Riding With My Pal Drew Bezanson.
Yup, THAT Drew Bezanson. THE Drew Bezanson.
I went riding with my pal Drew Bezanson, and my pal Mark Summers, and my pal Noah Summers, and my pal John (and his pal from work), and my pal Ty, and my pal Erin, and all my pals from Joyride 150.
Team Colin rode in Durham Forest yesterday morning, with the Joyride 150 staff ride. Everyone from Joyride 150 was there (except Leslie and Matt, who stayed at the park): 18 riders in total. Sweet.
I’d like to paint a picture of this. In the lead, there was Mark Summers, a cycling legend: strong, powerful, agile, and graceful. Close behind Mark was either his son, Noah, or Drew Bezanson. Noah is like a power jack rabbit. Strong pedal strokes, sailing over every feature with ease and grace. Drew is, well, he’s a pro BMX rider, and rides like it’s an X-Games session. Pro athletes bring an A-game that is hard to describe. Then came Ty, who is a cross between Mark and Noah. Strong, graceful, and super jumpy. And then the rest of the group—a bunch of BMXers, riding a bunch of borrowed bikes, on awesome XC trails, like they were back at Joyride. If you rode at the back of the pack and looked toward the lead, you would have seen a head or two bopping up every second to jump something. 18 riders, but there were never more than 14 sets of wheels on the ground. Somewhere in that mix was me, smiling from ear to ear, whooping every time I hit a sweet feature, sometimes getting hung up (so embarrassing, so deeply embarrassing—especially in front of the guys…) wearing a full spandex kit in a sea of Fox baggies and general coolness, but fitting in nonetheless, because part of their coolness was the fact that they knew they were in riding in my world (and still accepting me, even when there were better than me).
If I sound like a fanboy, it’s because I am. Watching these athletes do what they do best was humbling, awe inspiring, and just plain fun.
Fun to be part of a group. Fun to ride with friends. Fun to watch a bunch of BMXers, who were way out of their element (even though an observer would have never guessed). There was a great rivalry and camaraderie, and they just wanted to rip. One of the younger guys rode so hard that he barfed, and it was awesome. It’s never cool to yak on a trail, but he did it, waited for a minute, wiped his chin, and got right back on his bike to let it fly. Actually, it was my bike that he was riding—I have to remember to clean my grips… It was just like the Blog #3 (JOYride 150) that I wrote earlier this year, after a school trip to Joyride. He was riding for the joy if it, and loving every adrenaline filled, barf spewing, sweet single track, minute of it. All of us were.
Joy. Ride. It’s no coincidence that this was a Joyride 150 staff ride. Mark and Leslie have built cycling nirvana, and their staff embody everything that’s great about the sport. It’s hard to imagine they knew what they were creating a few years ago, or that they ever guessed it would become such a draw for cyclists in the area, but Tuesday was the direct offspring of the magic seeds they sowed—the owner, with his staff and one of his boys, the pro that trains at the park, and the middle aged guy who found his passion for riding at the park, all riding together.
Ride Report: Joyride 150 Staff Ride at Durham Forest. August 30, 2016.
The trails at Durham are so much fin, and were that much better with such an awesome crew. There was lots of good natured hassling and equal amounts of encouragement, but this report is going to focus on my pal Drew. Why? For the same reason that I titled this post “Riding With My Pal Drew Bezanson (Full Disclosure: I’m not really Drew’s pal, unless the fact that he knows my name and I love him counts as pals). You see, Drew thought it would be fun to spend the day chirping me and teasing me. “Mark, Drew’s bugging me again” was my soundtrack for the day. He chirped me for standing on my bike to grind up a big climb (while he sailed past me, sitting, like he was actually descending). He ripped past me, doing a little tail whip that placed the perfect amount of sand, in the perfect location, directly on my shoes. He just kept razzing me. Well, who has the last laugh now Mr. Drew Bezanson Pro BMX, Red Bull guy? Yup, for the rest of eternity, whenever someone Googles “Drew Bezanson”, somewhere under the X-Games championship videos, the “Uncontainable” videos, the Red Bull videos, the Joyride 150, Crankworx, and “Learning Curve” videos, there’ll be the Team Colin Blog, and a big picture of Drew and his pal, me.
By the way, if I wasn’t being clear, ITWASAWESOME to be teased by Drew. He’s not just one of the best BMXers in the world, he has the good looks of an entire boy band, charm to match, and an honest niceness about him that is disarming, welcoming, and genuinely cool.
Oh yeah, the ride report. It was a sweet ride, and after the ride, I joined the staff back at the bike park for pizza. When my face was fully stuffed, they rode at the park, and I went home to nap. I think Drew went back to Olympus…
End of ride report.
And even though some of us have a family to think about, or a bike park to run, or sponsors to maintain, or a heavy weight on their shoulders (a burden that each of us would have gladly shared if it would have made the load a bit lighter); and even though we were a middle aged XC racer, or a slightly older bike park owner, or a Red Bull pro, a 20 something guy who’s about to start college next week, or an almost 30 something who is about to start a corporate job the week after, or a millwright, or just a guy who likes to thrash on his BMX (who brought his younger brother), for a few hours on a late summer day, we played on our bikes.
We were out for a rip, and nothing else mattered. You can’t beat that.
Tuesday morning was awesome. But then, by some the grace of the Cycling Gods, the day got better. A whole lott better. The final King Weekly Series race of the season.
Here’s my Facebook post that night:
WHAT A GREAT DAY OF PLAYING BIKES! First, I got to rip the trails at Durham Forest with these happy riders (even though Drew kept making fun of me) at the Joyride150 Indoor Bike Park staff ride. Then, I got to race the final King Weekly Series of the summer with this guy. Note: I’m pretty sure Drew Bezanson and I are now best friends. It’s totally true.
Under the post was the sweet shot of me and Drew.
Yeah, my pal Drew came to the King Weekly Series. In the last lap, he passed me (and let me tell you, it took him long enough to finally lap me—honestly Drew, I expected more from you…), and let me tell you, if the events of the day were awesome, the moment that he sailed past me was the highlight. It was like I was in “BMX: The Movie”. He RIPPED a berm that wasn’t even there, cornering like the BMX pro that he is. He was an absolute boss; low to the ground, bars counter steering, dirt flying. It was like watching an artist create a masterpiece. IT WAS THE COOLEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN!
My family was there too, and they got to see their dad casually chatting with a pro athlete after the race. Pretty sweet.
After the race, the organizers from Evolution Cycles, and some of the racers, went to a pub for wings and talk. Jamie Davies, the owner of Evolution Cycles, and organizer fo the race said “How’d you get Drew to come?”. That’s the magic of Team Colin, baby. Plus, Drew’s totally my BFF.
Tuesday was everything I love about the word of bikes. I’m not sure if it was wise to ride twice on Tuesday, especially with the Substance Poojects XC Marathon Championship coming up this Saturday, but a chance to ride is a chance to ride. Two chances are just awesome.