Well, we left Greeley at way too early Thursday morning after way too little sleep, but got to DIA and checked in without a problem. Just as I suspected, I had to pay $100 bucks to get my bike onto the plane. Since we were left with plenty of time, Ambrette and I headed to Que Bueno, the best burrito place around, and got a breakfast burrito, then headed to our gate and boarded shortly after. Then came the pilot over the intercom saying there would be a 20 minute delay so they could tighten a bolt on the landing gear. That's cool, I like landing gear that works. Then after 20 minutes, the pilot said they can't find a wrench and might have to fly one in from Atlanta. We went to the ticket counter and got set up on a different flight to Atlanta now instead of Cinncinati, but our flgiht wouldn't leave for another hour. Ambrette hobo-d up and slept on the floor, I read for a while and watched all the people from our old flight freaking out about the delayed/canceled flight.
We ended up getting to Providence at 10pm instead of 5pm, got our bags, but not my bike, and rented a car and set out to find James (our gracious host)'s house. We ate, found it, went to bed, expecting a call about my bike anytime after midnight. Still no call in the morning, so I called them. My bike was in Detroit, and would be arriving at 3:44. This is all great, but I was going to pre-ride the course on Friday, and do some openers since I hadn't touched the thing since Sunday's race. Instead, we walked around Brown University for a while, ate some lunch, we and walked around the course, headed back to the airport and my bike was actually there. For the next hour or two we tried to find the race hotel for registration/packet pickup, and finally after calling a few people, and walking in circles for far too long, we found it, and got my race info.
This morning I opted to sleep in, and pre-ride in the afternoon. We got to the course around noon, and I got a few solid laps on it while it was open this afternoon. I felt decent warming up, and even found a pile of Cyclo-Ops neutral trainers to warm up on. I staged 131st, in row 17, but still had every intention of nailing the whole-shot. Oddly enough, I didn't. I did move up well through the first lap. It was kinda fun weaving through the crowd for a lap or two. After that second lap though, I noticed a lot more guys coming by me, more than I was passing. I felt really blocked, and just couldn't dig that deep. I loved the course, but faded back and finished 81st.
On the way home, Ambrette and I raided the samples at Whole Foods. I thought we might get kicked out when I saw Ambrette doing shot after shot of the apple cider, but somehow we made it through the store unscathed. The goat/sheep cheese spread did throw me for a loop, but I recovered with a little gingerbread cake stuff. I wanted to shove a sock in the cheese ladies mouth and ask her if she knew that the cheese she just gave me tasted a lot like that, only worse. I refrained and instead, enjoyed the one flavor of Izze that they had in the store (my favorite, Pomegranate).
Now we're just hanging out, James had an office Christmas party to go to in Boston, so we have the place to ourselves. I think I'm gonna go read and crash early. Hopefully today's effort opened me up for tomorrow. The collegiate race looks to be a pretty stacked field though, so it'll be a tough one. I'll see what I can do to make something happen. Thanks to everyone for their words of good luck, and also to Tom Vincent for lining up an Orbea with SRAM and Zipps in case my bike didn't come in. Why couldn't Delta have just taken a little more time getting it here?
That's all for now, from the land of "We Got Worms" and "Billy in 4-C," thanks for checking in. Check back for photos after I get home.