Friday, February 06, 2009

Bethel Spring Series - Pre-Trip Stresses

I know, I know, the post frequency has dropped significantly in the last month or so. I'm attributing this drop to my more consistent training, house organizing, shoveling snow, chopping ice, and, of course, kitty petting. Plus the sometimes shockingly-cold weather exhausts me to the point that when I get home I have the energy to only eat and then I fall asleep.

Oh and spending some time with the missus. Ahem. Right.

With my trip to California coming up soon - I fly out next Wednesday at dawn (that's 4 days to get things done) - I'm rapidly running out of time to do stuff that I need to do before the Series gets off the ground. With less and less time left, the soup pot of things to do seems to be boiling, and only the most important things rise to the top.

The Series is naturally taking a lot of my free time. I've been busy the last few weeks - Carpe Diem Racing, LLC is now officially a Connecticut state company, I have a brand new company bank account, and I even have some checks (even if they came off the bank's printer, they're still checks).

I've also been accumulating things we need for the upcoming series. For example, in the big fossil fuel category, I've paid for two small, quiet generators. I've learned that their prices are apparently inverse in relationship to their size and decibel output. The van is at the local garage getting its vent and defrost things working, both critical, as the missus pointed out, for driving in cold and wet weather. Okay, not for really driving, but for seeing where you're driving. It'll cost a bit of money but less than, say, a new van. It's hard to believe that the van is ten years old but it is.

I have ten 5-gallon buckets (with lids) to hold sand to anchor down the tents. I got that idea when I walked around Interbike East and saw tents semi-staked with buckets of concrete, eye-bolts fixed in them. Concrete is nice but sand is free, and free works for me. So the sand is salty, so what? That's what the lids are for.

We'll collect the sand on Sweep Day, and to help do that, I've managed to get my hands on a Power Broom to sweep the road. I even have a Wet/Dry Vac to suck up that sand to dump into the buckets (and I may need to borrow one or two more). We'll use the quiet generators to power them.

(I can say I thought of that idea myself.)

The poor missus is driving around with two folding tables (for inside the tent) in the back seat of her car, and if we see more of them, we may get two more (and ditch all the busted banquet tables we've been using). Plastic tops, water-proof, and since they fold in half they store much better than the jagged-edged non-folding tables.

I have two big "to-do" things left - test the finish line camera with a laptop and make sure the wireless network works as I hope it will. Both of these tests will occur, hopefully, on Sunday. We have a back up if either of the two big "to-do" things don't work - the TiVO for the finish line camera (our old set up), and if the network doesn't pan out, we can just run back and forth with flash drives and such.

I've put my "trailer for a registration tent" fantasy aside for now, but that doesn't mean that the wind won't be around pushing the tent sides into the propane heater. Since this is one of my race day stresses, I want to fix it. This means I want to figure the wind stuff out as soon as possible. I've been grappling with various ideas, frames with lattice, plywood, and other off the wall ideas.

Heck, we could even use the old banquet tables as wind breaks. Which, come to think of it, we did last year.

I've also lined up some help for the race. The worst thing for me is running around looking for people to man certain positions at the race, and having a reliable crew that shows up week after week goes a long way towards reducing that stress. I'll still rely on volunteers for marshals and other duties, but the most important positions will be filled by regulars, some returning, some new, but all folks that I think are friendly, polite, and trustworthy.

So, yeah, I'm feeling some of that unpleasant stress kind of feeling, but I've tried to deal with the most important things, to deal with the big problems so that when the smaller problems pop up I'll be okay.

Now I have to have some dinner and to work on some of those things.


Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work Aki and company!

Have a good trip to CA!

-Young Rider

slowroadie said...

Have fun in CA, Aki.

Just rode the course yesterday. Let's just say we'll need all the sand removing technology we can get our hands on. It would be nice to get a street sweeper/cleaner to drive over it for us, but I'm sure you already went down that route.

Anonymous said...

Note to self: Must beg/borrow/steal a sweeper. Heh.