A bike race and beach trip in a converted armored truck? You’d have to be a total dunce to say no to that.
When Sacha invited me along on the Speedvagen team getaway, my very first instinct was to wonder exactly why. I jest, sort of. I mean, I help out a bit here and there as I can with engineery and CAD type stuff, and I’m on the blog (obviously), so I feel like part of the workshop team, but this was a trip for the gold bike team; the race team; the team team. Gift horses and mouths, though, so what I said back was just plain old “yes.”
Anyway, so as not to confuse, this was all back in the distant past; a time of dry ground, clear skies, and ambient temps that I can’t bear to type out now, what with the mercury perpetually hovering in the 40′s and 50′s that we’ll see until next summer. The trip was planned in September, to be executed in October, leaving the Friday before Starcrossed, bound for a beach house in Manzanita, then Marymoor in Seattle, and back home to Portland. In Manzanita, there were plans for an easy afternoon bike ride – an opportunity to shake out everybody’s new equipment and work a little warmth into the legs, interspersed with some photo taking (it is the year 2000-and-internet after all, so photos are a must, right?) – then dinner, then a beach party. In Seattle, there was just one item on the docket; race the piss out of some fast, steel bikes. Those there are the kind of simple, foolproof plans that every vacation should be so lucky to be constructed upon. I was most excited.
When that Friday morning rolled around, I showed up at the workshop with just two light bags and a bit of a nervous stomach on account of the new folks I’d be meeting. I of course know Tina and all the folks who run the show at Vanilla, and I’d spent a little time at races with Curtes, but I’d only briefly crossed paths with Laura, and Daisuke was a complete stranger to me, with a name I was fairly confident I would mess up. Put emphasis on the “dice” and go really easy on the “u”, right? Would it be super weird since these people were a team, and I wasn’t part of it? Would I regret my decision to tag along?