Monday, September 30

JA King and Queen of the Watershed '19: Preamble

Wasn't that a party?

My head is like a football.

Musta been the nine or ten IPAs.

I don't know, but look at the mess I'm in.

I get to Revolution Cycles around 6:05 and by 6:10, Watts has already slapped my first pint of Hazy Little Thing into my grubby mitts.  Conversations ensue. 

As I'm apt to do in noisy places, I nod my head during conversations and respond appropriately and sip constantly until the anxiety subsides.  This process can take between ten minutes and ten hours.  Gabor starts to tell me how long the stages will be tomorrow, but in minutes not miles... which only befuddles me because I know we will all ride the same miles but not the same minutes.


I realize quickly that I won't remember anything he tells me.  Five things is a lot of things to put in my brain part.


Eventually, the place closes but stays open because the paying customers are still paying, and I'm still sipping.

Finally, the sign flips and we go out into the night.

Beer here, beer there, fries smothered in things with the deep fried fingers of chickens... beer.

Sooner or later (prolly later), we get back to Watts's house, he hands me a La Croix telling me to drink it (I don't), and I head up to my tiny bed in the attic.

Wake up.  Cotton mouth.  Head thumping.  On any normal day, I would just get into the fetal position and roll around. 

Downstairs.  Water, coffee, eggs, toast... Watts ever the gracious host.
Start to think about getting ready for that 11:00AM start... somewhere that's not here.

Remove the computer mount from my handle bars.  My number plate is over at the shop still, and I can't fathom the idea of trimming the plate and making things nice.  Besides, I don't know how far each stage is, and I can't remember much of what Gabor told me about times... which can't matter, since he's a fast local with tree trunk thighs. 

Check my tire pressure with the gauge I just happened to pack in my bag.  Not a Topeak digital unit but some analog thing I bought at some point because it looked "old timey."  I air down the tires that I had over-inflated the day before to a trail-friendly 16.5 and 22.5 PSI. 

Or so I thought.

I trust a gauge over my foggy brain any day, even tho the tires felt way too firm with a squeeze test.  I wouldn't figure out until Sunday that the gauge was off by over 5PSI.  So minimum 21.5/28.5 PSI on a dumb rigid bike.  Dammit.

Anyways... Watts had decided that we could limit the logistics and ride our bikes to the start instead of driving to the finish and hopping on the shuttle (like all the normal people).  Of course this makes sense because I don't know any better. 

"It will probably be a half hour ride but maybe an hour.  I dunno."

So at some time that I don't remember because I don't have a computer, we leave the shop and head... in a direction, Watts occasionally pulling out his phone and navigating with his nose.  The temperature and humidity are rising quickly, and our stupid cotton shirts and cut-off jean pants are soaking through. 

Miraculously, we get to the start at 10:50, which is ten minutes early, which was hardly planned but entirely fortunate.  With an unknown amount of miles in my legs (10-15?) and my eggs and toast probably depleted, it's time to do what I guess I came up here for in the first place.

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