Mountain Bikes, Massages and Pickle Juice
Saturday I spent 8 hours out in the beautiful Spring sunshine of the warmest day of the year so far, watching my friends sweat their asses off after a winter of training in shoe covers and layers of clothing to race in the Spa City 6 Hour Mountain Bike Race. Toss off the long sleeves, leave your tights at home, it’s gonna be a scorcher! Okay maybe not a scorcher but sun and high 70’s felt like a scorcher on the tail end of winter. Spectators searched for sun early in the day then searched for shade as the afternoon wore on. Racers came in to the pit/feed zone with parched lips and soaking wet jerseys.
Many were drinking pickle juice on top of regular electrolyte mix trying to keep their salt levels up. I was comfortable on the sidelines for the day, taking a few photos, shooting a little video and trying to help out a few friends by handing up water bottles, getting tools, or in one case trying to massage the cramps out of quivering overworked quads. And fetching pickle juice. Many riders had the support of their family members. The Patterson family was out in force including the kids.
That’s right, Sarah”s so good she can juggle babies AND water bottles. She’s awesome.
At one point in the game, my friend Cliff came into the pit/feed zone with severe leg cramps. I could see his muscles twitching. As he struggled to make his legs move him off the course to lie down, he resembled the Tin Man who desperately needed his oil can. Instead of oil, I gave him pickle juice. And a leg massage in an attempt to loosen him up. Now one might assume that more than 30 miles of hard riding, dehydration, and leg cramps not to mention drinking warmish pickle juice would stop him, but it didn’t. Because he’s Cliff and that’s just how he rolls. As soon as his legs were able to ambulate his body back onto his bike, he took off again for another 10 mile lap of torture. Personally I think the twitching had gone to his head.
The next day this bozo has the nerve to THANK ME, for helping him. Good Lord Man! Are you insane? Here I am, my biggest worry is whether or not I should put sunscreen on while you’re out there busting your ass. I serve because it’s my duty to my fellow athletes. I serve because it’s my duty to my fellow man. I serve because I know someday I’ll need the favor returned. I serve because it makes me a better person. You see, I can even make service into something selfish, I am THAT damn good.