OK, I’m going to get right to business here. This was an SSAP that was not to miss. See, I had a secret. I’m normally not very good at keeping secrets of this type, and I felt a little dishonest as I had to keep a secret from some of my dearest friends. About a week ago, I got a very frantic bunch of texts and Skype requests from my very good friend Mr Dejay Birtch. Seems that he went ahead and booked himself a flight so he could attend SSAP, but I was sworn to secrecy about the whole thing.
Obviously I told a few select people, but they were not liabilities, and I just had to tell someone. And as it turned out, there were going to be other Niner team riders there as well, Rebecca Tomaszewski, and Donna Miller. Add Niner super rep Mike and several kegs of Terrapin Beer, and oh, this was going to be fun times.
We left VT in JayPro’s (aka Shatner) packed to the roof truck after I closed the shop up early on Saturday. The weather called for rain all day, but while we were on a road, a phone call from Mike and a couple of texts from Dough told us that it had not yet started to rain. Maybe we were going to get lucky? Um, no. By the time we got there, it was a steady rain, getting dark and getting cold. Mandy decided she was going to pre-ride the course. Jay and I decided we were going to stand around and drink beer at Dark Horse Cycles.
Now as a side note, I have to say that I am a huge fan of these guys. Not only do they have a great shop, and run a couple of super awesome events, but they are just fantastic people. It sucks I only get to see them once or twice a year, but every time I do, it’s always a party.
So while we waited around for Mandy to finish catching a cold, we hung out in the upstairs of Dark Horse, chatting, having some beers and figuring out what we were going to do for dinner. I haven’t seen Rebecca since SSWC09, and it was really nice to catch up with her. I still had to keep my mouth shut regarding the gate crasher though, and I have to tell you, this was very, very hard.
We ended up at a surprisingly good Italian joint across the street from the shop. There were about 15 of us, and the restaurant was very gracious about accommodating us. We had some pitchers of beer, but I was keeping an eye on the time. Eventually, the plane landed and I got the call. I got up and told DH George that I had to run to the airport to pick someone up, and left before anyone could speak.
But now, the rain had turned into a torrential deluge. I got Dejay, and we went back to the restaurant. The airport was literally 5 minutes away, so I was only gone long enough for Shatner to decide he ordered the wrong thing and figured it was cool to eat the lasagna that I ordered.
Needless to say, the look on everyone’s face was priceless. DH George and Hawaiian Mike were beside themselves, and both Dejay and I were called a lot of names that are not appropriate for this blog, but all out of love.
After the dinner crew dissolved, we made our way to the hotel. Shatner is “new” to singlespeed racing, and went right to bed, while the rest of us stayed up for a few hours making sure we were appropriately malted for tomorrow’s race. Dejay, Mandy, Dough and Ginger were hanging out for about an hour, when T-hom and his Boston crew showed up to help us get rid of all the beer we bought. We stayed up well past our bed time. It didn’t matter, the rain was hitting the window in our room so hard, it sounded like rocks, not water. We figured it was best to enjoy the weekend in the company of good friends and conversation, than to wallow in what was to come tomorrow…
We woke in the morning to find that it had stopped raining at some point.
I told you this was going to be a Dick-esque post, you’ll have to come back tomorrow for the “race” part of the report.
If you’re not careful, I might try and milk this post all week.