Well I know I kept my one reader positively riveted yesterday so I’ll do my best to drive them away today. I left you all Saturday night with me sleeping on host steves couch in flannel Pajama Pants. Oh you didn’t need to know that? well frankly I don’t care. It’s my party I’ll blog what I want to. We roll out Sunday and head to SSCXWC armed with a keg and no idea whats going on. The former is rare for me, the latter is every day if you know me.
All the guys qualified for the “everybody wins” race so we lined up for a “braveheart” style start which means race down a hill then eventually get onto the course.
Promoters write that down, because it rules.
The course itself was great even without the side shennanigans. Complete with a “choose your own adventure” section of single track or a CX circle of doom. I did both, and they were both awesome. The course was complete with barriers, a chute of liberty bells(them shits were metal for the record) and an uphill I’m gonna talk about like that time my band opened for Nirvana(shameless movie quote). Or like fighting the Hulk, the more you threw at it the angrier it got, and the angrier it got the softer the ground and longer the grass got. Everyone on the sidelines ruled, getting yoga balls kicked at you on parachute hill. Or as I like to call it “the nearly vertical wall of shame and beer” Thankfully there was beer and that of course lightened the shame load slightly. During my race the weather was clear and cold but frankly that wasn’t gonna last.because the snow started falling during the mens race. Oh you want an actual race report?
You folks must be new around here, I barely paid attention. How can one cover a race where there’s free beer everywhere?
Adam Craig won, but frankly I couldn’t tell because it had really started to snow by this point.
Now the ladies turn. All the ladies in the club put your drinks up! Holy shit these were possibly the worst conditions I’ve ever encountered at a race. It snowed 2 inches from the start of the mens to the end of the ladies race. This once again proving my theory lady racers are tougher then coffin nails(much tougher then me in fact). These ladies killed it, and for that my hat goes off to you. Who won? Again, if you’re looking for “facts” bubba you’re in the wrong place. Coming to me for facts is like trying to learn on Twitter. Let’s just say it never ends well.
But back to my pseudo narrative. Parachute hill was a great hangout spot many people got helped with their bikes up the hill many beer handups were vended and met many many nice folks.
Oh did I mention the mayor of Philly declared at the start of the race “handups are not a crime” That guys got my vote twice.
We pile back into the car, and head back to the house for some much needed warmth and house dog Rocky(thats mah buddy) before the after party. And yes, you in the back that’s after the party, and after that is the hotel lobby. well we all know where that tale goes.
Now remember how I kept saying “more on that later” I’ll gladly fill you in on what was going on there. A while back on this very blog(don’t bother looking nobody read it) I “interviewed” dave pryor and recently it was announced on the Twitters if you wanted a hosting bid for 2015 you had to tweet or some such so I did. And we got a bid. Upon arrival in Philly all racers were given poker chips, and we as delegates our job was to convince/bribe/shmooze folks for their chips. I was under the impression that all that happened at the after party.
Apparently it had been happening all weekend.
*record scratch noise*
As a group, we didn’t go to many of the events for the weekend because we chose to do other things. Hindsight being 20/20 we should have skipped the “tour of philly death ride” in lieu of the poker run. And I should have been on the delegate ride(which I didn’t know about)
So for all of you playing along at home we were double plus fucked.
So I start working the crowd, talking to people, collecting chips(every single one I appreciate greatly). They call the delegates up in front of the crowd and introduce them. And I’m strangely not up there….
Now I’m proper fucked.
I’m playing it cool publicly but you guys gotta know I was DYING on the inside and just terrified. I earn what chips I can, and head to meet the other delegates at a poker table.
Apparently they had booked a dealer to cover the game but due to the insane weather he couldn’t make it. I sit down with my chips, and I’m short stacked. Boston has more, Belgium has a ton more then Kentucky sits down.
They pulled out a mesh bag full of chips. 3 of the stacks were sealed. How did they get sealed stacks? Probably at all the events I should have done not the ones I did. I’ll never know the answer but I was backed into a corner and I had to work. My training rider once told me what to do when frustrated at work.
“close your eyes on the elevator, put yourself above the city, see your route, see the points, then make it rain lightning”
I’d only a handful of times truly used this advice a few times. This was one of them, the game starts and I just got to work.
From here on out I’m only going to refer to players as cities, makes it easier to tell the story.
Boston played conservatively He didn’t have a whole lot of chips either and so he was pretty guarded, but eventually fell to what I could read as a series of bad hands.
Belgium was hilarious, chip heavy and pretty drunk and eventually fell on a weak hand.
The Hodala Crew served as impartial observers to keep the game honest and also had chips of their own to put into play for influence. Due to an earlier conversation I thought I had their support.
They backed Louisville, shrinking what little hope I had to win. But I was at least up on chips from the start and went back to work.
I fucked up a flush draw losing a few stacks, won another and then it happened. I flopped a shit ball low straight. 2-3-4-5-6 It’s a trash hand but I had to run with it. I keep betting, keep louisville in, the pot grows. Then it happens, I win the hand. I didn’t have a running count but I think I had a majority of the table chips, maybe 60 percent, maybe 65. In my head I’m losing it. I know with a majority I can grind louisville out, play conservatively, let the blinds drag them down. it’ll take forever but I had a plan.
Then my plan gets, as many plans do. Torn assunder
The afterparty venue was kicking us out. Literally. So the organizers decide on one last hand, cards up. Winner takes all.
And I landed the worst hand of the night. And I lost, thus losing the bid for SSCXWC. I shake Louisvilles hand, congratulate them on a hell of a game. Hodala Sally congratulates me on a great game. Louisville is Announced upstairs as next year and I look for my team mates. I had that game, I know that. But rules are rules and I lost fair and square. I appreciate the chance to play, and thank the hodala crew for that whiskey about halfway through. I walk back upstairs, louisville is up on the stage cheering and I tell some of our supporters I didn’t take it.
I give my goodbye hugs and handshakes, saying goodbye to all my new friends all the while playing it cool, but I’ll admit to my one reader that my hands didn’t stop shaking for an hour. Endorphin hangovers are the worst of all, and until you’ve had one you haven’t lived.
I love you Philly, I love you SSCX, I love my team.