Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Tale Of Two (Penetratingly Cold) Races: Part 1

In Which The Forecast Hints at Rain (and Cinnamon Rolls)

So on Friday, the eve of the Independence Valley Road Race, I spent most of my day making cinnamon rolls and checking the weather. Why? Because I love cinnamon rolls and I was hoping it would rain on us. Oh yes, you read that right -- I was HOPING it would rain. I wanted the weather to be so wet, so cold, so dreadfully awful that it would suck the will to race from most of my competition, namely those who are in better shape than me right now. My plan: sell cinnamon rolls $3 a pop until I made enough money to pay for my race, register for and then win the race, then sell the rest of my cinnamon rolls at $3 a pop. I envisioned leaving the race with fistfulls of cash, and bellyfulls of sweet gooey goodness.

I made nearly three dozen cinnamon rolls, and the forecast said 34 degrees and 90% chance of rain. Yee-HAW!!

In Which We Race in Terrible Weather

Race morning.

Weather: 34 degrees and sleeting hard.

Cinnamon Rolls Sold Before Race: 0 (we were late).

Core / arms: expedition-weight thermal volcano base layer, long sleeve magliovento jersey, arm warmers, wind vest (removed 30 minutes into race).

Legs: leg warmers over knee warmers, bib shorts.

Feet: wool socks, neoprene booties.

Hands: DeFeet glove liners, monster ski gloves (removed 2 hours into race).

Head: thermal hat, glasses with clear lenses.

Racer Wearing the Least Clothing at the Start: probably me.

In Which I Get Off The Front, Bizarrely

Told from the perspective of my eyes, who happen to speak like a 12 year old British street urchin -- Oliver Twist style:

Blimey! Tha'gun goes off an' lickety-split, the spray from all the wheels goes spittin' straight inta me racin' goggles! Oi couldn't see a'fing -- no mo' road, no mo' racers, no mo' bikes, no mo' wheels -- just a bunch'a movin' blobs a'color that's all. Oi canna'tell one racer from tha next, or if me front wheel's 'bout to dissapea' int'a giant pothole. So Sam trys takin' me racin' goggles off me head for a spell and -- BLODDY 'ELL, now ther's di'ty water flyin' straight a'me!! Nex'fing ya know, Oi'm squinting cuz there's sand an'dirt, an'grit from the road scratchin' me corneas! Best keep them racin' goggles on -- movin' blobs a'colors a bit betta than seein' nothin' a'all. After a bit, some chap with a bright green parka attacks real slow-like an' sorta dangles out there, so I says to myself I says "Oi! Sam! You dodga' -- why not get up there an' give the poor lad some company!" Next thing you know, Oi'm off tha front with a'few mates on me wheel. Blimey!


In Which I Think I Might Win The Race And My Ability to Make Wise Decisions Plummets

Frozen brain thought process:

CHRIST it's cold! I can't see shit! Oh man my fingers can't feel a thing -- I can't even tell whether they're operating the shifter levers correctly -- I'd better use my palm to shift instead of my index finger -- yeah, that seems to work better. Wow I can't see shit -- I think I just nearly took out Galen. I think I nearly just went off the road. Are we going hard? I can't tell. My fingers are a completely useless - no thanks to these giant ski gloves! FUCK THESE GLOVES -- THEY'RE COMPLETELY SATURATED WITH ICE-COLD WATER -- THEY WEIGH LIKE FIVE POUNDS A PIECE!!! THEY'RE LIKE GIANT GLOVE-SHAPED WATER BALLOONS FILLED WITH FREEZING WATER -- I CAN'T IMAGINE MY HANDS COULD GET ANY COLDER -- I gotta get my hands away from all that cold water -- then they might warm up -- fuck it --

Sam removes his large, saturated outer gloves and flings them to race officials at the side of the road. He is now wearing a single, thin, knit glove liner.

There! It might not be better, but it's certainly not worse -- those stupid gloves were too heavy and cold and--hang on....uh-0h......AWH SHIT I FORGOT ABOUT THE WIND -- MY GLOVE LINERS LET THE WIND IN!!! -- THESE ARE A LOT COLDER!!! -- I WAS SO WRONG!!!! I WANT MY WATER BALLOON GLOVES BACK!!


In Which I FLAT OUT OF THE FUCKING RACE??! HOLY HELL ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

I flat out of the fucking race?? Holy hell are you kidding me?

In Which I Shiver Uncontrollably For Almost an Hour

Eventually a follow car scrapes my sorry ass off the side of the road and drags me back to the start. I shiver uncontrollably for almost an hour.

In Which I Only Sell 5 Cinnamon Rolls

Five hints for selling cinnamon rolls:

1. Don't try to sell cinnamon rolls to people who are miserable, recently traumatized, and possibly suffering hypothermia after exposure to extremely awful weather
2. Choose a nice, sunny day to sell cinnamon rolls, preferably a really warm one.
3. Don't eat your own cinnamon rolls. Don't give them away.
4. If possible, warm them up -- cold cinnamon rolls aren't nearly as enticing to cold people as piping hot ones
5. When you sell cinnamon rolls, include a napkin! Nobody likes sticky hands that can't be cleaned.

2 comments:

Colin said...

hey, that was my race in bham. fuck water-balloon lobster gloves. also fuck fig newtons falling, half-chewed, out of numb mouth. also fuck riders who can't handle their bikes and break people's wrists for it.

Vanessa said...

I feel like an ass for laughing my face off just now while reading what was actually happening while I was back in Seattle obliviously tucked under a blanket.