I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Unreal Jr. and Sr. for their generosity and friendship over the years. Without them, I would not be doing all this crazy roadie stuff on a beautiful carbon road bike. Most likely, I would still be racing an aluminum cross bike with road tires, pretending not to hear the snickers and giggles on the start line, and having my butt handed to me on a platter by rough roads and girls with proper gearing. 8 years you guys have been there for me, and it all started with a scent on an evening’s gentle breeze – really, not kidding.
It was April 2002 at the infamous Groovy Gravity Games. We were camping in a dusty OHV parking lot outside of Livermore CA, finally feeling relieved that the relentless wind had died down to a breeze for the evening. The wind there will make your eyes burn and your brain shrivel. That gentle breeze brought with it not only relief, but an amazing aroma. I was helpless. The scent had wrapped itself around my windblown neuron sack like a warm jacket, pumping endorphins into the base of my brain where the lower functions gather to party. “Must follow smell…” my shriveled lizard brain insisted. The scent was sweet, meaty, smokey, juicy, swiney – Pork! BBQ Pork! MMMMMM… Getting closer… I followed my nose to a large trailer, “Planet X” it said in big, bold letters. Good, I could still read, but where is that smell coming from? Must be around the back. Yup, there it is… and there is lots of it! OK, be cool. Don’t let ’em hear your stomach growl, and no grunting! Too late, wow, that was loud. How embarrassing.
“Hungry? Have a plate, there is plenty.” Now, I am sure those were not the exact words, but I will tell you, they were said with the most adorable accent I had ever heard! I am a sucker for adorable accents 😉 And I will also tell you that was the best BBQ I have ever had. Almost makes me consider eating meat again – not really, but it was fantastic! Great food and even better company was what I remember most from that windy weekend. Fueled and fired up, I won my race, but more importantly, an enduring friendship was born that evening, and I am grateful to my inner cave woman for literally pointing me in the right direction. Guys, thank you for everything you have ever done for me and I will do my best to repay you any way I can. Mr. Unreal, you are my hero!