Friday night Emily, Stella, and I loaded up in Pepe and headed South for Portland. Due to WDOT's infinate wisdom they had 2 of the three lanes on I-5 closed just before the I-205 junction. This lead to traffic backed up for miles and miles and mile. Our 3 hour trip was turned into a 6 hour ordeal. We go to my parents place at about 3am. We had planned on getting to Corvallis for the KSR (Kinetic Sculpture Race) parade, but we nixed that idea after getting in so late, and we decided to sleep in a little. We left Stella with my parents and then continued to Corvallis and get there about 12:30. the parade had started at noon, and the race started at 2pm. With that in mind we quickly set up camp at the fair grounds and road our* bikes to the start of the race.
*"Our" bikes... Emily rented a single speed cruiser, which she loved. I borrowed my Dad's bike which is too short for him, and he's shorter than I am. Then add in that I foolishly chose to wear sandles which slid all over on my foot and lead to it being hard to keep my foot on the pedal. and finally mix in the fact I haven't been on a bicycle in about two years, and that last few times was where you ride a ski-lift up the mountain and ride your bike down (i.e., gravity does all the work).
We followed the Sculptures around the race course, which was mostly flat, but it was 90+ degrees out with only a few shady spots. I'm guessing the course was only about 5 miles, but it felt like 20.
The firsday day of the race consists of a short ride form the OSU campus to the Fair Grounds where the sculptures climb a hill made of sand and back down. Then they do the rest of the road course.
By the end of the day, I was beat. My my nose firmly rubbed in my out-of-shapeness, muscles aching, sweaty, etc.
But from there we went to dinner at Big River, which was excellent. I highly recommend Blueberry Mojito's when your muscles ache. Thankfully we drove there and then back to camp.
There were two other events at the Fiar Grounds that night. A hispanic wedding, with music blaring till about midnight, and a super low-rent version of the WWF. They passed out free tickets to the wrestling match, so we wandered over and had a good laugh at the cheese.
Then we wandered back for a lot of drinking and hanging out with the racers. I was exhausted from the days activities so after many libations, I called it a night about 11 and Emily stayed up partying until about midnight. And, damn! She looked hot in that new green dress!!! :-D
We got up at about 7, eat breakfast with the teams and then drive to the mud run, which was very slippery knee deep mud. I even dove into the mud to help a stuck vehicle. After all the vehicles finished getting muddy we headed over to the boat launch to watch the start of the final leg of the race, when all the vehicles go into the water and race down the river. Some gingerly slipped into the water, others dove in full speed made, making an awesome splash.
Then we loaded up, headed back to my parents for the tail end of the family reunion, and the picked up Stella and headed out of town. On the way out we stopped by Amnesia Brewing for dinner and a couple IPAs.
We reached Emily's about 10:30. And I got home about 11. Luckily I ran into Tom Sr. and in exchange for a couple beers he helped me haul everything out of the truck up the stairs to my place.
I prompty crashed and then morning came far too early this morning.
It was an amazing trip. Part of me wants to make a vehicle, but a) I don't have a place to store it, B) I lack some of the needed skills (welding), and C) if bicycling around the course was so painful, I can't imagine doing it with a full vehicle carrying everything it needs for all four stages.