Sunday, August 19, 2007

Family pride, or why beans are like tomatoes

Sunday, 19 August

Many summer hours of my childhood were spent helping my grandmother pick, trim, and cut green beans--straight from her garden--for canning. I thought of her and my grandfather this evening when I harvested these from my own backyard; my grandparents would be proud. Ride with me to Maltby sometime and I'll show you where they were locavores decades before it was trendy. And how are beans like tomatoes, you ask? No matter where you shop, you can't buy any that even come close to tasting as good as the ones you grow yourself.

The weekend leading up to my Sunday evening walk down memory lane (bad pun there, but only a few will catch it) was busy. Friday I rented a floor buffer, attached a disk of about 10-grit sandpaper (saying goodbye to the skin on my knuckles), and tried to get the 60-year-old paint off our concrete floor. It was a 3-way battle between me, the sander, and the paint. I'm not sure who won: I gave up after 3 hours and returned the sander, and there's still paint on the floor (and aches in my shoulders). I've been at this project for many months, and I really should make some more effort to finish it while there are still daylight hours when I'm not at work.

Then we hopped in the car and zipped (not) to Corvallis. Saturday morning was the Marys Peak hillclimb and the one-year anniversary for my tandem racing career with my husband. We had cautious hopes: between he, me, and the bike, we weighed at least 10 pounds less than last year. And the weather was 25 degrees cooler. So...we took a whopping 12 seconds off our course record! We heard lots of "it was windier this year" and "the air was heavier because it was cool and humid." But still....shouldn't we have been able to go more than 12 seconds faster? Kerry certainly proved that being a year older is just an excuse to go faster. All the results are here. I will admit that it was kind of fun passing everyone who started in front of us and being the first bike (of any sort) across the line at a tough hillclimb.

Post-race, we had another lovely drive on I-5, all the way to charming Centralia, followed by one of the worst road-trip meals I have had in a long time and a romantic evening in a Motel 6, in a room that must have only recently come by its "no smoking" label. There was some redemption in a brief excursion to 3 of the plethora of outlet stores in Centralia and even more (no sarcasm here) in our serene, pastoral Sunday morning drive west on highway 12 to Elma.

My team time trial was an odd beast. Our goal was to have the 4 of us finish together. We were the only team in our category, so this was not an unreasonable goal. After some initial hesitations in the first couple of miles, we settled into a good rhythm and rotation and worked together smoothly for the rest of the 32 miles. We had fun, and we all finished together. Mission accomplished. Those results will eventually be posted here (please don't nag me).

Only 3 more weekends of racing this year!

1 comment:

Michele said...

Nice try on the floor. Maybe a sandblaster will do the trick, although it probably will do more harm to you than that darn paint!

Glad you guys had a fun TTT, just finishing together and enjoying the team aspect is great.

3 weeks left?! I am still waiting to have my season, and summer for that matter. Oh well, the gardens are green...