Saturday, 15 July
Another rest day (OK, this is masters nationals, so we’re all old, but how much rest do we need?). Random activities today generated random thoughts.
Kenny won his road race—in the rain. He did two laps of the “long course”; when they came through at the end of the first lap, somebody asked me if Kenny rode much in the rain. I tried not to laugh too hard. He was in a four-man break and while everyone else looked like the sprint was really hard, he made it look effortless. Well done!
“Neutral support” in the feed zone at this race means there are some coolers with Gatorade set up on a table by the side of the road. There are paper cups there too, so I guess you hope somebody might hand you up a cup of Gatorade? The “team feed zone” is about 100 feet long and was absolute chaos for the sold-out men’s 30-34 and 35-39 fields (many of whom DNSed in this weather) with so many team feeders squeezed into such a short distance.
Three not-attached-to-each-other people plus six bikes (one of them a tandem) plus all the bike cases and two wheel cases in a one-bedroom condo is quite a living experience.
The wildflowers here are beautiful. There are daisies and black-eyed susans and vetch and a bunch of flowers I don’t recognize. We (no, I) have seen blackcaps growing wild in several places along the side of the road.
We are out in the boonies in the woods, so I figured there would be a lot of deer. But we (no, I) have seen lots of vegetable gardens without fences, so deer must not be a problem. We did see one, dead, by the side of the road, so they are here. Clint and I saw a smallish brown mammal that we could not identify. Sort of like a marmot, but in the grassy verge on the edge of the woods. How big are groundhogs?
I am convinced that the number one pastime in rural Pennsylvania is mowing the lawn. Everyone has giant golf-course type greens surrounding their houses. Even double-wide trailers have expansive lawns. They’ve had more than three inches of rain here so far in July, so the grass must grow really fast. Maybe it’s how they keep the kids busy all summer—send them out on the John Deere for the afternoon.
I went for a little bike ride today that only made me want to go for a longer ride, but tomorrow is race day, so no fun for me. Well, that's not exactly true. We went on the “Alpine Slide” that is 1980 feet long with an elevation loss of 325 feet. You get to ride the chairlift up and zoom down on a sled on a pseudo-luge track. You can buy a 4-ride pass or pay $4 a ride. As soon as we got off the sleds at the bottom, I was ready to go again. No lines the second time, and it was great. Clint was wise and cautious and figured it wasn’t the thing to do the afternoon before a big race, but heck, what else was I going to do today? It was fun. And I didn’t even lose my flipflops going up the chairlift.