Stray observations about Gloucester 2015

Twitter has ruined me, so I can only think in Tweet-sized chunks. Drew and I were on the mics at Gloucester this weekend, and it was a friggin’ magical experience. As two guys who came up through the amateur ranks and watched Trebon/Wicks/Johnson/Powers/Page battle it out years ago at Stage Fort park, it was pretty absurd to be standing in the gazebo with Drew forcing Star Wars references upon a thousand spectators.

These are in no particular order.

Day 1

  • This is the actual conversation I had with Stephen Hyde before the podium:
  • Caitlin Szymkowicz had an awesome race in the Women’s 3 race. I thoroughly enjoyed announcing it.
  • Andrew Lints killed it in the Men’s 3 race, with a droppah post on his cross bike. He is doing Night Weasels, he needs to make sure he has a hook up with a good couch repair shop because you know what’s gonna happen.
  • I sat on the side of a hill next to Powers interviewing him after he won. I asked him about Day 2, what would happen if Cannondale stayed away from mechanical issues. He said something to the effect of “Well, I always think that the strongest rider wins and tactics don’t play a huge role,” which is a nice way of saying “Shut the hell up Ryan, you really don’t know what you’re talking about, I am gonna fuck this race up tomorrow” (foreshadowing).
  • About two laps into the Elite Women’s race, Ellen Noble attacked Caroline Mani and Helen Wyman (don’t remember if Compton was up with them at that point) on the off-camber by the big rock heading down to the low ball fields. It was fucking amazing to see. Paully was near me at that point (I was standing by the course crossing by the Shimano tent). I put my mic down and started screaming at Paul “THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!!” because it fucking was.
  • Ellen never looked terrified while she was riding with Compton and Mani. Um. Which is absurd, because that is a terrifying proposition.
  • Trebon flatted, was almost in the scrub zone, and then fucking rode through people into 5th. It was a phenomenal ride. The results say 5th, but he made up like 10 spots in the last three laps of the race. If he kept air in the tires it would have been amazzzziiinnngggg.
  • There was a lot of dust.
  • Many people asked me why I was not wearing the seersucker shorts or jorts. The truth is, folks, that I haven’t been riding much lately, and I didn’t want to disappoint fans of my shorts by draping them over a sub-par canvas.
  • I put “No Diggity” on the UCI Women Day 1 playlist. When it came on, Drew stopped mid-announcing to ask me over the microphone if I actually put No Diggity on the playlist.
  • Leslie Robinson crushed the Cat 4 women, so she should upgrade now. Someone tell her this.
  • “Kings of Metal” and “Shoop” will be on the playlists forever.

Day 2

  • With 1.5 laps to go (I think), Powers just started going so much faster than I thought was possible. He put his hands out on the hoods and immediately opened a gap over Curtis. Going in to Day 2, I thought that a flat-free Cannondale could team up and take out Powers – but after seeing him lift the pace like that, I do not see how anyone can beat him in America this year.
  • A Quebecois woman said to me that they came down to the race hoping I was announcing again, but were disappointed that I wasn’t wearing seersucker shorts.
  • I wore a buff over my mouth for much of the race to keep the dust out of my lungs. It was a smart move.
  • Erin brought me baked goods.
  • Drew and I really forced the “fully operational” “joke” about the Cannondale team. We liked it, didn’t really care if anyone else did.
  • As I write this I am getting into my second bottle of white wine.
  • Drew and I put the sound stuff in the Verge trailer. Drew texted me when I was on my way down that he couldn’t get it open. Turns out that he was just not pulling the door hard enough. He had to wait for JD to come do it. THANKS, JD.
  • After the Elite Women’s race (where Katie Compton said “Hey guys remember me? I’m Katie Fuckin’ Compton, I’m gonna go win now thx”), I tried to chat with her after the finish line. I walked up to her and said “Hey Katie, care to chat?”, and she nodded yes. A bunch of media folks came over…and then Katie and Caroline began to talk shop for probably two minutes (as one is to do after a bike race).Two minutes when you are standing around awkwardly with a bunch of cameras pointed at you is a very long time.

    Eventually Mr. Katie Compton broke the conversation up and both Katie and Caroline had a laugh at me because welcome to my life (it is actually pretty baller at times).

  • I saw Collin Huston’s parents.
  • My voice was fine on Day 2, also fine today (Monday). I think the years of screaming about vans (and getting into them) in college has given me much vocal fitness.
  • I think Sunday’s course was better for spectators. Certainly better for announcers. All the elite racers I talked to like Saturday’s course more, though.
  • I planned this week well, family-wise – worked from home Friday, off today, off Wednesday before I head down to Night Weasels. Shoutout to my job for sponsoring me with vacation time.
  • I really wanted to talk to Trebon at some point this weekend, but I wasn’t able to. Looks like he’ll be at Night Weasels, though.
  • Drew has an instrumental of “C.R.E.A.M” and “Regulate” that are absolutely perfect for call ups.
  • I am listing to “Regulate” right now.
  • Announcing with Drew is fucking amazing. People were putting dollar bills on the barriers.Me: “You know what they say, Drew – cash rules everything around me!”
    Drew: “Cream. Get the money.”
    [in unison]: “Dolla dolla bill y’all”
  • I talked to five Gloucester residents about the race. Gave them a bit of background on some of the efforts against the race…they all thought that was lame. One guy said “Well we don’t have any fish left, may as well have a bike race!” Pointed them all in the direction of ECV, and they remembered seeing stories in the paper this year about it – and are sure, now, to voice their support.
  • Support your local bike race promoter, but support their significant others and families even more – because if they’re promoting all weekend, they’ve got someone back home keeping it LOCKED DOWN.
  • I butchered Lydia Hausle‘s name all weekend until I was corrected (and then butchered it one more time) because I’m terrible at pronouncing names (aka “illiterate”), which is a great trait in an announcer. HOWEVER, I am great at correcting myself, which makes me endearing? I think?
  • When Caroline Mani is giving it the business, she looks like a bobblehead stuck on top of a rock tumbler – you KNOW she’s all in. Drew asked her about this, she seemed…surprised? yeah, I’ll go with surprised – with this question. But her response was along the lines of “it takes energy to look composed, that’s energy that could be going to the legs”.
  • Trebon threw down an attack up the pavement with 3 to go (? maybe?) and it was fucking awesome.

Yeah that was awesome. haha I announced Gloucester again, this makes no sense.