Governor's Cup

this weekend past was "The Governor's Cup"

St. Mary's College of Maryland and The Governor's Cup

The Governor's Cup
a sailboat race from Annapolis Maryland to St Mary's City
St Mary's City being the landing spot of the Ark and the Dove in the early 1600's
St Mary's City being the spot of the first settlement in Maryland

St Mary's City is not a city... St Mary's College of Maryland is there
St Mary's College of Maryland is not a religious institution
St Mary's is named after its location... St Mary's County Maryland
I went to college at Saint Mary's College of Maryland

now that you have some background
back to the story...

The Governor's Cup
I am not sure of the history... this sailboat race event may have been independent of the college
but now... it is at least linked to the school formally one way or another
there was a time when The Governor's Cup was viewed as an informal St' Mary's College Reunion Weekend
not sure what it is now... it has been years since I have attended
but I do know that it was a drunken party for sailors and alumni alike when I went to it

The Governor's Cup in so many ways was a party with a sailboat race happening in the background
hard to explain how separate the party was from the sailboat race

when I was a student at St Mary's College of Maryland I did not get too into The Governor's Cup
I may have attended it once or twice... but I did not mark things on my calendar with any priority
it was more after I graduated that I found interest in attending the Governor's Cup... not so much for the sail boat race but for the party

it was a few years after I had graduated
I had done a little cross country travel and was back in the DC area
back in the DC area and back on the bike
on the bike and living in a group house in Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant Washington DC... the zip code up from Adams Morgan... a group house haven
I lived in a house filled with a cast of people who were either bicycle messengers or former bicycle messengers
it was a good time to be young in Mount Pleasant

yes... it was a good time to be young and living in Mount Pleasant
there may not have been a coffee shop or a pizza place on Mount Pleasant Main Street but there were plenty of Bodegas selling Black Label and all sorts of lunch options including Korean run Kenny's BBQ or The Mount Pleasant Marked for subs and fries
the steak and cheese sub worked well for me as breakfast... lunch... dinner.... or midnight snack
of course Cheapie Chinese and some Salvadorean... at this point in time Heller's Bakery was a little more than a neon light a few blocks away from my sphere of experience... not sure if I ever ate so much as a doughnut from there until I moved within a few blocks of its front door

sure I got as far as Our Turn for a fifty cent pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream or a very inexpensive can of juice
but really... I lived on Irving Street and did not go much further down the main strip then The Raven or the 7-11

yes, I wandered to friend's houses for beers on the porch... back yard basketball... house parties.... dance parties... group house parties of all flavors
lots of parties in an assortment of houses in an assortment of ways
the roof always being one of my favorites
but it seemed like people only used the blocks of Mount Pleasant Street directly east to their residence

ah... group house life and group house parties
live bands that were often too loud
unless the live band was good
sometimes these bands were good... often they were not so good
then there may be the notion that nothing is too loud

back to this...
it was the early 90's
or maybe it was the mid-90s
either way... I was young and living a very different life than I am living now
this was life before marriage
this was life before kids

it is all hard to recall
not sure of the accuracy of my memory
these memories are not my priority
yet I will try to get something down

it was a few years after I had graduated from college
I had worked in DC than made a pilgrimage to the west
I zig zagged across the country on my motorcycle settling in "The Bay Area"
after living and working the Bay area working construction for a few months I sold my motorcycle and shipped my deal back east
my panniers were packed along with a Cannondale bicycle I had built ready for my arrival
when I got back east I said hello to my folks, grabbed a couple of beers with a couple of friends, then loaded up my car and drove to Colorado
then after a few years in Colorado I found myself back in DC and back pedaling on the streets

riding a fair amount
nothing serious... not like racer riding... not training... just riding... riding all the time...
riding for work... riding to work.... riding after work... riding for fun... riding.. lots of riding
I would ride all day for work... ride to parties within a 10 mile radius... then ride home
there was lots of riding... I never thought much about it
I just rode

well... living in a group house in Mount Pleasant with a variety of people... most of which were messengers at one time or another
some current... some past
when August rolled around there were some friends who were Alumni that had me thinking Governor's Cup

somehow it happened... I started a routine
I would bike down to St Mary's and camp on Church Point
it was a mini epic tagged along with a party
a serious party

sorry... got sidetracked...
this post got ignored

let me see if I can throw something down

I am not a long mile road cyclists
not now... not before... more than likely I will never be
occasionally I would tour... but really... long rides are not my thing
so this ride was a pretty big deal for me

not sure of the exact mileage... something just short of a century
although I owned a "road bike"
I rode a mountain bike with slicks... a Bianchi Grizzly that may have been a size too small with the granny gear removed and slick tires instead of knobbies
on a few approaches I rode with panniers
but on a later approach or two I was able to get someone to bring my gear down for me... which made for a much more pleasant ride

it was all simple enough...
I would ride my bicycle out of Mount Pleasant and point to the US Capitol Building
once on Capital Hill I would point myself on Pennsylvania Avenue towards Anacostia and out of town
over the bridge and up the hill and I had a choice...
straight on Route 4 or right down Branch Avenue-Route 5

Route 4 was mainly shoulder all the way with a highlight of the Solomon's Island Bridge
while Branch Avenue could be a little less aggressive with the chance of encountering some Amish Culture in the Leonardtown area

neither rode is that scenic... well... I guess after driving both roads to and from college for four and a half years I had seen pretty much all their was to see from behind the wheel and through the windshield
yet... the bike ride had elements of adventure
then also bragging rights upon my arrival

hydrating with beer is never a good idea

not sure if I left early and arrived at the event late
it is an all day affair
their is always plenty of time for mixing and mingling with a beer in hand

it is unlikely that this would be allowed now
but I liked to set my tent up at CHURCH POINT

Church Point is a little eroding sandy point that closes off the small inlet that houses the St Mary's boathouse and dock
Church Point is also the finish line of the race
during college we would light camp fires and drink beers
in the warmer months we would swim with the glowing phosphorescent jellies
during August swimming would involve Jelly Fish

so... I would arrive and get involved in a meet and greet
the campus would be swarming with familiar faces from St Mary's past and present
Frisbees would be flying and beer would be flowing
it was a party

in my years at St Mary's there was a fair amount of drinking... not just by me... but by what seemed like just about everyone on the campus
woman at St Mary's dressed like they were from a J Crew Catalog and drank like sailors

oh yeah...
the sailboat race
the usually vacant inlet of the St Mary's River was filled with sailboats
sailboats and powerboats
more boat activity than the usual college student activity

okay... my memory fails me
is this due to too many beers or too much time

the day would be filled with mixing and mingling with beers in hand
food? I think it may have been a liquid weekend
there would be people shuttling back and forth between The Green Door
for some reason people at St Mary's College have this thing where they evacuate a perfectly good party for the local watering hole, The Green Door

hot sun... and cold beer after a long bike ride can really help to fall asleep in a tent
but that never happened too early
along side my tent would be a campfire
in front of me would be sailboats crossing the finish line

we shouted and we screamed
we splashed and we swam
then climbed into the tent to pass out
only to wake the next morning in a bit of a haze

to my pleasure I always planned this trip as a one way adventure
I rode to the Governor's Cup but never rode back
this happened for a years... then stopped
I have not been back in years
not by bike... not in car
not sure why... but that party is part of my past
good times
good memories

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