Saturday, October 13, 2012

BYOK - A THOR event

Last weekend was THOR's version of bring your kid mountain biking day. This was only my second time helping out with the event, but wow, what a great turnout! There were at least 20 kids out there on their bikes. And the cool thing is that they were all having fun and smiles ear to ear!

 Everyone was trying to stay warm that day. Smores help! 

BYOK, which I was calling Brrr Yesss Outside Kold the whole bike ride over to Tranquility. There was food galore, kids having fun, an unbreakable pinata, raffles for the kids along with grab bags, and an obstacle course complete with a teeter totter to ride over! Good times were had by all. And yes, even the volunteering seemed pretty fun! Come on, you're volunteering on your bike while watching kids enjoy the trail with their families. Can it get any better than that?

And that brings me to my next observation. Dale was riding ahead of a father and daughter and I was hanging out in back. So that day, I saw one of the most amazing sight that I've ever seen on a bike. A dad was biking with his daughter who happened to be maybe five or six years old. As we were riding along the creek section on the north side, the yellow leaves were falling down around the two on the almost blanketed trail. Dale had even noticed it, saying look at the yellow leaves falling. In my mind, it was probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen on a trail. Yes, sometimes you ride on those trails where the scenery and landscape is just to die for. But this was different. Maybe it was because all of that trailwork that we (THOR) put into making the trails had finally paid off. Yes, we do the work so that we ourselves can enjoy the trail either by bike, foot, ski, or whatever our fancy. But suddenly I saw this little girl enjoying the trail with her dad and it totally made sense. All those hours moving dirt, cutting grass and weeds, having a tree fall on your arm while trying to cut it after a storm (I still have the scars to prove it)...suddenly that hard work made me realize why I had joined THOR in the first place. It was all about seeing others enjoy the trail with their smiles! They are out on the trail either for recreation or to get into better shape (if not a combo of both). And along with that comes sweat, determination, and sometimes even blood. Many times I've seen people fall, only to get right right back up and say that was fun, lets do it again!

Future Cat 1 racer right there

The thing is that you sort of lose that perspective when you do a weekly ride with the same folk at the same trail on the same night. You ride with the same people so much (no offense) that you know the ride like the back of your hand. You know how they're going to ride and what sections they plan to do or don't do. You know about what time the ride will finish and what will happen after. It becomes a routine. But when you ride with others who are new to the trail, you can tell them the ins and outs and what it took to make the trail. The history behind the making of a certain section, and why this climb out is called "Paul's Revenge". Haha. You see their smiles when they finish the lap and say wow, that was really cool. I had no clue this trail was even out here and like this. Maybe that's why Dale sometimes ends up being chaperon to the new Monday night riders. Is it the gratification that comes along with being out there with new riders? And the same goes for Chris P. The man that builds and builds the trails, only to let others have a go at it first. Although, I've noticed that he's braver with his Pugs and is more willing to try his new inventions.

Mike F giving a helping hand

Obstacle course!

Thanks to THOR and its members for all the work that they do. And by work I mean not only the trailwork, but also the fundraising, the marketing, and the events that get people outside to enjoy the trails. BYOK was a huge hit this year and I'm very glad that we braved the wind and the cold to help make it a success for the kiddos!

It took a few sticks to actually break this thing open

Finally the reward!

The aftermath of the unbreakable pinata

Me being a goof off

Chef Dave P was taking orders

The chip man has entered the house!

It was so windy that the mustard was flying all over the place!

On a similar note, that morning I finally decided that it was time to figure out a safe path to get to Tranquility from my house. But man it was a chilly morning to do that. Windy with a temperature of 34 degrees when I left my house. Turns out that I can cut through neighborhoods and I'm still only about 5 or 6 miles from the trail. Awesome! Not quite as nice as my 2mile ride from my old apartment, but I'm still happy.

Before leaving the house. Brrr...

Finally putting the rear rack to good use

As always, I had a camera with me. Tried to take some fall pictures involving the bike. Let me just say that the little point and shoots don't do nature justice when it comes to the beautiful colors that are out there this time of year. I've never had good luck taking pictures of foliage. You go hiking or biking, see amazing scenery everywhere, try to capture it with a camera, but it just doesn't come close to actually being out there. My DSLR can do a slightly better job, but still doesn't cut it.

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