Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The East is Red...Well, Mostly Just Our Forearms and Necks

Continuing the fine tradition of pressing hams on windows, the RIT Cycling Cadre sped across the dusky New York landscape, running a record 16 deep men and an RIT standard zero women. Before reaching the hotel, we managed a drive-by mooning of the Stevens team, to which they responded by pulling off the road, obviously blinded by the pasty radiance of our bare bottoms.

The next morning promised to be hotter than normal, seeing as at 7 in the morning the weather was "perfect." We set up in the parking lot, but not before Peter made a point of driving around the elementary school parking lot a couple of times in a looping, meandering sort of way that confounded or angered other vehicles figuring out a way to park. He was probably showing off for his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Peter, who were kind enough to show up, watch races, cheer for us and bring us food, but most importantly brought us ice for the cooler. We headed off to the team time trial, Jake very, very antsy about not getting to wear the aero helmet. Turns out he didn't need it, seeing as we bounced across the cratered road into a tidy 2nd place.

Getting ready for the road race, we took advantage of seeing the sun for the first time in what felt like several weeks by working on a nice golden brown exterior. I cleaned up my bike and covered my fingers in brake dust, which I used to write " 'SUP" "GUYS?" on my calves like a very friendly triathlete. The road race itself was, like the TTT, bumpy and dirty. Once again the D field had no idea when the race ACTUALLY started after the neutral bit, so we winged it and started racing when it certainly had to have been running. The hills can best be described as a progression of "that wasn't so bad," followed by "really? REALLY?" and finally "OH COME ON!" I fell off the pack in the second lap and pulled a Stevens kid for a ways before hitting a major hole on the moonscape of a course and flatting out. I threw an OK tantrum (I can do better), expelling curse words and deflating and throwing stuff around, to the delight of Jesse, who had suffered a similar flat fate in the C race. I apologize to any families that were around. Meanwhile, on the course:

Jake Yundt at X-Pot: A Play in 1 Act
JAKE: Oh god I lost my water bottle give me yours.
(Teammate hands Jake water bottle; Jake grabs it, drinks from it, hands it back, does not fall)
JAKE: (amazed) I just did that!
JAKE: Hey, where's the pace car? Is there a breakaway? There's a breakaway. Joe, is there a breakaway?
JOE K: There's no pacecar, so I guess there is.
JAKE: There's a breakaway! C'mon, we can catch them!
(JAKE shoots off in front, pushing the pace)
JAKE: Hey, does someone else want to pull? We gotta catch that breakaway.
PRINCETON RIDER: No. Why should I do any work?
(Under his breath, JAKE profanes PRINCETON RIDER and probably PRINCETON RIDER'S MOTHER even though there is no need to bring her into this because really what did she ever do to him. The PACK catches up to the breakaway, because no breakaway existed. JAKE falls off the PACK on the hill)
JAKE: I went for the breakaway but nobody would come with me!
EVERYONE ELSE: There was no breakaway, you are an idiot.
JAKE: Whoops. Sorry!
(JAKE looks out towards audience with a screwed-up face while a slide whistle plays a silly noise)

The only other notable mention is a certain teammate who decided he was going to walk up the hill instead of ride his bike, and he deserves all the heckling in the world. Oh, and Chris got first, which is a pretty big deal, I guess, considering he did it with a broken hand so he couldn't do anything cool with the finishing photo.

We spent some more time moving past the golden brown stage and into the pinkish-red stage in the sun before heading off into Boston to see the sights. The sights we saw were Mission Hill, where a woman yelled at Peter for driving too quickly on a street, Qdoba, and the Northeastern Campus. We split up, some going to Penguin, a place which by all accounts is very good, and others packing tightly into Jason's Focus wagon for a grilling party with the Northeastern team. The interscholastic bonding that took place warmed us, although that warmth could also be blamed on the intense red burns we were all sporting. On the drive home, we stopped at a red light and had a very civil conversation with a group of ladies in another car, an historic first for any male RIT student.

Sunday brought, once again, the sun, and the heat, and the burn, and I, once again, was too stupid to apply any suntan lotion to my firm and well-toned body. I netted a prime in the crit and worked to try to block for a Jakeson break on the last lap, but I'm bad at blocking and they were caught, resulting in no RIT kids finishing in points. It was otherwise a very good race. The Intro men continued their points-grabbing from the previous day, with Chris once again pounding his very stylish Schwinn around the course. The C Men did an Exciting Thing by breaking early and staying out, netting bunch of prime points and were only overshadowed by a Princeton guy doing the same thing to them, only alone. Tigers out in front, or something.

By this time we had all developed very silly tan lines (Pat's being by far the worst with a stunning deep burgundy chest), Don found a bug to play with and the port-a-potties were ruined. What the hell do you people eat?

The ride home was the ride home, pockmarked (yes, this is the best word to use) by Jake's insertion of Emilio Esteveze jokes that are neither funny nor clever but very entertaining if you've been dropped on your head multiple times, as most of our team has been. Lo:

Which one of Charlie Sheen's brothers should be checked regularly for lumps? Emilio Breastevez!
Which one of Charlie Sheen's brothers drives a white 15 passenger Ford Club Wagon? Emilio Molestevez!
Which one of Charlie Sheen's brothers did Charlie Sheen sleep with? Emilio Incestevez!
Which one of Charlie Sheen's brothers keeps my teeth pearly white? Emilio Crestevez!
Which one of Charlie Sheen's brothers saw me naked? Emilio Impressedevez!
And so on.

Share with your friends!

Not far from the end of our trip, our illustrious captain decided we should display our posteriors for a young girl and her mother. Yo-yoing back and forth with this car, the third time past we preferred to exhibit some modicum of decorum, disappointing the girl who by this time had her cell phone camera out. So we took another run, making her day that much brighter with our celestial bodies. Luckily, nobody was wearing anything that could identify us to the police.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Suffering on a Grand Scale

Note: This post has been modified from its original version to include more smack talk, as per ECCC Blogreel poll guidelines. Edits can be seen in brackets.

New Hampshire [A state that, frankly, sucks] is kind of far away from Rochester, but that didn't really stop us. After all, New Hampshire has that rock that looks like a face that people seem to really like, even if it did explode a couple years back, or something. After a long drive through some hillbilly areas (one sign informed us of Hillbilly Fun Park in the vicinity), we ended up at White River Junction, a town that as far as I'm concerned has nothing beyond a Dunkin' Donuts, a Super 8 and a China Moon restaurant.

The next morning was gray and a little chilly, but not so chilly that I had too put any more material on my legs than I had too, a benefit of still not having fully shaven my legs. Chris, Zach and I put up a fantastic ride, two seconds off of Northeastern and two and a half seconds off of Tufts [You're dead, Tufts. That's right, this is a written threat. I'm going to freakin' kill you], which is to say one of us wearing an aero helmet would've netted us third. Tim and Anthony also had a solid ride in D, Peter and Will desperately missing Jesse but still putting up a competitive time for just the two of 'em. Sam had the bad luck to drop her chain on one of the hill's resulting in what was, by Amanda's account, a comically low-speed fall.

The crit approached as the day got colder and Anthony and Will got more and more wired on espresso. A brief rundown of the course led me to the conclusion that someone, at sometime, was going into the drink. This did not happen [but it probably should have, since you're all scrubs who have no business riding a bike]. The race itself was tiring [probably more tiring for you guys than for me, because I am so goddamn great], what with the little hill. I ended up with an 11th place [because I let somebody else win] with Zach coming in right behind after some quick thinking got him around a crash. The RIT men's intro took their laps with both Pat and Andrew pickin' up points. The ladies were unhappy with their first foray into a Women's B crit, with both ending up getting pulled and both definitely displeased by the fact. Peter, in the spirit of smacktalk, asked a young man wearing a striped polo and khakis where the Audi was parked, positing it was perhaps in his Daddy's garage, and perhaps he would pick it up when he went to the yacht club later. The young man was not amused. When he decided to race, Peter took a couple of primes and a fourth place finish. Will, who halfway through the race looked as if the espressos he'd been pounding finally turned on him, held on to the pack despite going through some wicked withdrawal shakes.

During some downtime between crits, I went off in search of beer, specifically Stinson's, a store I learned of from another rider. On my trek, I discovered two things: 1) There are cops all over Hanover, which makes it very difficult to be a dick cyclist and blow through red lights, and 2) Dartmouth students have a difficult time discerning left from right when giving directions. I achieved my goal, but not before someone complimented my bike, which I thought was odd because I ride a Trek and nobody should be complimenting it. Feel free, however, to compliment my Adonis-like good looks and chiseled abs. My foray into town also helped my team find Boloco, a review of which can be read directly below this post.

We went back to our hotel, some to sleep, others to watch zombie movies and complain about the impotent stream in our shower. After some digesting, we went back into town to Everything But Anchovies, where I took it upon myself to eat an entire pizza and Amanda took it upon herself to ask what the difference between parmesan and provolone was, as well as comment on our server's "funny accent." We had a word find competition on the children's menu, which I won [because I am so goddamn great]. Best word found: shat. Or knurt, which I guess is trunk backwards. Anthony took it upon himself to make up words, find words with letters not in order and probably even add some letters in himself. I also authored a heartwarming comic about two friends and cats.

We woke the next morning pumped for the road race, but especially excited to see Joe Kopena's car had been saran wrapped (shenanigans). Look how helpless he is:

We, and several other vehicles, followed him to the staging area, but he was obviously flustered by the run in with cellophane and led us through the twists and turns of Vermont before realizing that he had gone the exact opposite way. We did make it to the start, which I was delighted (read: utterly crushed) to discover was on top of a rather large hill.

The road race started with a dirty downhill dotted with dimples, though it was, mercifully, a neutral part of the ride [I would've killed it had we actually raced, though]. We then continued to ride for several miles before actually realizing that we were actually racing, and I think it took a lot of the group even longer than that to figure it out. I, in the spirit of trash talk, commented that I was pleased that I had decided to ride with Women's B, which turned out to be a mistake. At the end of the first uphill, my gears started switching wildly and my chain started slipping, and curse words, despite the warnings of the marshalls, started slipping from my mouth as I slipped out of the pack and slipped out of contention. Having been crapped out the back end, Zach caught up to me and we worked on getting back into the group.

For the next part of the story, just play this link in the background: .

Alright, so there we're catching up to the group, little by little. I figure the best time to catch them is on the descent into the hairpin, so I bomb it. I forget that it's a hairpin, and brake way too late. Zach, bike handler that he is, goes around, speeding off into the distance. I shoot out into the field, keep my bike up, turn it around and crank back to the road, where I discover a ditch and about a foot and a half drop. All the marshalls are frozen, waiting to see what I'll do; I go for it. It ends poorly for me, as this artist's rendering shows:

I get back on, a marshall comes running over, helps me put my chain back on and gives me a push. After a nice paceline with a couple of guys, I end up on my own again and finish...poorly. As a sidenote, I end up making horrible heaving noises after a long climb. Chris ends up with the best D finish at 34, Lee manages to snap his rear derailleur in half and Tim narrowly misses being in the Women's B finishing picture. Speaking of Women's B, both Amanda and Sam finished, with Amanda having an experience in the aforementioned field similar to my won and Sam somehow making it through with major mechanical problems that required her to walk up much of the hilly bits. You can turn off the music now. I worked on my euro-pro cyclist tanlines while C went off, with both Peter and Will finishing in a near-dead state. Will noticed that some guys had gotten off their bikes and decided to stretch in the middle of the final climb (what the hell, guys), while others made moves off the front to go pee. I may try this.

We packed up and left, lurching forward to our western new york goal. Will suggested we stop for food, which, by the time the words had reached the front of the Mole Van, had somehow morphed into a suggestion that we stop for gas, so we did. Several hours later, we ended up eating at Golden Corral, which, if you're looking to put on several pounds or just want to make a pile of banana pudding covered in gummi candy, is the place to go. A late night return and an exhausted crew, both from excessive eating and brutal climbing made for a rather subdued return trip.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Globe Trotting Burrito: a Boloco Review

Goodish, could be gooder

Enticed by the promise of $1 off any lunchtime burrito, the Fine Dining Club made the brief trek across town to take advantage. The subterannean Boloco is nestled along the bustling Main Street between quaint Hanover shops, a subdued facade that hides the Mexo-world fusion food within, brethren to such restaurants like Chipotle or Moe's. The restaurant itself is a triumph of urban reappropriation, an effective commercial use for an otherwise curious and most likely dank and dusty basement space.

The decor is a marriage of the space's rustic roots, apparent by the brick trimmed high, narrow windows that run the length of the establishment, and the post-modern, evidenced by the stylish, low-flourish furniture and exclusively helvetica-clad menus and signage. Customers can choose to sit in either the chairs at the restaurant-standard table (banal) or opt for the more exciting booths, which provide far more comfort and support. The booth also eliminates the need to pull out a lady's chair for her, so chauvinists can still get laid even if they aren't very polite.

The staff, not knowing that I was a high-quality, professional reviewer of restaurants, treated me with the same rough familiarity that comes from lax upbringing. Spare the rod, spoil the future service industry workers of tomorrow, as the saying goes. Despite the seemingly brusque demeanor, the good humor and fast service stands to their credit; after our party noted that we were "racers," their incredulity at our lack of spandex soon fell and they quickly made good the $1 off offer. No doubtthat they will never be sommeliers in a high class french establishment, these two men did a perfunctory job of taking our orders and money, but did stupendously well on the ever-important "make change" part of their job. It should also be noted that, when one of my party's order was incorrectly entered, there was no charge for it and another, more-accurate burrito was promptly engineered.

The menu boasts a range of culinary quirks beyond the Classic burrito. Also available on the standard menu are the Buffalo, featuring the distinct flavors of western New York; the Bangkok, a burrito that recalls images of spicy curries, peanut sauces and ladyboy prostitutes; the bbq, an homage to the tex-mex brand of bbq featuring spanish rice and bbq sauce; the Caesar, a rolled-up version of many people's favorite salad; the Big Green, a vegetarian offering for people who don't like protein in their diets or possibly still think cows have feelings that don't amount to "Boy I wish I were a steak."; the Cajun, a creole offering that will flood your mind with thoughts of Bourbon st; and a good deal of others, which I won't write about because this is getting boring, as well as the option to build one's own burrito, should a customer be intrepid enough to delve into the burrito construction theme. They also feature smoothies of some description.

In order to give the food a fair shake, I was naturally forced to try the classic, to see how it measured up to the similar restuarants of its ilk. The burrito was passable and succeeded in sating my hunger, the bare minimum of the product of any eatery. The well-wrapped nature of the container beneath left little spillage and the construction was such that I was able to hold on with one hand while applying sauce with the other. It is said that adding sauce to a dish is an insult to the chef, but I don't think these burrito builders were especially appalled. After all, as a reviewer I must feel all aspects of the dish; the way the flavors dance on one's tongue both as a naked entree, but also under the stronger, sharper flavors that can be added after the fact. The burrito did passably, excellent as a bear entree but the flavors flowing together a little bit under my steady, salsa-applying hand. In addition to the Classic, I was determined to take Boloco on on my own turf, so I ordered a Buffalo. An interesting take on what has traditionally been the most useless part of the chicken, this Buffalo wing analogue is, in fact, edible. The sauce stood somewhere between 'medium' and 'hot' territory, which worked well within the confines of the burrito space as a place for 'spicy' food but would not alienate those biased against a high-temperature mouthfeel. The addition of celery, though authentic, led to a strange texture dichotomy that may appeal to some auteurs but left this reviewer feeling mildy confused and vaguely betrayed.

Briefly, Boloco stands as an ample establishment from which one can pick up a mediocre to slightly-above-average burrito with a dash of international flavors. One and one quarter stars out of four, designating it above good but not very good, as per the New York Times reviewing mechanisms. Points deducted for service staff not kowtowing at my feet, had to pick up food myself, no smoking jackets of the finest silk for all patrons, no wine list, no toilet made of solid gold in the restrooms, no young child to give me a foot massage while I ate. Quarter point added for comping teammates meal and free refills on soda.

ATMOSPHERE Low-key, post-modern with little frill. Appears to cater almost exclusively to people wearing helmets and sunglasses. Aliens, maybe?
SOUND LEVEL Moderately loud when crowded.
WINE LIST No wine list, laughably enough.
PRICE RANGE Large Burritos, 6.95, Small Burritos, somewhat less .
RESERVATIONS There appeared to be no Native American Casinos on premises.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS Only if your wheelchair can climb down stairs.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wet and Cold and Windy and Easter Candy

The Ship of Fools/Voyage of the Damned left Rochester at the standard time and with minimal butt-on-glass action but a maximum of dirty schoolyard drawings-on-glass action, we arrived in New Haven at a semi-reasonable hour. Our hotel, a Lodge of great Economy, ensured a welcome and safe environment by virtue of having two or three cameras at every corner, all viewable from the super villain lair-worthy front desk. We immediately went to sleep, with Jake concluding his solo-sojourn by walking right in the door we thought we had securely locked so as to protect us from the nefarious societal elements lurking just outside.

The next morning, after a decidedly restless sleep, Jake woke up and said, "Ok, we need to address the elephant in the room: Who was snoring last night?" I broke out laughing and pointed at Don, who confessed to snoring a bit when he sleeps on his back. "It sounds like a two stroke engine going full blast," said Jake. I likened it, in my characteristically graphic way, to a man who had somehow discovered a way to stick a straw down his own throat and blow chocolate milk bubbles with his phlegm, amplified. Either one works.

We drove up and down State street, sleuthing out a Dunkin' Donuts from which we could buy breakfast before setting up shop outside of a school. Despite knowing this time trial was a climb, and knowing how miserable my life had been less than a week ago doing something very similar, I still signed up for it. I was neither passed nor did I do any passing, but I did finish without Donning and I assert that my hyperventilation at the end was a result of sprinting in that rarified air. Jake took top RIT D climber and Zach sniped my brilliant time by two seconds, so now he has a target on his back. We waited by the marshall and cheered people as they went past, and a BU rider declared that he was going to "shit all over everyone" come the circuit race. I'm not sure he succeeded in his quest. As the C men lined up, my judicious lack of preparation paid off and the battery in my camera died just in time for the sky to engage in a pissing contest with itself (the sky won, we lost). This is the best way to describe this cold, relentless, medium sized droplet rain that went all over everything and ruined an otherwise very promising day: pissing. We D guys set up the easy up while the C men and Intro ladies got a delightful sprinkling, each coming back to the Mole Van a shivering morass, but morasses with points as Peter and Amanda scooped up a gross amount between them and Sam tossing a couple on to the pile as well.

As the skies had gaped open and had not seen fit to close, we D men resignedly made our way to the line, bitching, moaning, whimpering, petitioning the sky to stop for just 30 goddamn minutes, I mean seriously. After some commiseration at the start line, we launched off at a rainy day race pace, hitting dirty bits and getting wet pieces of road on our faces and in our mouths. At this point I would like to point out that the D field, despite being D and therefore not especially good, is all business once the race starts. Any attempts to discuss weather, course condition or political economies of developing nations just gets blank stares and kinda ruins the whole fun aspect of everything. Naturally, I find it up to me to banter, even if nobody will banter with me, but at least in this race some friendly fellow told me to "shut up and ride my bike," which is better than the usual, "On your right...Oops, I mean left," or, as is especially helpful in a circuit race, "Left turn ahead!" Either way, I dropped a record amount of F-bombs during this race and had a nice screaming match with myself over the finish line, landing me just out of points but having helped Jason eke one out and close enough to watch Jake turn on some afterburners.

The intro ladies once again brought the heat (and some points), and they told us as much while we shivered, mostly naked, in the Mole Van, though they complained about being freight trained by a group of young ladies indiscriminately dressed in blue, which could be any number of schools. In C, Peter finished well, which is the only nice thing to say about that race. Will, in his C road race debut, dropped a chain and then was given the wrong instructions by a marshall, ending his race early, and Jesse managed to put a major ding in his rim, ruining his wheel and flattening his tire. Like a true Awesome Guy, he went back to the start, pumped up his wheel and rode the slowly deflating contraption up to the top of the mountain, managing to not finish DFL.

Lunch was had at a pretty snazzy Thai place with good food, good portions and good prices. Some of the less adventurous went to subway and then sequestered themselves out in the rain while their wider palatted brethren enjoyed the remnants of their southeast asian cuisine. At this point, the ladies split off to Urban Outfitters and we of-age men beelined for the package store. When we got back to the hotel, we tried every permutation possible of hanging clothes up in a desperate attempt to get them dry: leaving them on the AC unit with it on cold, with it on hot, hanging stuff from drawers, hanging stuff from lamps (this works well), hugging things to let body heat take control, even disembowling the yellow pages for use as stuffing to wick the crap out of our shoes. During this time, we discovered channel 80, home to 24/7 pornography of the most grotesque, artless variety. We later watched Red Light Go and pretended we were all people who rode fixed gears and got yelled at by cabbies.

Dinner landed us in Little Italy for another $16-a-plate place, but we don't complain because we're the Fine Dining Club and also the bread was excellent. It however brought to light that can no longer be trusted to accurately describe the price structure, especially since it cannot be overstated that the Fine Dining Club is incredibly cheap. The place across the street from us, an Apizza joint, had a line snaking around the block, but we were all too full to figure out what Apizza was. I later discovered that it is New Haven pizza, a dish my roommate back at school expressly warned me about eating because it is "nasty."

The next morning was mercifully dry but plenty chilly. We snaked a spot by the finish line and got ready to go. In the D race, I was bent on winning a prime because the prize was candy and that is pretty much what I run on. Unfortunately, when I told Jake that we were going for it, he didn't come along and I was hung out to dry, left at the mercy of the Millersville kid who first ran me down and the West Point kid who eked his wheel out for second. At this point I was done and the RIT D riders, mysteriously, failed to get any good finishing positions, but Don made up for it by Donning after the finish line. On the subject of talking in the pack in D, the prize goes to a (I think) BC kid who screamed "STOP BEING SO FUCKING SKETCHY!" to someone ahead. Words to live by. Brandon showed up for his Men's Intro debut, falling into the by this time all-too-familiar trap of pulling for three or four laps and then falling off the pace hard. A learning experience, every time. The more experienced and shrewd intro ladies held excellent positions in the front, just getting beat out for third place by some girl from UNH. The C Men also had a good day, with Peter scooping up a ridiculous amount of points (and some easter candy) with a second place and some primes, another step in his inexplicably meteoric rise to Really Good Rider, Jesse having a solid race and Will showing that his move up to C was not, in fact, a bad decision.

After toying with the thought of sticking around for the open races, we suddenly realized that we had a very, very long way to go, so we went about finding a mexican place and instead settled on China buffet, which was an excellent place to go on Easter. On the way back, we stopped at a gas station where I picked up some homemade beef jerky that kept me awake all night and, upon returning home, my roommate asked me where I had been all weekend. You think he'd figure it out by now.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Race day, baby!

I'm just kidding. I'm not going to jam a pump in your wheel. But seriously, don't cross me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The First Annual

West point, as it turns out, is a hilly, barren area that is prone to high winds and gray skies. Upon arrival at Camp Anawana, we were herded away from the main setup area (and, more importantly, the SaniJohns) and relegated to a picturesque lakeside that was in no way close to the race course, although we did escape the fate of some unluckier later-rising schools who were placed somewhere further along our very narrow, windy street. We easy-up'd the Easy Up and the Hard Up (and Lonely) just in time to realize that it was very windy and these things were probably going to blow away at the slightest 30 mile per hour gust, so we hung bikes on them. This plan had mixed results. The Team Time Trial got underway, where we were excited to experience the axiom "either you're having a good day or there's a headwind." We were also excited to experience that nice hill right at the turnaround, netting us a twelth and twentysecond in D and a toasty little fifth in C.

The road race had another really fantastic headwind that kept the group together, which was great because I didn't have to do any work and everybody else slowed down dramatically. There was a hill by the finish line that the race flyer promised would "test [one's] inner warrior," which turned out to be my testicles who had by this point taken up residence somewhere around my stomach to escape the cold. My inner warriors passed the test with flying colors though, putting me in fifth, a position I never thought I'd be in (other positions I have lost hope of ever being in: sexual ones). The teammates filed in with a couple of top twenty finishes and Will once again deciding he'd had enough of this racing thing so he flatted as an excuse to stop. On the last lap, a crash happened towards the end of course, prompting a "Someone's down! Attack! Attack!" from a rider, which is kinda douchey but a good way to win, so it comes down to what's important to you, I guess. Peter got caught up in a crash and C, and Jesse, not getting caught up in a crash, netted a top 10 finish.After some well-earned victory beverages, Peter captained the molester van through the winding streets of camp, stopping for a wildly gesticulating marshall who was, like the A riders, on something.

This being the 1 year anniversary of the cycling team, like, this race specifically, 1 year, it has come to be that we can now say things like "annual." Like the Pho last week, Jake once again lobbied heavily for a food group, this time for the 2nd Annual Family-sized Stromboli Eating Event. A BYOB restaurant, which prompted a "can you even do that?" from some of our number (yes, you can) and a stromboli that was less the size of a family and more the size of my lower leg. Only Jesse and Jake stepped up to the plate, with Chris and Zach sharing one like normal people. Jake challenged for a race, to which Jesse calmly replied that he wasn't racing, then proceeded to eat the hell out of some stromboli. Jake couldn't even finish it, the big baby, and as such became the subject of heckling not only of the team but also our waitress and some guy who sold us on dessert pizza.

We went back to the hotel, where some people napped and others watched Black Dog, a movie in which Patrick Swayze drives a big rig and so does Meat Loaf. Before long, we decided it was time to eat AGAIN, so we went to a place our team had gone to last year AGAIN and we ordered some food, none of which happened to be Stromboli. Jake once again couldn't finish his food, but nevertheless ordered some ice cream afterwards, at Rita's. Peter took the Sly Glutton prize by requesting free samples for everybody, and then eating them all himself. When we got back to the hotel, some of us went to sleep and others watched The Flying Scotsman, because watching a cycling movie with strong suicidal overtones seemed appropriate for a hill climb.

The next morning brought us to West Point and the hill climb on a godforsaken pile of rock that was deemed by one of my teammates as "not too steep," although I think when he said "not too" he actually meant "unreasonably." Waiting in line, I immediately had second thoughts about my task and, well, it turned out poorly for me, as this artist's rendering shows:

Never have I wanted to quit something so intensely in my life. Jake once again lost to Jesse, I lost to just about everybody and Peter ended up beating Joe Kopena. About this point, the weather decided to get nice, so I dropped the tights and hit the crit course, which was just as windy as the previous day had been; the river had whitecaps. The crit itself was quite nice, with RIT rolling an incredibly deep field and finishing very nicely at the front. At one point, on the back stretch, we were hit by a huge gust of wind, to which I commented "I wish I got blown like this back at school!" Nobody around me thought it was funny. Jake took a couple of pretend Primes thanks to some guy with a cowbell and the finish was a dirty little thing where I, like everybody else, got boxed into a poor finishing position, but I still ended up fifteenth behind Jake, Will, and Rashid. For intro, Chris pulled the first lap hard and fell off the pace after that, which'll learn him good, and in C, both our guys had excellent rides, with Jesse just missing top 10 and Peter pulilng a couple of prime points. Deciding that we were too deep in D, Will made the big jump up to C on the shoulders of a nice run down of his own teammate's breakaway and a grudge match finish between him and Jake. C can have you, D don't want you.

After working my tan on my fabulous muscles for a bit and pretty much taking a day in the park, we set off towards home, stopping at a Chinese place in run-down neighborhood wherein we witnessed a man demanding an eggroll the next time he ordered from there. We mostly slept on the way home, taking a break so that Anthony could pee since he still hasn't mastered Peter's art of urinating in Vitamin Water bottles and leaving them places.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Alert! Alert!

Just been notified that RIT's moving up to D1 midseason. Kind of annoying, considering I just registered for the D2 race at west point, but that can probably get cleared up. More info at