The Sake Sweats

So apparently the Expedition4am big-wigs and the Timex Sponsors wanted to kick off this celebration of outdoor lifestyle with ...a celebration. So the night before the Crew and I were to be let loose on the world, they took us out to Sushi Zanmai (in Boulder, Colorado) for a feast.

A great time was had by all as we chowed on the raw fish and drank Sapporo and Sake. We ordered a massive amount of sushi, some sashimi and even fried shrimp heads. It seemed like an inordinate amount of fish for 7 people, but we managed to finish it all. I like to think of it as eel-loading for our adventures ahead.

At one point the private room next to ours was busy doing Sake Beer Bombs, which as you probably suspect are the Japanese Restaurant version of the Irish Car Bombs-- a shot glass of sake (or booze) sunk into a glass of beer and immediately chugged. Each round raised such a ruckus that it brought the entire restaurant to a halt. Glasses could be heard slamming hard, while the pounding on the table created a localized earthquake effect.

Not to be outdone, we ordered a couple rounds and set out to raise the bar. Mike, our main man at Expedition4am, managed to pound so hard on the table while screaming "Sa-ke Beer Bomb" that he spilled both my beer and his all over his lap. Our second round was more successful, silencing the restaurant and causing our neighbors to join in on the third.

Sometime around 10:30 we migrated to local haunt for Karaoke Night. More imbibing (of course) but this time with a mixture of half-assed crooning. It was the sort of half baked singing seen on the first auditions of American Idol... but hey, it was just Thursday Karaoke. You get what you pay for, right?

While Mike and I tried to find Sister Christian by Night Ranger, only to fall short in our effort, it was Rom who stole the show with his rendition of Britney Spears "I'm a Slave 4 U." As the music trailed off he made certain to add in a few extra "Aren't I sexy" lines.

Needless to say, the celebration had begun.


We decided to kick off our adventures with an early morning Mountain Bike Ride. The place was Walker Ranch, a 9 mile loop southwest of Boulder. Why not simply sleep after the night of juicin' and chowin', and simiply EASE into our journey? Two reasons:

1) We're the Expedition4am crew, damnit, and...

2) The weather forecast called for temps in the 100's... so an early morning ride was the logical choice.

Not only were Rom, Adam, Cody and myself eager for the first decent, but Jim from Timex joined us, pumped for a ride in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Seems he's a hardcore biker in his own right, owning some 10 bikes of both Mountain and Road variety.

The initial decent is a bombing trail for roughly a mile, jumping over wash outs and carving sandy turns. I was somewhere in the lead down this hitch, so I failed to see Rom's crash that earned him the honor of First Blood. He claims it wasn’t a spectacular spill, but rather a mild slide-out. Not much skin was lost, only a quarter-sized scrape with some satellite rips.

As we hammered up the first hill, it was Jim from Timex who showed the greatest dexterity. It seems he is immune to boozing, as there was no signs whatsoever of a hang over. He just clicked into his granny gear and grinded like a trooper.

I was feeling surprisingly well and had no problems finding my uphill pace. Then, suddenly, about 200 yards into that first climb, it happened-- the morning temperature (probably 90+ already) finally mixed with the physical exertion. Heavy sweating began. But ladies and gents, this was no ordinary sweat. Nosirree-- it was an explosion of sweat! My body was purging last night's festivities-- purging them with an abnormal vengeance through my skin!

I had, what will forever be known to me as, "The Sake Sweats."

The Sake Sweats lasted the rest of the first incline. All the way up I wiped the alcohol-rich sweat from my face, partly disgusted but wondering if recycling might be possible. Somewher mid-way through the ride they finally subsided, but not before my jersey was soaked and I reeked of booze tainted sweat.

We had another bomber run, this time down the singletrack section, then took several turns testing our metal on a rather technical section of rock outcrop. Even Jim took a second stab at the section, and managed a low-speed endo. His uphill skills might have earned the Crew's respect, but the willingness to lean into the pitch and take one for the team showed that he could hang with us!

The final uphill of the day found Jim and Adam in a breakaway. I fell back to hang with Rom and Cody in what we'll just say was the Pentalon. We tried to take it easy on the climb stopping to take second and third attempts at technical sections ...and also a couple spills. Rom took a dive over the side of the trail into what he claims were "pointy sticks." Meanwhile, Cody managed a couple of spectacular uphill crashes, which found him tangled in his bike (he's obviously not one to bail pre-maturely). Some how I managed to avoid gravity checks all day, but wouldn't say I exactly "cleaned" the trail. After all, any ride where it feels like alcohol is literally oozing out of the pores of your skin, ain't a ride you're going to write home about.'ll just write about it for Expedition4am