Thank you Hannah Clarke

Thank you Hannah Clarke

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A happy day!

...Turned into a total gongshow! Just like this blog post!
Wake up after 4 hours of sleep, in a sleeping bag yay! I guess that needs a bit of explanation. This week was a crazy one, and the weekend crazier! I started a 2 week field course at the university (9-5 each day), there is a class of 14 and I'm having a great time! Week one is in Guelph and week two is out on the Bruce Peninsula, staying in lodges and camping and all sorts of good stuff (my total specialty). Fun stuff, met some new people, a very notable one is this girl Shannen. She's a total keener on doing anything active, and when she found out that I ride bikes got super stoked that we could ride next week. She talks a lot too, so there isn't a word lost between us really and we hit it off pretty well right away. She even offered to help me move Friday (on day one of knowing me), which is good because I didn't really have any other concrete plans. Turns out if it wasn't for her, no couches or beds would have made the trip. It was seriously appreciated, we started out by emptying the garage of beer bottles ($40 something worth of empties - a whole pickup truck bed full), this was done all by Shannen while I answered a phone call.
We got back from jamming up the beer store, and my uncle was there to help move. They were both total troopers and it took no time at all to get the bulk of stuff that I had actually packed over to the new place. My unlce kindly offered to take us out for some food right afterward but Shannen had to run to Ottawa to help her mom move, that girl was just on a roll this weekend. The problem is that the whole floor of the basement was covered in the important stuff that I needed for the weekend. Tools, bike stuff, and clothes, along with garbage stuff and stuff that was just generally spread around. I stayed up late folding all of my clothes and searching for the lost house keys, but I got tired at about 3am and decided to go to bed, I could deal with that stuff Saturday after test riding the course - Shannen was going to come back and help me move all the rest of my stuff Sunday night after my first Ontario Cup back! So she basically made my whole weekend happen, I'm a pretty big fan of Shannen right now - we'll see if we can stand eachother at all after camping for a week though!
I unfortunately woke up at 7:30, and couldn't get back to sleep. But that didn't seem to matter, this is day one of being a bike racer again! Rolled out of bed, and had some sushi for breakfast (brought to me by my great friend  Sarah the night before). It was the first nice day I'd seen in weeks, so I sat out on the back deck (which is unfortunately west-facing but I got some sun in the corner of the deck). Wheeled my new bike upstairs (I made some changes to it, orange grips, orange spacers and topcap, and sick new wheels). Just looking at the bike and hearing the hub made me smile. A lot. Energy just kept building as I packed my bag for the day, admiring my beautiful sunglasses, my matching kit, bike, helmet, bike, socks, EVERYTHING. Then my housemate said that marks for the semester were up. Energy gone, why does school always have to chase me down? Upon checking my marks energy got higher! I did a good job! The only thing I was mad about was a 79, WHY CAN'T IT JUST BE AN 80?? Whatever. I'll talk to the prof about it.
My bud Alex picked me up and we headed out to the course, a solid roadtrip ensued, good company and a beautiful day! On arrival I saw some guy wearing the Cycle Solutions  (same sponsors as me) kit. Who is that guy? He looked fit, but I couldn't see his face. I went over to check it out, is that....Teddy??!
Teddy is an ex world cup racer that I had never beaten before. He hadn't raced at all for two years, so I was absolutely shocked to see him! But there he is, grandpa Teddy. I have never beaten him in a race, and he's now 45 (wonder if I'm fast enough yet). He was excited to see me, we spent some good time together, and I absorbed as much info from him as possible. As I set up the remote lockout on my fork (with orange housing of course), a few buddies showed up, it is so nice to be a racer again! my buddy Dave got a similar bike to mine, just in 26 inch wheel version, and with different parts. The colours were a little bit different, but mine was way bigger! Wheelbase was 6 inches longer...yikes. Too bad they had already ridden the course and were heading home, at least I had Alex to ride with still! Alex a bit quiet today, nervous for his fist race in the senior expert category! I should be too! But really this one may end up being a bit of a throw away...Throw away?? uh oh. well I don't have the right tires for the rain (didn't get my new tires yet), am scrounging whatever I can find at my old house to eat (some old pasta Shannen brought me the other day actually, and some questionable fish sticks). Looking back on the "scrounging around" part that wasn't a good idea...I was chewing icecream cake that's more than a month old..But I ate all that's left! Plain pasta with tomato sauce, 4 packets of yogurt, and 3 fish sticks. Carbo-loading? Carbo-loading.
We rolled to the start line and I was shocked to see who I saw, it was Charlotte! She rides for Trek, and is a great friend of mine, who doesn't race O-cup normally. So I dragged her out for a lap! Well she didn't need to be dragged. She's fast. And so is the course!
The course is really awesome, super quick, and flowwy! There are some pretty ridiculous turns though, and some tough little pushes uphill, but a really fast lap. Average speeds should be above 20km/h tomorrow for sure. Unfortunately today was super nice and tomorrow is raining. That changes things, but I'm optimistic! I've ridden far worse trails on my bike in the rain! And though I don't have good tires for the wet, it's what I'm used to, so at least I know what to expect! Mansfield is also a place that takes rain really well. We rode 3 laps of the course, and saw a lot of people, talked a bit, and drank a lot of water. I feel good about this course, and hope that my legs are feeling their best tomorrow!
Upon arrival at my house, I was greeted by my housemate and my buddy. Apparently the house has to be cleaned out for tomorrow. What? how. Lots of bike trips to and from my houses is how. Good idea. O-cup tomorrow? Uh oh.  Luckily I got one car load in too, so that helped out! My stuff is all safely at my new house, and I'm ready to get some rest for the big day tomorrow. My mom and brother might even make an appearance to cheer me on! Keep posted for updates, I'll write a quick report! But I have to pack for a week of camping too!

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