So I arrive to the venue at about 8:30 the night before. The drive on the dirt road to find a spot to pitch the tent was unbelievable. The dust and the cars and the tents and the people and the bikes were all melding into one little symphony of bliss. And the beer? It was there, flowing like an endless river of gold.
I had absolutely no idea of where I was. In the dark, setting up, I could hear the Rider Meeting over the loudspeaker. It seemed like about a mile or more away. Those camped near me were all hanging out around a fire so I went to them thinking that if we could hear what was going on, why wander away from the beer and the fire? It was a great start.
In the morning, after a fitful night of worry sleep and that ever-nagging requirement to leave the tent when you just don’t want to go take a piss at something like 4am, I woke up to overcast skies and a bit of work to get my bike ready. I had not really looked closely at it in weeks. It’s a singlespeed. I checked the air in the tires and wiped off the chain and didn’t lube anything. I didn’t pack anything. Good enough. All the worry gone.
I ride down the super short distance to the Packet Pickup to sign the thing and get the goods. They had coffee and burritos and so I made myself at home. After breakfast , I rode around and saw that there weren’t that many peoples and the venue wasn’t at all like it had seemed the night before. A solid little community of like minded riders milling about and getting ready.
My “race” was the 2nd after the 60 milers. They started an hour earlier than the 35 milers. They caught up to me about 2/3rd’s into my loop and the leader said “passing! leader here!”, I happily gave him and his followers the right of way and I marveled at the athleticism. The route was punishing on a rigid steel singlespeed. Super rocky and very unforgiving singletrack. I took a header going up hill. I will go back and ride it again for sure. I came home and told my wife my days of throwback tech from the 80’s is quite over. I think she smiled and told me to man up – there are more important things to worry about. She is probably right. I still came in tenth in the singlespeed class and I am an old man.
Epic Rides puts on great events.
She killed it.
A great thanks to Drunkcyclist for putting me in the show.