Friday, February 22, 2008
Goin Back To Cali
Earlier this week I mentioned both Frostbike and my homeboy Petar from Mavic, yesterday, it all came together for Snot Rocket reporter Lord Hayden at the Tour Of California. Last weekend I heard that there might be some spots open in one of the Mavic cars for a stage or two. I couldn't be there, but Hayden, was born to ride along. His two passions afterall are listening to trucker music and watching COPS. Here is his report from yesterday's stage:
Pro-caliber recap of stage 4 - Lord Hayden edition
8:30 - stalk around house muttering to myself, "what the fuck, where the fuck, fucking raincoat, fuck" for 15 minutes. Finally grab spare raincoat from garage and bike to start line.
9:00 - meet guys from Mavic team cars, figure out who I'm riding with.
10:00 - we're off, I'm in Mavic car #2, driven by Pete from Mavic (who knows DP, Mike Teff, and Andrew Harrison from mechanicamizer's school in Colorado). Other passenger is Jeff, a retired mailman who is working (volunteering) with Mavic on the tour. He's one of those repeat shop customers who eventually gets so into being at the shop that he starts working there for fun. Not bad for a second career, but I can't imagine myself at 55 working with jackasses like myself at 25. Definitely a Mavic fanboy, not a bad guy but I did not approve of his ordering Pete to turn off the XM station playing Misfits and The Dwarves, followed by his bitching about some station in San Diego that only played smooth jazz and not real jazz. It would turn out that some punk rock was just what this stage could have used.
10:30 - we're through the neutral zone and off. Rock Racing has 5 riders in the field, but they've had about 50% of the airtime on race radio so far. Apparently they blew all of their $ on the fancy duds and none on rain gear, and were also ordered to switch to a different channel briefly so that could get yelled at by the race directors.
11:00 - we're cruising along my commute, weird with no traffic. The conditions are absolutely miserable, whipping headwinds and rain, 48 degrees.
11:00 - 4:00 - Long stretch. I was in the front car, which is positioned far enough in front of the race that you can't see shit, especially with the curvy roads and the weather. There wasn't much to see anyway, I imagine, just dudes thinking "fuck cold fuck bikes fuck my 2% bodyfat gimmee potpies". The break that started about 20 miles in has held ~ 3 minutes for hours. I'm on hour 5 of 7.5 hours without pissing. Quizno's makes the worst fucking cookies on the planet. Lots of playful bitching from the Mavic cars about the peloton only averaging 19 miles an hour. I would have been going about 10 with that wind and those rolling hills in the alternate world where I wouldn't have just stayed inside on such a day.
I am pissed I didn't get a shot of the Rock Racing Escalade, but it's a site to behold. Think about that metalhead you knew in middle school who got into graphic design in high school.
4:30 - The break crumbles, as rider 131 and 2 others stay out. This splitting of the break allows our car to actually get into the race, and we're following the Hincapie/otherdude break that's behind 131. Could our fortunes get any better? YES THEY COULD, A FUCKING RAINBOW IN THE SKY!!! I took many pics for robo-hubby ZR, he likes rainbows. We wind into San Luis Obispo (SLO-town if you're in the know) and ride in to the finish behind the 2nd and 3rd place guys.
5:30 - My bus leaves in an hour, I haven't stretched my legs nor my kidneys nor my liver in many moons, so I head down to the Black Sheep Bar to catch up with my favorite Valley Girl / sometime co-worker Mary (who had described both the conditions and the potholes in SLO as "Gnarly"). She bought me a Firestone Ale, then was kind enough to drive me to the bus station. She also told me about how her favorite dive bar in town had re-opened, but she now has too much allegiance to the Black Sheep for it to be her favorite bar anymore. I've heard this story several times but I'd gladly hear it again tomorrow.
9:30 - Ahh...Greyhound...you know how this goes. 3 hours later I arrived in Salinas, and since it was 45 minutes until the bus left for Monterey I found a watering hole near the bus station. I think it was called Rosie's or Susie's or Guyski's, all I know is that I pounded two Tecates and a generous shot of Hornitos in 35 minutes, and my mindset was vastly improved. I did get a "whoo-eee" from the elderly latina with four pounds of mascara next to me for my drink order, but I told her I'd been on the bus all day to divert her scorn.
10:30 - back in Seaside, hopped on the Surly and rode through the rain towards home. Stopped to get a 12er o' PBR at the corner boozerium, and told the shoppekeep about the day's ride. He's kind of a meatheaded Italian, and he said, "man you think you had a long day, those racers are like a bunch of fucking Steve Austins out there!" Yes, indeed, Stone Cold would have been proud of all of our finest cyclists today.
Posted by d*pow