As Thanksgiving in the States nears, there’s always an increase in chatter on the local mountain bike pages. Who’s riding, where at, how long, what time? And the most important question, is the weather going to cooperate? As the date loomed this year, the weather was looking better and better. Not just dry, which is generally all we’re really picky about in the DC area, but sunny and bordering on warm!
As it became more apparent that it was going to be a perfect day on the trails, the chatter turned into increasingly concrete plans, and about 3 days before it all started coming together. “Cranksgiving in the Valley” became an official facebook invite and the promise of pre-ride coffee and doughnuts and post-ride beers appeared.
The morning of the ride was perfect, and as everyone began to arrive it was clear that the word had spread. I met up with my riding buddies, had a round of mimosas to start the day, clowned around for a few minutes of giant group photo insanity, and then clambered off into the woods in a trail of riders. Someone was counting as we headed past and I briefly heard someone say I was #36. For a quick few minutes the trail was clogged with riders, and then my group turned away and headed off, dropping down absolutely perfect trails covered in a layer of freshly fallen leaves. There’s nothing like the feeling of following along on some of your favorite trails, behind your best friends and listening to the sounds of glee in the surrounding forest as fellow bike lovers careen happily over unexpected log-over’s, foliage covered downhills and brutal climbs.
Rumor has it there were close to 200 people that turned out for the ride and rather epic after party. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season than to spend a gorgeous morning off riding in the woods with incredible people!