I guess to some degree you could say “what happens in Mexico stays in Mexico”, but you can say that anywhere. And, that would seem to imply that for some reason, I did things that should stay in Mexico. Being the pretty boring, but sometime outspoken guy that I am, my trip was boring. But, there were at least a few things that were noteworthy, sadly none of them were proper shenanigans of any sort. Well, not really.
As mentioned before, I was a total American. I paid for a package deal and everything was included. Down to CO2 cartridges for the bikes! With the exception of the plane ticket, all transportation and transfers (more on that later!!) were included. Room, food, and drinks. Well, post race drinks at Carlos and Charlies were not included.
On to the transportation issues. Cozumel being and Island, there are only a couple of ways to get there, and once there only a few modes of transportation…rented scooters, ATV rides as part of a packages, rental cars, tour buses, and cabs. I would learn that cabs have a special place on the Island. And, much like how the MOB used to control various cities in the US…the cab drivers may control a certain Island off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula. We were set to leave the resort in the aforementioned pre-paid transportation. Mind you, not everyone in the resort was using the package deal…so a good number of them were using the taxi drivers for their trips. I didn’t know what was happening, but we were running close on time for those athletes who were in for picking up their Kona slots or receiving a roll down spot. Suddenly, we were off…our driver yelled ‘move the right cone and tell those guys to move cause I’m going up the sidewalk’. He punched it, we ran up on the sidewalk and only then did I notice two large taxi vans blocking the resort exit. I said I could wait as I only needed to be there for awards. So, some of the kona qualifier folks ran to the van with a taxi van in hot pursuit. We traded places and I waited and watched while our driver sped away with a taxi van in chase. It was like a scene from a movie with one car trying to dodge the other. I made it into town…via taxi…and discovered one of the vans had been impounded. Seems that the taxi drivers were more than a little upset that some of us were using pre arranged transportation as the grouup had done in the previous years of the race. A story to tell that was for sure!!
The other story of note is just an interesting one. It was the evening before I was to leave. Pro triathletes are usually pretty good at packing. I had a bike bag and large suitcase…mostly with nutritionals and a few things that would be throw aways…more than I would usually take to a race. Everyone loved it years ago when Faris showed up for IM Hawaii with nothing but a carboard box with his bike and gear in it. After traveling the better part of the last 2 season, I came to realize that this was kind of norm for pros…less packing as opposed to more. It was especially the norm for non-US athletes. That’s not a slight against the US folks, but just a bit of an observational fact. This story takes minimalistic packing to another level. I was hoping to go into town to get Amy a belated Bday gift. I was waiting with the staff of the travel group on one triathlete who was to catch the last ferry of the day to the mainland…time was short. He showed up just in time. He rode an old softride bike. It was packed in a makeshift cardboard box with the softride beam sticking out of the box. The box was about to fall apart…the solution…more duct tape!! I didn’t see any wheels. He ran back to get them…they were sandwiched together between two sheets of cardboard taped together around the edges. Other than those to suspect boxes, he had nothing else but a small backpack. We were ready to go, and he said, wait I forgot my other bag. He jumped out of the van and grabbed a black plastic garbage bag with the rest of his clothes!! On the way to the ferry, he ‘showered’ in the van…using Axe or some other body spray. He was catching a 630AM flight the next morning…had no idea where in Cancun he was going to stay the night!
That’s about it. Doubtful there will be many more stories for the year. It’s already almost mid-December. That’s pretty much a wrap on my off-season. I spent a few days walking around in the woods wearing camo, driving a 4-wheeler (Quad as some call them), and carrying a 270. You could take the boy out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the boy. We’d planned a trip to Colorado, but the weather went south, and I didn’t want Amy’s first trip to Colorado to be super cold and snowy. So, that’s it. Planning for 2012 has already started. Looks like the season kick off may be 70.3 Panama. I did an ITU race down there in 2006, and told Amy that we’d have to go if there was ever a reason to race. Now there is!