuts to the front of the line and my head melts. I decide I can't do this right now. I ride away.
Feeling my way around, I end up on the cyclo-ross course. I ride until I find the Gentle Ginger and Hubbs. Hubbs tells me all about his e-bike ride the day before. He says I need to get on one.
Eventually, I head back to the fapfesting. By the time I return, the line is closer to thirty people deep. Kangalangamangus and Dave are already inside. They just walked in the entrance where I had been denied earlier. I talk to Drew (former Charlotte messenger) from Industry Nine on the outside of the fence. Catch up with him until someone on the other side is willing to hand me half the credentials I need to get inside, and with a little cajoling, I'm fapfesting.
Run into another former messenger, Little Mike. He works for Shimano now. He regaled me with tales of Red Bull Rampage from the inside POV. I'm slack-jawed, being that he is now doing something so incredible, and I'm still doing the same thing I was doing... for the past million years.
Shoot the shit with Jimbo from Stan's. He kept me entertained when I broke my ass at TSE, and I'm forever in his debt.
Head over to the Maxxis tent. Introduce myself to Andrew and apologize for attaching an image of a shirtless me to my application for '17 sponsorship. He tells me things about tires, and I listen. Hopefully a sexy tire might find its way to my hands soon. He gives me some extra special HandUp gloves that had been put aside for me since Interbike, and I head back into the fray.
"I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull's ass, but I'd rather take a butcher's word for it." ~ Thomas R. "Big Tom" Callahan
For some reason, I decide I really don't want to know what an e-bike rides like, and for that matter, just about every other bike here. The only two bikes that (lightly) grab my fancy right now aren't here at the Cyclofapfest. The idea of waiting in line to test a bike just because?
I see friends trying to coordinate across the festival with a bike from here and one from there to go ride a bit to come back and do it again. I can't do it. It looks... brain-hurty.
Fortunately, I find Watts and Dorothy. They offer me beer and a place to hide. I turn down the beer at first, thinking maybe I'll still ride at some point later.
And then I just give in.
From then on out, it was just hanging out, talking to friends (from all over the place but happen to be in my town today), watching cyclo-ross and then deciding to head to Bike Source's Fan Jam... which, if anything, was closer to my house and had more beer.
FM teammate, Noelle, takes pity on me and drives me over there. It's a shitty bike ride from the USNWC, so not a difficult decision.
Beer, people I know from this town I live in, food... blood.
I can ride bikes whenever, and when I do, I pretty much just want to ride one of the bikes that I've already sweat over every detail. Probably a good place to be in.
But I can't catch up with all these people in one place... and I wish I woulda had more time for that. Facebook, emails, PMs, phone calls... nothing beats face-to-face, and I miss my little friends so much. Especially as we slide into the sad time known as the off "season."