Ok if you havent seen The Wire yet, freaking watch it already.
This summarizes Baltimore: Soupie and I stayed with friends, of friends, of friends. The one girl who lived at the house was waiting for the bus the morning we arrived. She was looking at the schedule posted on the wall of the bus stop. She had to look across a woman to see it.
"what the fuck are you looking at" says the woman.
The girl gives her a dirty look, and looks away.
BOOM BOOM - She is punched TWICE in the face by the woman. She retreats.
Welcome to Baltimore.
Soupie and I drove down Saturday afternoon for the Charm City cross race. We stayed with some kids in a surprisingly clean punk house. We hung with them on their back porch for a few hours. It was like 3 hours of me resisting eating a whole freshly baked dutch apple pie. I survived. Pretty awesome of people to put up strangers on the recommendation of a friend of a friend.
Baltimore - the city without businesses. No strip malls, no coffee shops, no bagel shops. KFCs, hair salons, and gas stations were separated by miles of boarded up houses and an occasional car wash. Breakfast looked bleak. I had some squagels and peanut butter with me and made a breakfast of it. Baltimore - you could starve, so bring your own food. The organizers knew this and provided free water, which was sweet, because soupie's race was literally 5 hours before mine, so I had to stay hydrated in the 85 degree heat.
The race was the best Non UCI race I have ever been to, and possibly one of the best overall. The setting was awesome, the organization was amazing and the course was good.
Soupie got 16th in the C race. Pretty sweet, despite a slight mechanical. Pitting for somebody is easy if they dont need anything!
No hand ups during our race. 85 degrees and dusty. Damn. Minturn crashes super hard in the prolouge. Damn. I think I have strep throat by lap 5 because it is so dry.
I thought of a formula to judge my effort. Its basically how many people I pass vs. how many people pass me. This is after the first 2 laps where people start getting into their grooves. Cross is a lot like chess - opening, middle game, end game. During the middle game Bobby Lea blew past me like I was standing still and clawed his way up to 4th or 5th. Impressive. Greg Witwer did the same. Also impressive. I managed to catch and pass another 2 or so that were going backwards. I guess I about broke even and paced myself pretty well.
End game: Complacent. Battle for 9th place between 3 of us. Geronimo got away and stayed for 8th. I attacked over a hill and couldnt stick it. They chased me down and passed me. I should have tried to attack 1 more time on the hill before the Tree dismount. Oh well.
We got lost on the way home and got to see more of lovely Baltimore.