Saturday, May 31, 2008

Racing - Pre C3 Post

Short and sweet. I'm tired but I'm racing tomorrow at Bethel. Imagine that, a race at Bethel.

Today I went and dug the van out of the bushes at my dad's place. Amazing how much plants grow when it's warm and wet out.

The missus and I had to load up a few things, remove a few snow/cold related things, and the van would be packed. 15 minutes tops and we'd be ready to go.

I opened the back door.

There were a bunch of ants. Like a lot of them. Big black ones. Carrying little white things around. Larvae.

The missus, handicapped by an extra 10 feet of distance, interpreted the scene a bit differently.

"Are they eating the rock salt?"

First thing I thought was that I haven't had enough Gatorade recently. I looked at her like she was a city girl. Actually, I'm a city boy, and I surprised myself by getting close enough to see that the white larvae looking things really were larvae. Then, in an act of supreme courage, I started to clean out the ants.

I guess the ants like the wood podiums and set up camp in the biggest of the three. The "rock salt" was everywhere. Obviously all of it would have to be cleaned out before the van could be considered "ready". I couldn't imagine trying to do all this stuff at the race tomorrow.

Taking a page from Bill Murray, I reverted to using two leaf blowers (one hand held, one wheeled one) to forcibly move the well developed ant colony. Okay, I also used gloves. A hint - don't hold a leaf blower over your head, upside down, to blow ants out from on top of a podium - gas drips down. And a tenacious ant will withstand a prolonged 120 mph hand held leaf blower air blast. However, they wilt (and disappear) in the face of a 6 HP wheel blower.

Just the other month I'd talked about Sim Ants, a game where you try and help an ant colony thrive.

Think about that for a second.

If you see an ant colony, does it "struggle"? Does it seem like it needs help? Of course not. As long as the weather is nice, they do fine. The ultimate proof, for me, was that if you left Sim Ant running overnight, you'd return to the computer to find your game completely and totally overrun with your ants. If you did the same with the people version of the game, you'd return to a wrecked city, burnt and looted until there was nothing left.

The ants didn't need my help and I had to ruthlessly remove them from the van.

I can only hope that the bike racing gods and ant gods don't talk to each other.

Anyway, I skipped my pre-race ride to clean out the van. Luckily I'd cleaned my bike (again - riding in a torrential downpour undoes even a thorough cleaning job) before we left, and I'd packed all my gear and all that. So not much else to do.

I forgot my SRM, my watch, my cell phone. I won't be be able to record my power, I won't know what time it is (since I use my watch or phone), and I can't make any calls. I remembered my ring and my wallet, so the missus is not upset and I could drive today and race tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

All the best for your race - should be a beautiful day!

Anonymous said...

Great sprint today Aki. I thought the race was odd. Lots of crashes, and the pack would chase down the bridge attempts but not actual breaks. I was the guy that said to you while racing "wow that bridge effort blew me up." I saw the 3 juniors bridge too late and put in a big effort to get up to them only to blow up on the hill. Thankfully the pack slowed so I was not dropped.

Great race by your team -