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PMC Saturday Afternoon: Ship!, Sen. John Kerry and the Draft, Nap Time!

Saturday, August 2, 2003

After arriving at the MMA, I took my bike to lockup.

The PMC is not a race, that's been made very clear to all of us, but those of us that ride all the time can't help but compare our performance with the rest of the crowd. So, I'm not ashamed to admit that I was very pleased to see a huge, almost-completely-empty bike lockup. By the end of the day, it would be filled with nearly four thousand bikes, but right now it held less than one hundred. Yes!

My plan for the next hour or two was to take a shower, put on some clean clothes, have some real food for lunch, and then get picked up by Corinne and go back to our hotel in Middleboro rather than sleep in a twin size bed at the dorm.

Being a new rider, I didn't know where my dorm was. "Oh, your bracelet says you're in SHIP," the helpful volunteer said. I thought that was the name of a dorm. It seemed fitting for a Maritime academy. "Which one is named 'Ship'?" I asked.

But no, it wasn't a dorm named ship, it was a SHIP!!! A really honkin' massive military vessel named Enterprise:

the present training ship, Enterprise, formerly the Cape Bon. Enterprise, named in honor of the Academy's first training ship, is 540 feet in length with a 76 foot beam, and she draws 27 feet. Her geared steam turbines of 15,500 shaft horsepower, produce a speed of 20 knots.

All of our bags had been delivered here by the volunteers, right to our rooms. I didn't know what to expect, but a room with 36 little boxes with mattresses on the bottom wasn't it. I'm SO glad that I got a hotel room, there's no way I would have slept well curled up into a ball all night. (I'm 6' 10", those little sleeping shelves were maybe 6' long, at best.)

The plan had always been for Corinne to pick me up here, so I hadn't packed a towel: duh. Won't make that mistake next year. After my shower, I had to dry off with a tee-shirt!

Bag in hand, I 'checked out' of the Enterprise, and went to the food tent. Still ahead of the curve, it was nearly empty, but Steve was there chatting with another friend.

Senator John Kerry in Favor of the Draft!

While I was loading my plate with a hamburger, John Kerry stood next to me, gave me an elbow in the ribs, and said "hey buddy!" I'm not sure if he remembered riding behind me, was just amused to see someone taller than himself, or was just being friendly.

I said hi (careful NOT to return the elbow!), and then said, "I learned something about you this weekend that I'm going to publish on my web site." He looked a little nervous and asked, "What's that?" I replied, "That you're in favor of the draft!"

He was supposed to laugh, or at least smile, but he clearly didn't get it. Nuts.

"You rode behind me for awhile today. That's called drafting. It's a..."

"Oh, a pun!" Now he smiled and nodded his head. Too late to be funny, but at least he knew that I wasn't going to tarnish his reputation or whatever. Just a joke, Senator.

I can't believe I got an elbow from, and made a joke with, a U.S. Senator this weekend. That's too weird. I have to admit that I like the guy, too. It's also impressive that he did this whole ride with no security detail.

Lunch was really good: grilled burgers, and Clam Chowder from Legal Seafoods. Mmmm!

Nap Time!

After lunch, I went out to the guest parking area to wait for Corinne. I thought I saw our truck pulling in (down the street) just as I turned the corner, but I couldn't find her so I stood at the entrance for a half hour. I was looking the wrong way: she finally walked up behind me and suggested we get going. :-)

The hotel was thirty minutes away, and I don't think I did much besides sleep and eat after we arrived. My nap lasted a couple hours, during which Corinne went driving around. I woke up when she returned with dinner from Chili's (pasta!), but was asleep again for the night within a couple hours.

Page last updated: 7/22/2004

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