The night before....always a good time for pondering why what seemed like a fantastically fun way to blow 100 bucks really -- is not.
1. I don't really like traffic. I don't like it in my car. I like it even less on my bike. You see traffic and I have had encounters in the past that didn't go so well (but did get me one very entertaining visit to the ER). And if anyone has been paying attention you'll notice that lately traffic is totally beating the pants off cycling in the game of life. I'd prefer not to be a pawn in that ongoing game. But this race takes place entirely in the metro Madison area and no one blocks off a route for you because...well, there is no route. Granted its not Chicago or Seattle, but I think traffic is a guarantee.
2. The homework SUCKED. First, what kind of race has homework? I just want to ride my bike. Add to that the fact that the pre-race quiz was perhaps the most pointless, tedious thing I have completed (though completion is arguable) ever. It was something of a wild goose chase on the Internet where five other unrelated geese needed to be found prior to getting the goose you were originally looking for. And the geese are clever, and at times invisible, and able to outmaneuver you and your wimpy little weapon (aka "Google" which I have far less faith in these days). And in the end, no one really cares about the geese anyway. There is nothing interesting about the geese that you will be better off in life by knowing. You are simply capturing really annoying and crafty geese. If the race is anything like the quiz I am likely to fry a circuit in my brain and cannot be responsible for my actions.
**It should be known that your start time is determined by your score on the pre-race quiz which is the only reason i spent the limited amount of time on it that I did....when i turned it in my score was a 57%. yes 57. I'm pretty sure that's failing on most curves. Well we roll up to packet pickup and I'm even more bitter about the quiz because I'm thinking I have wasted my time and we still won't get any benefit from it. I overhear the guy say 'if you have a 57 or better on the quiz you're in the first wave". WHAT. Oh ya. Can you say min-i-mum com-pe-ten-cy. I've never been so happy to have a 57 in my entire life.....why? Because it means I spent exactly the minimum amount of effort needed to get the maximum result. Perfectly played. The guy in front of us in line said he spent 9 hours on the quiz. NINE HOURS. Are you kidding me? I would have shot myself long before 9 hours had I continued to let myself plug away at that quiz. Moral of the story here kids: Aim low, get lucky.**
3. Navigation will play a large part in the race and my teammate and I have been known to have minor vocal disagreements about navigation methods. In fact just today we had one of these little disagreements about whether or not it was faster to take the beltline or Odana to get from 151 to westgate mall. (for the record, its the beltline, read: I was right) We did drive roughly 1300 miles across British Colombia in search of fresh pow earlier this year and manage not to kill each other though....so I guess we've got that goin' for us. Then again, there's pretty much one road across most of Canada. There are a few more options in Madison.
4. Did I mention I don't like biking in traffic?
5. I'm too smart. And I don't mean that in a "I'm a brilliant rocket scientist" kind of way. I mean, my brain works too hard. I can't shut it off and I over think pretty much everything. Probably why I thought my head might explode while taking the pre-race quiz, but also potentially the cause of us not being able to come up with the answers to simple clues about where the mystery checkpoints are. Thus leading to a wild-goose chase around Madison, this time by bike rather than electronically around the Internet. Much more tiring.
I'm starting to think I figured out why they offer copious amounts of free beer post-ride....
Oh well, I paid my hundred bucks, suckered someone into playing teammate for the day....I'm doin' it.