Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The long version

OK, start at the beginning... So back sometime in December of 1973 my parents were... wait... too far back. Fast forward to this past Saturday morning... My dear wife takes the 3 monkeys out to breakfast with her dad to give me some time to work around the homestead. I pick up the house and head out to do the lawn. I get about 10 minutes in and shut it down to empty the bag and notice smoke coming out from under the engine cover. I didn't think much of it because last year a little bit of dry grass got in there and just kinda burned up and stopped. So I keep going. About 5 minutes later I shut it down again and now smoke is pouring out of the engine. Ok, this isn't going away itself. Time to go get the tools. I start taking apart the lawnmower and the whole thing is still smoking. The thought did cross my mind that I had a full tank of gas and there's oil in there, but hoped for the best. I get the outer couple layers of cosmetic covers off and now I get the bright idea that maybe I can blow the hunk of stuff that's in there (still not being able to see said hunk) with the leaf blower. I go get the leaf blower, plug it in, and fire it up... fire was the appropriate word to use there. I look and I now have flames shooting out from under the engine cover. Ok, this is bad. Shut down the blower and got the flames to stop, but it's still smoking like crazy. I go back to disassembly and finally take out enough screws to find this:

Turns out that one of the friendly local mice had decided to build himself a nest inside my lawnmower engine. Now I'm all down with C Todd's be nice to animals shizzle, but the only redemption here would have been if the little bastard was still in there (he wasn't). Cleaned up the mess and went on my way, but that was an adventure I didn't need.

Saturday afternoon I figure it will be fun to go mountain biking nice and easy to get ready for Sunday. I posted up to see who wanted to go and one of only two takers was a guy who's about 1000 times better than me which is probably why I get hurt every time I ride with him. We headed down to Hopkinton State Park and got at it. The third guy who joined us hadn't been out much this year so he eventually bailed early to head back to the car. Before that however, we're riding up onto a bridge that has a granite step in front of it and I get the front wheel onto the bridge and then slam the rear right into the lip of the step. Pssssssssssssssssssssss... Damn, didn't feel like changing a flat. Get that taken care of and keep going. Other than riding through some crazy deep water at one point, there wasn't much adventure until about 10 minutes to go in the ride. We're going down this not very steep little nothing hill and I misjudged a little hump in it that dropped off right after (I do that a lot). I hit the seat ejector, go flying over the bars, and the bike gets thrown ahead of me. It bounces off a little concrete bridge wall thing and then drops down 5 or 6 feet into the stream bed. The whole thing looked pretty damn dramatic but fortunately the bike survived as did I... mostly. I managed to screw up my ribs again so I nursed that back to the car.

Sunday I felt ok from the crash so I decided to make the trek to Andover, CT for the Channel 3 Kid's Camp MTB race. Had to leave around 6 to get there early enough for a warmup lap etc. Made it down there plenty early, signed in, mounted up, and headed out for the preview. Course was nice and not ultra technical, but you never would have known it from watching me warmup. I swear I was off the bike more than on (not crashing, just getting off) so I was having bad visions for the race. Oh well, I was there to have fun and get dirty. Race kicked off and we headed up the first mild hill with me in 4th, but then one guy exploded (little early for that dude) so I was in third, but it was a distant third already. Most of that lap I spent pulling away from everyone on any uphills and then looking like that roadie who just bought a mountain bike on anything semi-technical. About half way through lap 1, I found one of the top two on the side of the trail putting his chain back together. Now 2nd was mine to lose. Fortunately, I started catching some of the group ahead of us and only got caught by a couple silly fast guys from the group behind. I still really sucked, but I was holding my place. Fortunately, I almost looked like I knew what I was doing by lap 2. There's even some proof here. Now what this doesn't show is that I immediately flubbed it after she took the picture and I almost rode off the right side of the bridge :) I did however finish the race crash free and in second place. I have proof of said podium-goodness as well. The day was capped off with an actual face to face meeting with the one and only CTodd. It was hard to tell if that was more exciting than the podium, but he didn't hand me any free schwag so I'll have to go with the podium.

Yesterday I polished off the weekend with what was supposed to be an ultra swanky golf tournament. I'm getting tired of typing so this part will be short(er). Despite the weather yesterday, some fool decided we should tee off. Let's just say the downpour started 5 minutes before we teed off and got harder for the first hour. Finally they drove around the course and pulled everyone back in... game over. We're rescheduled for sometime in September, but it was purely foolish to have us even try yesterday. The greens were like trying to play mini golf in the ocean with floating golf balls. I wasn't in work and the whole thing was a little funny, but it would have been better if they had been smart enough to just can the whole thing.

Phew... I'm tired now. If you lasted this long you must be tired of listening to me (ok, not listening, but you get the point).


CTodd said...

Yes, be nice to GeWillis. I mean, animals.

Congrats on the podium! One more of those and we get you a hall-pass to the Sports. Hope to see ya out at more Rt 66.

gewilli said...

Hey i ain't the one with a baby mouse sleeping on my chin!

g'inner class? Well I guess we all started in the same place... i'm so old i'm having a very hard time remembering my beginner days...

CTodd's obviously not working hard enough of the Todd-casts if he has time to read that post!

WTG representing for the Tall Fahkers out here man!

trackrich said...

Not counting cross, that was my first off-road race ever. The trail duathlon I did once doesn't count since the riding was easier than a cross race. If I get a chance to do any more races this year and it goes ok, I'll stop sandbagging.

CTodd, when do you start donating $1 to the Gewilli preservation fund for every t-shirt? I think he may still have some medical co-pays to take care of for his, uh, issue.

All busting aside, if I get unlazy some day I'll sell out and order a bike racer shirt...

gewilli said...

ah - didn't realize you hadn't raced MTB before...

nice job podiuming(sic) in your first race then!