slacker... moocher... grifter... I am not sure what they call me...

sometimes things just come up on me...
things come up fast... real fast... like out of no where fast
actually... lots of things come at me fast
some things faster than others 

this weekend was one of those things
this weekend fast came up fast
the weekend prior I realize that this weekend was next weekend
this weekend being the 19th Annual MORE Fall Picnic
so I started to scramble

not sure if there was any scrambling... well, any more scrambling than usual
by nature I am a procrastinantor
deadline oriented
nothing happens without a deadline
most things do not happen until the eve before the deadline

how has that worked for me thus far?
well... some things are easier to change than others
I can change the tires on my bike
but I am not sure if I can change 

sometimes things just come up on...
fast... real fast... like out of no where fast
actually... lots of things come at me fast
some things faster than others 

okay... I am trying to make excuses

as last week ended and this weekend approached I started to get ready
I went online and tried to register for the MORE 19th Annual Fall Picnic
when I got onto the BIKEREG page I saw that it was filled to capacity
shocker! TOTAL SHOCKER! 


what do I do?
this was on my calendar
this was on the family calendar
I was looking forward to it and my boys were looking forward to it
so... what do I do?

well... part of my attendance was to be a part of the sMORE Ride
sMORE Ride being the kid ride
sMORE meaning small Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts
me and my boys were planning on being a part of the sMORE ride at the MORE Picnic in Davis West Virginia

not sure what to do I emailed a few people asking what to do
I was told to just show up

the week went its course and time... energy... and motivation kept me from getting ready
well... not entirely correct
there was some poking around to make sure that tents and sleeping bags were where I thought they were
and an evening was devoted to working on my kids' bikes to be certain that they were ready to ride
which involved getting a replacement derailleur hanger
then swapping out some parts and rear wheel

I had intended on there being time for a test ride with the boys and the bikes
but with soccer.... kids karate... homework and whatever
there was no moment for the boys to ride their bikes
okay... I was procrastinating

so... Friday came
on Thursday night after coaching my younger son Grant's soccer practice I had a conversation with the parent who I was asking to sub in as coach for the Saturday game that we would be missing
out talk of soccer transitioned from chasing the soccer ball to Davis West Virginia
this parent is also my neighbor... and our sons were born one day apart.... and he and his family have a cabin that in Davis West Virginia

there was talk of us getting the keys
but I was okay with dealing with the rain as any other camper in the MORE group would deal with rain
but I WAS interested in directions to Davis West Virginia
my neighbor said email him for info and he would email me specifics

the next day.... the said Friday... the eve of the weekend... well... that day had arrived
that email came and there were directions
within directions there was a tip
leave DC before 4 or after 7

traffic is something like weather
it is to be considered
it is to be respected

Friday arrived
so... rather than leaving right after the kids got out of school I would leave after dinner
which sounded fine with me... the later departure time was more probable... since I had not gathered what had to be packed

an early in time
a fast 8 hours on the clock
a blow of the whistle and a quick slide down the dinosaur
off the dinosaur and onto the bike

rushed home to get off the bike and into the car so I could grab my younger son from school
got my son from school and drove over to the box stores in Columbia Heights
did some shopping with a mental list at Target
grabbed all that I would need for camping in West Virginia

Grant and I had a cart filled with all sorts of random shit
glow sticks... large vessels of water... okay... nothing random
there was beer... a new inflatable mattress and other less than random things from Target
well... when I was loading the car I searched for the canned Starbucks double shot espresso... it was not there
only later when at the campsite did I realize that I did not have the the the several dozen of Peperidge Farm cookies and all the other food I had purchased for the trip... but this was not realized until I was on location

after dinner in DC with the car loaded we pointed south... south and then west
it was post Rush Hour and thing were flowing pretty good
I was in the car with my boys and the dog and headed to BY GOD WEST VIRGINIA
bikes on top... bikes on the back.... driving

we drove
the iPhone had plotted to the directions from home
but once on the road my Smart Phone was being stubborn and would not load the information
not sure of the pop up dialogue box
but I saw it... and each time I had one of my boys refresh the search I got the same message

luckily I had some GOOGLE MAP directions
as well as my neighbor's directions to his cabin... which is in Davis... and the location of the event is just outside of Davis at Blackwater Falls State Park

we made the drive with only one hillybilly short cut
a hillybilly shortcut is when dad tries to take a country road short cut and things end up running longer
it was frustrating
the gas gauge was on E... and I was having a tense moment

the boys were a victim of that moment

I was able to right myself... get the car back on track
there was a gast station open 
well... the station was open but the pumps were open to credit card sales
which had us roll the final miles with a full tank

with only one wrong turn and only 20 minutes off the perfect drive we were pulling into Blackwater Falls State Park
without issue I found the MORE campers
which was not tough... they were flooding the entrance way

people were pretty well settled in
it was after 11PM... tents were set up and the keg was tapped
stars were gathered overhead

on the grounds not sure what to do I ran into Jason Miller
asked him about things
asked where to set up
well... as it turns out someone had evacuated their spot next to Jason's

seems that three of the MORE board members had arrived with families and had set up a family communal village... a spot that would be a turn off to singles... or at least those without kids in tow
personally... I know...
I love kids... but if I am trying to go kid-free... I do not find your kids to be cute
your kids are annoying

in any case.... there was not just an open space
there was an open space with some of the key people in the puzzle
some of the people I know best
and really... I do not know any of these people that well
lots of friends... I know a good deal of these people
but not sure if I have any of them on the speed dial

there was a spot and I was directed to it
not only was I directed to it... but my neighbors in the tent village gave me much assistance in setting up our two tents
yes... a tent for the boys and the dog
then a tent for me

the tents were set up and a beer was cracked
it was so long ago I can not recall how long it was before the kids went to sleep

the next day came.... sure enough Saturday morning
Saturday morning was a bit of a shock... I know... it comes right after Friday Night
yet still.... a bit of a shock
Saturday morning came and I was not so sure of the plan
not sure if anyone was sure of the plan

well.. there was a plan
but the plan was lose

More President Dave Ferraro offered up some coffee as he and his two children climbed out of their tent
this is where I started to notice the missing bag from target
yes... I had bananas.. but where were my breakfast bars and granola... I had not looked at it... but I figured my trail mix was missing
but this was working out okay... I hustled my kids over to sneak handouts from Dave
then I soon realized that Barbra and Todd Bauer were firing up a few things as well

honesly.... these people were taking things to a different level
I had gatorade... bananas... and my missing bag 
these guys had built up nomadic kitchens and were cooking up breakfast in the outdoors well beyond what my kids would get from me in the comfort of my own home
so... after my boys got some food from Dave.... I snuck the boys over to Todd and Barbra

it was like a scene from Oliver Twist
which would make me the artful dodger

then... MORE kicked in
MORE had breakfast pizza delivered from Siriananas 
breakfast pizza?
AWESOME! eggs on... never-mind... it was awesome... it was fantastic... it hit the spot
and it was the perfect fuel for Oliver Twist before his bike ride

this was not intended to be a play by play
by much like my now deceased 99 year old grandma
once I get into the details... I can not stop!

the morning started ONTIME
the events got one their way as planned
riders gathered dressed and ready to ride
fueled on breakfast pizza at the campsite we made our way to downtown davis

an amazing part of this lycra clad parade is that the majority of the sMOREs pedaled from the campsite to town

once in town there was chaos
there was a massive group
and then the kid ride
and well... I am not sure if the kid ride knew where they were going to ride

enough on this... more on this later
the actuality
I was just looking for a caption to the photo of the two men with the dog
Todd-Jason... but not Dave
my camping neighbors
who I hung with and allowed to feed my kids

enough on this
it is late.... I need to sleep
not worth proofing
but the photos are worth looking at

it was beautiful out there
great riding with great friends
great friends
old and new

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