Monday, April 25, 2011

Friday Night. Virgin, Utah

I had just come off a backpacking trip in Zion that had happened somewhat at random with a man of many aliases up in SLC.  We go way back.  High school.  Bike shops.  Tailgating even.  We were three or so beers into our post hike celebration when our take out shuttle brought us past Virgin BMX Track.  There were cars  in the parking lot and before long I found myself there too.  I walked up to the registration tent and asked if there was an "Idiot's Class."  The lady said "sure" and I was signed up to race before I knew it, pants and sleeves and a borrowed full face helmet.  I was describing to her the General and wondering if he would qualify for cruiser class.  He fit right in despite his 26" wheels.  People were were most friendly helping me get acquainted.  One dude even offered to let me borrow his "real" cruiser.  I told him thanks but I only knew how to ride mine.

My competition was a man by the name of Quentin, owner of Over the Edge Sports in Hurricane, UT.  Quentin would quickly teach me the difference between "motos" and "motos," yet I'm still not sure I understand.  We wound up waiting on the mound until our moto (?!?) came up.  There would be two motos and then a main event.  The winner of the main is the only one that counts.  I was to line up at a different slot every time. 7-2-4...or something like that.   I took my position against the start gate, staring down the start slope to the straightaway ahead of me.  A large step up off the starting gate then a tabletop before the 180 degree bank turn.  Some sounds were made indicating the get ready.  I stared down the track.  Just me, the track ahead and the noises inside my helmet.  The gate dropped and we launched, both of us clipping in rapidly to our pedals.  Quentin was riding a proper 24" crusier, built light with mountain bike parts and semi slick tires.  It was his turf.  I had him going into the first turn but blew it when I came unclipped and never managed to chase back.  Two and a half more straightaways and two more bank turns.  I was winded.  And...I was hooked.  Speed and flow and momentum.  Smooth is fast...and fast is oh so smooth.

Next Moto:  I managed a track stand until the gate dropped.  I was actually slower out of the gate but managed to make up my gap by pedaling into the step up.  I had Q into the first turn but stayed too close to the bottom of the bank and killed my own speed by washing out my tires only slightly.  Chased.  Out of breath at the finish.  Stoked.

Main Event:  Gate Drops.  I didn't manage a track stand but my riding felt on.  I had Q going into turn one but he took it on the exit.  I rode smooth through the second step and table and took back the lead.  Into turn two and out.  Short table top.  Check.  I lost it in the rhythm section and Q darted across to the other side of the track to dodge my loss of flow.  We were neck and neck into turn three.  He took the exit and I chased him into the finish with a cheering crowd.  Later folks would tell me it was good race.  It felt good and I was winded deep deep down.  Hooked on BMX.

I congratulated and thanked my competition.  I'm ready to go again.  At race end I mowed down a plate of dutch oven chicken and scalloped potatoes from the concession stand.  $6.  Seriously people, this is the next big thing.  It'll sweep the nation.  Just you wait.  I still can't stop talking about it.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yeah! You know BMX was my childhood! I've been watching a little to much Fuel TV lately and have been thinking about a 24" cruiser! HELL YEAH!