Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Training Ride / NCAA Basketball

With less than two months before our departure the training has barely begun. We combined a training ride with a basketball game on Saturday by riding to Olympia and staying at the Guesthouse Inns and Suites. The weather has been improving steadily from the miserable stuff that we've endured for most of March. The temperatures were forecast to hit the lower 60's on Saturday and warming up steadily for several more days. So we ventured out with the bikes semi-loaded on a beautiful spring day in Washington. This would be the maiden voyage of Donna's new and improved touring bike which had been modified to fit her just perfect. Departing at 11:00 was the target. Didn't get going down the driveway until after 11:30. The tandem was pulling the Bobcart trailer which was loaded with my laptop instead of a tent and sleeping bags. In addition, 2 of the 4 panniers that we'll be hauling this summer were attached to the bike. Donna had 2 of the 4 panniers that she'll be toting this summer as well. Our objective was to get to the hotel by 3:00 so we could watch the Michigan State Spartans play the UCONN Huskies in the semifinals of the NCAA basketball championship. All the experts had MSU losing to the Huskies just like all the experts had MSU losing to the Louisville Cardinals in the previous game. Another objective was for Lewis to go swimming in the pool at the motel. So we're 3 miles from home when I asked Lewis if he remembered to grab his swim goggles and nose clips. Huh? I didn't pack anything. When we passed this question to Donna, her response wasn't much different. So Donna chose to pedal the 3 miles back home to fetch the necessities while Lewis and I explored the ditch and roadside weeds and discarded beer cans and a handfull of rusty bolts. What a find! Thirty five minutes later Donna returned and we were once again on a mission. We stopped for lunch at the Taylor Town Subway. Time was spinning faster than our legs and we were still less than half way to Olympia, having pedaled 8 of the approximately 30 miles that we needed to cover. So we got back on the bikes after a couple of 5$ footlongs and made like bandits towards Olympia.

We managed to pull into the parking lot at the motel at 3:15. Checked into our room and immediately turned on the TV. Missed only a few minutes of the game. The Spartans were confindent and not afraid of the Huskies from Connecticut. Lo and behold, the boys from MSU pulled off the upset of the heavily favored Huskies! All the while Lewis was pestering us to go to the pool. So immediately following the game Donna accompanied him to the pool while I got back on Donna's bike and rode the 2 miles back to the Fred Meyers store for refreshments and dinner. My next objective was to work on the refreshments (a 6 pack of Mirror Pond Pale Ale) and also to root for the underdogs in the next basketball game. While the MSU Spartans were certainly on a roll, only an idiot would wish for them to play North Carolina. Unfortunately the Villanova Wildcats were not up to the challenge and fell to the heavily favored TarHeels from North Carolina. Oh well. I still had my refreshments to maintain my sense of self worth. After the TarHeels dispatched Villanova and I dispatched a couple pale ales, it was my turn to hang out at the pool. Lewis and I swam for as bit and I threw him around a bit and then we called it quits. Back to the room where Television was waiting! Television is such a mystical magical thing to us Jacksons from Shelton. We sit there all slack jawed and entranced as a constant stream of neat stuff is emitted. Lewis especially since he never grew up with a real live television that you could channel surf with. But I have to admit when I see TV again it casts some sort of spell on me as well. Donna hates it when I flick from channel to channel looking for something of interest. Lewis just goes right to Nickelodeon and is content with whatever drivel they are broadcasting. Sponge Bob RULES!!! We retire with a sense of satisfaction in both our 30 mile adventure and the victory for MSU.

Free continental breakfast!!! I was awake at 5:45 am due to a different mattress than I'm used to. Donna swears she didn't get to sleep at all. Lewis slept like a dead man. So I went down to the lobby and began the hour long pastry and juice and bagel and coffee bonanza. When I returned to our room I had to wake Donna up to let me back in the room (she swears she never went to sleep) cuz I couldn't find the card key in the dark before I left. So now she's awake and eventually Lewis joins us and we all return to the continental breakfast. Man I love continental breakfast. I was able to secure provisions that will come in very useful this summer. I snagged about 15 of those jelly packages that we'll certainly appreciate when we're living on peanut butter and bagels during our adventure. We spent another hour at the pool as well interspersed with several more episodes of Sponge Bob Squarepants. By 11:00 am we were ready to head back home. The return journey seemed easier than what we had undergone on Saturday. We stopped a couple times for a cookie and water and were home before 3:00. Donna rode ahead of us and was just coming up the driveway when she almost caught Moritz with his pants off! He was getting ready to soak up some of the abundant sunshine in the way only Europeans can appreciate. Fortunately no lasting embarassment resulted from this. For those who are maybe wondering who was the naked guy in our yard, you'll have to keep following the trials and tribulations that arise during the training of Alan and Donna and Lewis' leading up to their big Adventure.

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