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Sunday Afternoon, After the PMC Finishline

Sunday August 3, 2003

After crossing the finish line, my plan was to leave the bike somewhere safe, take a shower, wait for Corinne to show up, retrieve the bike and go home.

Scariest Sight Ever

I walked the bike way down to the secure lockup area. On the way, I saw something very... unfortunate. (The squeamish might want to skip this paragraph and the next.) Two massage tables had been set up right near the lockup, and two people were being massaged. Naked, or nearly so. One naked, flabby, wrinkly old woman was laying on her stomach, wearing nothing but a white wash cloth in the most private area. Worst of all were the two gigantic saddle sores. Ick. Just past her was a man of similar description: naked, much heavier and flabbier, lying on his stomach receiving his massage. He was wearing some sort of make-shift diaper to conceal his nether regions, though honestly it was a failed attempt.

The scene was unavoidable. The only route to the bike lockup was along a narrow walkway in front of the cabanas: wooden railing to my right, full-body naked massages to my left. Oh the horror!

It could only have been worse if the gentleman being massaged had asked for a picture of my feet. ;-)

How to Not Find Corinne

Then, back to the main area again, to find my bag. The tallest volunteer I'd seen -- 6' 8", he said -- helped me find it under the tent, with thousands of other bags. Though I wasn't in the first 100 arrivals, I was easily within the first 750... meaning there were a lot of bags to search through. I spotted it when he was standing directly over it, searching all the bags around it.

Then I went to the information booth to learn how close Corinne could get (with our truck) to the finish line, to pick me up. "Not close at all," the lady explained, "they'll send her over to the Family Finish." (That's a completely separate finish line a couple miles away.) Only volunteers, riders, and a select few others were allowed at the regular finish. I would have to take the shuttle over to the other finish and wait for her there.

Yes, that meant walking past the naked massages again. "Avert your eyes, or be turned to stone!" It was easier this time: no bike to control on the way in so I could afford to look out to sea, and the unpleasant parts were faced the other way on my way out again. Phew.

The shuttle was a van with bike racks fore and aft. I put mine on the front, but didn't think about the problem with putting my saddle on the driver's side. He had a terrible time seeing through it to the road ahead, but didn't want to stop and let me fix it.

Now I had a problem. I wasn't sure if Corinne was already there, on her way, lost, frustrated, or what. We had borrowed Mom's cell phone for the trip, but I couldn't remember the number and Mom and Dad were at meeting so I couldn't reach them at home to get it.

I wandered the parking lot, then returned to the waiting area with the food and families. Then did it again. And again. And again, only this time I found the truck and moments later we found each other. I was at the Family Finish for while over an hour. All of this could have been avoided if I had just written down the cell phone number. (Two major cell-phone snafus in one weekend!)

She'd been in touch with Steve and Jim, trying to find me. Steve checked with the staff and found that I had arrived, but couldn't find me. I called Jim once Corinne and I were together, and let him know I was ok and on my way home.

One of the first things Corinne said to me after we were out of the parking lot was, "I'm really proud of you for doing this, this weekend."

Glow. Did I mention I married the perfect woman?

Three and a half hours later, I was home and immediately ready for bed. :-) Another nap!

Stupid Alarm Phone!

The alarm went off at 8:00 PM. I couldn't find the snooze button! I actually picked it up and could NOT figure out how to shut the stupid thing off! "Honey, it's the phone," Corinne said. Oh, hey, lookee there! She was right, that was the phone I was trying to 'snooze.' Man, was I asleep!

Steve was on the other end. He tried talking to me, but the idea that this was an alarm clock hadn't completely faded. I told him to hang on, and then told Corinne that she'd better get going if she was going to make it to work on time, that we'd overslept. "It's 8:00 at night, Seth!" Sigh. Ok, still not awake.

Steve wanted to make sure I'd been found (Jim hadn't told him, for some reason), but he also wanted to know if I enjoyed the weekend.

We chatted a little, and I mentioned that I hadn't seen Chris or Jim since the starting line on Saturday. Sadly, Chris got sick to his stomach on Saturday, and Jim "nursed him in" to the finish line. He didn't ride on Sunday at all. That's too bad, he did some really clever fundraising and I hope that not finishing won't turn into a problem for him.

Then Steve's cell phone went dead. That's ok, he got what he called for, and I'd finally stopped looking for a Snooze button on the alarm phone. ;-)

What a weekend!

Page last updated: 7/22/2004




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