Monday, 16 July
I went. I saw. I conquered. And then I had to come home.
The conquest started off the week: I set a new course record--with help from O.A.D., of course. There then were a couple of long, solo, unsupported days on my single bike on beautiful roads next to scenic rivers and over mountain passes, some stretches with not-so-beautiful traffic. There was one glorious ride on a closed road, 15 miles out/up, 15 miles back/down; I realized about 3/4 of the way through the ride that I had a huge grin on my face--it was just that beautiful and that much fun. Found another scrumptious bakery. Saw alpacas, llamas, reindeer (seriously!), a gazillion chipmunks, a bobcat, and blazingly bright stars all the way down to the horizon.
Then it was on to one day of registration and two days of hard physical labor to support an NRC race (remind me never to promote one of those). Then two days of feed zoning, which took me back to my earliest roots in bike racing. I am quite happy to sit at my desk, out of the sun, today!
All week long, I just kept meeting great people and getting to know others better and seeing folks I hadn't seen in years. There's a huge cycling community out there, and so many parts are so interconnected. People were incredibly kind and generous to me, and others seemed grateful for advice and help I was able to give them. And on my bike, I encountered not one rude motorist--in 300 miles, much of it on state highways, that was a pleasant surprise.
It was not a vacation where I got to lie in a hammock, read all day (I read one book), and drink umbrellaed drinks (I sampled several local beers, though). But I barely thought about work...or the WSBA...or BARR points...and I had a lot of fun. I would do it all again (and better) in a heartbeat!
Afterword: My antipathy toward crits was only reinforced on this busman's holiday. During a crit on Friday, I was minding my own business, sitting 3 feet back from the curb after corner 3 just opposite one of the pits, making a hat, when 2 riders came flying through the caution tape and over the hay bale and very, very nearly slammed into me. The riders were okay, but the same cannot be said for one skinsuit and one carbon seatpost that's now in two pieces. In retrospect, it's pretty funny: I was nearly taken out in a crit and I wasn't even on my bike!