Mary Arida took these Polaroids of Perri Mertens at Gloucester a couple years ago. It features in the new issue that, allegedly, if all goes according to planned, will be done in the next couple of days for the NAHBS. Mary also works at NYC Velo, which, if you have not been there, is pretty much the coolest shop in NYC. And while you are there, you should say hi to Mary because she is pretty much the coolest mechanic in the coolest shop in NYC. Just sayin.
Perri and I have/had (till I moved out here) been racing together for a while now. She was part of the original crew with Harris Cyclery and as well, my ride to almost every race that I did in my first few years of racing cyclocross. She has also been the design behind a lot of what shaped Embrocation, not only the Harris kits but also the jumping off of what was the Embrocation site. So, I have Perri to thank for a lot of things.
But, that is not why I was thinking about Perri this past weekend. I was thinking about Perri this past weekend because my feet felt like they were melting off.
I do not know how it happened. Maybe when I was in the shower some of the Mad Alchemy washed down and over my feet? (I was trying out the Cinnamon one - HOT) The potent embrolient (as Ben Lieberson calls it) could have stuck to my sensitive average sized clod hoppers possibly? It is definitely possible because later in the day, while I was lounging around under the sheets thinking about how amazing it would be if I could actually drift off into a nap instead of thinking about the #NAHBS— I started to feel my feet burning....
Backup a Few Years.
Perri and I are sitting in her vehicle. There have been a couple of them but they were always sporty, and to my knowledge always VW's. Could be wrong about that. In any case, we had just done a few practice laps on the Sterling Cyclocross Course. It was freezing, let me tell you. Fresh snow had neatly blanketed the entirety of the course overnight.
As Perri and I contemplated our race clothing choices in the car she turned over a brand new Speedstick shaped aplicator of Greyhound Juice. "You ever used this stuff?" My response I am sure was muffled, as any cyclist knows, you never want to be in a situation where a new subject is broached and you are not an expert on it. "No, I have used the Sixtufit stuff, but not that."
"Do you think it would work on our feet. Mine are freezing." And then we proceeded to smear the stuff all over our feet. Well, she smeared it on hers and I on mine, but you probably figured that much. The funny thing is that nothing happened. Nothing happened so much that as we returned to the car much later, after her Elite Women's Race we both commented on the fact that nothing had happened. Or maybe, and the details are a little foggy at this point, nothing happened so much that we forgot about it entirely.
Until we were about fifty miles down the road.
"I think we need to stop, my legs and feet are on fire. We need to figure a way to get this stuff off." We could not, needless to say, figure a way to get the greasy stuff off.
I guess, without getting too deep, that is kind how all of this has been. Just kind of rub it on and go. Hope for the best and maybe not burn your face off. Either way, I am excited for the new issue and to see some bikes this week. More previews to follow as I take off for the NAHBS tomorrow morning.