wednesday afternoon i was sitting at home thinking about how much i didn't want to get my gear on and go race, how miserable the race was going to be and a whole other host of unpleasantness but i knew i was going to go because i go every week. it's what i do.
it's what my friends do. we do it.
every week, no matter what.
so the filthy pouring rain is coming down and i get into my race clothes. regular short sleeves, but full-fingered gloves and i get to the venue and it's not raining, but it's pretty clear it's going to rain and that the rain is going to start at about our start time (we do this enough that we have a very good idea what distant clouds will get us, and how soon) and the crashcos arrive and park next to me and we're joking about how it's going to be another night when it's not going to be pleasant enough to be fun, but not bad enough to confer bragging rights.
so we get all ready and head over to the start. we're noticing some pretty strong surface winds blowing roughly northeast and watching the cloud layer blow very fast kind of south-southeast, and we're noticing that a cloud somewhere not too far away has some pretty big lightning in it and we notice that but by bit there are fewer and fewer people lined up to take starts.
furthermore, we notice that some of the people lined up to take starts are the people who normally start a half hour later and go more laps than us, so it looks pretty much like nobody wants to go around more than once.
and two minutes from start time the sky opens up. the rain comes down to such a degree that now the mood of the last remnant of the racers changes from grumpy to ebullient as the rain comes on full force and the wind whips up and we realize that it IS going to be bad enough to brag about after all and that tonight's race is going to be about shared suffering and the finish will not be judged by time but by attrition.
and the starter comes down the hill, waving us off.
"go home!" he shouts, over the wind. and faster than an actual race start, the riders are off to the parking lot. there is a general mood of celebration! we do not have to ride! we are not sure why we all feel like celebrating this event, the cancellation of this race, a thing we supposedly love, but celebrate we do.
some of us celebrate by going for a different, longer ride in the rain, and some of us celebrate by trooping off to local restaurants. the crashcos and i take pictures of each other, and then we head down to the bridge street cafe, where everything on the menu looks really, really good.
granted, everything on the menu typically looks good, but on this night everything looks REALLY good and for some reason i'm craving RED MEAT so i have the honey chipotle BBQ burger with fries and i ask for vinegar for my fries but the BBQ sauce that comes with the burger is so good i mop it up with my fries and nuts to the vinegar.
i am totally in love with the onion rings that come as part of my burger, and when the people at the next table are done, i notice that the lady leaves two of these onion rings on her plate. we laugh for a while about how funny it would be to just lean over and ask "are you gonna eat that?" and then we laugh about how funny it would be to wait until they leave and then take them. we laugh about a few other scenarios and then we laugh HYSTERICALLY when crashco casually reaches over and snags the onion rings before the table gets bussed. he puts one on his plate, and one on mine.
we laugh some more.
and we eat them.