Monday, June 15, 2009

A Row and A Lunch

After the whole clothing debacle on Friday with the gloves and bike shorts, Saturday had to be better. Saturday's rowing practice had only 10 guys show up. Not a good mix. Our coach put 8 in an 8 and me an another guy into a double. We're both experienced scullers so to speak although we had never sculled together before. We were the first boat out and we had decided to head up river to Ryans dam. We thought we tag along with our fitness rowers, but after waiting a while and they still weren't out, we decided to just go. We were not exactly a perfectly mixed pair. He's almost 6 foot and is over 200 lbs. I'm short and 160 lbs. At first it was a bit rough. Our timing was definitely off. By the time we reached the dam and turned around, we were starting to get it together and by the end we had the double really running. It was sweet. It also gave me some practice for Sunday's row across the water.

Sunday I drove over to the other side to Sandy Run for OBC's Race for the Strawberries. The race is just an interclub race designed as more of a social activity then anything else. I originally wanted to race in a single, but I waited to long and all the singles were taken. I did mange to get a place in a Quad after my partner from Saturday had to drop out and I got invited to fill his seat. As I parked my car and headed down to the water, this is what I saw:
What a perfect day for a row. Sunny, but not hot, and nice flat water. Below are my Quadmates checking out our boat before we launched.

While a bunch of us were out rowing some of the other OBC members were setting up to feed us pancakes and strawberries (hence the Race for the Strawberries). Our boat was the 9th boat to start and we passed most everyone, which you would suspect given we were in a Quad and racing against singles and doubles. Having never rowed together, I think we did ok. I didn't have a chance to adjust my foot stretchers after we launched and they could have been further back. I wasn't able to lay back quite as far as I would have liked and had some problems clearing my hands as a result, but overall it was good. I rowed bow so I was responsible for steering (the rudder control is attached to my right foot). We didn't hit anything or run over other boats so I'll put that down as a success. I did have a heck of a time locating the race course buoys. When I scull I'm use to looking over my left shoulder. For the race all the buoys were on my right side. It was awkward for me to look over the opposite shoulder plus my visor was canted a bit down to the right blocking my vision even further. We didn't cut the buoys as close as I would have liked but we didn't lose a lot of time at the turns either. Overall it was a fun time and the pancakes tasted great afterward. I big well done to OBC for that.
After the race, I returned home and showered and then headed out to Front Royal for lunch with Daughter#2 and The Son In Law. The Son was missing in action for most of the morning so Ann and I believed he had blown us off for going with us and we left. After driving about 6 miles, I get a text saying he's on his way to the house. Annoying. We turned around and met him at the house and then headed west. Daughter#2 had picked out a restaurant in downtown Front Royal called the Soul Mountain Cafe. We chose front Royal Royal as it's midway for us coming from Woodbridge and her coming from Harrisonburg. It was a nice lunch. The Cafe basically just has sandwich's and wraps for lunch. I'd like to return sometime for dinner as their dinner menu sounded really interesting. I got the andouille sausage wrap and it was pretty tasty.

After eating lunch we wandered main Street for a bit. I found it unusual that almost all the shops, less the restaurants, were closed. We ended up at the Front Royal Visitors Center, which is in an old train station. Daughter#2 and The Son In Law:

The Son and Daughter#2 (aka The Twins), myself and Ann.

It was definitely a fun time and the drive out I-66 is beautiful what with the mountains and all. I love a good road trip.

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