2006 Cyclocross Nationals - Dec. 16 2006

The USCF cyclocross national championships were held today in Rhode Island, I kind of wish I had driven down last night to hang out there today, especially as it was a sunny 50 degree day down south, a marked contrast to the dark gloomy weather here in Vermont. Looking at the results of the Master's (old guys) races, I see the names of several people I know from racing.

In 2001 this event was held in Baltimore and I knew someone who was going down to race & he had a room in the Hilton (!) with a spare bed so I went along just to hang out at the races and see some of Baltimore, a city I had never spent any time in. It was pretty funny to stay at such a posh hotel for a bike race, I remember strolling through the fancy lobby with two muddy cyclocross bikes and nonchalantly taking the elevator up to the room... no one said a word. It was an enjoyable trip, watching 100+ pro/elite guys start a race like that is wild, the ground shakes at the start.

But I distinctly remember the drive home which started at about 3 pm on Sunday afternoon. I drove the first leg, up through NJ to north of NYC, and then we switched drivers. I promptly fell asleep and didn't wake up until we were driving past (but not stopping at) all the 24 hr gas stations in Glens Falls -- even though the car's gas tank was fast heading for "empty".

We got off the highway at the next exit (no open gas stations) and started driving across to Vermont... and boy, at 11 pm on a Sunday night in December, that is one dark desolate area, everything is buttoned up tight. Driving through the little hardscrabble towns on the NY side of Lake Champlain, there were barely any lights on at all. Eventually we made it over the bridge and into Vermont, still no luck with gas stations, and by this time the car was running on fumes... it eventually died right in the middle of Shelburne, about five miles from an open gas station. Anyway we did get rescued (by this time it was midnight) and made it home eventually.

But I remember that I went from being asleep, to being drowsy, to being wide awake and totally stressed out, in a comparatively short amount of time. Lessons learned...

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