Tuesday, September 12

'17 West and Also Other Virginia Mancation: Part Seven

I wake up Sunday morning to the sound of the gong. I decide that I will stay in my hammock just a bit longer, then see if I can poach some coffee before heading over to watch the start of the race. A big difference from the last eleven years of my life on this day. No anxiety. No hangover. No stumbling around in the dark preparing a disappointing breakfast.  No applying cold chamois cream to an unwashed taint.

I get my coffee, head over to the start, and watch all the racers ride off towards the finish line... so many hours away.

Go back to our campsite, wake up Bill Nye. I'm sure sleeping underneath moist towels all night has brightened his outlook on life.

Watts, Scott, Bill Nye and I anxiously await for the arrival of the Take Aim Cycling Sprinter van. None of us want to ride 21+ miles fully loaded down to Aid 5.  Harlan shows up on time... Harrisonburg time. Which is pretty close to anal compulsive, but just late enough to let you know that time is just relative, man.

We pile into the van. Harlan decides to take us over the scenic route. We ride towards racer traffic. Much excite... knowing that I'm not one of them. Scott's the only one in the van that's never done the race, so mebbe he has some FOMO based jealousy. The rest of us are enjoying the vicarious living.

Harlan was kind enough to take us out of our way to Reddish Knob, he and I being the only two of our crew that had been there before.

photo cred: Scott
Harlan shows me exactly where I would die if I ever tried to ride off the stairs from the top on my rigid frok bike.

photo cred: Scott
Big Ben, Parliament... again.

We then drive back down from the top and over to Aid 5, Harlan keeping the drive at full-excite levels as we teeter close to the edge of the road after jumping out of every other giant mud hole.  We get to where we need to be before most of the volunteers and the actual aid station stuff gets there.

Bored, we do what men do.  Make fire.

Once we have the fire going well enough to engulf the entire area in a choking cloud of smoke, we go ahead and pop open our first beer and sit down in the camping chairs.   "Bring the party" may need to be redefined for 2018.  We were partying like four trailer park dwelling sexagenarians.

Jeremiah Bisquik comes flying through first, and we become slightly more engaged.  We even turn our chairs around so we're not longer facing the fire but the actual race itself.  Occasionally, one of us gets up and assists a rider here or there.  Watts grabs a bottle of chain lube, hoping that if he does X number of applications, he would merit a slice of pizza.  I just walk over and grab one, just to prove that it can be done with zero merit.

photo cred: Scott
Dan G went the hard route for pizza, he rode 74 miles to get to it.  SAD!

We stay until we're outta beers.  The thirty pre-teens with lube bottles and rags seem to have all the needs that are beneath Harlan's station attended to, so why not get with the riding of the bikes?  We decide to follow the course... up through the Killing Fields and then down the mountain.

Beer burps almost to beer vomits later, we descend, doing our best to not get in the way, but mostly catching riders the whole way down.  Out through aid station 6, and we head back to camp.  Hungry.

I go to swap back into the civilian clothes I carried back down from our "party" at Aid 5.



"I left my flip flops in Harlan's van."

Put on my casual shoes and then Bill Nye and I prepare our final Ramen meal of the week.



"I forgot my fork and my chop sticks."

Fortunately, we had about nineteen options for his culinary tool issues.

I'll be selling my pink ano'ed chop sticks on my Etsy store later this week.

From there, it was the familiar downward spiral that is just about everything it ever is after the Shenandoah Mountain 100.  Beer, stand around, beer, sit around, beer... bed.

And like that, the '17 West and Also Other Virginia Mancation was over.

Thank dog.


Anonymous said...

Why do you hate cargo shorts?

Jordan N said...

Spoke chopsticks are genius

jay said...

I'd like to order a pair of chop-dicky-stix. I'll send 3.50.