I started typing this as my race report, but quickly realized that the Friday before Southern Cross was enough of a story to stand on its own…
Friday morning, I packed and left town sometime before 8. Some time around 9, Poolboy Matt called and let me know that my purse (including my drivers license and money) was on the kitchen table at home. With a healthy dose of cursing, I turned around at Exit 52 (I get on the interstate at Exit 16) to retrieve it and start over.
With the addition of an extra hour and a half of driving, I arrived in Dahlonega for registration as the sun was setting. Once again, Eddie and Namrita had done a great job of getting the race set up at the Montaluce Winery. Sound like a weird place to base a bike race? Well, yeah, it is. When you walk in to the winery for registration, the fancy people all look at you funny, and the kind, nicely dressed woman at the hostess desk quickly directs you upstairs for bike registration without asking if you’re actually there for bike race registration. Of course, Montaluce is a beautiful venue (especially at sunset), and everyone appreciates their support of the races… but that doesn’t make it any less awkward.
I picked up my race packet and headed back out to the Quality Inn in Dahlonega. I hate going on a long car ride without riding a little afterward, so, while I unpacked, I turned the AC to its coldest setting and set my bike up on the trainer. I quickly realized that the National Geographic channel has also devolved into a series of “cops” style reality TV shows. The “Wildlife Police” (about California Game Wardens) version was my favorite…
After a few intervals and a little spinning, I cleaned up and debated as to where I’d go for dinner. At 8:30 on a Friday night, downtown Dahlonega (where a couple of decent pizza places reside) was sure to be crawling with college kids and bike racers. There was an Asian place attached to the hotel, but I suspect that the quality of the food would be questionable, and that it would be overly sugary and greasy. So, I nixed the sugar, kept the grease, and went with a more reliable pizza delivery dinner.
As I was drifting off to sleep around 11:00, I heard angry banging on a nearby door and someone yelling, “SERGIO!” over and over. I quickly realized that it was someone banging on MY door. I went to the door and yelled back, asking what the hell they were doing. The guy outside explained he was sorry and had the wrong room, and that he meant to knock on the one next door. Great.
But wait, it gets weird-er.
At exactly 4:09am, something woke me up. I didn’t realize what it was at first, but then I heard it again- the guy in the room next door (Sergio?) was groaning. It sounded like Master P was in the throes of the drunken state when you’re ready to pass out, but you’re too sick, and the room is spinning around you. I tried calling the front desk. No one answered. I was about to call the police (he sounded like he might actually need medical help), when I heard a sober voice in his room. Things got quiet, and I went back to sleep. He started back up again around 5:45 and woke me just before my alarm went off.
I hope he learned his lesson.
I packed the car and went to the Country Cafe near downtown. The waitress was superbly cheerful and friendly. Enough so that I forgot about the drunken groaning and started to mentally prepare for the racing ahead of me. Game time…