Four years ago last night I drank an entire bottle of wine for dinner and I remember that because it was the night before Ryder was born. Yep, the little dude turned Brett Favre's number today and celebrated with a party at school and another party tonight at Jump Zone. You'd think packing a bunch of kids into a warehouse full of inflatable jumpers woule be a bad idea, but no one bones were broken, no one bled, and I only saw two or three dozen tears shed throughout the night. Unlike my trip up to Monterey last weekend, the party was a success.
I came home from Sea Otter with no good results, no photos, but more importantly, no poison oak or no speeding tickets. I limited my chances of getting poison oak by taking bum baths in the Laguna Seca restrooms with Technu soap. And I almost completely eliminated the chances of getting a speeding ticket by driving my gutless four-banger Mazda 5 to the race. Knock on wood.
Saturday's Short Track was your usual deal only with World Champ Christoph Sauser and World Xterra Triathlon World Champ, Conrad Stoltz. Oh, and the Dart was there too. If the Dart is there, you know it's going to hurt. So 70-some of us lined up for what has become known as Frosty's Arbitrary Short Track Pulling and guess what? Frosty didn't pull me! Some UCI official did instead. Anyway, Sauser, the Dart & Wells got away early on and turned it into a Specialized photo shoot until Sauser burped a tire and had to pull out. With a lap to go, Wells rode away from the Dart (you probably won't see that happen many more times) and took the win. I got to see it all because, as I mentioned before, I got pulled.
On Sunday temps heated up, so the race was cut down from 40 miles to 30, but it didn't really matter to me because I miscalculated the amount of time it would take me to do the first lap and the amount of liquid I would actually take in under dusty and hot conditions. It's not rocket science, but for some reason I came up with all the wrong answers and spent a good 30 minutes riding without any liquids. Rookie move.
The final nail in the coffin was when I got a water bottle in the neutral feed and when it came time to chuck my empty bottle, I got caught in the heat of battle (pun intended) and ditched the wrong bottle. I know, I know. It doesn't make any since to me either. Rookie move again. Instead of suffering heat stroke like a ton of other fools did, I pulled the plug after just 20 miles. Too bad too, because I think I was running about 60th in a 155-man field. Around a third of the men's field DNF'd, but that didn't include Sauser. The rainbow jersey won with a nice cushion. Meanwhile, the carnage out on the course was a sight for sore eyes - people puking (Wendy Simms!), passed out, crashing, walking out, and crying. Elite mountain bike racing is so rad.
Thanks to Shelly and Jesse for letting me crash on their hotel floor, Shelly's dad for buying me dinner one night, and to Joy and Garnet for putting up with my music on the drive home. One of the highlights of the weekend was getting to pre-ride with Country James Williams. Those were the days, weren't they Jimmy?
The funniest thing I heard all weekend was that after Alex Boone finished, he was covered in salt from head to toe. He told Joy that he was going to be making margaritas later. I was so thirsty, I would have drank one, or ten.