Friday, November 16, 2007

Feeling like a rock star

I’m livin large in the land of The Boss and Bon Jovi. Me and my bike arrived safely in NJ, nothing too exciting, once we got off the ground in Portland. I did a get a chance to meet one of Mercer County’s finest. I was driving down to the course for a ore-ride and on the way I managed to get lost, even with a talking GPS system, I found myself going a little fast when a cop passed me going the other way. He pulled a “Uie”, and the next thing I he was tellin’ me I was “driving a little fast, 55 in a 35” and asking if I had a license, insurance and registration. Since I was in my mom’s car I told him I hoped so and that I’m not from around these parts. He saw the bike in the back seat and asked if I was going to the race. I said I was going to race and was heading to the park to check it out. He thought it was pretty cool, and as I was looking for the registration and insurance, he told me not to worry and handed back my license. We talked about the race for a minute, and he gave me directions to the park. Had to have been the nicest cop I ever met. Or maybe I am just used to the bike hatin’ police back home.

If getting some respect from a cop didn’t have me feeling like a rockstar, then getting to the course and doing a couple warm-up laps in a pack with Tim Johnson, Parbo, Georgia Gould, Jesse Anthony and some others certainly did. Especially with local media and photographers there filming and taking pictures. Now if only I can ride like a rock start! That’d be sweet!

The course is pretty cool, at least I like it better than L’ville. It has a slightly longer start straight on an uphill and then goes a little more gradually on to the grass. From there is a good mix of twists and turns with some straights, and lots of room for passing. There’s a lot of grass, almost 80%, one real long sand stretch through a volleyball court, that, at least during warm-ups, Parbo was the only one I saw ride the whole thing. I could get about halfway through, and man it sucks your energy. They also built a “flyover” that isn’t as tall as in L’ville but seems steeper and ends on rougher terrain. Overall it is pretty dry, but soft. There isn’t any mud, so all the corners are pretty quick. I ran 50psi (too lazy to drop any, but I will) and had no problems doing a couple hot laps. There is a slight chance of some light snow on Saturday night, but pretty slight, otherwise just cold and partly cloudy.

I do have to say that NJ is prettier than I remember. The trees here still have some color on them, and there are some really nice places here. It also feels a lot richer in history here. All the places the American Revolution was fought, and homes that were built in the 1700s. Of course there are plenty of malls, both of the strip and full-scale variety, and plenty of sprawl to boot, but it isn’t as bad as you hear.

Checkout the cool antique cowbell my mom found in her attic and gave to me: