Things I learned about popping champagne.
Just in case you are ever in that situation. I have never actually popped a bottle of champagne on a podium until last weekend. Sure they give you beer, jerseys, flowers, kisses, and antlers…but not always champagne. It turns out “sprinters” have that opportunity much more than other types of riders. Crits are known for champagne. Time trials? Let’s be honest…I am stoked for $20 and a T-shirt.
I sabered the top off a champagne bottle once. That is an excellent party trick. Yet, when I was on the podium at San Rafael Twilight, there was no saber. Just me. Me and lots of people. Waiting. Well, not really… waiting, but before I knew it, there was champagne in my face. I guess I was the one waiting. Waiting for the inevitable food fight, but better.
This is such a problem. How does one avoid this catastrophe?
1. As my teammate, Coryn (who is a fabulous sprinter, BTW), said, “mowinningmochampagnepoppin”. Right. I will get right on that. Easier to say when you are well, 38 National titles deep into your sprinting career… Me? Well, you know me. I guess in her clever way, she simply states, “win more races, and you can pop more champagne bottles”. Of course. Duh.
2. Just in case you have ever sabered the top off of a champagne bottle at your nearest dinner party….well, they don’t give you one of those on the podium. There must be a liability issue. Learn how to open a bottle of champagne. I learned the hard way.
3. The person that opens the bottle first, gets the first hit. Yet, the person that opens the bottle last, gets to spray the champagne when everyone else is empty. Is first or last better? I don’t know. But it does create options. Game on. This is war.
4. Higher ground is always better. If you are on the top step, you have a much better vantage point to attack your fellow, umm… competitors.
5. Laugh profusely.
6. Beware if you have contacts. Apparently they can be “sprayed” out. Luckily, I don’t have contacts. 20/20 vision and X-ray capabilities.
7. Shake well before opening.
8. Try not to spray the photographers, but feel free to spray the audience, the other girls on the podium, and the men waiting to start their race while you were powdering your nose to get ready for the podium. They are all great targets. After you get bored spraying the other girls on the podium, the men are quite easy to hit…and well, what else are they going to do? Podium girls can be hit as well, but I don’t recommend it. If they were podium men? Well, you know….
9. Enjoy your moment in the sun, and then take a swig of that sparkling nectar. Why not?
10. Realize that until you shower you are going to smell intoxicated. Regardless if you are or not. Oh well. Soak it all in.
In everything you do, try to pop more bottles of champagne. Laugh. Enjoy.