I find it disconcerting how quickly normal life can become a distant and foreign idea after only a few days of hotel and convention center living. It seems especially so when on the heels of a highly anticipated, physically and emotionally taxing event, as was the Point 2 Point. The good news is that I missed riding my bike. Dearly. Which can only come as a positive indicator, considering that I was in no mood to look at—let alone ride—my mountain bike in the wake of last week’s race.
Of course, I’ve yet to take the number plate off my handlebars or clean the grime and grit from the frame and chain. Even the front wheel, removed to fit the bike on the rack, is still lying idly by. Instead, it was the ‘cross bike that received my post-race/post-work attention. After all, my first cyclocross race—ever—is this week. Which means I have just a few days to learn how to dismount and mount on the run. And while that looks easy enough, I imagine I’ll discover that it’s far from easy. In fact, I am anticipating an autumn of eating dirt after tripping over, not just barricades, but also my own pedals.
I can’t wait.
And so, I’m excited to fall back into the routine of work and pedaling. I’m also excited to be entering into the mild and mellow months of September and October. The autumn riding here in the Wasatch is a prized, albeit brief, window of tacky, empty trails and thin crisp air. It’s the crown jewell to the fantastic summer of heat and high altitude and 180 beats per minute. It’s also the first indicator of the seasonal shift. Wherein the world start to show signs of winter’s arrival: a faster dropping sun, cool—even cold—mornings and evenings, and flurries of snow when only days ago there was only rain. And that seasonal shift also means one thing:
But not yet. Not yet.
There are still days of singletrack and desert dirt. Slickrock, and Dixie dust. Cyclocross races, night rides, and that culmination of spring, summer and fall: the 24 Hours of Moab.
It’s true that skiing—backcountry and nordic—is starting to creep into my psyche. It won’t be long until it’s time to trade singletrack for skintrack.
But in the interim, I’ll be riding my bike.