The wheels arrived around 2pm today. With eyes as big as saucers we tore into the box like kids on Christmas, giddy with dreams of adventure, delighting in the assembly of our toys.
We managed to hit the road at about 4pm. Our destination: Mt. Seymour park, the site of Stage 1. My delight and anticipation revealed itself for frustration in disguise. You see, Mt. Seymour is a downhiller's paradise. Carbon armour is the style. Lycra is definitely of a different culture.
I suppose the idea of sending us to a DH park on the first day is to give us all amped for the coming race, perhaps setting Day 1 as a microcosm for the remainder of the race. Frankly tough, it's a tough haul, and while I hope to ride most of it in the race, I'm sure there will be much grumbling and perhaps much walking. I'm sure the race directors will have many colorful comments to consider regarding this one. A DH park in a XC race, wtf? Or in the words of the a DHer we met at the park, "They're running you down Severed [the trail]? I don't envy you..."
I believe the last time I felt like this was when I was 17, looking down a black diamond slope of a ski run at Donner Pass, feeling like I was about to roll off the edge of the world. I stood there just staring at it, the moments dragging thoughts through my head, and while the world stood staring up at me, I hoped one of these thoughts would be the confidence to let it go, a faith in my abilities, a new found understanding of how things should be.
Anything is scary if you look too closely. The answer then, is simply not to look at it. Riding is about having the experience to pick the one good line from among many in a moment's assessment, the confidence in your body to follow through, and the coolness to stay focused on the road ahead. Staring too long at any one object kills the flow, and next thing you know you're face to face with that rocks you were so entranced with. No, it's better to let it roll.
For your viewing pleasure, a couple vids of Keith and me working out the kinks on Sunday's course. It gave me pause to consider what the hell I was doing and do a quick game theory analysis on my life. We managed not to shoot our eyes out. We rolled it, perhaps not totally gracefully, but totally stoked at the bottom:
There will be many good days of riding ahead.