Meeting of the minds
Or an informal Chapter get-together with the AZ crew! No set plans meant a text from the Leader to Mad Rhino inquiring about riding plans. To wit, Rhino responded with a rather appealing ideas - a local race. A Short Track style race. Or as the website for the Short Track Papago states "an ad hoc MTB race purely for fun - and beer." After perusing the website, Pit Boss decided it sounded like a fabulous idea and the text was sent to Mad Rhino. The visiting members of the BPR-CO Crew were in! If only the Leader had fully read the course for that lovely St Patrick's day event. We may have understood a little more just what we were in for - besides riding our bikes.
Meeting up with AZ crew Jolly Rogers, Candy and Krazy Karl, we got a little more details. An anything goes - don't scare the natives - drag race from the meeting point to the Papago Park amplitheater. Any course, any route. Usually the race returned to the same point - but not this time. Happy St Patrick's Day! We were finishing at a bar with the winner downing a shot of whiskey! During the roll call/check in for the race, the blue and yellow of our functional clothes seemed to confuse the locals. Of course any couple consisting of an ugly bald dude and dudette with blond ponytail must be a particular single speeding couple, right? Well, not this time. And apparently in the post event report on the Short Track Papago website, we are "not to be trusted!"
So how did it go?
Pit Boss "Durland is only like a foot taller then me..." Survived the chaos of the start to get into the lead group. He followed the locals thru the maze that is Papago Park to the Beer Baron, but declined the warm beverage. (Apparently when the racing here is serious, that's a time penelty." As he had no clue where he was, he again followed until a canals, then pulled the eventual first and second place riders along. He did miss the turn for the bar, however and had to back track just a little. He was satisfied with his third place, even if the results don't show it.
Leader "yes I have gears, yes I'm gonna use them" found another set of local wheels to follow. She was in the lead of the women's race without realizing it until the birthday girl came motoring up from behind and made it a full on pedal to the metal race. The Leader also declined the adult beverage - as did most people around her. There was some confusion as to how to get to the finishing bar, to which the Leader was unable to contribute. The journey to the bar was more mellow, but still a full throttle team time trial along the canal. The Leader and the Birthday Girl finished at the same time, with the Birthday Girl checking in first.
But the true purpose of the visit - despite sewing confusion and chaos into the local race - was for a chapter-chapter get together between the AZ and CO representatives present. As we had missed the gathering at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, there was a lot to catch up on! As well as some excellent rule breaking in the first bar - the scary biker gang that we are with our varying shades of plaid and patches... And yes - the Leader is "approved for gears" and "full squish" because, well because Judd said so. It's part of the Back of the Pack history, well preserved by the Hustorian. And as the Leader of the Colorado Chaper, she also wrote the charter...
The meeting was relocated to a truelty bike friendly bar with food as the girls (including the leader) were getting hungry. Imagine - a bar with great food and indoor bike parking. Yes! Park your bike right inside and keep an eye on it while enjoying adult beverages? Why doesn't a place like that exist in COS? We were utterly jealous of the situation. But anyway, after some food and many more Apple based adult beverages for the CO crew and a variety of beverages for the AZ crew, we had succeeded in outlasting St Patricks day.
The hospitality of the AZ crew was amazing. Made the trek to the desert worth it. Unfortunately, we didn't get to ride with them again, but there will always be another chance. And now, for the race report from the Short TrackPapago Website...