It’s all about fun. They call it #singletracksummercamp for a reason. Oh hell is it fun.
– I was a summer sleep away camper for eons, loved it so much I became a counselor for a couple of years, took years off and did it once more. Summer camp sleep away camp is absolutely amazing and I can’t wait for my kids to experience it. The bonds of friendship were strengthened that week, had experiences I’ll never forget, some memories that are already fuzzy and some best forgotten. If you weren’t a sleep away summer camper I’m sorry…this is pretty damn close.
-it’s ok to take the race serious…just not toooo serious. Race hard Finish Strong and have as much fun as you can have rest of the week. The results were misread this day and the entire SS class of both the 3 and 7 days stormed the stage…just because.
-wearing costumes makes you faster and fantastically moar awesomer. Look at Jesse, he’s faster than you and I. He’s wearing purple hot pants and a shirt that would fit my 10 year old… he also won a 15 mile stage by a good chunk. My only regret was not squeezing finding a proper costume into the limited amount of time I had before the race.
-let off some steam at the end of the day and laugh, a lot. That fight in Wegmans with the old ladies playing bridge… goes like this. Gary and I are in line at Wegmans for pre dinner, I look over at the beer singles, have an aha moment and ask the cashier if I can drink the singles in the cafe portion. She says yes, which is amazing. I pick up a couple to have with lunch. Now this was Enduro day and Maggs had a rough FCKN day, he was in a foul mood. So I hand him one of my beers. I went back up for a couple of more for Maggs and I… I was trying to turn that frown upside down. When I finished up lunch I walked over to the recycle bin, near the old ladies and dropped the bottles in and walked back. Dropping two bottles simultaneously into the nearly empty metal bin combined with small opening on top amplified the bottle crashing to epic proportions. It damn near echoed. As I was walking past the table of ladies, one of the women called me an asshole. She was being passive aggressive, she waited until I was just past her to call out, expecting me to keep walking. I froze did an about face, and to the amazement of my friends seated just a few tables away, called her out on calling me an asshole. I was calm, even had a little wry smile, I asked her if I was an asshole for recycling… we went back and forth, she eventually said she didn’t call me an asshole. Her friend sitting across from her, sold her out…’oh yes, I heard you’ I told her she was an asshole for calling me an asshole. Spirits lifted, people laughing, Maggs wasn’t in a foul mood…and evidently while I was shopping for toothpaste or something I was the talk of the bridge table.
-unless you’re within a couple of minutes of the podium…enjoy the parade lap, and don’t be a dick. Which is ironically TSEpic rule #1. Whatever you do, don’t say your ‘lungs hurt’ and go off the front of the parade lap and try to gain back 50 minutes. That just makes you look like an ass and everyone will lose all respect for you, its gone ya dick. I had a fantastic day riding with this crew before Maggs had to chase… and Devon took some great photos of the day.
-Have the full experience and stay on site and eat their food and go to the awards every night. Yes a house ten minutes away will at times sound amazing, but IMO you’re missing out on more than half the fun of the week… sure you may be better rested, but your sides aren’t going to hurt as often from laughter. Just wash your hands, a lot.
-Hang with other crews, meet new people, on day 5 I got to ride with Cody one of the guys who came just for Enduro as well as helped one of ‘Cody’s kids’ Johanne first convert her bike to SS then put a derailleur on. Ok, so I just stood around offered my multi-tool gave my $.02 and zip ties while Chris got his hands greasy. She ended up on her smaller front ring and her 11 and was forced to stay there, defacto SS. She did really well and mid ride exclaimed she wanted to buy a rigid SS. Chris gave her a podium shirt that was awesome…i can’t for the life of me find a pic. In fact Chris gave out all the podium shirts…they were simply amazing.
-Get to know your crew better, I rode with this guy for hours on end. He waited for me at the top of the climbs, I waited for him at the bottom of the enduros. One of my favorite memories is on the Enduro day I went over the bars on a steep section, I back up to grab my bike, pulled it off the trail, Gary goes past, I get back on and in a second we’re wheel to wheel going like ‘warp speed 5 Mr Sulu’ and I’m hooting and hollering and telling him to let it roll! It was soo FCKN awesome.
-I had an amazing time, and loved getting to know fellow SSrs Dejay, Chris, Ryan, Karen and Dicky… and loved hanging out with Gary Jesse and Maggs as always. Stage 5 was my favorite with the old rugged singletrack and SS Grupetto, fun fun day. I didn’t want to like it as much as I did… which is code for I’m going back.
I’m blessed with an amazing wife and fantastic kids that let me go off and play without their support I’d be a shell of myself. Thanks babe, the house looked nice when I got back… you know… because I wasn’t there.