Springer Laundry (Note the bars on the window next door)
This really happened ...
Every crew member lives in abject fear of doing something that will cost the team a time penalty (usually handed out in 15 minute increments.) After what nearly happened today, I am convinced that I have some seriously good karma loaded up with the cycling buddha.
Talk about the Mother of all Penalties. This would not be a penalty exactly, but first, before I tell you my tale, let me say again: this really happened.
I. Am. Not. Making. This. Up.The day started normally enough, with the RV crew staying behind in Springer, NM to do racer and crew laundry. I volunteered to do the laundry while Lary got some needed shut-eye in the motor home and Jim actually took advantage of the opportunity to take a little jog around the neighborhood. (Show off.)
Anyhow, I hauled two garbage bags of laundry from the RV across the street to the laundromat. I heaved the bags, which were crammed and literally bursting at the seams, onto the counter. Silly me, I starting looking around for a change machine and those tiny boxes of laundry soap in a vending machine. Apparently, Springer does not know about vending machines yet, so I walked right around the corner (a mere 30 steps away) to the supermarket to get soap and change.
Not even two minutes later, I returned to the laundromat. Minding my own business, just walking down the sidewalk, I noticed that a diminuitive woman was hauling two suspiciously familiar garbage bags herself ... heading OUT of the laundromat. Heading, in fact, straight to her car. The car door was already open - any court in the land would agree this was obviously premeditated.
A quick panicked glance through the front glass confirmed that aforementioned counter was now bare. I raced over to her, screaming, "Yo! Where you going with those clothes?"
She, now looking quite panicked herself, stammered in broken English, "I think are free. Clothes in bag. Free clothes. In bag."
Stupidly, all I could think of to say was, "That's my basket."
"Oh, I sorry. Sorry. I think free."
"NOT free," I said, quite close now to realizing what had almost happened. "SO NOT free."
She gave them back, or more accurately, I took them out of her arms and walked back into the laundromat. Once I got the loads going, I thought, "Oh my God, nobody will ever believe this happened."
My RV mates believed me, though, because, for quite a while, all I could do was mutter repeatedly: "I can't believe that woman tried to steal my clothes."
Charlie's clothes. Richard's clothes. The numerous jerseys and cycling shorts they go through every day. The Team Reaching Heights jersey that I vomited all over the other night.
"Man, that would've sucked a lot," our crew chief said.
Just another day at RAAM. Day Four.If all goes well, only three-and-a-half to go.
I'm having the time of my life.