Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thanksgiving Success: Beef Jerky, Rootbeer, and trophies

While most people sit down to watch football on Thanksgiving, Digga and I took a quick trip down to Kansas City to participate in a friendly cyclocross race.  It started out rough, which I will get to in a moment, but on the way home I bought Digga a piece of beef jerky and a root beer (with sugar).

He said to me "Dad, this is the greatest Thanksgiving ever."  I asked him to explain and he said "I won a trophy, I got beef jerky and a root beer, and I got to spend time with you."  How can you argue with that?

So here is how it went down, Digga and I go to a tuesday night cyclocross practice in Leavenworth, KS.  One of the guys asked if we were doing this event.  I hadn't heard of it so I looked it up and it took some digging since it was an unsanctioned event.  As it turns out, there is a nice park along the Kansas River that is home to a cyclocross training course.

It was chilly, high teens/low twenties depending on the breeze but not a deal killer at all.  I told Digga that I wanted him to leave his pajama bottoms on under his wind pants so that he would have a little extra layering.  He informed me that this would not be acceptable.  Appearently no self respecting dude wears pjs under his pants.  I brought them just in case and off we went.

Finding the location was not hard but it was deceiving and I always worry about getting lost in the middle of nowhere along a river (I watched the deliverance at a very young age and it has pretty much scarred me for life).  Funny thing is that as I left I noticed he had spray painted arrows at the intersections....whatever.

Upon arrival, Digga jumped on his bike and began riding through fields while I got my stuff ready.  I grabbed my stuff out of the back of the Suburban and shut the tailgate at which point I heard a familiar "beep-beep."  I looked around and noticed that I had the only Chevy in the lot and instantly grabbed each door handle with desperation.  My car, which is designed to not lock with the keys in it turned on me.  The lady in the car next to me offered some wire hangers but cars these days don't really do that well, everything is rounded so you can't get a wire around anything.  Of course someone had to ask "you have on-star right?"  Come on man.....I am too cheap for that crap.

So I borrowed a phone and called my wife.  In the mean time I had what was needed to race.  The lady that let me use her phone warned against was cold and what would I do after I got hot and sweaty and stopped in the cold.

My response was simple and from the heart.  I said "Ma'am, I am an idiot.  Because of this, I have to be stronger than the rest, it is an evolutionary trait."  She laughed, though I don't think she took it seriously.  I am dead serious.

I went to put on my biking shoes and bam, they were in the car.  So I angrily walked over to the course with Digga.  In the end it worked out because some of the obstacles and run ups would have made it impossible for the boy.  So I ran around to cheer and support.  Here is a run down in photos.

Digga at the Start, he showed no signs of intimidation around all of the adults.

                 I think it is fun to see his little bike and body crank away amongst the crowd.

I was probably shouting for him to change gears.  This is something I cannot get across to my kids.

I don't care who you are, this is a painful event.  He makes it look effortless even with small wheels and scrawny legs!

To say the run ups were a challenge was an understatement.  I carried his bike and he is jumping back on!

He makes it look easy!

He got second in the youth category.  There was one other kid in his early teens who got first.  Vance was stoked (I didn't tell him he was the only other kid).  Besides, I doubt there were many kids his age getting up at 0630 to go race cyclocross in the freezing cold.

By that time my darling wife showed up with the keys.  I was glad she didn't get lost, that may have made her grouchy.  At that point I was able to grab my shoes and hustle down for the relay.  Digga and I were going to rock it!  As you look at these photos I ask that you don't judge, I look nowhere as suave and debonaire as Digga.  In fact I look pretty pathetic.

About half way through, I had snot pouring out of my nose.  Stay Classy KC!

These photos don't do the run ups justice.  

I am terrible at mounting the bike.

As memory serves, that log was about twice that size.  I thought the camera was supposed to add to the size.  Again, no grace on my part.

Coming in for the handoff.

Our mouths are gaping open, his is joy while mine is pain.  Keep in mind, this was my first lap and he had already finished the first race.

I quickly ran over to meet Digga at the first obstacle, these drops were steep and loose so I helped him a little.  

At the end of the day we walked a way with the P award.  As in we came, we raced, and we lost....I have never been so happy to receive a participation award!  Digga summed it all up, Thanksgiving was a success; trophies, beef jerky, root beer (with sugar), and spending time together!  It doesn't get better than that.

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