If nothing else, traveling to a big bike race (in this case Masters Nationals in Louisville) is always good for a few interesting experiences …
Some Things Are Just Wrong
It’s acceptable, though dorky, to wear support hose in the parking lot before and after the race. It’s less than acceptable and without a doubt dorky to wear them elsewhere in public. But it should be downright illegal to actually wear them DURING the race. Especially Nationals.
The Height of Masters’ Self-Indulgence?
I nominate: coming to Nationals by yourself in a motor home big enough for a Euro pro team, then leaving the generator running for hours to power the air conditioning while everyone else is sweating buckets and breathing in the exhaust fumes.
The Best Road Rash Award Goes To …
… I’m not going to name names, but it goes to the racer who biffed in the parking lot on the way to look at results.
There is only one Dairy Queen in all of Louisville that serves chocolate ice cream. That’s what one of the DQ employees told us. That seems vaguely racist. Someone should investigate to find out the location of the DQ that serves chocolate.
Real Men Eat Meat
Two skinny guys (Matt and I) walk into a Bob Evans to get a pre-race breakfast. One skinny guy asked for oatmeal and 2 eggs. The other asks for oatmeal, 1 egg, and 1 pancake. And water. I felt like I was in a Seinfeld episode — the one where Jerry is on a date and orders a “just a salad” at a steakhouse and the waiter is visibly bothered. It was even worse when we each could only finish half of our vats of oatmeal.
Next day before leaving I had to go back and order some meat just so they didn’t think we were “some of those”.
I Went to Louisville and Waited at Red Lights in my Spare Time
This could also be filed under “Some Things Are Just Wrong”. The planners of suburban Louisville must have taken their inspiration from the concrete gardens of Florida. Getting from our hotel to the Starbucks less than 1 mile away involved a 10 minute drive. You couldn’t walk because there was no way for a pedestrian to cross the 5 lane, divided Hurstbourne “Parkway” (irony apparently was a strength of the planners). I watched a few try to dodge cars, but I concluded it wasn’t worth the risk of becoming a hood ornament. Going anywhere along this so-called parkway involved unbearable waits at traffic lights. After time, do you just get used to it? Don’t know if I could.
Remember, We’re a Service Organization
Reading what I wrote above, I’m sensing just a bit of negativism. Hmm, guess that goes along nicely with my results. On the positive side, the event seemed to run more smoothly than the last two years. The staff and officials were polite and generally helpful. I actually heard one official say to another (with just a hint of sarcasm) “remember, we’re a service organization” as one racer was loudly complaining about his bike not meeting the UCI specs.