SSWC 08 Napa Style Notes
Packing to go camp at the SSWC in Napa, I spent five minutes deciding between total nakedness and full-on fabric layering…the heated hills of Napa dictated the latter choice.
In hot countries, people wear layers of light clothing. Oddly, the farmers in Portugal (at least the women) were in black! Maybe their husband had died that year…
My ensemble went as follows: rayon/polyester four button women’s jacket. Cotton corduroy four-button (Cunningham Indian motif) vest with Wombadge stating my allegiances (“Eat, Drink, Be Muddy”), 1969 vintage May Co. horizontal-striped wool tie (Bruce Cunningham, Charlie’s dad, wore it on the three or four occasions he had to wear a tie), Patrick & Co. oxford longsleeve men’s shirt –100% cotton of course, single needle tailoring (my wardrobe staple), long lightweight Ex Officio sunblocking pants, woolen argyle socks (Sally Something or-other thrift shop in Aviemore) and VERY worn Shimano shoes from about 1990. Yep, I HAD been tempted to use a brand-new set, but it’s against my religion to change anything the night before a race, even when
1) I only race once a year, and
2) I’m not taking it ‘seriously’
These beaten up ol’ Shimano M-somethings have nearly no rubber sole left: they are almost like tap shoes, (with a knob of metal in the center) but I still know EXACTLY how they behave on Napa’s slippery sandstone. .
This makes it sound like I knew the course. No, every inch was a surprise. Even the length was a surprise! Looking at a lake (Lake Marie, my middle name) cooled my baking heart.
But the sweat that accumulated on the push-climbs REMAINED in the cotton shirt and vest, to cool me on the zippy descents.
I tellya…those Arabs/Bedouins/Portagees know a thing or two about staying cool.
Methinks that skin under sun without protection gets hotter, and double that if it’s lycra!
Some of my favorite heckles were the comments like “Your boss just called…” and “you’re late for work”… and the cowboy-hatted woman blasting a cheerful trumpet tune in my face.
Better than an energy drink.
My sole sustenance was the 1.5 liter bottle of pure water, until DAMO handed me what he called a vegan hamburger, but was in fact a sugary candy that saved my butt that last, unexpected 7 mile lap…
Damo, your “Beer = Good ” sign was another heartening reminder that I am not in the commercial mtn bike arena, I am in the hurly burly of artists, workers, and white collar escapees known as …you know what. For an even better version of all the fun, please read this story by bike snob.
Us, the Outcasts.