A family walks into a burrito bar…

My family and I drove down from Park City to the Redstone Village Outlet Mall for a nice dinner and a movie at the cinema.  My husband, Bob, our two children, Ryan (12) and Patricia (9), and my mother, “Nanna” as the kids affectionately call her, were looking forward to a fun, relaxing night out.  We decided on the Cafe Rio burrito bar.  Standing from outside we could see that the line inside was long, but this is always the case at Cafe Rio.  The food is decently good and the affordable price brings in the masses.  We live up on the Hill in Park City, meaning price is no object for us.  But sometimes we like to dip into the chasms of the lower class for a sneak peak at the service people, just to get a feel for the carefree life of the common man.  My husband, Bob, who’s seen success in the stock market, insists that once a month we must go out into the world and mingle among the poor, observe their likes and dislikes, and  generally weave ourselves into the fabric of the average American.  Unfortunately, on this night we seemed to have woven ourselves into the disgustingly filthy T-shirts of two young men eating at the Cafe Rio, who, judging by their food-stained apparel, appeared to have no dignity, no sense of self-worth, no respect for themselves or for those that were forced to share this food establishment with them.

As we opened the door to the burrito restaurant and stepped in line, my eyes immediately fell upon these two vagabond young males.  Both were seated in the middle of the cafe with three massive plates full of food.  Each were digging into an immense pile of nachos with forks and fingers, slurping and sucking the food down like pigs of a trough.  Without a care of soiling their clothes, their faces, or their hair, the two gluttons belched and farted their way to the bottom of the mountain of chips and cheese within the very few minutes my disgusted family stood in line watching.  I barely stomached the sight as my bowls moved up into my throat.  I put my hand to my mouth as I felt an uprising of my unhappy intestines, revolting in the disgust as the two gluttons began shoveling their next plates of burritos into their greedy mouthes.  They paused only to pour horchata down their gullets, spilling the white beverage on their been and hot sauce-covered shirts, pants, arms, faces, and all over the table.  They seemed not to care about anything other than the speed of which they gorged themselves with the cheap mexican food.  They did not speak.  They did not look up from their plates.  They did not wipe their mouths with napkins.  They did not apologize for making bodily noises.  They were two primates eating with the speed one might associate with a starving canine, hurriedly and horridly lapping at the food as if it were about to be taken away from it.  Tongues smacked lips like those of bull frogs lashing out at fat black flies.  Fists were clenched around food and fork like those of dirty possums groping and grabbing at a dead fish.  They smelled of BO, sweat, flatulence and beans.  The snorting and drooling of wild hogs brought my face to a green flush.  I became dizzy and hot.  I felt my legs grow weak and the rising temperature of the room spun on account of the horrid slobs.  Bob grabbed me stiffly by the arm as he saw me start to faint, and quickly pulled me back outside to safety.  The kids and Nanna followed suite with looks of horror and nausea.  We doubled over, breathing in the cool, clean mountain air for many minutes as our heads cleared and our eyes lost their glaze.  Then we loaded back into the Mercedez and drove away from the wretched bowels of the Outlet Mall and back up the hill to our local five-star restaurant where we dined on lobster,  caviar, veal osso bucco, and truffles  like civilized human beings.

Cascade Classic round 2

Prologue: I should have loosened up my grip on the breaks going  around the corners.  It was a fast 2 mile course and every squeeze of the levers loses a couple seconds.  I felt good but didn’t have the best tactical race for this reason and ended up 92nd at 16 seconds down on the winner.  Fun race though.

Stage 1: Mckenzie Pass RR.  This was a surprisingly short road race, at just 75 miles.  The first 20 miles were mostly down hill and flat, with a few small rollers.  I got off the front a couple times, but nothing was sticking for long.  I should have just sat in and conserved energy for the 20 mile climb we were approaching, but I thought a break would go before it and I wanted to be part of it.  Plus attacking early was my job.  I lead the pack around the left hand turn as we pulled off of the highway and onto the smaller forest road, which quickly went up hill.  From there, I slowly lost position in the pack for the next 30 minutes until I finally got dropped as the pack shred to pieces.  The group I was in rode hard for another 10 or 20 minutes until we had a big pack of 25 or so riders.  Teammate Spencer was in there with me.  Then shouts of “groupetto” were called out as riders felt there was no chance for catching back on and their legs began dictating their now dwindling egos.

At last, we crested the mountain pass at 5,500 ft and tore down the other side and road hard into Sisters.  We could see the pack up ahead off in the distance and our pace-line was blisteringly fast.  A little too fast, and guys started missing turns on the front.

After we made our way through town, the chase lost all impotence and there were only three or four of us willing to spend time on the front.

When we got to the final climb of the day, I went to the front and held what I thought was a reasonable pace for a groupetto to do that’s making sure to not get time cut.  But as we came over the steep section, a few guys hammered it.  Spencer and I jumped on the train and partook in what I was sure was bad form, in ditching the other 20 guys in our group.  But within five minutes of hard effort, I could see why we were going so fast.  Another large group of 30 guys was up the road.  We caught them and started going straight by, but their yelling forced us to slow down and ride with them.  I was content.  My legs were pretty close to being done.  I came in mid pack of the large group, getting a time the same as the 96th guy.

Stage 2: The Skyliners TT.  Not much to say about the TT.  I was pretty spun out on the way down in my 53X11.  I needed a bigger gear, but didn’t care too much since I was out of GC contention by a lot.  I came into the race hoping for a top 25 on GC and a top 10 finish on a stage, but the GC goal was out the window by the first RR.

Stage 3: Mt. Bachelor RR.  I was determined to not get dropped on the first climb of the day again, like I did last year.  I even warmed up on the trainer for 20 minutes before the race.  Basically, the race starts out with a 10 mile climb, then goes down hill for a long time, then has rolling hills until finally another five mile climb to the finish.  Last year I got popped about half way up and rode in with a group, bonking hard, and finished dead last with only 2 minutes to spare to make the time cut.  This year I made it all the way until the final kicker up to the KOM, about 2.5kms from the top or less.  It was frustrating.  Much better than last year, but still very frustrating.

On the decent, I caught five guys and we started the rotation.  An hour later, we were caught by a much larger group of about 12 guys.  But only six or seven of us would do any consistent pulling.  Unlike last year at this race, I did a huge amount of work.  I was clearly the strongest in the groupetto, and I was paranoid about making the time cut, so I pulled too hard.  The guys behind yelled at me to slow down, move left, move right to keep them out of the wind, ease up on the climbs.  I told them I was trying to impress United Healthcare but they wouldn’t listen.  Anyways, long story short about six of us made it to the top of the climb together, I rode off the course in the last 100 meters accidentally  (damn confusing cones in the parking lot finish area).  And we all made the time cut.  I was tired.  My teammates did pretty well on the stage.  Sam got in some moves, and Lang and Chris finished in the top 50.  Sean and Spencer made it up the climb as well in good position.

Stage 4: the crit.  This was dumb.  I was lined up on the front, ready to get some revenge since my stomach was full of anger, and the stupid race officials made us take a lap.  When I got back around (after having taken a short cut through the center of the course) I found that I was now lined up near the back.  I cursed the officials many times but they were not struck down by lightning.  I was doomed to race at the back of the pack for the rest of the night, since this course is very stupid and is near impossible to move up when you’re 150 guys back from the front.  Unlike last year though, where I also raced near the back, this year was super easy and I spent most of the time breathing through my nose.  Just shows how taking the corners better and having a little extra power can save a lot of energy.  I tried moving up but could never really make any progress.  Afterwards, Chris, Spencer, my mom and my friend from Iceland, Einar, went out for dinner.  Even though it was a frustratingly boring race, big NRC crits like this are always exciting with all the fans and friends cheering you on.

Stage 5: Auberry Butte circuit race.  This was the only day of the entire stage race that REALLY mattered to me.  I knew from Nationals that I could have a good ride here.  My watts/kilos threshold is low for doing well on long climbs, but shorter climbs suit me much better.  And Aubbery Butte is all about that.  A super hard race (only 100 finished out of 150).  It was 100 degrees.  I had ridden the course 20 or 30 times this year and knew it better than probably anyone in the field except for Sean, who lives on the course.  My job was to get in the breakaway again, like at nationals.  I tried hard for the first two laps, and almost got popped the second time up the Feed Zone section/Archie Briggs climbs because I had been off the front right before and gotten caught on the feed zone climb.  I held on though, at the very back of the pack, and vowed to stop attacking.  Of course, that’s when the break went.  I was happy though, because that meant that at least the next lap was going to be easy.  It was not easy, but it was less hard.

This brings us to lap 4, which was also very hard.  I can’t remember much about it.  They blur together now.  Lap 5 was the worst.  I made it over the feed zone climb and the fast section afterwards.  But then broke down on the Archie Briggs climb.  The pack split into three groups.  I had a moment of mental weakness here.  I think I could have held onto the second group, but only made the third group.  I took second in our group sprint 5kms later, finishing one minute down on the lead group.  This was possibly the hardest race I have ever done.  I finished 54th.