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Friday Night: The Drive to the PMC, and Registration

Friday, August 1, 2003

Corinne got out of work at 2:30 today so that we could make an early start up to the PMC in Sturbridge, MA. The Opening Ceremony started at 7:00, but I had to register, eat dinner, and get my hotel room, so a couple extra hours before the O.C. would be needed. Before we could leave, I had to make a "quick run" over to Mystic Cycle to pick up some energy gels, and I got stuck in traffic. It took over an hour, when it should have taken just twenty minutes!

It rained on the way up. The closer we got, the heavier it rained, until it was absolutely pouring at the Sturbridge Host Hotel, which hosts the first night of the ride, all rider registration, and the O.C. For the second time this year, the truck started shifting very badly ("clunk!") during a heavy rainstorm, and this increased our stress level pretty dramatically.

We arrived, finally. Registration was a hoot: seemed like there were a million riders there, but most of them had already registered and were eating (or, uh, drinking) their dinners. There were twenty-six registration lines, one for each letter of the alphabet, and they moved very quickly. Give the lady your name, show your license, and then she picks up a cow bell and starts ringing it! "New Rider!" she yells, and then all the other registration staff does the same thing (just the bell, no yelling). That was startling. :-) Finally, she gave me a big bag of stuff, reviewed it quickly, and asked me if I had any questions.

"Yeah," I said, "what do I do now?" She didn't really know what to say to that, but I knew I had to find my hotel room, so I went back out to the car (and my patiently waiting wife).

I had been told that Jim Boyko had reserved two rooms for the four of us (Jim, Steve Davis, Chris Rawson, and myself) at the Best Western, under Jim's name. We went the wrong direction when we left the host, so it took us more than twenty minutes to find it even though it was literally right next door. Then, the hotel had no record of our group, at all!

All I could do now was try to call Steve or Jim to find out what was going on. Steve had left his cell phone number on our answering service (run by SBC, so we can call in to hear our messages from anywhere). Unfortunately, he gave the wrong area code so the number didn't work. (Now it gets complicated, so try to follow this...) I called my parents to see if they could find his home number. They suggested calling my Aunt Ellyn, who is married to Steve's wife's brother (Gary). She had his home number, but not his correct cell number, and suggested calling Gail (another of Gary's sisters) who is close friends with Katie, Jim Boyko's wife. I called Gail, who told me that Gail and Sandy were up in Maine with the kids for the weekend, and gave me the number there. Katie's mom answered the phone (who I hadn't spoken to in years), but soon I was talking to Sandy who gave me the correct cell numbers for both Jim and Steve. Moments later I was on the phone with Steve: we weren't staying at the Best Western, it was some other place, but I should just head back to the Host.

So, finally, Steve and I met up in the parking lot. My bike was transferred to the roof of his car and my bag to his trunk. A kiss goodbye for Corinne, as well as thanking her for being so patient and driving up there with me and all the way back home again in the rain by herself (with a truck that wasn't driving well), and the registration saga was finally over.

(Other than getting a little lost on the way home and the Service Engine Soon light coming on, Corinne made it home just fine.)

Page last updated: 7/22/2004

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