Saturday, April 06, 2013

Promoting - Pre-Pre 2013 Criterium de Bethel

Well it's been a week off from Bethel due to the Easter Sunday break. The Missus and I took a much needed break last weekend from the hurry and scurry of all that's Bethel.

For me a big thing was I threw out my back on the Thursday before Easter Sunday. I'd loaded Junior into the car for one of his two half days of daycare. We put him there to get sick, to socialize, and to give me a break.

As I loaded the car I couldn't help noticing the 180 lbs of Permapatch in the back of the car. It's great stuff, much better than anything I could find in the Bethel area, and I bought a few bags up here for use down at Bethel. It's a plastic based pavement patch, works down below 0 degrees F, and because it sets based on pressure traffic can travel over it as soon as it's on the road. I've been meaning to put some patch down to smooth out some of the rough stuff but I kept forgetting to buy it up here. Unfortunately no one sells it in the Bethel area.

With a person's worth of weight in the trunk of the car I decided to unload the pavement patch allocated for Bethel. When lifting the third 60 lbs bag from the back of the car something popped in my back. I sagged to the garage floor, rested a bit until I could move, dragged the bag over away from the car, and managed to get into the car.

I got Junior to daycare okay but that was it for me for a number of days. On Friday I looked after Junior from the floor of the living room, although by the end of the day I could pick up his 22 lbs mass. I was forced to spectate at Plainville but luckily that allowed me to capture some good shots of friends winning races.

Luckily with no Bethel that weekend I could recover a bit.

For my own riding I did't get on the bike until the following week and even then it was an easy ride. I rode the now-red Tsunami, complete with bar tape, but without the SRM computer or the harness. (I'll do a report on the bike shortly).

Desperate for some training (missing half of my peak winter training really tells) I did another ride a couple days later, exactly a week after my back popped. That time things went better. I spent much of the afternoon working on the SRM stuff, painstakingly wrapping the whole harness with electrical tape. The two wires are separate for some reason and individually they're fragile but taped together it's more durable. I mounted the wire a bit haphazardly on the bike - it looks terrible - and checked out the newly re-batteried PCV. That was fine too.

For a few years I've chosen to get the Bethel Spring Series releases printed - it costs about $20 a week to print them but it costs me $75 in toner every two weeks if I do the printing at home. Plus I'm using up my printer life hand over fist (200-300 pages a week means 1200-1500 pages a Series, plus 1000-1200 blank release forms) and I have to do the hole punching and all that. Much easier to have Staples do the printing. 

Schedule-wise I close pre-reg Thursday so that I have time to download the completed forms and send out the job. To do that and pick them up I want a day extra "just in case". For unexpected things like, well, popping my back.

Therefore on Friday April 5th I headed out to pick up the release forms for this weekend's race, the April 7th one. On the way I saw a brand new Nissan GTR three cars in front of me. I noticed it because it pulled very slowly away from a traffic light at a curving intersection that allowed me to see the car in full. The car directly behind it followed at a respectable distance but the one behind that stayed glued to the bumper of the respectable car.

Being a very deliberate driver (the Missus's term) I followed at a respectable distance from the "glued front bumper" car.

Me, Glued Bumper, Respectable, and finally GTR.
We're going almost 50 mph here.

About 5 minutes later the glued bumper car turned off. Then the respectable distance car left.

This left the GTR in front of me.

I'd been thinking of various things while we followed this very deliberate GTR driver. I thought of when I owned my 350Z. Literally when the recommended break-in mileage rolled over on the odometer I punched the throttle to the floor. I hadn't done that until then so I wasn't ready for the quick redline. About a second after I mashed the throttle to the floor the engine bounced off its rev limiter, the Missus (at that point she was at "girlfriend" status). Not an auspicious start in my life as a 350Z owner.

So although I understand the break in period I thought to myself, "If I had that car I'd be revving it a bit more than that. The heck, it has a crazy launch system, all wheel drive, the thing has massive power and it can put it down. It's probably some old guy who can finally afford a car like that. The thing does 0-60 in 3 seconds and the guy's only going 35 mph in a 35 zone. Jeepers."

Junior was in the car too so, as the lone talking human in the car, naturally I was narrating to him. "Look, it's a GTR! It's a black car! It's a really fast car! It has big tail pipes! A Gee Tee Are! (Letters are important at his age you know.) If we had one we'd be flying in it. It even has a back seat for you!"

Oh the potential.

I opened the windows to listen to the subdued exhaust burble. We finally pulled up behind it at a light. I actually leaned forward to look closer at the tail pipes. I noticed the GTR driver was so distracted he was waving at friends across the intersection - I could see his hand waving a bit through the super dark windows.

I'm continuing my GTR monologue to Junior, describing to him all that I see. Of course he's facing backwards in the car and he can't see out the windows so all he can see is what's there above him in the big sunroof - sky, clouds, the roof rack - while Pops is blabbing away up front.


Ring ring. 

The phone rings, forcing my dashcam app to stop. I briefly think "Oh, man, it just automatically saved the last two files, I'll have to remember to delete them. The dashcam app, DailyRoads (for Android), does a save if the phone rings. It's good I suppose if you want to save something just as the phone rings. On the other hand it's a pain to review, trying to figure out why I saved this particular file, then realize, "Oh, wait, that's when the phone rang!" A lot of my dashcam clip reviews are reminders of this call or that call.

Anyway the bluetooth kicks in, my dashcam stops, and my monologue is about to end.

"Hey, it's got to be Mah-Mah calling... waitaminute it's G-Man. What the heck is he calling for, I haven't talked to him since last fall."

G-Man is a Cat 2 on hiatus, he's in some of my clips, good guy, hasn't been racing for a couple years, been busy with life, etc. He lives in the area but we never got around to doing a training ride together, although he used to drop by where I worked now and then.

Me: "Hello?"
G-Man: "Hey is that you behind me?"

I actually looked in the mirror at the car behind me, a bit bewildered.

Then I realized, wait, he said behind him, not behind me.

"Whoa, wait, are you in the GTR?!"
"Yeah", a bit sheepishly.
"No way! I was just telling Junior about the car. OhMyGod that thing is so cool blah blah blah"
"I tried to wave but I don't think you knew I had this car."
"No, you had that STI last time I saw you."
"I got this in the winter."
"Holy smolies, that's awesome blah blah blah blah."
"You know I know you like cars so I was going to drop by one day and show you the car."
"Haha that would have been incredible!"
"We should get lunch one day. We can take my car."

And the light turned green and he went one way and I went another.

Heh. I'll have to tell him about the "old man driving" stuff later.

So yeah, I picked up the release forms, let Junior walk around a bit (he crawled a bit too), and then went to the pet store next door to do some more walking. He likes pictures of cats (go figure!), smiling and babbling when he sees one. The small patch of grass outside was good and it was short enough that I could spot any doggie mines (none visible).

Junior crawling.

At home, when the Missus got done with another long day of tax season stuff, we worked together to set up pre-reg for Sunday's Criterium de Bethel.

Then exhausted we headed to bed.

Saturday I'll load up the car, realistically after the Missus gets home from work. Hopefully I can get the Permapatch into the car without any problems. Then, after heading to the course to do some minor patching - I'll leave what I don't use at the course - I'll head over to my dad's.

Then Sunday it's race day all over again.

Hard to believe it's just three more races. It seemed just yesterday that I was looking at a daunting 7 week race schedule.

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