It’s Sunday, and it’s pissing down with rain. I made an attempt to visit the Sydney zine fair today in the hopes of sampling some literary and crafty goodness, but all I sampled were drips from raincoats, and a glimpse of some zines through the gaps between furry coats and scarves. Disillusioned, and with only one zine in my otherwise empty book bag, I trundled home through puddles and city crowds. With no hope of riding, and a free afternoon, I figured it was about time I addressed my waning responsibility as a Candy Cranks author…
Red Ass ACT/NSW State 4x and dual slalom series
Despite my firm commitment to befriending danger, the two of us are still far from best mates. Heights, speed and physical contact, although nuzzling their way into my vocabulary, are not yet staple features of my existence. So completing the NSW state 4X and dual slalom series this year was, for this inherently timid and woosy girl, a definite achievement. I was challenged, scared and thrust consistently out of my comfort zone; but that was precisely the point. In fact, confronting some kind of danger – be it the rock garden at the Ebeneza track, the log drops at the Stromlo track, or the tight corners at the Homebush track – was the only consistency among races, otherwise each one was entirely different. Some tracks were smooth and fast, paving certain victory for the BMX kids; some were rough and rock strewn, paving the way for some incredible stacks; and some were just downright big and intimidating, paving the way for some massive jumps and freestyle prowess. Me? I rolled over the lot of it, tortoise style; slow and consistent. Sure, this approach didn’t lend itself to victory, but when your competing in a women’s Elite class of two, winning isn’t so important. No matter what, I was going to come in second; and I did, every race, without fail.
Amongst all the jumps, dirt, puddles and second place ribbons, I fell in love with the sport; adding yet another genre of bike riding to my ever expanding sorority of cycling pursuits. It wasn’t just the racing, the sick bikes, or relief at making it to the end in one piece that was so captivating, it was also the beauty of the scene. The riders, the supporters, and organisers were such a super-friendly, super-committed, super-inspiring bunch of people. The crew spanned all ages, from the under 13 whipper snappers right through to the 50+ category of mums keen to give it a go. There were BMX kids and downhill racers; hard-tails and full suspension bikes; pros and first timers. There was also a fair share of post-race car park antics – Jay breaking the gate to the parking lot at Homebush, saving us all $20 in parking fees, was certainly a highlight, as was rummaging through the half price bargain bins of bike jerseys at the Stromlo parking lot and eating lunch in the mud at Ebeneza. All these little details aligned to make an awesome series.
I may not have reached the state of toughness necessary to excel at 4X and dual slalom, but I did manage to push myself as a rider, and make a bunch of awesome friends along the way. Really, what more could you ask?
Big props to the crew at Rocky Trail Entertainment – check out www.rockytrailentertainment.com for race info and pics.