The Future Champ Breaks Down and the Tour de Grove Mission


Rescuing The Future Champ.

A very sad thing happened on Monday, while happily puttering along Haywood road en route to the Haywood Mall in Greenville, the Future Champ’s engine cut out. The attempts to restart her was futile

I pushed her off the road into a nearby parking lot, and as we were near the mall headed off into it anyway. I got in touch with my Dad for any advice he may have on the situation and miraculously hoped that by the time we came back the Future Champ would kick back into life.

When we returned an hour later, it was not the case and Ash and I spent the next hour under a shady tree Googling and calling various scooter repair mechanics. We literally couldn’t find one who may be able to help us. Seriously?!

Google maps did show that there was a Scooter Shop about 2km down the road. So I suggested we take a walk down there to see if they could help, thinking that we could come back in their car and collect the Future Champ. If the Scooter shop was no longer there, a possibility, as I had tried to call them about 5 times already and wasn’t getting through, we would catch a bus home from the nearby bus stop.

Turns out the shop was gone, all we could see was huge car dealerships at the claimed address…

With not much other option we had chained the Future Champ to a pole and I hoped she would be fine. We got home and I eventually managed to get through to one mechanic whom I was referred to, but I would have to get the scooter to his house.

Problem 1 solved; problem 2 work in progress. I set about getting in contact with new friends in Greenville to see who may have a pick-up (bakki) to help us go fetch our beast. The pick-up search did not result in us finding a pick-up and with day light disappearing the reality was that the Future Champ would have to spend the night at the mall. I wasn’t too thrilled about this but the rescue mission would have to wait until the morning.

Fortunately, the ever reliable Brian managed to arrange a trailer, a dirt bike one at that, which made loading the beast even easier and we were off to rescue the Future Champ the next day. As we came over the horizon I tried to see if the Future Champ had survived the night and to our good fortune she had! Wow, what a relief!

We loaded her up and set off to the address I was given by the mechanic. It wasn’t quite what we expected, but the old man seemed friendly enough and had a number of other scooters he was working on. I have entrusted the Future Champs health into our new doctor’s hands, let’s hope he can pull off the risky operation!


Awesome Tour de Grove mural.


The Gateway Arch in St Louis.

On the bike riding front things have been going fairly well. The team ventured up to St Louis, Missouri two weeks ago to take part in the Tour de Grove, a 3 day crit ‘tour’.

St Louis was an awesome city with a lot of cool old buildings, the Mississippi and loads of friendly people. The Mississippi (who remembers getting that as one of the longest words in spelling tests in junior school?) was a bit grungy through the city, but was huge and I was told it gets up to a mile wide further down the river. The flood barriers were enormous and I found them to be quite interesting.

St Louis also has a huge arch, the gateway to the West, being the symbolisation behind it, and you can go up to the top. The view must be amazing, but as bike racers we needed to rest our legs… Oh and my fear of heights, but let’s go with the resting leg theory.

We also spent a night with amazing hosts the Fundoukos family and it was great to meet and get to know you guys, thanks for having us Ted and Jocelyn.

The first race of the weekend was the Midtown GP. From the team we had: Dilly, Junior Mint and I on the grid. I wasn’t sure how my body would react as I was fighting off the tail end of a head cold from the week. I started but soon could feel that it wasn’t quite right and did the tough thing of pulling out, only 15minutes in. In the bigger picture of my health, it was the better thing to do in order to rather cut my losses. Dilly had a solid ride coming in 19th and Junior Mint 21st.

The main race of the weekend was the Tour de Grove itself. The race was held in an alternative neighbourhood which we actually had a look around during a pedal in the morning preceding the race. It was an NCC race and we had a full squad of 6 riders on the evening including Brian, Reyes and Mueller joining us.

The course was a bit different in being triangularly shaped and had super long straights so it gave the course an almost circuit road race feel to it. Once again the UHC Blue Train ramped things up in the finale and took the W again… I was positioned too far back and couldn’t move up quick enough in the end for a good result and finished in the 30’s. Dilly was the highest place finisher from the team in 26th.

Come Sunday and after dominating another hotel breakfast we were off to the Dutchtown GP. The awesome thing with the hotel that the race organisers had arranged for us was that we were in riding distance to all of the races. I felt the course suited me with an uphill finish but my leg’s however seemed to disagree and felt really heavy. I grinned and bared with it, getting a few GU’s down and hoping my legs would open up but today it was not to be. Junior Mint ran in a solid 18th with me in 26th and Reyes in 27th.

Check out the Dutchtown Race Highlights here.

After a pretty solid but not exactly spectacular weekend of racing we were back in the car on Monday morning for the 13hour drive home. Fortunately we had Junior Mint to keep us entertained with many a laugh along the way!


Riding along the Mississippi, checking out the huge flood barriers!IMG_20130510_140301

St Louis was a scenic city.


Junior Mint taking full advantage of the Waffle House $6 buffet. 

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