Life as a Grad Student

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This past weekend those fine future oil nerds from the Colorado School of Mines put on a nice little mtb race at Sol Vista resort.  The race would be me first experience of being a collegiate athlete.  Saturday was XC, lined up in the B’s because that’s where USA Cycling stuck me.  Course has a mix of trail from this years nationals, last years nationals, and new trail.  Not my favorite course, but wind up taking 3rd, with teammate Matt taking the dubya.  It was cold at the camping site, which means we got to start a fire.  Traveling partner Nell was kind enough to hop the fire, and give the term firecrotch a new meaning.  While around the campfire, Matt and I scheme out our plan for Sunday’s short track.  We call it Operation 1-2-FU!, I wrangle up a geared bike, and cap off the night with some border wars with the kids from the University of Wyoming.  Sunday comes, and Matt and I line up.  The gun goes off, and I shoot for the front with the intentions of trying to blow things up.  Matt is somewhere near behind me, and four dudes from Fort Lewis.  I do five laps at full gas, then Matt makes his jump.  No one goes with him.  I switch into making sure no one from Fort Lewis gets second.  One kid kept challenging, but to no avail, Matt and self pull off the 1-2-FU!


Last night after getting some assignments out of the way, I get a call from a buddy telling me he’s headed to the bar.  2 buck microbrews never sounded so good, and plenty of bike folks are down there enjoying some hooch.  At some point someone suggests we head over to the dizzy drone for some late night racing.  The dizzy drone is a mini-track made of plywood.  At the center it is no more than four feet in diameter, has 38 degree banked turns, multiple couch cushions are set up as the crash bad, and two bikes found for free on Craigs List are used for riding.  Laps are hot and dangerous, like 1.5 seconds hot.  It is dark out, and all we have for light is a 100 watt bulb hung from the side of the fence,  Injury never seemed so certain.  Folks take turn riding until they get to dizzy to function, and at some point we get our first race involving two people.  The cycling gods must have liked us that night cause no one got hurt, and I capped off the night in the only way you can end a night like this, by getting a mullet.


Getting dizzy

Today’s alarm to wake me up for class comes too quick.  Suck down a cup of coffee, power through some lecture, and quickly go over a lab with a fellow grad student.  I take a mid morning break for a ride, because I feel like I need to better acquaint myself with some local geology.  What better way to do that than a mountain bike ride.  Plus I just got some fly new gear from Mike over at Club Ride, so I needed to do some “testing”.  Truth be told I actually get some really great ideas when I go ride a bike alone, so I was hoping to get good ideas for a couple labs I need to write.  Spent a touch over 2 hours playing on the bike, and was able to do it before the afternoon heat set in.  I couldn’t think of a better way to prep for spending several hours staring at friction factor and seismic refraction waves data.  Now its time to get some shit done, but just remember, there is always time for a ride.


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About 40 Hands

A fan of riding bikes with one gear, malt liquor, riding without knowing how many miles I’ve covered, and strip clubs that let you bring your own keg. I typically have a stupid grin on my face, it is because deep down I know that no matter what, my mom thinks I’m cool. Denver, Colorado, USA

8 Replies to “Life as a Grad Student”

  1. Wow me just getting the house clean all four rooms dishes and laundry for 2 done seems like nothing compared to what you just did.

  2. damn straight! i look for every moment to ride during my course of grad school here in flagtown. the riding is best when you knowingly blow off some homework for later.

  3. I wasnt hating on Fort Lewis, just telling you what went down. CSU had first and second from start to finish, Fort Lewis was in chase mode the whole time