Sunday, September 25, 2011

Season Review, part TWO

Welcome back! After re-reading every single one of my blog posts from this season, I'm sure you've realized by now that I've been all over the map. I was thinking I'd put a map up and put pins in everywhere that I've been this year, but then I realized I'd never been to the top two corners of the map to pin it up to the wall. :( :(

So where exactly have I been? Well, since the second weekend of March, I have been from Bellingham to-
Eugene, OR
Agoura Hills, CA
San Dimas, CA
Redlands, CA
Pullman, WA
Walla Walla, WA
Madison, WI
St Louis, MO
Hood River, OR
Tulsa, OK
Milwaukee, WI
Augusta, GA
Delta, CA(nada)
Boise, ID
Bend, OR
Chicago, IL
Souderton, PA

+local races

Typing that out, it's pretty funny to me that I finished it, looked at the list, and everything looked right to me. Didn't looked like I had forgotten anything. I thought back to the season, re-read everything, and it looked like the proper list. Then I realized I had forgotten Augusta, GA. I wonder why? What a place.

Anyways, we are very lucky to have stayed at host houses for all of those trips except for my trip to Collegiate Nationals in Madison, WI, and the trip to Augusta, GA, for the Elite/U23 Nationals. It is absolutely way better to stay in a host house then it is to stay in a hotel. We tell hosts this all the time, and they are shocked! I don't know why, Hotels are loud, dirty, expensive, don't have food, and you don't get to meet anyone new! In a host house, you have most of the time a pantry to raid, a bed to sleep in, coffee in the morning, and new people to meet. You get dogs to play with, TV to watch, and mailboxes to run over.
Without sharing the dirtiest details about what was my favorite host house of the year, and which was my least favorite, I'm going to share a couple highlights.

This was a pretty tough one, because I had 3 beds that really stood out to me. But the final decision, for favorite bed of 2011, goes to......

BEND, OREGON, for the Cascade Cycling Classic.

This bed was big enough for 3 baby elephants, and since I am only the size of 2, it fit perfect. The sheets were nice, the pillows were comfortable (and there wasn't too many of them), and I was extremely tired of trying to make time cut up mountain passes that I slept great every night.

We have stayed in some pretty remarkable places, but this one was pretty easy. My favorite host house view of 2011 was....

AGOURA HILLS, CALIFORNIA, for team training camp.

Take a look. Nothing more to say.

Lily! I've stayed at my mom's house before, so this counts as a host dog, right?
We spend a lot of time doing bike practice and bike racing, but we definitely have down time at races. That's one of the reasons that I started this blog, was so that I'd have something to do every once in awhile. Bike racing makes us tired, which is where the coffee comes in. Plus, it's delicious. Then activities need to take place to keep us from literally finding the end of the internet. So the duel award for Coffee and Activities goes to.......

PORT WASHINGTON, WISCONSIN, for Tour of America's Dairyland.

They had bottomless coffee, and a pool table! And a weight room! Steve and I played 1 million games of pool. We do feel sort of bad about the quantity of coffee that we consumed, because it was astronomical. But we were sooo tired and it was so easy!

Food is necessary. No matter how much all of us joke about eating (or not eating), we definitely consume lots and lots of it. And it's really nice when a host offers to go grocery shopping for us! But this was above and beyond, when our host emailed us in advance asking what she should get at the grocery store. I didn't really know what to say! So I said fruits, vegetables, and eggs. What we got was incredible. The food winner goes to.....

WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON, for Tour of Walla Walla.

Here was our setup! I ate an entire chicken on the drive home.

The food transitions well into a subject that every cyclist has some form of experience with. And that is Mexican food. We try to get groceries and cook our own food, because it is cheaper and healthier, but often times it is too difficult or we are too hungry to be bothered to cook. So we go out to eat, and 9/10 times the restaurant chose would be a mexican place. Here are all the Mexican food restaurants that I can remember going too, there location, and my review.

Chipotle- Everywhere. 6/10. Consistent
Qdoba- Everywhere!. 6.5/10. Also consistent.
Baja Fresh- Everywhere. 6/10. Sometimes great. Small portions. Not enough for Kennett.
Taqueria Yungapeti- Walla Walla. 9/10. Really good taco-truck food. Cheap! Great
Barberitos- Augusta. 4/10. Not awesome
Monterrey- Augusta- 5/10. Your traditional family mexican restaurant.
Moes- Augusta. 2/10. Waste of money! Cold! And we went there twice, WTF King Lang.
Rubios- Redlands. 7/10. Better then the Chipotle across the street that Parrish went to 11 times. Fresh salsa
Bora Boras- Portland. 9/10. Excellent taco truck burritos
Mexicali- Tulsa. 8/10. HUGE chips, good salsa, decent food.
Mexicali Chips
And finally, the 10/10s. What you've all been waiting for. After a season of bike racing, I'm also convinced that I found the 3 best cheap Mexican food places in the country. Probably the world.

Longboard Louies- Bend. 10/10. The best chain burrito, ever. So many salsas, good meat, ingenious preparation.
Casa Del Ray- San Dimas. 10/10. The sit-down restaurant that we went to twice, because it was unbelievably cheap (almost like stealing), and delicious.

and finally, the ELEVEN out of TEN.

El Guapo- Tulsa. 11/10. Go there. Sit in the rooftop seating, and hope that your server is a little bit drunk. Get served salsa out of a pitcher, and eat delicious chips while deciding which menu item you should consume. Finish it, and wish that you lived on that roof top. Pay a small amount for the level of pleasure that you experienced. Laugh about the fact that the name is Spanish for Handsome, make awkward jokes to Spencer and Kennett about how the restaurant was named after you. Giggle hysterically. Eat more chips and salsa. Roll around in a world of stomach-pain bliss.

YES! Burritos are so good! Go eat. Srsly.


Come back soon for the 2011 season review part TRES!

1 comment:

  1. oh, man! the whole time I was like. "If Ian doesn't talk about El Guapo I'm gonna ride my bike all the way to northern Washington and slap him in the face because El Guapo is THE best mexican restaurant I've ever been to." And then, just when I thought you'd forgotten to mention it, BOOF there it is with an 11/10!!! Well done sir, well done.