I awoke yesterday morning at 5:30, and walked into the living room, where I slammed into a scent wall of Febreze "spring and renewal" fabric refresher (I had chosen sleep over laundry the night before). I checked my kit, and it was dry (whew - I'd superstaurated it with the spraybottle less than 6 hours before), though I'd stop short of "renewed."
I paused for a moment to feel sorry for my friend Shmel, who would be doing almost all the day's driving across the Bay to/from Pescadero.
After dressing and packing up (no time for brekkie), I got into my car, which promptly took 580 westward on autopilot. I really need to get that fixed, because Shmel lives east of me. Stupid, dumbass car.
I got off the freeway and tried to figure out how to fix my car's mistake on the roads, rather than turning around and getting back on the freeway going east, because I guess at 6 am on a Saturday morning, high on Febreze, I think I'm some sort of bigshot. A mistake, it became clear. I found my way back to 580 amd called Shmel to (1) tell her I'd be a teeny bit late, and (2) ask her again for directions, just in case, because I'd left them at home (bigshot). Shmel was plussed (i.e. "the opposite of nonplussed"), as always. "Calm and encouraging" is how I'd describe Shmel in pretty much any given stressful situation, and this one was no different. Upon arrival, I got all my crap, plus the trainer I'd arranged/driven to borrow at the last minute the night before, and we stuck it all in/on Shmel's car. Then Shmel drove us to Peets as a favor to me (brekkie!). She waited in the car.
Needless to say, a spillage situation had just occurred at Peets when I walked in. The yellow caution sign was coming out, floors were being mopped, drinks were being re-made, and the wait was excruciating.
I eventually got my breakfast (fat-free apricot vegan scone, because despite the unappetizing description, they're surprisingly really yummy, and big-gulp iced caramel latte) and hopped into the car briefly pondering what my bladder etc. situation would be when we got to the start, and the fact that I had on bib shorts (you can't just drop trow; you need to take off your top first). I let those thoughts go as Shmel handed me the mapquest directions and we took off, commencing girl-talk as we headed toward the race.
If you want to get super duper technical about it, I guess I was the navigator, because I was sitting in the seat often occupied by the navigator (when there is one), and I happened to be holding the directions.
We missed the San Mateo Bridge entirely. We then saw some Dumbarton Bridge signs, but kept going (with my strong encouragement, because I was pretty sure the San Mateo Bridge comes after the Dumbarton). It was getting late.
Once we hit Mountain View, Shmel realized we'd gone way too far down 880, and she turned off on 237 in a panic, and then 101, while I scrambled to figure out how to get to 84. I was getting nauseated because I had to look backwards to grab the map, and find my glasses. The signage sucked and we ended up on some street that wasn't 84. After a u-turn at the "no u-turns" sign (interesting that they had a sign in place for that!) and vehement denunciation of the inadequate signage situation, we ended up on 84, which had *gasp* stoplights! We didn't have time for stoplights! And we were behind dilapidated trucks full of leafblowers!
Leafblowers are the bane of Shmel's existence, and she has plenty to say about them. Unfortunately, she made me promise not to tell anyone what she said on this particular morning. Anyway, that's not the focus here. The focus here is another Shmel commentary, as she was noticing the time (it was slipping away and we had many miles of twisty road ahead of us) and was starting to unravel:
"We're behind another truck of f*cking illegals!!!"
Immediately, she felt terribly, and said she had nothing against them...
"But they drive f*cking two miles per hour because they don't want to get pulled over, and I CAN'T DEAL! I have a f*cking race!!!"
I think it's OK that I'm recounting this part, because (a) she didn't specifically tell me not to, and (b) I changed her name.
And of course we both had to go to the bathroom, and that always gets worse when you're stopped at a red light, we noticed. Well, unbelievably, we got there in the nick of time (the first heat rode by us as we were parking and everyone was looking at us incredulously as we careened on twisty roads to the start as late as we could possibly be - it was obvious we were trying to get to the race in time; we had bikes on the roof), and I (totally stressed out at this point and severely car-sick to boot) ran to use the nature facilities as Shmel got naked and changed next to the car and then spilled Hammer Gel all over herself and the trunk and used my bottle of water to get unsticky, and then we biked over to registration to get our numbers pinned, and so much for the trainers we'd brought! No time for a warm-up! Fortunately, things were running late so we had a moment to compose ourselves as they were starting the other groups (female 3s,/4s/masters went last, yay!). And then we were off.
I was off the back immediately. The pace was just too fast to sustain. 2 others were behind me, and one passed me (I never saw the second again; I assumed she dropped out). I ended up passing her back, later (I'd offered to work together to get up Stage Road, but she didn't take me up on it, so I drafted, and I think she must have bonked). And then I passed someone else on lap 2, but I think she was a master's racer, so I may have finished last in the 3s/4s group (of those who finished).
The feed zone was interesting. Both bottle cages on my bike were in use, yet they offered to pass me a full bottle as I was riding by! And I was thinking "where the hell am I going to put a 3rd bottle?!" so I didn't grab it. Then on lap 2, I stopped (because I really needed water; I was out), to ask how it was done, and the guy pointed to a bin full of used water bottles and said I toss one out and take the new, full one. And I looked at him. And he said, "Oh. You want to keep your water bottles." And I said yes (they have sentimental value!). And he said, "Well that's a first." And he poured the water out of the new, full water bottle, and into mine. And I was on my way.
As anticipated, it was a pretty ride, and I'm glad to have gotten my feet wet. Next time I'll bring my crappiest water bottles. And I won't get totally lost riding those last few miles from the finish (at the top of the hill) back to the start, which prompted a panicked "I don't know where the hell I am!" call to Shmel, and required her to come pick me up.
2 years ago