Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I May Need Some Help

As I sit here and type this, I’m reminded of how much this racing stuff affects me. Of course, my back still hurts, although I can’t figure out why. Sure I “hurt” it yesterday, but it wasn’t like I was wrestling an alligator or something like that. I just wish that it would go the hell away. Also, a new soreness popped up yesterday morning. My legs hurt like hell for some reason. This is another one I can’t explain, since the course was much easier, and I never had any issues with muscular strength while I rode. While I would love to chalk it up to “getting older”, I’m pretty sure it has to do with poor technique or a bad diet.

The poor technique can be explained by the fact that I haven’t been riding a “real” bike, save for the actual races. Also, I’m starting to think that the Greatest Short Track Bike on Earth is a piece of shit. Well, not really, but some of the components are. I’ve never really spent the time to achieve a proper fit. Actually, I just threw the damn thing together in the nick of time. That has a lot to do with the fact that this was some kind of experiment, since I am very partial to bicycles with full suspension. Hell, I’m still playing around with the fit on my primary bike, Goose.

The bad diet thing is a little more complicated. While I do eat pretty healthy, I’m sure you are all aware of my affinity for beer. Being somewhat of a beer snob, I do enjoy a fair amount of the stuff. That may be wreaking havoc on my racing aspirations, since I haven’t learned to tone it down when there is a race the next day. Hell, I’ve even had beer during a race.

The Saturday before race number three of the 2010 Winter Short Track Series was more of the same, at least as far as beer is concerned. I headed over to The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery to sample some of their stuff, and to also fill up my growlers. While I am not a huge fan of their beer (not hoppy enough for me), I had some things to do on that side of town. It was a matter of convenience for me, I guess.

I walked in the door, and immediately walked up to the bar. I’ve never been there before, so I wasn’t familiar with the way they operated their tasting. I stood there for a bit until someone finally came up and asked if they could help me. I said that I wanted to do a tasting, and they obliged. For two bucks, I could try a half of a half (not really even that much) of a pint glass of each of the three beers they had on tap. While that may sound like a deal, I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t keep the glass like I could at Carolina Beer Company. Hell, they weren’t as friendly at OMB either. Nevertheless, I still sampled some beer.

While nothing jumped out at me as a huge favorite, I decided to fill up my growlers with one of each kind anyway. When the guy noticed that one of my growlers had the Carolina Beer Company logo on it, he asked me if they still brewed beer. Uhhh, what? I told him yes, since I was there only two weeks ago, for two weeks in a row even. He said that he thought they only did packaging, and that they brewed their locally-famous Carolina Blonde in Pennsylvania, or some shit like that. I told him no, I didn’t think that was true, but he persisted. He then said that they came down there a few weeks ago to ask if they (OMB) could brew some beer for them (Carolina Beer Co.) I finally gave up and let him think he was right. Maybe he’s privileged to some insider information, but I was pretty sure of my facts (since I was just there, mind you.) It took forever to fill the growlers, since they use some kind of fancy machine. It was on the fritz for some strange reason, so that took longer than normal.

While I may be a little biased towards the Carolina Beer Company, I really wanted to give these guys a chance. This guy kind of had a snobby attitude though, as if their beer was better or something. That may be fine if you’re a fan of German-style beer, but I am not. While I do prefer hoppy stuff like the Cottonwood Endo IPA (and Little Miss Sunshine likes the Carolina Blonde), I actually liked the personal touch of a true local brewery (like the Carolina Beer Company.) These guys were just too big for their britches, it would seem. Just after I got my growlers filled, there was a scheduled tour of their brewery. I didn’t need to hear anymore fancy talk, so I passed. I make my own brew anyway, so I have a good idea of how the process goes. Besides, you could look through the window and see the facility.

Please don’t take my bad experience as a knock on the folks at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. I’ve had some of their beer before, so I sort of knew what to expect. DISCLAMER: Although I am somewhat of a beer snob, that doesn’t make me all-knowing when it comes to beer. We all have our preferences, and mine is definitely not German-style beer. I’m pretty much up for anything though, so I will probably give them another chance (I mean, beer is beer, unless it’s shitty beer like Budweiser.) You should too. If you are in the area, head down to the south side of Charlotte and check them out. Maybe your experience will be better. There were plenty of people there enjoying their beer, so my opinion is obviously not the standard by which to judge beer. I like what I like, and you probably do too. So, go enjoy whatever kind of beer you desire, as I try to figure out a way to improve my racing ability while remaining a beer-drinker. Cheers!

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