Before we get into the recap of this year’s SSCXWC, I’d like to invite you to jump into the Wayback Machine®, and take a trip all the way back to 2009 and read over this post I’d filed shortly after returning to the peace and tranquility that is my day to day existence.
Now, I should note that if I was a wiser man, I would have never returned to the scene of the crime, yet I am not, so therefor I did.
I would also like to mention that the previous report I filed is much better than the one I’m about to, because apparently at some point in the last eight years, I lost what little ability to write I previously had.
And similarly as back then, I had both this web log to update, as well as a real-life deadline over at Dirt Rag Magazine, except this time I didn’t read a book on the plane, but as per my usual, I drew the seats in front of me;
So, for this year, what my initial impetus was, was to pin a number on at the airport and go straight to the bar, but as DPow! and JBrit! sped through the arrivals, and literally threw me in the back of their creepy van as they passed, I had no time to do anything but concentrate on attempting to ensure my own safety. We first swung by the Squid Bikes house to grab my steed, and then to the Kona house where I would be sleeping for the next two days.
As best as I can recall, after settling in, we jumped on our bikes;
-and made our way to Athletic, where I fixed a small bit of damage to my Giro art shoes submission;
Then, because one speed bikes have just about one thing that can go wrong with them, Cory’s did as its chain exploded, so we stopped into Western to get it fixed up and see Aaron of ROTS Army;
-and then finally to Elevator for registration;
I filled out my release for the weekend’s activities and instead of waiting in the long and winding line, I just walked around behind the desk and put it into someone’s hand telling him that it was his problem now, before promptly running away.
Around this time I got word from Jesse who owns the Apex Bar that anyone who came in and said ‘I drink with Stevil’, got to drank free Hamms until the two kegs he’d set aside for us ran dry;
What could possibly go wrong with that plan?
We put our best foot forward until we could do no more damage, and then made the soggy swerve back home.
The following day we managed to get our acts together in order to get to the venue for qualification, which I wasn’t going to do because I’d planned on jumping in on either the noon race, or a lap of the A race the following day, but as we’ll soon learn, the road to Hell truly is paved with good intentions. At the very least I was marginally successful in building a wizard staff and shooting some photos;
So as I previously stated, there would be no qualifier for me, and with the first full day in town under my belt, I’d already successfully blown it.
We headed home and sacked out for a minute before taking on some food and getting our carcasses to the scene of DPow! and JBrit’s! party where we were treated to face melting performance by Red Cloud and Ancient Warlocks;
All I can say for certain is that between Cheever getting immediately bounced, and the guy swinging from the chandler, things got real rowdy, real quick.
And at some point my rain jacket got lifted by someone who evidently needed it more than I did.
Against our better judgement we made a slow roll around the corner to the Dancin’ Bare where I remember for certain a young lady in the club’s employ inquired as to whether I’d like her to preform a dance upon my lap. I replied that yes, while I would very much like that, because of the emptiness of my wallet, would have to respectfully decline her offer. Before the sentence was even fully out of my mouth, she bailed out to go find another hapless derelict to hit up.
It was with that, that once again, in the wee hours of the morning, we peeled out for a rainy meander back to HQ.
Waking up the next morning, getting food in our bodies became of the utmost importance, and while en route back to the venue we stopped for a snack, some hot brown, and a chance encounter with this guy;
I took a look at the clock and quickly realized my shot at a 12:00 race was swiftly dwindling, so it was then I decided to jump in for one heroic lap in the main. At that stage I wandered around, nursed my hangover and shot more photos;
With minutes until the men’s race went down, I took stock of my existence, and with my bike on one side of the venue, my clothes on the other side, and my knee blown up like a balloon from trudging all over creation in ankle deep mud, I called it and decided I had finally fully officially retired from racing, and strangely, I was ok with that;
Oh, did I mention that Sven Nys was racing? These were the only photos I got of him on the course due to the fact that he’s too damn fast;
I continued on my way, limping around in an attempt to document things to the best of my ability, which at this stage in the game was marginal at best;
As the rains once again set in, the time had come to make our way back to town where we first ate at my most favorite restaurant ever, and then parting ways with my Kona crew, I headed back to the scene of the previous evening’s party for one more full night of debauchery, some of the best shots from which can be found here. That said, between getting cans of beer repeatedly knocked out of my hand, I wound up with a handful more not so great ones because at this point, I was completely shattered;
And one of five crap photos of women’s winner Jessica Cutler and Adam Craig being presented their spoils, during which time I repeatedly yelled “OH MY GOD- GET ON WITH IT!“, and “BOOOOOORRRRIIINNNGGG!” (Those who were present at the 1999 SSWC might fondly recall that particular chestnut.);
I slapped Adam’s belly a bunch of times, (partially because I was still mad from the day before when he had the audacity to tell me I didn’t know how to build a wizard staff);
Also, safety third;
And then as Fast Asleep took the stage;
With the sounds of blaring noise filling the air, I then proceeded to help Danny B with his performance;
Photo courtesy of Dylan VanWeelden.
My tank of luck was just about empty, and what little I had was now at this point barely holding together with small scraps of tape and dwindling optimism.
Just as both booze and complete exhaustion took a devastating toll on me, and at approximately 2:00 in the morning, I finally had to call it, and skip out in the darkness to find some desperately needed sleep.
The following day was spent licking my wounds before jumping back on a dark airplane, doing one more drawing, and then hitting my own bed at one million miles an hour;
It’s with all of this being said, I take one last loving glance into my rearview mirror at that proverbial mountain and just as I’ve noted so many times before at the conclusion of debacles similar to this, let’s swear to never do that again.