Submitted by Kevin Adams – aka Grasshopper
10 Days; 7 States; 11 Rides; 2 Important Lessons!
I’ve traveled with Scud to compete in many XTERRAs across the U.S. Most were to exotic locations in Florida, California, Utah, and Hawaii but the most interesting trip was the one we took in late June 2012 to Jamestown, North Dakota to compete in XTERRA Pipestem Creek.
One of Scud’s goals is to ride his bike in every State and neither of us had been to North Dakota so we reached out to the race director in early 2012 and after a few emails decided what the heck. St. Margaret and Weezie, who were more than happy to get rid of us for 10 days, quickly gave us their blessings, and on June 17, 2012 we left Bethesda for Chicago and the first leg of our trip.
On the way to Chicago, we stopped off in Strongville, OH, right off I-80 to ride the grand opening of the Royalview trail (left) where we had 8.5 miles of smiles and whoops. There was a huge inaugural trail party going on but Chicago beckoned and thunderstorms in the area made my mind up and we continued non-stop with Scud complaining all the way to Chicago that I was starving him.
I worked in Chicago on Monday/Tuesday to pay for my part of the trip while Scud replenished the calories I had denied him by visiting Walker Brothers Pancakes across the street from our hotel–where he would order the Apple Cinnamon pancake. This island sized 4,000,000 calorie behemoth – and that’s before the French vanilla ice cream topping he ordered with it – took him almost an hour to consume.
Now that the trip was paid for, the real adventure began on Wednesday as we headed into Wisconsin, where I learned my 1st important lesson which goes something like this. My idea of a trip is to get to the destination in the quickest possible time. Scud’s idea of a trip is the journey and these two ideas clashed when Scud vehemently refused to pee in the empty Diet Coke bottle I handed to him when he said he needed us to stop. After a short argument, we exited at the German Haus Restaurant. I’m now a believer in the journey as we had the best fresh, ground hamburger ever and were entertained by the owner Rolf who has owned the Haus since 1959. Scud was in his element speaking German with Rolf and gobbling down the chow.
Levis-Trow Mound trail
After that amazing lunch we stopped to ride the Levis-Trow Mound trail in northwestern Wisconsin where this picture was snapped seconds prior to Scud crashing…
…and then on Thursday we headed to Minnesota’s Iron Belt to check out the trails at the Cuyhuna Lakes IMBA Ride Center near Crosby. Unfortunately, a huge storm system came through the area on Wednesday night and the trails were closed until Scud talked the land manager into letting us ride one section that was not damaged and we spent a wonderful afternoon primarily swimming in the crystal clear ice cold strip mine lakes before arriving in Jamestown late that evening.
Swimming in the crystal clear ice cold strip mine lakes
On Friday, we hooked up with the race director and helped him set up transition and pre-rode the course. We also swam the course and I was well in front of Scud because he wasn’t swimming straight. Perhaps this would be the first XTERRA where I would finally beat the master!
Race day dawned bright and warm and, when the gun went off, I swam the 500 meters across the lake faster than I had ever swum before. Unfortunately for me, the race director had buoys placed about every ten meters across the reservoir – because Scud complained that the reservoir was crooked, causing him not to swim straight. There was this tap-tap-tap on my shoulder after the 50 meter run on the other side and, when I turned around, there was Scud with that s#it eating grin of his. So, I swam back even faster than I swam across and exited the water with Scud at my side. I took a short cut and ran the quarter mile up the hill to transition like a man possessed and, for the first time ever, beat Scud out of T1.
Scud quickly passed me on the bike and was so annoyed that I beat him out of T1 that he also did the run faster than me – another first – and then for 9 long minutes stood at the finish line loudly trash talking about me until I finished. I learned my second lesson – modesty – albeit several months later. The lesson struck home when I did a race in Western South Dakota, 500 miles away, in August and someone come up to me asking “where’s your trash talking friend?” So by the time September rolled around and I finally beat Scud at XTERRA Nationals, I stood silently at the finish line, waiting for the master. When he crossed, we cried and hugged and he passed the torch declaring “it’s about time and I can now retire from XTERRA.” True to his word, Scud hasn’t competed in an XTERRA since.
After the XTERRA in North Dakota, Scud got us invited a cookout at the race director’s home where I got to meet XTERRA Pro Will Kelsey and his girlfriend Jennifer – who is an Aggie like me. I have no idea how late we stayed, but remember a lot of beer being involved.
The next day was the 30 mile poker relay ride over the prairie with dual hangovers and I happened to win best hand because Scud dropped a card and then I found the card lying on the course that gave me a straight flush and won a pair of $200 sunglasses!
By this time, Scud knows everyone in North Dakota and he convinces me to meet his new friend, Marc Olsen, only an hour out of our way back to St. Cloud, Minnesota where we were staying the night. I learned that an hour in North Dakota is 100 miles but, by this time, it’s all about the journey. Marc owns a 4,000 acre farm and the next thing you know Scud and I are in this house-sized tractor which Scud is driving around the farm as if he owns the place, scaring little children, animals, and me!
Monday found us riding one of my favorite trails at the Southern unit of Kettle-Moraine Forest in WI and then back to Vernon Hills, IL. Tuesday we headed over to Portage, IN to ride the Dark Side of Imagination Glen in the morning and on the way back to Vernon Hills that afternoon we stopped and rode the granddaddy of Chicago trails at Palos Heights for our 11th ride in 10 days.
By Wednesday morning when I dropped Scud off at Mitchell Field in Milwaukee we were already trying to figure out how we could talk our wives into letting us do this again.
I can’t wait Master Scud—because, as you taught me well, it’s all about the journey!