Like lemmings to the edge of a cliff, cars started filling in spots around the Coulson’s Hill trail head. As the wind and rain picked up, mountain bikes were lowered from roof racks and removed from trunks.  Soon a gathering of riders clad in an array of gear clustered together under the registration tent eager to start the new season of Spoke O’ Motion‘s Wednesday night race series.  

As is customary at the first race of the season, friends gather to brag about how little they’ve done over the winter and to ensure other riders of how crappy, tired, or out of shape they feel. For some, it is the truth, for others it is a precursor to what will undoubtedly be a fantastic race. Not sure how, but tonight I fell into the second category. 

Despite miserable conditions at the start, once tires touched the single track and we took the first tight turn into the trees, the weather was left behind.  The course was in perfect condition, tacky enough to keep the rubber side down yet slick enough in the corners to get a great whip around the brims. After a weekend of spinning my legs on an indoor trainer, I really wasn’t in any condition to do my usual mash through the course.  Instead, I dropped into middle ring and spun my way through the single track, over obstacles and along the double track. I think I changed gears on my cassette twice the whole race and only went up to the big ring once along the third lap to put some distance between me and who ever was on my tail. I felt great, didn’t over exert myself and was really enjoying it! A huge difference from last year’s start where I was ready to toss my bike onto the 400.

As always, we all crowded around the timing tent after our final lap to recap the action and cheer those still coming through.  It is amazing how many war stories can be created in an 11.5 k race.  Some blood, lots of sweat and all smiles! Another season has begun, and if tonight’s race is any indication of what this season has in store…Bring it on!

Image

A little dirt never hurt any one!