sometimes all the racing and the packing for the racing is a lot. we pack up the airstream. we race for a few hours. we go home. we unpack it. we wash everything and start again the next weekend.
we took a little road trip this past weekend. we thought we’d combine the racing thing with some family time. we thought this might somehow be easier. and super fun. combining two things that each on their own require much planning and packing of stuff.
a little family campy combined with some racy at the fat & skinny tire fest in northern indiana. about 5 hours away. a little bit longer since we were towing a 1973 VW beetle behind an old airstream motorhome that doesn’t go so fast in the first place.
i always have a vision for these sorts of trips. usually they involve some sort of soundtrack playing in my head, stone skipping, ‘smore making, doing well at the races and having everything you need.
packing for five people to go camping in itself is always an endeavor. throw two races in and uncertain weather and it takes the whole affair and the ‘let’s-pack-this-just-in-case’ items up a notch. add camping at the fairgrounds at the same time as the civil war re-enactors with their cannons going off every hour really ratchets the whole thing up. and the half mile bike ride to the village where all the cool critical mass rides were starting and the bmx demonstrations were going on? not as kid friendly as reported.
add in a race on a perfect course on a perfect day in which you feel perfectly superstar perfect that doesn’t turn out quite as well as you imagined – well. it has all the makings of a melt-down. mine.
and forgetting the emergency stash of bourbon and the fixins’ for smores? can’t even really talk about it still.
so we’re at the campground watching the north and the south pitch their tents and build better fires than ours. and i try to shake it off that things aren’t turning out the way i planned.
but i am happy at least that our airstream is parked north of the mason dixon line.
we hang out with teammates. we talk about the races. and we watch the girls fly kites that they found on the bus. and we watch the dog run around with the baby quilt of a cape that lulu tied to her. we watch henry ride his bike and cross into enemy territory and try to spy on the confederate soldiers. and we cook dinner over the fire. and drink beer. and listen to good music. and it’s all good.
annabel is fascinated by the little civil war girls in their blue dresses and black boots, playing hoop games with sticks. and she asks me if we can do that. dress up and pitch tents and fire cannons. i tell her that’s not our tribe. our tribe wears brightly colored spandex.
i wonder what the north & south thought of us. in our spandex. with our bikes and green beer cans and charcoal on the fire. and big silver airstream with electricity.
we packed up early the next morning and drove right through the sleeping and peaceful north and south camps – the cannon fire wouldn’t start till 9 am - and head to the village for the next race.
which is another perfect day. on another perfect course and once again, i’m feeling perfectly perfect and ready to race only to get erroneously pulled from the race after just ten minutes. all parties involved in removing me & my group from the race apologized. but that’s too late. even if i came in dead last, they didn’t let me try. i loved the course, loved the race and wanted to finish. (around here, the women – all categories – race together. it’s fairly standard practice here at least, to not pull 4’s when they get lapped by the 1/2/3’s. i still had a shot at catching back onto the 4’s)
its’ hard. sometimes. to balance it all. all the stuff. all the tangible stuff that you need to bring and organize and clean.
and then the other stuff. the racy disappointments - real or imagined. the worrying about our 13 year old who is still sorta sleeping and thinking think he might have a fever and wishing he’d eat something but really needing to get on the trainer, and just telling him to have a pop-tart.
and then i get on the trainer and have to get off to get a splinter out of annabel’s leg. i ask how it got in her leg but then remember i really should get back on the trainer. and leaving the airstream i tell henry if he has to throw up, he should do it in the sink cause the generator is not on and the toilet can’t be flushed.
and then there’s no time to get back on the trainer so i just go line up.
and then i get pulled. and watch my teammates race from the sidelines only to see them and most of the women’s 4 field end in a heap of a crash on the bell lap.
and then i miss most of my husbands’ race while waiting in line to buy macaroni and cheese for annabel and by the time i made my way through the very awesome and three-deep crowd to go watch the last two laps, the girls say the macaroni is yucky.
and all of it made me want to cry.
but there’s no time for that.
and because i need to wait in line with lulu so she can ride the orbit thingy.