The run down, Packed up the Watson team race van and ventured down to the city early. Lots of how to save the economy talk along with lots of just off the wall random comments. Rolled into the parking lot just after 10. Wow, big building. Right from the start you know this place is going to be awesome. The whole family greeting by the coolest family in Ontario cycling. I don't think I have ever seen any of the Summer's clan not smiling. Sign in , get changed, grab are bikes and we get the grand tour from Mark. This place is huge!!!!
Mark took us for a lap around the xc track. Now most know that Mark and I have battled it out on more than one occasion at an 8 hour solo event. Let's just say that I'm really hoping that we don't ever race here, I was doing everything i could to keep up with him. Of course after the lap was done he mentioned that this was the first time on the bike in a few months. Sure Mark !!! This was followed up with have fun boys! Started out with a couple laps of the xc course just to get the feel for forward momentum. It took a little to remember how to hop over obstacles.
From there we made our way out on the skinnies for a real reminder on how sketchy our tech skill were at this time of the year. I had more than one occasion where I found myself stuck on the inside of a line unclipped and carrying my bike over. A short time later the bike confidence start to come back which meant getting a little braver. Hey look at those jumps!!!
Yep didn't take long for us to start trying to shed our racer skin and try to huck a double and clear the gap. Sorta.
Yes that is air between the ramp and the tires of Mr. Watson.
I waited for Tristan to pull out some mad jumping skills and put us all to Shame with a Rad style backflip. I think he just didn't want to make Andrew and I feel bad about our skills.
Before we started to get to confident, which was probably a good thing, we headed over to the pump track. I'm still shaking my head about this. How the hell can I get my heartrate so high and yet I was not pedalling or going up hill? So much fun!!!
To recover from all the what turned into intervals type fun on the pump track we opted for a few easy laps on the xc course again. I don't care how old you are, when you get to this place you start acting like a kid. Slowly the pace started to get a little faster and then like any group of want to be 10 year old again saying hey do this Tristan shortcut the track, put a mass acceleration past us. Of course we went in chase pushing each other to go faster and faster. This of course got into some serious bumping into the corners. But like Cole Trickle learned. He didn't hit you, he didn't bump you, he rubbed you and rubbing is racing! It did get to the point where someone was probably going to go into the wall had we not shut it down when we did. Of course we were all laughing the whole time we are doing this. The pace was so high my stupid little number counter thing showed 193 bpm.
As we recovered we decided to take Mr. Summers up on his offer and trade in our xc machines for something a little more suiting. I have not been on a bmx in twenty years. I was a lot shorter back then. What an eye opener.
Andrew and Tristan opted for some dirt jumpers.
Back to the pump track to find a huge difference in bike handling. I almost went over the bars a few times. I'm not sure the last time I rode a bike where my feet weren't clipped in. I had a few moments where the only thing still connected to the bike were my hands and I don't even think that was all the solid. Started to find my rhythm though. I was still getting smoked by the odd young kid though. I did notice that it happened to be the youngest of the Summers family, I didn't feel so bad.
More jumps, we even made our way onto the intermediate level. I had a couple close calls. Andrew started to show us all up and making the Norco team proud. We were there for two and a half hours and I was tired near the end and needing food. You can spend all day there with no problem and never get bored. I'm already looking at what bike to buy for there. If you haven't gone, GO!!!!!!!!!!!! I think our next trip will only be a couple weeks from now. Check out Andrew and Tristan's stories on the day.
Today, heading out for a long road ride and I think I will be keeping the rubber on the road.