Sunday, July 24, 2011

Our day in court

Suburban Court

Forgive me. I am typing this from my iPhone while sitting at an open house.

So Amy and I got married. That post was a few months ago. There is a picture on that post of how we had the north park lodge set up. We had rope lighting and doilies hanging to give it a cool vibe. We rented it out Friday to set up for the wedding Saturday. At one point the grounds keeper for north park stopped past and told us that it looked beautiful.

Anyway the lodge is a big wooden building with wooden beams and walls. Each beam has about 2000 staples and 50 nails in it from 90 years of birthday and graduation parties. We continued this and used a staple gun to put up decorations.

Friday night, after 12 hours of setting up, before leaving for a snack/drink thing for friends and family, we got a call from our friend who was running the kitchen. She said that the police were there to lock up and freaked out because of the staples. He told her that he was maybe going to pull our permit for the next day because of the damage that we did to the property.

So we went to bed hoping that we would have a wedding the next day. I woke up early and the kitchen help called me shortly thereafter. She said the police were back and were taking photos. They would not speak to her. I sat on the phone with her while they walked around the lodge and inspected it. Well there goes our wedding and most of my money. Awesome.

The cops finally come out and are willing to speak to me, as I held the permit. He asked how I was doing. I told him that I was scared. He said that they would not pull the permit but he was going to cite me for destruction. This was good news.

The whole wedding when I told people the story, they literally didn't believe me. I had to sternly say " I am NOT joking". This is because the lodge basically looks like a shooting target for staples.

Anyway we get the citation a few weeks later. 375 dollars. In the grand scheme it was just another wedding cost. However I was kind of upset that this was so blown out of proportion. I plead innocent and waited for the court date.

Going into court I figured that it would be pretty obvious that we had no ill intentions, that we followed the norm that had been set by users before us, and that nowhere were we told that staples were unacceptable. Also hedged bets on the cop maybe not showing up.

I took photos of the thousands of staples in place. I took a photo of the giant sign telling users that confetti is forbidden. I brought a lawyer friend. I was ready to go. Amy and I both took the day off of work. I figured that we could go and it would be a non issue to a non partial judge.

We didn't get to see a judge. We went to a magistrate. This is basically an elected person who takes a three month class and can put people in jail. The office was in a strip mall behind a kfc in suburban hell. We got there and the cop was hanging out with the nonjudge in his chambers.
It basically went like this: they have the burden of proof. We did what everybody else did. The photos didn't show our actual staples and we did reuse some hooks and nails already in place. We were not told not to use staples.

The cop was a moron. It was unreal that somebody so dumb has the power that he has. He literally said at one point "there aren't any signs saying that you can't use a jackhammer bun you didn't do that," and the winning statement "there are not any signs that you can't launch a missile". Wow.

Anyway the judge berated us and told us that we have no common sense. I can't image how shitty he would have been if we didnt have a lawyer with us.

Before he gave his ruling or judgement or whatever I said " no matter how this ends up, I would really like to see the people in the park office tell people not to use staples, so this situation can be avoided in the future."

At the point the non judge yells at me again saying that I have no common sense and I should not have to be told not to (do something thousands of others have done?!??!) At this point I just gave up and realized that us being there had nothing to do with preserving the lodge, as the cop stated, but was just about power and authority.

The non judge then said "I am going to knock 200 dollars off of your fine in hopes that you go away. I am SURE (shitty smarmy voice) your lawyer will tell you that you can appeal this."

Fuck you strip mall judge.

Add in: "you can die at their hands, but not at your own"

Monday, July 18, 2011

6 hours of power. 6hop.

So I couldnt sleep cause I could not get comfortable cause my body hurts. Apparently people are awake and all walk dogs at 6:30 am. What a world.

Six hours of power: Ride around an 8 mile mountain bike loop as many times as you can in six hours. If you get in before 6:00, you go out again.

We prerode Friday. We took it easy on the first (and longest) climb. This made the rest of the course seem REALLY easy. However, when racing up the first climb, the rest of the course is hard.

I went solo. I was just hoping for no mechanicals and I figured I had a chance. Ernie from Ohio was there. I had read his blog last week and he hinted at an upcoming enduro. He is good at the long stuff and I figured it would be between us, unless some ringer showed up.

I dont know who invented the "le mans" style start, but it is horrible. This is in mountain bike racing all the racers run for a bit before getting to their bikes. I seriously think that I am super sore from the run and not the racing.

Lap 1: World cup start up the climb. Like crazy fast. There are solo's and team racers all mixed in together. By mid lap I was on my own, with Ernie a few seconds down.

Lap 2: Suffer fest to build a gap. I was out of sight. I was trying to kill the climbs and rail the the parts where I thought he would put time on me on his fancy soft tail bike.

Lap 3: Felt like quitting

Lap 4: Told myself that if I did not quit I would not have to do the 101 in two weeks.

Lap 5: Realized I would have to do 8 laps.

Lap 6: Finally got an accurate time split and had a good gap. Every other time, it was "5 or 6 minutes."

Lap 7: cruise control. Dont flat, dont crash.

Lap 8: I was not sure if Ernie made the cut off (if you do 7 laps in 6 hours you go out for an 8th), so I still had to race. Cramps. Pain. Etc.

This was my first enduro that was not a 100 mile race. The 100 milers generally have a lot more dirt roads. This was probably 90% singletrack.
This was the first mountain bike race that I won since like 2007, which was on Gary's bike. Garmin file.

Thanks to Bret and Nicol for handing me bottles every lap, despite the fact that they were also racing their duo category. Thanks to Bret and Probikes for sealing up my tires tubeless with Stans. They are sick.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Great story. Free socks. Race rut.

A few weeks ago I got an amazing email. I have sworn not to share any parts of it for awhile. I got a pair of sweet socks though. I cant wait to tell!!!

Race Rut: I realized that I have been racing for awhile now. Like I can remember doing the same races over and over and over. This is kind of monotonous. I enjoyed the Hilly Billy as something new. This weekend I tried racing mountain bikes to shake it up a bit. I made it 40 minutes until my tires would not hold air. Then I hiked through freaking vietnam to get out of the woods. It was 95 degrees and humid as hell. Then I swam naked in the river. I drove 5 hours to race 40 minutes and swim in a river. Hell.

In my ideal life, I would just race mountain bikes a ton. The races are hilly, there is no wheel sucking, and its not just power to weight that determines who wins. I like that. So every year I buy a mountain bike that is light and fancy. This year Probikes found me a carbon specialized 29'er. Its fast and light and awesome. However, every year I freaking break stuff and then hate mountain biking. I think it was last year a rotor ripped off of my hub. This weekend I flatted twice. I honestly dont think that I have ever finished a WVMBA mountain bike race (without a mechanical)? That sucks.

This is a song from the 90's. They were a great band. I saw them like 20 times over 4 or 5 years. One of my best memories is watching my best friend watch them. He was barely able to stand cause he was so drunk. It was a month or so after getting stabbed a bunch of times to save my life. My memory is pretty crappy, but that has stuck with me.