Saturday “fun” and Sunday at Afton
Not my best plan, as I said. Poor planning or just too many things to try and fit in during a summer season. I had to interrupt my sailing adventure because I scheduled a Keirin Track session for Sunday, so I needed to get back home and prep for that on Saturday afternoon. I brought a bike along with me on the boat to use as transportation from Afton back to Watergate in St Paul as well as some rides at the end of boat travel days. I got to Afton in plenty of time to ride to Watergate but with all the other gear I needed for the boat I forgot a helmet. So sad, I NEVER ride without a helmet but today I needed to make a change. Off and riding, hot day, water bottle filled but probably not quite enough. About halfway to Watergate the trail I was on got rough, somewhat under construction, as I rode, I felt that familiar bounce from the rear meaning flat tire! Crap. Rode a while to get to a better spot, off the bike and ready to install my spare tube only to find that my spare was the same damaged tube from last weekend. Double crap! Options, limited. Back on the bike for a slow roll towards downtown St Paul knowing there wasn’t a bike shop anywhere close to where I was. I rode for about 2 miles until I came across another biker with a flat. He was waiting for a “team car” pick up. He did have a patch kit he lent me so shortly and I was back making good time until about 3 miles later the patch failed, and the tire went down again. I figured I was close enough to my destination so flat be dammed, I finished the ride to my destination on a flat tire, loaded up and drove home for a good dinner and a full night’s sleep.
Sunday morning, up to get to the track for the last Keirin clinic ever at the Blaine Velodrome only to see the weather barely cooperating. A storm had rolled through overnight, high winds, lots of rain. Rain, even light rain on the surface of an outdoor wood strip velodrome means riding is dangerous and as I sat at the track trying to decide when to “call it” The rain came in more significantly so my sailing interruption, although for a good cause, was a waste of time and energy.
Pack up and a return trip to the Afton Marina. Here is where I found my plan to be not my best. The storm blew from west to east and hit the marina too. My boat was tied up quite good, but the docks are designed for larger boats with hulls taller than the docks. My little boat sits well under the docks and even with lots of fenders on the sides the boat took a beating. 3 of the 4 fenders were blown out and collapsed. The rub rail/toe rail closest to the dock was brutalized by banging against the dock. First significant damage the boat has incurred in 35 plus years!! Where the hell were the dock boys for the Afton House transient slips? Obviously didn’t care about much besides collecting the slip fee and moving on!
Windmill Marina, the larger entity where the transient docks were, had the gin pole I needed to get the mast up. Again, not such a big boat and I’ve raised the mast alone before, so I got that handled, a bit awkward due to the dock arrangement at the gin pole and extremely high water. The dock master came by as I was finishing and helped with the final placement, much appreciated.
Dinner at the local, back to the boat for a restless and rocky night’s sleep prior to tomorrows full motor day to Red Wing.
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