The night before the biggest race of the year.

I plan on rocking the 30yr old Clydesdale on a blue Independent Fabrication division of 100 miles of nowhere tomorrow morning, so this is the biggest race of the year for me. I am guaranteeing a win!

I hatched this plan a while ago, but here we were on the day before the event packing the car so that the team fatty members could camp out on the night before the 100 miles to nowhere. Car camping is so much fun, but I aways bring way too much stuff which changes it into car packing and unpacking. I stopped at the store to pick up last minute supplies and headed up to the velodrome.

I got there with plenty of sunlight and literally an empty velodrome that was partially laid out for the impending on rush of bike geeks with incendiary greenbacks in their pockets. I had the place to myself, which is a pretty cool experience.

With news that my now reduced team fatty presence was running late, I figured that I could head out for a quick spin on my bike

After dealing with TWO flat tires, I got my bike out on the Rodale bike park that is a large public park that instead of miles of baseball and soccer fields, it has a cycling track. It is a .5 mile course that has hills, banked turns, straightaways, and plenty of places to practice your skills. It is a field of dreams in a way.

After spinning through there a few times, I figured might as well hit the banks of the velodrome while no one was there to see me fall or catch me because I was going too slow. I have never had the chance to ride on the velodrome evne thugh I have been there so many times for races and swap meets. It was literally the perfect night. It was one of those amazing spring nights with just enough breeze and the sun working its big ball of magic orange over the landscape.

I made a few of my turns around the velodrome and loved it. I wanted to get moving a bit faster, but I also did not want to work over my head when I was literally alone in a concrete bowl. I pictured being found as a frozen crippled mass the next morning by some guy who only wanted to sell some old Tioga pedals, not find me in my final state. The sun was going down and I wanted to get camp set up with some semblance of light still available.

I put my stuff down in the customary night before the swap camping, but there were not many other folks around. At least not as many as there used to be. I had the pick of the place. I settled on a nice spot under a grove of trees that would protect us from some of the overnight rain.

With most of the camp set up, I decided to turn to installing my bike computer. I never ride with one, but I wanted to find out exactly how far we went on this trip. I promptly lost the magnet screw in the dark shadow of the tree I was using as a work stand. As I was rummaging around in the undergrowth, Jenni pulled up. I knew I was caught…one more thing to add to the list of bike follies I have had with her over the last few months and some more ammo for her to make fun of me with.

With pleasantries exchanged and some catching up done, she started to laugh about my lost screw, but offered a flashlight and some help in finding it. After some effort, we gave up in exchange for setting up camp and a trip to Wawa for some dinner.

Wawa is a totally new experience for folks from the New York area. I don’t think of it as something difficult, but I have witnessed complete breakdown in people at the deli line. This was yet again, another total Wawa deli breakdown. Once the irate deli jockey realized she was not from the southern  region of Pennsylvania/New Jersey she backed off a bit and we were able to get our dinner for the night.

We hung out at the compound we built with two cars, two bikes, two tents, two camping stoves, too much water, too much clothing, etc. If you needed to climb Everest and just so happened to be in Trexlertown from about 8pm till 5:30am, we had everything you needed.

We got to bed pretty early with the thoughts of cops and velodrome staff busting us for camping out in the field. I just pictured a maniacal Marty Nothstein wielding a chain whip and a 54 tooth crank set backed up by some of Trexlertown’s finest coming to oust us from our perch. In order to avoid that, we were quiet as a mouse which could not be said for the party folks across the way and the giant cavalcade of trucks that pulled in sometime in the night. Don’t they know I have the most important race of the year tomorrow? I’ll show em.


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