DO YOU GUYS LIKE LOTS OF TEXT?????? OH MAN then this blog post is FOR YOU. Because I’ve had a busy 10 days.And I guess I’ll write about all of it in one blog post because screw you.
The inaugural (and likely final, because oh man that was way too much awesome in too little time) Tour de Awesome kicked off with the Boston Mayor’s Cup, where I raced the 2/3 race, because I’m a mediocre bike racer and thus will languish as a Cat 2 until I quit racing.
It was a weird race, as expected, because it was a cat 2/3 race and there were no parents and thus there were no rules. As I hadn’t raced since Salem (two months ago?), I expected my legs to be sort of shitty – but they went above and beyond and were real shitty!
I found myself in some promising moves, especially early with Steve Francisco, teammate Andrew, that lanky-ass dude from Grinta and Josh Lehmann, but I felt like ass and was soon left behind. But haha joke was on THEM as they eventually came back, too, and I spent most of the rest of the race covering some things and hoping that Andrew/Ben/Landen could do something against the fifteen Green Line guys that were in the field.
But, my fever dream came true, and AJ Moran won, with teammates in 2nd and 3rd, so there was an all-Green Line podium. So that was that.
Thomson Riley crashed (again) and broke his fork (again).
I would post photos of me, but just picture me sitting in the field or dangling off the back of the group, and we’ll all save bandwidth.
The race was also a fun adventure in mass transit, as I rode from my house to the Haverhill commuter rail station, took the train to the race, raced, quickly jumped on the train to get home (missing out on using my BEER TICKETS), and then rode home.
This was supposed to be me taking delivery of a Spy Hunter arcade cabinet but the dude I was getting from has been flaky. So, instead, I sat on the couch and watched episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Not that epic, I know.
The next day, the 22nd was the new Hartford Crit (not to be confused with the old one, that went around Bushnell Park, and was sort of boring). This was an eight corner, 50-something lap affair in beautiful and devoid-of-spectators Downtown Hartford.
I’m pretty sure if you wanted to film a movie in Downtown Hartford, you could do it on a Sunday afternoon without any pedestrians absent-mindedly walking into your shot.
That criticism aside, the race and course were mostly awesome and everyone should do it next year.
Anywho, my legs felt slightly less shitty, which was good, considering that the race was roughly twice as long as the one I did the day before. The course had a Beanpot-esque number of manholes, man holes, potholes, cracks, storm drains and this weird grate thingy. It made racing feel a bit like a trench run, as you tried to follow wheels to stay out of the wind AND avoid various things that wanted to shove your seat up your butt.
There was also a WALL of wind that smacked you in the face as you took the final turn, which would make you go from feeling like a LASER ROBOT to a PILE OF USELESS CRAP in a matter of meters.
We got down to business, and Tim Mitchell, Ben Wolfe, Isaac Howe, some Hincapie dude and hungover Sam Rosenholtz got off the front (Sam later joined us back in the field).
Mike Chauner (swoon) was in the race, too, (I talked to him about a place to get coffee beforehand (swoon)), and he was sad that he wasn’t off the front, so he spent several laps just kicking all of us in the face trying to get away. He eventually got a gap, a CRCA guy (and, again, probably a few others (not me! nope, no way, screw that)) joined him in their adventures off the front.
CRCA put the brakes on and the Mitchell Party lapped us. Surprisingly, Tim and Ben didn’t go to the front and start slaying it to keep the next group from lapping us, so it was only a matter of time before we saw Chauner again.
Then the pace sort of went up? Maybe? I don’t know. I just was pretty dizzy from turning so much and was trying to avoid getting killed by the Bethel junior with the Air Attack.
I flatted, found a friend’s wheel in the pit, and then rode gingerly on the expensive wheel that I didn’t own for the last six laps.
And then I finished and had a cheeseburger and drove home.
I also tried to find a photo of me from this race where I didn’t look like a wreck, but I couldn’t. You’ll have to find them yourselves.
REST DAY 1:
I went to work.
LET’S RIDE 150 OR SO MILES TO MAINE OKAY?
Sure why not. Day one of #300noton100, because Ted and Tim’s schedule is complicated so this is the ride that we figured out that we could.
We got to D Squared and there were a ton of people (for a time when the coffee shop is not usually open. Thanks Dan and Paige for accommodating us!)
Drew unleashed some fantastic 300noton100-inspired mom jokes, I met new people (including Andy, who rolled deep and brought his support crew) and caught up with other people (including Travis, who would be joining us for the entire ride) and bragged about how boned Ted and Tim were because riding before the sun comes up is MY GAME.
We were also planning on riding by my office so I constantly threatened that we’d go in for an Excel challenge at which point they would FEAR ME.
Here is a shitty Instagram photo of us leaving Exeter in the darkness.
It eventually became light, and as the sun rose over the Atlantic while we zipped up 1A my loins swelled with appreciation of the colossal beauty of nature. So of course I wasted moments of viewing it with my own eyes and attempted to capture it with a collection of rare-earth metals that were violently ripped out of the ground and processed in a smoke-belching factory.
We continued rolling at a good pace, and then I finally had my FIRST RIDE OVER THE NEW BRIDGE!!!!!!!!
After we passed into Maine, the pace picked up because WE HAVE A FERRY TO CATCH and because the roads we were on were quite narrow, so it was wiser to be single file.
At one point my K-Edge Garmin mount rattled loose so I shouted up to Ted and Tim that was pulling over to fix it (or so I thought). After tightening it, I got on the bike and HIT IT to catch up with Ted and Tim.
LITTLE DID I KNOW that they did not hear me say “Hey guys I’m gonna go fix my bike, can you not go 27 mph for a few minutes here?”, so I was totally drilling it (with Andy on my wheel for a bit as he was catching back on after getting a tire change) for about 10 miles up 1A, through York, and along Shore Road to Ogunquit. I had an assist from the Duvine Mobile (with Andy yelling out the window that he was going to leave me behind) before I finally caught the group.
Aaaaand I was smoked. I guess that is how you learn to make sure that the engines of the ride know you want them to chill for a minute.
By that point a lot of the people that were riding with us pulled off, and we had a smaller group as we wound through York and onto the Eastern Trail somewhere in Kennebunk.
We pretty much took the Eastern Trail all the way from Kennebunk to South Portland, where there was the obvious stop at Scratch Baking Co for coffee and bagels and coffee and pizza. And picking up a group of fresh legs to help us navigate our way out of Portland and onward.
More rolling, more happy pace, and then I started to have some sadness somewhere south of Bath.
I think my ten miles of chasing, and my general shittyness, made me tired. The real indicator of me being tired (aside from me becoming suddenly quiet) is when my pulls go from a respectable 7 minute/27 mph effort to a 5 minute/20 mph effort.
Good need everyone! IM FUCKING CRACKING.
— ryank (@ryantkelly) September 24, 2013
Then I had a Red Bull Powered By Tim Jimmy Jazz Johnson, and I felt A LOT BETTER for a while. Then I felt sad again. THEN I HAD ANOTHER RED BULL.
Then we were in the home stretch and cruising in the drizzly and overcast 50-degree world we found ourself in, and made it to the ferry in time. And then I drank a bunch of beers and ate a lot.
I woke up and didn’t feel like total ass (yay) and ate several Scratch bagels. Before, obviously, we ferried over and got coffee.
Rolling out was myself, Ted, Tim, Travis and Andy. Andy’s goal today was to join us for 100 miles – he did ~75 or so the day before, and wanted to get in enough miles to make a good story for any dates he had coming up in the near future.
Aside from a fantastic tail wind and an aggressive pace, the ride until Portland was uneventful (we went over bridges, that was awesome).
My primary goal for the ride was to stop at Duck Fat in Portland (ATTENTION OWNERS OF DUCK FAT: I am available for a personal sponsorship. Or a team sponsorship. Whatever.) and we DID and it was glorious. We had five plates of poutine, and I think I had one entirely to myself.
After that, we rolled for .4 mile to another coffee shop. And THEN the pace returned to being real.
I spent time trying to tweet out our location to various interested parties, but Ted just kept changing the route as he saw fit so it was a bit challenging to keep people up with where we were.
REGARDLESS I totally won the sprint into New Hampshire, and entertained everyone with fun facts about Dover and UNH as we rode through.
We decided we’d (fittingly) end the ride on the Watsonburg, and as we approached it I waited for Tim to unleash his final “Screw you, Ryan” attack – but it didn’t come.
DAMNIT I totally missed an opportunity to blow his doors off and thus make myself feel better for like five minutes.
Then we got to Exeter Cycles and I took a poop before gathering my things and joining everyone plus Arlon and Greg for burritos at Las Olas.
When I got home there was no dog poop. It was a win!
REST DAY 2:
I worked from home a bit, and made the terrible mistake of laying around my house, which meant that my body was incredibly tight and sore for almost the entire day. Once I loosened up I stacked a cord of wood.
Setting up the course for Gloucester!
I was responsible for painting the wavy start grid so you’re welcome, I guess.
I talked to Elle Anderson and then she won both days so, you know, if you want to win both days of Gloucester you should chat with me while I’m helping set up the course for the race on Friday.
I went to Steve’s and took a shower and hung out.
Then I went to see Electric Six! Which I’ve wanted to do for like ten years! And they sucked! So I went home. That was disappointing.
Teammate Andrew Gardner planned this glorious bicycle ride up in Vermont. It was supposed to be six gaps, but then it got shortened to four gaps, and then it got shortened still while we were out on the road and realized that there was a keg at Andrew’s and, um, we wanted to drink it.
Before we decided to end the ride early, I had a mid-ride cheeseburger, deviled eggs and soda. Because off season.
But seriously, Lincoln Gap? Man my arms were killing me after humping my bike up that road. The foliage was beautiful, but it was difficult to see as my body’s main goal at that point was getting my bicycle up that damn hill. Then we went down the hill and it was all sorts of terrifying. I’d rather ride up it twice than ride up it and down it.
Then I went to Andrew’s and drank his beer and it was good.
Um, so, those are the things that I did last week. I’m sorry that this is not very awe-inspiring. I lack the skill to inspire awe.
Also I do not recommend doing a large number of awesome things in one week because you’ll be really tired.