Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ready or Not......

Yup. It's that time of year again. The one down point of it finally getting warm is that it's also time to mow the yard. Ungh.... I forgot how much I really don't like doing this. I didn't actually own a mower a mere 48 hours ago but I knew of a guy that does small engine repair and happened to have a bunch of extra mowers sitting in his shop. My yard was getting a bit out of control. As a side note: lawn is a term I reserved for the manicured and perfect looking yard. Mine is just a yard. So, there I was.... needing to take action of some sort. Do I: 1) Burn the yard like all the fields in KS (See Steve Tilford's post about that). I live in North Lawrence so it's probably okay right? 2) I could rent a bailer and bail the grass into hay to sell on the market. 3) Buy a goat. This one I thought about for a bit. You get a good pet that's probably well mannered, controls your yard and you even get some goat milk out of the deal. D) I could obtain myself a Yard Mower. Yup, it's a Yard Mower to me.

So I chose the mower. Now, I had the choice of a 3.5 hp for $50 or a 6.0 hp mower for $60. I figured that big engine was better as I would not be hampered by long grass. Not one regret. Here's the mower and the grass too. The grass didn't even phase the mower!

Tuesday Night Worlds

These races are always fun. You ride to KC from Lawrence, then sit at the QT for about 10 minutes drinking as much Gatorade as you can. Finally, you roll your bloated and water logged self over to the race to start the 45 +3; P,1,2,3,4 Criterium. Say what you like about having so many guys of varying abilities together; I like it. The course is about as "Nascar" as you can get, but with right turns vs. left. Basically you can pedal all the corners all the time. Also, it gives the riders a chance to race with their local "Heros" and see what those motors really have under the hood. As far as the bike driving... the good riders just go around the more timid ones. It's not usually a big deal.

Back to the race. 50 guys, Nascar course, very light breeze from the East/ North East. Crap. No brutal wind, no hard features besides the gentle uphill on the front-side and the exact same downhill on the back-side. This could be brutal. The race is pretty simple if you want to sit in. You can even work it out so that you're coasting about 2/3 of each lap most of the time. But, if you decide to be aggressive and get away and it gets really hard, really quickly.

We start off at the usual fast pace that we all know and love in criteriums. I'm looking down at my speedometer and I see that we're rolling (coasting) at 27-28 mph. Cool. I guess I'm not going anywhere without other guys to pull for a while. But it doesn't mean that I won't try..... There were a few ill fated moves, and Joe Schmalz and Cameron Chambers rolled off the front at about minute 15 and started to steadily put time into the field.

Joe has been in every break when he shows up to the race on Tuesdays. Cameron is a professional Mountain Bike Racer, which means he's got a big motor. Yet no one deems it necessary to mark these two who are definite threats. Weird. Fine by me as Joe is one of the "good guys." These two gain about a half of a lap on the field before Shadd and I have a conversation. The talk goes something like this:

Adam: Shadd do you think those guys are having fun?
Shadd: Yes.
Adam: You want up there? I can get you most of the way across.
Shadd: Okay, but let's give it one more lap.
Adam: Just get on me and say, "when."
-- one lap later--
Shadd: I'm waiting whenever you're ready.

Then, like a fat kid chasing after the last piece of cake in the whole world, I hit the gas. Hard. I get Shadd 70% across the gap where he jumps and puts himself in the winning break. In less than a lap, Shadd went across a 40 second gap. Sweetness.

I could imagine Joe asking, just as Shadd gets there, "what the hell took you so long?" Ha!

Now Cameron is outnumbered and indeed HRRC scores another win with Joe raising his hands in victory. A great way for him to prepare for his Tour of the Gila race coming up next week. Wish him luck!