….That’d be something awesome. “Time” just sitting on the side of the road, waiting to be picked up. Use it when you’re late for a race or even to speed things up like getting a race done faster. But like just about ever human being I’m in that same boat – more ideas and things to do than time permits.
Last Saturday’s Chain Drive was a perfect example… I could have really benefited from finding 30minutes of time along side the road on my way to Houghton, MI for the Keweenaw ChainDrive MTB race. Got up bright & early -- with a less than ideal nights sleep battling restless 2,4,& 6 year olds who think in the middle of the night when they wake up they should come talk to Dad – of the bunch the 4 month old was best?! What advice could I possible dispense in the wee hours of the night that would profoundly impact their futures? “Go back to bed” is about all I could come up with. Real great Dad eh?
Anyways, the ride over is just under 150miles, race time is 10am. I jump out the door at 6:40am, feeling there’s plenty of time. I’ll be there with 45min. to spare, register & warmup. So why the comment earlier about needing another 30minutes of time? Well, the problem really didn’t kick in until I’m about 15minutes out of Houghton. My car clock says 9:08am, my cellphone says…. 10:08am. That’s when there’s violent warping of sound, light and time in one’s brain – that reverberates out of one’s mouth in a very loud expletive. You friggin’ Yoopers and that dam Eastern Time zone!! (Ok, I’m just kidding about the Yoopers thing– it’s the time zone thing I was P.O.’d about). Suggestion – for those us who believe the Midwest should be in one time zone – drop a quick reminder on registration forms about 10 Eastern, 9 central. Those 8 extra drops of ink can’t cost that much and would be immensely appreciated by those of us to the West who fail to recall those little details.
So back to the 30minutes? Well, that’s because the car wasn’t parked, bike unloaded and me off to the race until 10:30am EASTERN. Giving Brian Matter and all my other friendly racing c0horts that kinda of lead time in a 2hr race – ain’t a good idea. So I missed out on mixing it up with the top 10 guys, and got to Time Trial – playing catch up from behind. Wound up crossing the line around 50th place somewhere behind Big Mike W. who’d spied me on the river water crossing so I couldn’t sneak up on him. All in all, it wasn’t really that bad. Yes, I crashed twice… really hard. Even got pinned (me, not the bike) between two trees and couldn’t extract myself for a good 30 seconds. But the damage could have been much worse for what it was.
One of the best parts of the day, after racing/riding a really fun course was getting to hang out with everyone afterwards and get to hear their stories of the race and what they’ve been up to. The McFaddens – congrats to Di on the “W” in the women’s race. Always enjoy Todd’s insight not to mention a little thanks for the mechanical tip on a front derailleur that had me stumped. Got to catch up with & meet more of the Adventure 212 crew. Including Darrin Braun, Sarah, Michelle P. Brian Matter was his always helpful & friendly self as well – there’s a guy who’s so easy to cheer for (even if he’s beating the hell out of you on the race course) – genuinely nice person and it was great to catch up with him. Tom Carpenter & crew was around – I swear he seriously had to relish in my “story” as much as anyone. He’s acutely aware of how close to the wire I pull race time arrival – ask him about the time at Miner Revenge when I’m finishing my warmup only to head full on into the entire field starting up the road… that’s just one of them. Mind you though that race started 90 seconds too soon. I can’t help it, I try to squeeze too much into life.
Without the family along for the trip, I had time to hang out & have some post race party time with Paul Belknap & Curt Cline as my guides. Stopped in at Caleb Wendel’s The Bike Shop, (nice place he’s got there) before finally heading to a party. Wish I could recall or have last names for everyone I met but suffice to say this – alot of people showed up at Tony’s place for food, drinking & shooting guns. I LOVE THE U.P!
Though I don’t recommend mixing up race times and blowing off a race alot can be said for a event that carries with it as much fun afterwards as it does during the race. Thanks again to the dedicated folks that make racing in the U.P. so much fun – just get a congressional act to straighten out the time zone thing though would you, eh?