Thursday, April 2, 2009

Going to the race

Driving through the French countryside on our 2nd day of traveling to the Amore & Vita race in Northern France, I've learned some important lessons about many different things:

1) When you ride in a tiny Mercedes with two people who race for a living (bicycles), you must become comfortable traveling at speeds of up to 180 kph; and the passing, lots and lots of passing.

2) If you were to prevent the tiny Mercedes from passing when it wishes, you will receive the wrath of an angry German on your auto's rump, followed by an assortment of muted screams and middle fingers, along with drawn out honks blasted at your driver's side window.

3) Never tell two guys the severity of your full bladder. Knowing your abdominal agony only provokes poking, water bottle swishing, and waterfall and leaky faucet jokes. Not to mention the immature backlash of the death glare, the standby womanly weaponry, which can only be used in very extreme cases (as to not lose it's power).

4) No matter what seems normal to pro cyclists with regard to road trip consumption, do not be fooled. Normal people should be advised not to eat constantly. Only those who ride their bicycle for 3-7 hours a day, 6 days per week, may partake in eating cookies, chocolate-dipped waffles, bottle after bottle of waters, coke zeros, and juice, gummy bears, and other treats between each large meal.

5) Do not confuse french and italian coffee.

6) People who talk incessantly - even upon first meeting you - should not continue speaking while you pee next to them in the bathroom. It's not a good first impression to leave with your sole compatriot who defends your large size.

7) Those chocolate-dipped belgian waffles, sold packages at European gas stations, are absolutely incredible.

8) When your tiny Mercedes starts smoking from the hood. It's very calming have a German whose dad happens to be a Mercedes mechanic with you. Whether he actually knows what he's doing or not, it's better than my attempt at understanding any car, engine, or the men behind the wheel continue to drive a soot coated vehicle.

9) If you cut off your own caravan of team cars going to a race, to make an exit they're supposed to follow you on - especially when the one driving it is a mere 18 years old and from North Carolina - you'll end up having to wait for them to recorrect the error for a very, very long time by waiting at a pitstop. If you choose to pass the time doing handstands against a tree, be sure to align properly as to not hit one leg and topple onto your head in a pile of dirt.

Time to say goodnight from the tiny Northern France town of Fougeres. Tomorrow, I'll be making the sandwiches and filling 5 water bottles for each of the 7 riders. The race begins at 1 pm, and I'll be learning to how to run the feed station.

This should be interesting.

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