The Easter bunny brought us bright sunshine today for the second day of the Sarasota Easter Classic race. We woke up at 6:30 am so that the Beast could attend an egg hunt that the track was putting on and by 7:30, she was out on the track practicing. I signed in at the volunteer tent, got Frankenbutt his morning cup of Joe and headed for Smoothie King. I started my day with a super yummy Strawberry banana smoothie and a smile!
The races officially kicked off after an 11 year old belted out the National Anthem way better than Kathie Lee Gifford at the Super Bowl! Today’s race was a 2 moto transfer, allowing all of us to wrap it up and head out of there by 1 pm. The Beast finished 3rd in all of her motos and her main. We enjoyed a last trip to the air conditioned restrooms (provided by Sarasota County) and filled our bike water bottles at the ice cold filling station (also provided by Sarasota County), and waved goodbye to sponsors and friends.
We set the GPS to the address for Oscar Scherer State Park and started down the road when we noticed a fellow in a Sarasota BMX shirt following us along the sidewalk. He introduced himself and wanted to know more about our bike ride. We told him all about it as we rode and he was kind enough to tell us a terrific bike route to our camping destination. Thanks, John!
We stopped at a 7-eleven store on the way, hoping to pick up bagels. Bagels hold up well in pannier bags that are being shuffled around the tent as we each try to find what we need. No luck! They had hot dog rolls so I bought those ($1.71) and figured we’d make tuna rolls for dinner and then use the left over rolls for PB&J breakfast sandwiches.
When I emerged from the store, I found clouds overhead. I urged Frankenbutt and the Beast to get a move on, in hopes of making the campground before rain started. No such luck! About a mile before the campground, the rain started. Knowing the routine, we all stopped our bikes and pulled our cell phones out and passed them to Frankenbutt, who was already opening his water tight bar bag. No sooner did we get that done then the rain stopped. Hmm. Maybe just a passing shower? NO STINKING SUCH LUCK!
We found our campsite and quickly put the tent and rain fly up when it started raining harder. We got all the pannier bags in dragged our wet and dirty selves into the humid little 7x7’ room. Although well ventilated, the tent felt like a Turkish prison! We took turns stripping off wet clothes, turning our backs for the ever modest Beast, and pulling dry ones from the panniers. Luckily, Frankenbutt had already run our extension cord and set up our electronics on charge. Within 10 minutes, he had hooked up my Blackberry to the computer, went to FOX.com online and started playing the show “House” for the Beast to watch.
Frankenbutt and I worked on mixing up the tuna fish in our mess kit bowl and then we spread it onto the hot dog buns … YUM! One of the coolest things of this adventure is how good food tastes! Even the simplest food tastes amazing after cycling and camping (except maybe burnt pancakes!)
I really enjoy the show, “House”, but realized how tired I was, too. After a nice phone call with the Editor, I laid back on my sleeping bag, propping my head on my clean clothes bag, and soon I was snoring right along with Coco … or so I’ve been told. I slept for about an hour as the rain pelted our little abode. I awoke warm and sticky to the sun shining and about 4 inches of rain forming a mote around our tent.
I gathered all of our dirty laundry and my shower bag and headed for the shower house. Frankenbutt soon joined me, taking the heavy laundry bag off me. I inserted the $1.25 in quarters into the washer and dumped everything in. Another benefit of camping: only one load of wash so no guilt over not sorting colors and whites. I’ve never been a clothes sorter and I have felt inadequate around those who seem to know the ins and outs of laundering. Luckily, I’ve trained my family to have low expectations. They’re just thrilled to get matched socks! (even if it’s not their own).
While the smelly, sweaty, dirty clothes spun their way to relative clean-ness, Frankenbutt made Ramen noodles in chicken broth for dinner. It was the perfect meal for a rainy day and the Beast was in heaven! Ramen is her favorite. With that and a few good grades, she’ll make a good college student, eh?
We rinsed out dishes in the spigot that flowed so hard the dirt from the ground splashed up on your legs and whatever you held under it. We decided to hold off on real dish washing until tomorrow morning’s daylight since it was getting ever darker out. Frankenbutt again escorted me to the shower house so I could transfer the laundry to the dryer ($1.25) and so he could pull out my clean sleep wear while I showered. (The Beast was still wrapped up in her 4th episode of “House”, with Coco by her side. )
I organized all of my shower stuff, removed my watch and ring, stripped naked and turned the hot water knob. After a few seconds, I checked the temp to see how much cold water I needed to add. NO CRAZY FREAKIN’ HORRIBLE SUCH LUCK! I didn’t need to add cold water because the hot water handle put out plenty of cold water! For a split second, I hoped that some plumbing genius had switched the handles and only found out that the red handle gave cold water and the blue handle gave ICE COLD water.
So … there I stood … naked and sticky and dirty and sweaty and smelly. The thought of pulling back on my clothes, packing up my shower bag and moving to another shower seemed like too great a task. I gritted my teeth, turned on the “hot” water handle and doused myself in cold water goodness. For the first 20 seconds, it was a bit refreshing. It went downhill from there. I squirt some of Donna’s shampoo (not a brand name, but rather a gift from my hotel staying Tampa track friend, thanks, Donna!) into my hair and scrubbed into a foamy wad. I stuck my head only under the shower head, managing to graze my ear in the process. I stepped away from the shower spray, lathered up my shower pouf and started scrubbing the day’s sunblock, bug spray, sweat and grime off of every limb. When I was completely soapy, I lunged under the shower again spinning pirouettes in an attempt to rinse off every bubble. I gave up when my feet went numb from the cold water.
So, I’m pretty clean, but still a little sticky … probably from the soap slime that didn’t completely wash away. I smell better (I was starting to offend myself, so this is good!) and I’m back in my tent, hoping I’ll sleep well, despite my hardy afternoon nap. Tomorrow, we plan to ride about 40 miles to Punta Gorda, Fl and the Charlotte BMX track there. I watched Amanda Carr, the Charlotte BMX track director, race today and she is AMAZING! She is an Olympic hopeful and I truly hope she’ll ride her track with the Beast tomorrow. That would be a terrific memory for the Beast to have if Amanda does make the Olympics. Amanda, we are rooting for you!
It’s time to wrap this up and start writing my once a week BMXmania.com Monday blog, where I give exclusive content you won’t find here. The www.bmxmania.com site owner is one of our sponsors and we hope our readers will find their way to his site, too. BmxMania is where all things BMX converge.
Thanks to Joe and Renee for kindly sharing chairs, water and the cooler this weekend while we camped at Sarasota BMX. You also made the Beast’s weekend by taking her swimming and on the water slides with Brooke. It was also nice to have Dunkin Donuts coffee and tea brought to us in the cool evening air next to the picturesque river that bordered our campsite. It almost made us forget about the 2 am screeching guy!