Sunday morning came faster than I had anticipated this week. With all of the Cross Nats madness engulfing my town of Austin, I found myself chasing my friends around bars, drinking until 2am, or at least staying up until then, catching up and watching movies at our now AirBnB home for wayward cyclists.
Anyway, I awoke Sunday, to Jeremy Dunn – who wrote a recount at the Athletic – rapping on my door, saying, “dude, you’re missing the biggest news of the year!” “nats is cancelled!”, with emphasis on that word, ‘cancelled’…
Walking into a room to find four of your friends staring at their glowing iPhone isn’t too out of the ordinary these days with all the ‘Grammin, Snapchattin’ and Tindering, but seeing the look on their faces, in unison, looking hella depressed was uncharacteristic. “What’s up? What the hell is going on?!” – we all know what happened next. All I fixated on was the word ‘cancelled’ – which at the time, it had been axed, with no promises of a reschedule.
Text messages began to fly and various Tweets were directed at me to throw an event. So we began to plan a ride out in some trails.
As with the internet, people get confused. Suddenly everyone thought I was trying to race on THE Cross Nats course, or they envisioned me tearing up another park. So and so from Ohio got mad, calling me a disgrace, another guy from Portland said I shouldn’t piss off the Parks Dept. Even a local bike shop here in town said what I was doing was wrong. Tim Johnson even called me to clarify, which I replied with assurance that we’ve been racing at this park for years and that it’s all on existing trails, that were dry. If I could convince Tim it would be ok, then surely the rest of the internet would be reasonable? Ha! Yeah right.
I spent the next two hours putting out fires, re-assuring people what we were doing was kosher, before putting up a quick “flier” – basically a screenshot of my Tweet with a time and a place. Ok, fuck it, people were into the idea. I had confirmation of a group ride heading to the park.
It was on and the result was a tale for the history books…