Tuesday, June 6

Mountain Cat 100 '23: Predumble.

Friday.  June 2nd.

12:30PM: I'm bored. I've taken the day off work, but I can't leave for Richmond, VA yet because Watts says he can't be scooped up in Greensboro until 3:00PM.  I've already mowed the lawn, watched the final episode of Ted Lasso, and eaten second breakfast.  Pacing around the house looking for my misplaced Dynaplug tool is getting old.

12:45PM: Leave.  Screw it.  I'll just get up to Revolution Cycles and wander around Watts's shop looking at schwanky Brooks bike bags, unstuck stickers, and random artwork until he can join me in the Fit of Rage for the drive up to Richmond.

2:20PM: Arrive at Revolution Cycles.  Watts is waiting for an employee to arrive at 3:00PM to relieve him of his duties.  I peruse his wares, drink a beer, and load up on expired nutrition products.

3:00PM: No relief arrives.

3:30PM: Relief arrives.  We skedaddle shortly thereafter.

6:52PM: Arrive at our very small, entirely humble unlocked Airbnb.  My only priority is to get my shit straight before we head into the city in search of food and fun... and to get Watts to finally download the route to his Wahoo.  The "course" takes you all over the city, through neighborhoods and cemeteries, along railroad tracks, on pirate trails and official trails, seventeen miles outta town to ride fifteen miles of spaghetti in the Pocahontas State Park and back for a lot more of all the former.  The route is crucial... and without a complete ride file when you get done, you will not officially finish.  While Watts gets the info loaded into his bleep bloop device, I lay all my shit out and get the coffee sorted out for the morning.

7:20PM: Tasks completed, we head out into town in the least efficient manner to Scuffletown Park... where we needed to be at 7:00PM.

The business man handling his business en route.

We were hoping to watch some sorta organized crit racing... only to find out that they already rolled out from there to another location... River... something... Park?  We take a guess that it's over in Riverview Cemetery, ride right back past our Airbnb, and we are somehow correct.  We get to see a little bit of the action and obtain a decent recommendation from Mountain Cat 100 promoter Emily to eat our late dinner at 821 Cafe.

8:47: "Dining in or take out?"  

Dining in.  Take our table, order a beer... some food.  Realize they close at 9:00PM, and we're the assholes.  Dammit.  Make haste with our delicious sammies, pound the second beer, and ask for a recommendation for a place to get our third while they're cleaning up behind us.  

"You guys should go to Get Tight."

"I think you're better of with Cobra Cabana."

It was from this point on, we fell into a wormhole.  We ride over to what we think is the Cobra Cabana, and there's a punk show going on.  I know Watts could spend the entire night here and be content, whilst I would probably hold my beer in my right hand and plug my only good ear with my left until he let me go home.  Watts, sensing my anxiety, decided mebbe we just go to Get Tight.

We end up being there past the point where it made sense.  Watts had found some Happy Meal drink special of a low ABV house beer with a shot of tequila which made economical sense but not actual smart sense.  Police lights across the street gave a nice strobing ambience to this quaint little bar.  Watts mighta opened the unlocked any sex bathroom and made a friend.  He coaxed me into another beer after I'd already closed out.  Then another.  Some time after 11:00PM, his final drink order was supposed to be just the low ABV house beer, but the bartender who looked like a young Mary-Louise Parker from Weeds just assumed he'd wanted his "usual," so more tequila.

Saturday.  June 3rd.

12:00AM'ish: We're back at the Airbnb.  I figure out that we have to get up at 4:45AM... and Watts disagrees until he agrees.

4:45AM: Jeebus.  That came quick.  I bolt right outta bed, head to the kitchen, and turn the coffee on.  Watts remains in bed.  Eventually, we're both on the couch watching a YouTube show about Russian oligarch yachts.  Me eating my premade PNB sammich.  Watts blowing his nose.

5:30AM:  I don't know why, but it finally dawned on my that we realistically need to be rolling the mile and a half over to the start in fifteen minutes or less.  We still need to check in and stuff... and Watts isn't even dressed yet.  I share my concerns with him.  He kits up.

5:41AM: "I can't find my Wahoo."


For the next five minutes, we shit-toss the 700 square foot house looking for Watts's bleep bloop.  Nothing. It's as if it, like our good judgment, just vanished in the night.  Poop.

5:47AM: "We need to go."

I turn on my Wahoo to navigate to the start of the loaded route... and the map doesn't come up. No streets.  No nothing.  Just the little arrows dangling out there in two dimensional space telling me where we'll eventually go... if we can get there.  I literally turned on my data acquisition device last night to confirm all was well... and the streets and such were all there eleven hours ago.  Now, nothing.

Time is now dead to me (like 50% of the functionality of my Wahoo), and we get to the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater in time to check in.

"Did you eat breakfast?"

Apparently Watts was so laser focused on the Russian oligarch yacht show that my consumption of a sammich next to him on the capacious love seat didn't register.

He had eaten nothing, but the magic of Mountain Cat hand delivered him a glazed donut as if he mentally Door Dashed it into existence.  They lined up the Mountain Cat XL (130'ish miles) folks and sent them off.  Then the people who were intent on "racing" the standard 108 mile route embarked on their journey, leaving just those that planned on "finishing" standing around in the park.  There was a hot minute while we stood there with our thumbs up our butts, and I realized the worst we could do would be to keep the back of the tryers in sight whilst having many tourists behind us to fall back on for navigational assistance.  

So just like that, we unceremoniously began our journey.

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