Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Cap City Cyclists Celebrate 160 Miles!
I'm barely recovered from the long weekend dedicated to the Valero MS 150 Bike to the Beach. It was a fantastic weekend for the ride from San Antonio to Corpus Christi. We had decided to join Team Wells Fargo and enjoy the benefits of their roomy team tent, catering and massage therapists. The WF folks couldn't have been nicer. It was a good choice and an excellent pairing. I can't give you a recap from a rider's point of view but here's my official SAG Hag version of the weekend.
My cyclists left SA feeling strong and excited to be in the saddle. The volunteers and I headed out to Beeville for our campsite and team tent. You have to love a small town whose laundromat is named the Hogwash Laundry.
I have to admit that the weekend was very relaxing for me. After we unloaded luggage and blew up air mattresses, there wasn't much else to do but sit around, talking and drinking sodas and beer and tracking the riders progress based on their text messages from water stops along the route. Oh, we ate lunch. Anthony's BBQ is the place to eat in Beeville. Anthony came out to the campsite at Coastal Bend College and fired up his woodburning grill near our tent. His staff served up hamburgers and some of the best local all beef hot dogs I've ever eaten. Their macaroni & cheese had a hint of heat to it, probably with a pepper cheese, and it was delicious.
The cyclists didn't fare so well with lunch. One of the riders rolled into the lunch area and found the only sandwiches left were made with ham. She hadn't eaten red meat or pork in years, but starving after hours of riding will make the staunchest vegetarian look twice at a Big Mac. She ate the ham sandwich. Unfortunately, she delivered the ham back to this world 10 miles down the road. The text we received said "Just puked but feel better." She recovered enough to lead the pace line at a swift 20 mph toward the finish. Now that is a dedicated cyclist!
The team rode 98 miles the first day, so once the cheering was done and the photos snapped at the finish the first item of business was to hit the shower trucks. Clean and fed, the riders had massages and talked about the road. We heard about the Mercedes team with the bad attitude and no sense of biking etiquette...not the best advertisement for their corporate sponsor. The team pic at mile 75 promises to be a good one, with a large number of Wells Fargo cyclists. I passed out Aleve to just about everyone.
The second day started off cool and damp. We'd all gotten cold during the night and I was happy to stay snuggled in my sleeping bag until the wake up call went out over the loudspeakers at 5am. I would've been happier to stay warm and cuddled up for several more hours but since the WF volunteers had been moving around the tent since 4:30am I thought it would be poor form to stay abed. We waved the team off and packed up the tent, heading for Corpus Christi and the finish.
After dropping luggage off at the condo we rented for the night, we trekked from Padre Island to the finish line by the Texas State Aquarium. The team made an impressive entrance to the finish, riding side by side in their Cap City Cyclists jerseys. I was struck with a feeling of deep pride in all of them. They've worked hard, training for months to meet the challenge of riding 160 miles.
What do I do to show how much I appreciate people? The only thing I know how to do well: cook. The team had a pasta feast that night. I pan grilled shrimp marinated in an orange habañero sauce and tossed the seafood with asparagus before serving it over bowtie pasta garnished with goat cheese. I made a monster salad of mixed greens, grape tomatoes, avocado, red onion, mushrooms and shredded parmesan. Ironically, I burned the edges of the garlic parmesan bread but no one seemed to care. After dinner we ended up watching the full moon rise over the ocean before crashing early.
The next morning we enjoyed a breakfast appetizer of queso and chips with our coffee before making brunch. The team tucked into pancakes, hash browns, turkey bacon, pork bacon, my garden scramble (sauteed red onion, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, eggs) and a few strawberries that were leftover from our mimosas. We watched some very odd tv in the form of a Spanish channel show called "Hoy" who featured a man with an incredible body demonstrating yoga poses. He had a very large, ahem, "personality" that was well defined in his snug yoga pants. We laughed the entire time.
Highlights of the weekend aside from finish line crossings on both days include: Christine's ruffled pajamas bottoms, the choice of either C&W or heavy metal music on radio stations in the Beeville area, strangers handing over keys to their Luis Vuitton luggage-packed Infinity SUV's, much praise for Chamois Butt'R, Tony Ralf's flaming red mohawk and fluorescent yellow socks, the Holt tent's air conditioning, the lady who rented us a 3 bedroom 2 bath condo with only a contact name and cell phone number along with a request to place our payment on the table when we left, Kevin Ann's massage therapy, the red tide fish kills that ensured we did not enjoy the beach as much as we could've and of course the laughing, joking and camaraderie we shared. C3 rocks!