Well folks, its back to work time after 2 weeks of running around. First, let me sum up the SSCXWC’s held a mere 10 days ago in San Fransisco.
I was excited to go to SF. I had not been there since I was an adolescent with my parents, and the most recent exposure I had to it recently was over 10 years ago when I was a resident at the U (…of Utah Hospital for you out of state people) and heard a million stories from the many people receiving support from the Ryan White Program. Anyway, the people in charge of the event, including the fabulous Sheila Moon, guaranteed a good time for all. Plus, this event is going to be so huge next year, I’m not sure if it’ll be on my list (kinda like SSWC’s after the Napa event). So after working our asses off all week, we take a red eye to the City by the Bay and check into our little motel in Chinatown.
Friday was a nice day. I like chinatown. Its inexpensive, friendly and comfortable. Its also close to the wharf, which was important because we had to catch a ferry to Oakland to go to the Friday party.
It was fun to ride the ferry. SF is setup nicely to be bicycle friendly. We did get rained on a little bit, but MrsDRE kept our secret directions dry.
The SealLine dry bags are worth their weight in gold. They are inexpensive, and keep your shit dry.
So we get to Oakland and the Garmin takes us through a rather shady part of town to get to the Sheila Moon HQ.
After a meal, some New Belgium beer and hi fives to friends not seen in a long time, we departed. At Jack London square, a cop car ironically pulled up right next to the bench we were seated at, and the spot was quickly designated “the safest place in Oakland”….as long as the cops were watching and not texting. Anyway, another ferry ride and bike ride back to our abode, and it was time to call it a day.
Saturday began bright and sunny, and my “tour” group was scheduled to meet at the Mojo bike shop and Cafe at 8:30.
Me being me, I hopped in with the wrong group, which included some of my acquaintances, so I was then beaten with a car antenna and told to wait until the next group while they handed me a pabst.
The tour was the best part of the trip. Local guides took groups of about 12 out to see the city. We rode up steep hills. I tried my hand and grabbing a cable car up California in the financial district – to which the attendant firmly told me “Dont Even Think About It Sonny”. Damn. We went to Chinatown, the Wharf, under the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Beach. Wisely, there were feats of strength to separate the fast people….from people like me. Granted I had a courier bag with beer in it while the rest of my group wore skin suits and agonized over their gearing for the “event”, but still there was a distinct separation between the A racers, and the Everyone’s A Winner group. More on that later. Wisely, there were professional type photo people to help you remember your trip. Here I am making my mother proud. She does actually read this blog don’t you know.
So we finished up our lovely ride, the steady rain started, and there was a party at the Sports Basement that evening. Dinner, drinks, Cheever…
Racing for the last 10 spots in the “fast guy class”.
So it pretty much rained all night, and being made of salt, I made the command decision to simply have a leisurely breakfast with my dear wife on Lombard St, and see what came next. The rain subsided at lunch time, and we headed toward Golden Gate Park long after the “fun” race ended, and at the end of the “real” race. We then adjourned to a nearby bar to say goodbye to our friends that we don’t get to see often enough, people who may be our friends, and people who annoy the shit out of me. Oh, I also heard that the winners of the “real” event chose NOT to get the tattoo’s symbolizing their domination? What the Fuck? It isn’t like the design is THAT bad?
Oh well, its their victory – but that is total bullshit.
So that was San Fransisco. Then came AZ.
So after a crushing, but short Thanksgiving week, the Dharma Wheels Honda Pilot pointed south for a night in Santa Clara. We arrived, did errands for the shop, and fell into bed. Thanksgiving day came too early, and we hit the road for a 7 hr drive to Goodyear, nestled in the Sonoran Desert. For the first time, we decided to drive through Las Vegas and not take the Flagstaff way. If I had more time, I’d do Flag, but its too depressing to drive through a town of my former residence and not see old friends. Plus the Vegas way is a little faster if you start from Santa Clara. So after a gracious Thanksgiving at my inlaw’s, I hit the sack for the Flight of the Pigs….in PHX.
Yes, 4:30am came rather early and I hit the road at 5. An accident on the 10 slowed me, as well as my error in typing in the destination to my Garmin. Needless to say, I arrived at Casa Wilcox at 6:45. Miss Kim was kind enough to let me use the bathroom and get me checked in while her dear husband, Jim gave the ride directions. Man, I’m always about 10 minutes late I thought. No time to air up my tires (they were at 30, which is too low for a 200 lb person), air up my shock and fork a little more (lower altitude means less spring rate). And, I had my wife’s helmet. Oh well, at least there were a few people sporting the colors for Drunkcyclist.
You’ll have to forgive me, my camera bounced out of my holder and is somewhere on South Mountain right now.
The ride was great. I was not in very good shape, the pace was faster than usual, and the crowd full of new, young people who were very friendly and nice. It really was a great day. Lunch was catered in downtown Phoenix, and the 2nd half of the ride was in the Phoenix mountains. The after party at Jim and Kims is the best part of the day. Its like heaven if you believe in that sort of thing. Its a BBQ, the chili is great, the beer is wonderful (even though I had only one since I had to drive 50 minutes back to Goodyear), the music rocks, and the people and stories can’t be beat. Big thanks to all who rode, all who helped make the event run, and especially Jim and Kim Wilcox. You make me want to earn my wings.
And yes, I got a new camera. Its funny, you know your getting old when you look for the simple camera, not the one with all the bells and whistles….I’ve become THAT guy.