another usgp has come and gone.
i’ve been trying to come up with the perfect post to describe the awesome-ness that is this weekend. there’s a pretty good account of the awesomeness here. but read this one first. then go there.
the usgp came into our lives – our city, our cycling community and very literally, our house three years ago when the “race people dudes” (as lulu used to call them – a.k.a the folks who ran the show) were our houseguests. it’s become a regular gig now and now she calls them by name. every october for a week, we’re sorta the official unofficial usgp louisville headquarters when the gang comes to stay (except for the one girl that would come to stay so often we just convinced her to move here). we really love having them and i think they really like staying with us even though sometimes the towels are holey, they’re sleeping in the driveway and we only have one bathroom.
i think it says a lot when your houseguests come into the kitchen to get some coffee in their underwear and nobody bats an eye. it’s important to me that my guests are comfortable and lets just say that we’ve really moved beyond “houseguests”. total bonus if one of your houseguests has just come off of hiking the appalachian trail for months. even the holey towels and blow up bed are a luxury.
for us, the usgp is so much more than the event itself. it’s seven days of a whole lotta crazy, exciting chaos. it’s like the holidays. the kids get to eat whatever they want. they stay up way too late for their own good and i have to write notes to the teachers about why homework didn’t get done and i add that they should come down to the races and check ‘em out cause it’s super fun. and lulu has to explain to a friend that she couldn’t go to her birthday party “cause it was the usgp bike races”. and when the friend says “but its just a bike race”, lulu responds with “um. it’s the USGP. there’s a green monster and everything”. sheesh.
it’s the one time each year that we get to see folks that have become good friends and i finally get my pumpkin seed oil stash replenished. we chat and catch up like it hasn’t been a year since we’ve seen each other. (and in bruce’s case, it hasn’t – the airstream is his home away from home). we talk about our hopes to win the lottery so the five of us websters’ can go over to austria to visit them. we cook breakfast and dinner together and do dishes and laundry together. and god knows i need help with my laundry.
over the umpteenth pot of coffee that gets brewed every morning, we chat about the event and how the community here embraces it, lives for it, volunteers for it, counts down the days till it’s here, races in it, promotes it through sheer enthusiasm and pride in the fact that our city hosts an event of such awesomeness. and how invaluable all of that is.
i love this week. i love our guests, i love stapling numbers to registration forms and hanging snow fence with friends. i love seeing the course all set up. i love the watching the long train of racers in the men’s 4 race. the dollar bills thrown on top of the mud, the bourbon in the flasks, the kids in the blow up chairs, resting my eyes for just a minute in the back of the jeep cause there was too much bourbon in my post race 10 am coffee. love all the chatting with, cheering for and heckling friends. i love finally not even blinking an eye at the top of the green monster on the second day and just going down without a thought of how stupid steep it is.
it’s a good week.
it’s the sort of crazy, super cool kind of week where simon burney comes over for dinner, and another night we’re out to dinner with richard fries. and then when the racing is over, and the course is torn down and the girls bring garbage bags of course tape home so they can set up a ‘cross course in the front yard and they throw sram and selle italia tape all over the tree and even put up a barrier - all for the impromptu celebration at which we all crowded around our dining room table to have dinner, drinks, laughs and stories with tim, jamey and jesse.
winner winner post usgp dinner.
in our house, the usgp is a weeklong, whirlwind affair that has brought more friends and fun into our lives than we could have ever imagined and after i sleep off some of this usgp hangover we’ll start counting down the days till everyone comes back and we do it all over again.