Wednesday, July 18

'18 Dirt Rag Dirt Fest: The Maligning

I managed to get over to the Take Aim cornering clinic a few minutes before 2:00PM, one of the first five or so people to arrive.  Harlan had us filling out waivers, letting us know what to expect... and then there were ten of us... then fifteen... then twenty...

People just kept showing up.  Harlan was planning on mebbe six people.  Possibly ten.  We were more than thirty.

Taking it all in stride, he changed the plan inside his head to accommodate the larger crowd.  Instead of the more hands-on instruction I was looking forward to (and he was planning on doing), it was gonna a get a little more "broad stroke."

Whilst Harlan was showing us the "rock dodge" and "tree dodge," I saw a group of Faster Mustache folks heading towards the entrance of Fern Trail near the back of the skills area.  Shortly thereafter, Mills ghosted on the clinic, and as soon as we started practicing the first skill, I swallowed what little pride I had and headed over as well.


I was so looking forward to having Harlan help me get rid of some of my bad cornering habits that I've developed over about thirty years of self-taught mountain biking, but I was bummed that the group was gonna limit the experience.  Oh well.  I still get to ride my bike.

A group of six split down to three and Mills, Lee and I got some Chunder Mountain and straight proper WV style Race Loop under our belts.  We still managed to get back in time for the Pivot Cycles cookout.

photo cred: Noelle
Napkins are very low carb.

It was then time to switch modes.  Beers and good times and then head out to the Pines for a "party" of sorts.

photo cred: Noelle
Of course I wore my GORE Split shorts, because nothing says "party" to everyone around you like standing around in your underwear.

The party went on until something something fire marshal everyone has to leave (details are fuzzy there), but we stayed for awhile anyways before heading back to the campfire to collect memories we'd soon forget.

The next morning, people were looking rough.  No one was in a hurry to get outta the tents in our part of camp.  Eventually, zippers started unzipping and headache-addled head parts started poking out to see who else was up and about.  We gathered a crew, I had a plan to hit the stuff we all hadn't ridden together yet, and Mills made a friend while getting kitted up.

Definitely rettlesnek and not bean.

We started with Jon, Jim, Mills, Barlow, Lee and Colin.  Slowly, as my loose ride plan panned out, we lost people.  Down Gene's, up Race Loop... lose Barlow and Mills.  Down Mother of Crack and Devil's Tea Cup, up something something... down Chunder.  Over to the store and lose Jim and Jon, but gain a Jess and Scott.  Over to Beaver Creek, Scott and Jess split off... take the shuttle back up to camp.

Now what to do?

photo cred: Colleen O'Neil
To be honest, I was pretty wasted from the effort.

A quick lunch of Pringles, Spaghettios, and Jim's guac to restore energy levels.  Mebbe something more now?

I considered a test ride on a Yeti SB100, but not knowing what I'd even do if I liked it, I didn't.  Then a beer got put in my hand at the HandUp glove booth, and that was that.  Ride mode disengaged.

I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening communing and having a great time with old friends and new.  At some point, it was just Mills, Barlow, myself and a few others making noise after 1:00AM.

It was time to put this year's Dirt Fest to bed.

Once again, I had a great time riding the type of trails that I just love deep down but never get to ride all that often.  I'm already looking forward to 2019.


jay said...

I should go to this. but I'm not sure I'm cool enough.

dicky said...

They let Mills in...

W. Mills Davis said...

I almost didnt get let in when I told them I was with you. I had to lie and say I knew Andy.

Dwayne said...

Man, 'member when all the trails were the good "deep-down"-type trails...