Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bethel 2009 - Already?

It's a bit late, I'm a bit tired, but I'm feeling a certain amount of satisfaction in what we (the missus and I) have accomplished in the last couple days.

First off, on Saturday night, I caught up with some friends I hadn't seen in forever, and the missus finally got to meet the guy that made the podiums for the Bethel races. No, they don't fold into each other, but as the price was right, they've been just fine. Anyway a 5 minute stay ended up becoming something like 50, and we had to leave because, well, my family was waiting with some BBQ ribs and such, and you can't leave that stuff hanging.

The cool thing about the catching up bit is that we picked up a 55x55 track frame (with headset and post) - the guy is donating it to the New England Velodrome. I don't know when I'll make it up next but it'll be nice to be able to help Tony with the NEV.

We got to the house, had ribs, caught up with the family, and watched, would you believe it, Breaking Away. My sister in law had never seen it, and she's an enthusiastic movie watcher (like all of us) so it was a great time. I caught or remembered things I hadn't caught or remembered:

- the "helmet cam" shots of him chasing the co-ed on the Vespa thing - I wonder if that's where I got my inspiration.
- how hard the cycling double was riding - that guy was hammering, especially behind the truck.
- Dave clobbers a lamppost while singing - I cracked up when I saw that bit.
- I always get allergic reactions and such in my eyes when he drafts the truck and when he races at the end. Damn dust.
- I was trying to see if one of the Cinzano guys really was Christian Vandevelde's dad. I don't know what he looks like so it was hard to "guess". I heard that another local kid's dad was also a Cinzano guy, and the credits only list two names.

We also drove the Bethel van up into our neck of the woods. It's been living in my dad's yard, and the vines were starting to grow around the door handles and such. Sunday morning I prayed, turned the key, and with just a minor complaint, the engine cranked over and roared to life.

I rocked it out of its parking spot (it's basically backed into the woods), yanking it free of those pesky vines.

That's when I smelled the smoke.

Not only did I smell it, the inside of the van was full of it. A pleasant enough smoke, reminded me of a firepit I stood over just last week. But inside the van, that was a bad thing.

I quickly parked the van in the middle of the driveway, away from the other cars, and jumped out, armed with one of a few fire extinguishers in the van.

After some careful poking and prodding I failed to find the source of the smoke.

I waited a bit more, to see if some petroleum product would suddenly burst into flame (I have 3-4-5 gas cans, one a 14 gallon, and three propane tanks, so any fire is unwanted), but the van remained inert.

I had another epic battle with ants, taking much less mercy on them this time than last time. I guess all that work in the hardware store helped harden me as far as killing insects go. I don't like sprays (although I admit to spraying mosquito repellant directly onto nearby mosquitoes) but I will stomp or swat, depending on the tactical situation.

I loaded up the van, sat for a bit and talked with my brother. The missus came home from a nice workout and, after a pause to watch Speed Racer with two very enthusiastic nephews ("Do you want to skip to the race?"), we headed home.

Well, with an IKEA detour. And a stop at a gas station. $3.15 a gallon! What's happened to this world? We used to feel lucky if it was under $4, and now we're almost down to the $2s.

With an additional 300 or so pounds of particle board, $105 of gas (another couple hundred pounds of weight, and I didn't fill any of the gas cans), we headed home. We'd (I'd) planned on dropping by our friends Todd and Donna - it's where all my car stuff is housed - but the van was full and heavy, so I canceled on that.

At home we swapped the van seats in the garage for Bethel stuff. That took a while since the van seats were buried in "stuff to bring in the house". We parked the van (with its seats) in a top secret paved location. I hope to be able to spiff up the van a bit - it deperately needs a tune up, a new battery (it's been struggling along with a battery about half the size it should be), and some rust proof type work.

All this work with Bethel reminded me of all the pages of notes I made after the last Bethel, with ideas on making the race better, accelerating registration, reducing set up and breakdown time, and even getting the sweep to become a much less intimidating thing.

Of course all that stuff motivated me to do a ride, and since it was late, it ended up a trainer ride. I hadn't watched Floyd's Tour in a while so that's what I popped into the DVD player. I wonder what they'd find if they tested the 2007 (not Floyd's year, I know, but one Schumacher was doing some inspired riding) samples for CERA - new medicines have to be tested, so CERA has got to have been around for years and years before they put it on the market.

But that's for another day.

Bonus of the day?

The missus, while unburying the van seats, found the front wheel block for the trainer.

So, for the first time in the house, my front wheel didn't wobble everywhere.

It's the little things.


Anonymous said...

I can't wait for Bethel!

I went out for a group ride on some hills on saturday and saw some semblance of form for the first time.

It was a good feeling.


-Young rider

Anonymous said...

Was Breaking Away on TV?
I got the 2-0 with a thumbs up today. I always thought that would be cool if it happened and it was.

Aki said...

Breaking Away was courtesy Netflix so, no, not a programmed show.

Bethel will be interesting, esp since I'm trying to get things more streamlined. We'll see how that goes.