Monday, March 15, 2010

Disastrous last weekend in America (for a while)

I went into the weekend with big plans, I was hoping to head on down to New York, race the Grant's Tomb Criterium, catch up with a few friends at the race, head out that night to see a few more friends, go to bed and then race the Steven's Circuit race on Sunday before heading back to Mass.

Of course, it hardly went according to plan.

Things started badly when I left the house to meet up with Green Line teammate and ex-coworker Jeremy in Waltham at 6:30 pm to head on down to NYC. As I pulled into the parking lot he pointed that my trusty Honda was smoking from under the hood. So, being a responsible adult I opened up the hood to figure out what the story was. And it was pretty clear after waving around the flashlight that my coolant was empty. So, fortunately Jeremy had some coolant and we topped off the coolant tank, packed the car and got on the road. When the car continued to fume from the hood, I assumed it was because the coolant hadn't worked it's way through the cooling loop, and as I told Jeremy "let's give it a few more minutes." But as we reached Natick it was pretty clear that something was very wrong and we got off the Mass Pike to let the engine cool off as the car was smoking heavily.

Upon pulling into some random parking lot, we opened up the hood and let the fumes fly upwards, soon discovering that the coolant was once again empty and assumed there was a leak. A quick call to AAA, a 45minute wait, and a 30 minute tow to my mechanic in Newton later we were back on the road, this time in my dad's van (oh we had to drop him off in Lincoln, just slightly out of the way). We made it back on the high way around 10pm, and from there cruised on down to Flushing, Queens where we were staying, only stopping to get me a health snack at Mac D's. We arrived at 1:15, unloaded the van and I'd say got into bed around 1:45 or 2 am.

Now, somewhere during the drive I had decided not to race the next morning for a few reasons:
  • Didn't want to race on 4 hours of sleep (need to wake up at 6 for 8 am start time)
  • Didn't want to race in 35mph wind gusts, 36 degree (F) temperatures, and heavy rains
  • Didn't want to risk getting sick, as I have to do travel to Israel later in the week
So, a casual wake up on Saturday and a lite breakfast took place at 8am, as opposed to riding around in a hurricane. Though, soon after, Jeremy and I did head over to the race, to hang out in the absolutely brutal conditions. While there, I got the chance to catch up with a lot of friends, eat some delicious Belgian waffles, ride in the pace car and get absolutely drenched over the course of the day, all while watching some exciting ECCC racing. When the collegiate races ended a quick van ride back to Queens to shower and change, before I got on the subway and headed into Manhattan to hang out with Josh (see spring break '09) and a few of his friends for the evening.

After a meal, and a few drinks I decided to head back to Queens, "early" at about 11:30, hoping to be in bed within the hour. However, the trains were running slow and it took me a while to actually get back to downtown Flushing where the 7 train ends. I quickly got up to the street and waived down a cab, told him the cross-streets and hoped for a 15 minute ride back to the apartment where I was staying. But, like everything else this weekend, it went all wrong, the cab driver didn't know queens well and got lost, really lost, and had to bust out the GPS to get me back to the place I was staying. $27 and 45 minutes later I was back in the apartment and in bed at 1:30 am. I set the alarm on my phone for 8am, hoping it'd be enough time to get my act together and get up to Yorktown Heights, NY for the Steven's Circuit race.

But, when the alarm did go off, I realized it was "Spring Forward" day and I had gotten a scant 5hours of sleep, with the added bonus of being a bit hung over and realized that I didn't have enough time (1:15 drive), or will power to get up to the race on time, never mind that it was raining. So, I opted to sleep in for an extra 3 hours.

Woke up, went to a diner for breakfast, rolled up to Sara Lawrence College to pick up my old friend Sam. Saw some serious carnage on the Merritt Parkway in CT from the storms, dropped off Jeremy at his place in Somerville, grabbed some Anna's and headed back to Lincoln home by 6:30.

So in summation, my car died, I paid for two races I didn't do, I wasted a ton of cash on a cab ride, I drank more than I should have and I stood around for 7 hours in a horrible storm.

Great weekend. Now all I need to do is get ready to head to Israel on Thursday.

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