How to make bad BBQ

Another weekend, another busy boatload of stuff. In my continued attempts to keep things short, here’s the quick version.


After having fun with the usual Friday IT2 trainer ride, it was time to watch the opening ceremonies. Without a doubt the most impressive opening ceremonies I’ve ever seen. Hands down by a million miles. I went to Salt Lake City in 2002 and saw those ceremonies in person – and while that was an incredible experience, Beijing’s ceremonies were so amazing it’s really hard to describe unless you saw it.


Saturday was all about trying to stay ahead of the social curve. I had a slew of different things planned with different friends, and had to fit in my workouts in between it all.

First up was a quick 10K-ish 40 minute run mid-morning, just wandering around nowhere in particular to places I’d never run to before.


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I knocked out my long swim in the morning. Thanks to Mr. Taper, it was down to only 90 continuous minutes, or roughly 5,600 yards nonstop. Disappointingly the scenery was not up to it’s usual levels yesterday. Them thar folk need to work on that…pronto.

The one trick to my entire Saturday is I didn’t have my car. I let a friend borrow it for most of the day to go to a wedding. But it worked out actually rather nicely. It allowed me to enjoy the day a bit more as I bounded around Alexandria on my old paperboy mountain bike.

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I enjoyed the ability to go anywhere with the mountain bike, across the grass, over curbs, etc…just wherever I needed to go to get the job done.

Later on that night with some friends we cooked up a good meal. Made a catfish with a fairly strong Cajun kick to it, some homemade Mac’ and Cheese (with adobe peppers), Greens (with Bacon), and then some fresh Andouille sausage. And a few bottles of wine. Good stuff.

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(The photo’s a bit rough, but Mac to the left, catfish to the right, greens upper left and sausage peeking out to the upper right)


I was concerned about the weather with predicted Thunderstorms, but it held up perfectly and produced a nice cool mostly overcast day.

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(This shot came out really well with the blur caused by the speed)

Finally, a ‘short’ ride on Skyline. Only 64 miles today. Woohoo! My last ride up in the mountains before IMC. The ride was designed as Z2 to the turnaround. And then bring it home in Z3. Keeping in mind that there are pretty much just as many big-ass hills on the way back as the way there.

But I had soooo much fun really pushing it. I easily kept up with Motorcycles again on some of the slightly sloped flats – its kinda like flying with birds.

I did have one less than ideal moment when my newfound Spot took a flying leap off my bike at 30MPH and tumbling onto the concrete. Thankfully no cars came around the corner and smashed him. After picking him up, he was all good to go and kept on spotting the rest of the trip. Here’s a preview of some of his handy work (all feed up live to satellites in real time). Full review in a few weeks.


Oh, I’ve been meaning for MONTHS to take a photo of this sign, but forget every time until I’ve already passed it. Coming from the West Coast where Old Growth Forest has a specific meaning, I always found this one humorous. Only in Virginia would they actually denote ‘Second Growth Forest’.

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After that, a quick 5K run and it was time to leave the park for the final time and find food.

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For months I’ve been running past this little BBQ shack about a mile from the park’s entrance. But for a variety of reasons have never tried it. Figuring this is Virginia – BBQ would likely be pretty good from a hole in the wall kinda place.

Turns out…not so much. How you screw up BBQ this much is really beyond me. Here’s what I got – Pulled Pork, Mack and Cheese and Beans.

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Let’s analyze how it went wrong:

  1. The Pork had simply no flavor. Aside from that, it was sitting in it’s own flavorless watery juices. And it was all mushy, like it had been sitting there WAY overcooked for days. Someone learn how to spice and season. Seriously. Not.that.hard.
  2. Had they used Kraft Mac and Cheese they would have been better off. The Mac and Cheese was both way overcooked (mushy), and yet some pieces were so overcooked by a burner that were hard (like uncooked almost). Plus, it simply had no flavor. Really, it’s not that hard – butter, cheese, cream, plus seasoning.
  3. Beans. The beans were the only part not completely screwed up. But then again, when they are from a can at the grocery store, it’s kinda hard to.

I ate a few bites of each and then tossed it (and the $10 it costs).

Decided that local food on the edge of West Virginia/Virginia border isn’t the best idea. Instead, I drove a short way to the highway and just went with chain food. At least I knew what I was getting. Double cheeseburger and a chocolate milk shake.

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With that…I’m done for the weekend. Time to make a smoothie and enjoy some Olympic action.


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  1. Pulled Pork from the middle of nowhere that comes on a PLASTIC plate??

    Mehhhhhh………….. iffy at best.

  2. That Checkers photo just made me hungry! I was trying to figure out where you ran on Saturday from the picture but had trouble. I’m guessing the stockyard mess down in Alexandria, by where the Target is now and that new part of Hwy 1.

  3. I like the blurred effect in the photo – probably you should just pretend it was on purpose :)

    The opening ceremonies took my breath away, too! So amazing…

  4. Liz

    Oh my god, that catfish looks so good… and the mac and cheese, and the greens. It’s only 9:30am and I would totally eat all that right now.

    Did you see the freestyle relay last night? Bad ass.

  5. I love your posts. I always have so much to reply to!

    Like…your mention of the pool scenery always cracks me up!! I’m like ‘aren’t you supposed to be focusing on swimming, anyway??’ ;)

    And I love the mtn bike part…sounds like you had a lot of fun just cruising around on that thing. Isn’t it fun to ride, well…without a particular purpose other than just getting to your destination?

    Your meal (that you made) sounds incredible. I love making homemade mac ‘n cheese. In the winter, it is the best comfort food ever!!

    And um, your post ride bbq just sounds nasty. What a BUMMER!! I HATE when that happens. But now you know. Sounds like a great weekend overall!!

  6. oh and p.s. what are you doing with all your free time now that you’re tapering? I CAN’T WAIT to see how your IM goes! You are SO READY!!

    and that spot thing is neat.

  7. dude, good luck at IMC in a bit!

  8. I’m vegetarian and even I know that’s wrong.

    Mmmmm, Checkers…..

    And the opening ceremonies, digitally and otherwise altered. Like Iran, apparently China has photoshop.

  9. Rain,

    Please come to Texas some time for some REAL BBQ.

  10. Busy, busy, busy! Sounds like you had another incredible weekend. Makes me feel like my get up and go, got up and left…without me.

    Being from the south I wonder how anyone can stay in business with screwed up BBQ? Just doesn’t seem right.