Monday, April 12, 2010
The Pan American Extravaganza!
First I am going to give you the good news. The Pan American Championships were fun times all round. On the not so stellar news side...to quote Adam Craig. I ride bikes like a small child. I will now preview the rest of the post in 5 words/phrases. Mullet, face auger, snakes, qu’est-ce fuck pamplemousse, Columbian street brawl.
Met the team in Toronto for a group flight to the apparently unsafe country of Guatemala. Used a wheelchair as a bike trolly as I was too cheap to pay $3 for a real cart (sorry old or disabled person). Uneventfully air-bused to Guatemala City. Found out that everyone lost at least one piece of baggage (propably just busy looting our valuables). Used some CCA bribe $ to get our stuff late that night. We stayed at a surprisingly plush hotel despite the questionably sketchy surrounding city. Roomed with Rapha Gagne and Juice Boy (Zach Hughes). Built some bikage and worked on my sleepage.
One of the transport busses ran out of gas on the 40 min drive from our hotel to the race course so we had to cram 50 people into a 25 seat bus central american style. Practiced sweating for 3 pre-ride laps around a pretty fun little loop. I would say its a combo between some euro course, Hardwood Hills and Fernie...plus snakes. Noticed the altitude BIG TIME as I was breathing like the big bad wolf in the granny ring. Filmed a pre-ride lap around the course capturing a dirty little crash by Mr. Gagne. Watched two episodes of 90210 and got inspired by the character Steve (Ian Zering) to change my hair style.
This was a chill day filled with time by the pool, jelly beans and a recovery ride around Guat City. On said ride we danced with a man called death and shredded the gnar on a 5 min quiet loop. Questioned the random flaming garbage in the street gutters. Went for a two hour team grocery run as we got lost and nearly run over multiple times along the way. Assigned Reb as my food basket caddy and loaded up on safe food and jelly beans. Found out Scott Kelly does double duty between team mechanic and dull scissors hair stylist and got myself a slick new doo. Had a nice scrap with Rapha over the lumpy pillow which ended up with mattress throwing...no one cried btw.
Back to the race course to tune up the skillz for another lap or two. This time we played it safe with a Team Canada only short bus. Road one lap chill and one lap kinda fast to get the body ready to fill the pain box come Sunday. Waited two hours for our short bus to take us back to the hotel and hitch hiked around the venue looking for the driver. Bought a red Guatemala cap to match the early 90’s inspired style i’ve been sporting. Implemented some makeshift French phrases such as “qu’est-ce fuck! Pamplemousse! Out of boredom. Destroyed the deep fried beef jerky pre race meal we were provided. Got all pumped up on coffee and Kid Cudi beats in plush chairs on the patio and then called er a day.
Warmed up on a cobbled climb and pump track decent. Almost fought a Guatemalan for hitting me with his bike while racing through the crowd to the start line with bike overhead. After an incredibly huge false start I tried to keep the start pace controlled but somehow still overdid it. I struggled to ride the pace of small children while fading backwards through the field for two laps. Started to recover a bit in the third and fourth lap but I was still riding in slow motion around 20th place. Somehow found the turbo’s on the 5th lap passing 8 riders and big ringing most of the lap at minimum intensity to finish 12th. Need to figure out how to bring the turbo’s to the start line one of these days...
Start line conversation of the week:
US Mechanic: “who’s that short Canadian guy?”
Canada: “O, thats Watson”
US Mechanic: “Why is he on the front row”
Canada: “Cuz he’s fast!”
Needless to say Watson once again underdoged the front of the race. Max took a controversial 3rd place on the podium after himself and a Columbian got tangled in the final corners. The Columbian team was trying to start something after the race as Max took the final spot on the Podium. I was assigned Max’s official backup because of my large biceps. Juice Man plowed himself face first onto a cobbled road and fully knocked himself out on the final lap. He is concussed but his pretty face is still mostly intact. Fudge also had really good result placing 2nd in the U23 women's race.
No noteworthy post race shenanigans to report as im typing this periodically on my travels northward. Next up is a quick stop in Kelowna and a long drive with Shark Attack back to Champion City. Awaiting will be a brand spanking new Cannondale Flash and some sick training rides before my European World Cup debut. Until next time Gang, float like a manatee and sting like a pufferfish :)