Hooray for Tuesday Nights!
Tuesday, May 29. 4PM: I have to get home, change, see my kids, jam some dinner in my belly, prep by bike and gear, and then make the harrowing 1 hour trek across the city, and then north of it, to King City, for the King Race Series, at Centennial Park.
It’s not really possible, I don’t know how I make it, and really, it’s pretty much undoable, but week after week, somehow, on Tuesday nights, from 7:00 to 8:00, I’m on my bike in King City, grinning from ear to ear.
I’m usually late, I regularly park my RV and hit the START as the race is beginning, and I often miss the start of the race, but it’s always worth it.
Because on Tuesday nights, on a small patch of land on the east side of Jane Street, just north of King Road, it’s magic.
Not sure if it’s the course (Centennial Park packs a whole bunch of awesomeness into a small parcel, and the municipality seems super supportive–they’re even building washrooms), or if it’s the people (Evolution Cycles and Jamie Davies–along with Tristan and Ryan are giant advocates for the sport and work tirelessly to make each race uniquely different and awesome), or if it’s the course builders (um, that’s Jamie again, and a legion of volunteers), or if it’s the racers and sponsors (so many awesome people, so many talented racers, and so many awesome sponsors–some of whom occasionally race too), or if it’s just a matter of the cycling gods smiling favourably on our little piece of MTB heaven every Tuesday night from 7:00 to 8:00, between April and September.
Maybe it’s everything put together. Of course, while there’s a definite magic, I don’t think it happens by mistake, and there is a tremendous amount of work by some dedicated partners.
I’ve written about my weekly series a few times:
So it’s no secret that I’m a fan of the King Weekly Series, but it’s with reason. Aside from everything I’ve already said, there are actual moments of riding perfection. As was the case last Tuesday. There are always a million reasons NOT to ride, and it’s sometimes difficult to find the time (and spirit, and energy…) TO ride, but I’m always glad when I make the effort. I wrote this on the Team Colin Facebook page:
I don’t know what happened at the King Race Series tonight. After 3 straight weekends of big races, I am completely exhausted…but I guess my body wasn’t aware of that fact.
I got to the race 5 minutes late (no surprise there) and I was stiff and tense from the hour-long drive, but by the time I hit the course, I just let it rip. And the best part is that the course tonight was BY FAR MY FAVOURITE COURSE EVER. It was a fast and furious 3.7k of perfection. Jamie Davies, Evolution Cycles, and King Race Series nailed it tonight. Wow. Just wow. I mean, they nail it every Tuesday, but they especially nailed it tonight. I’m still grinning. How great was the course? Well, after my third lap, the race was over, but it wasn’t for me. I skirted around the arrows directing me to the finish, and tore at another lap. Awesome.
Then, I was still so excited, so I wrote this:
You know when you race the way you SEE yourself racing, and the way you always WISH you could race? That was me tonight. I was strong and gnarly the entire time. I railed a few corners (not a usual occurrence), my tires spun dirt behind me on most climbs (only happens when I’m struggling, not attacking) , and I just let ‘er rip. I know I have the heart of a racer, but I don’t have the body of a racer. Well, tonight, I released the beast within. So glad I raced tonight.
To make it ever better, it was pizza night, and riders were treated to some awesome eats after the race. Throughout the season, we’re frequently treated with pizza, homemade cookies, sometimes an iced treat (courtesy of yours truly), and even a cob of corn of the timing is right. Two weeks ago, Ryan brought muffins. The week before that Norco gave us Mars bars.
But here’s the best part. The King Race Series isn’t just a race series–it’s a great ride. In the last year or so, many recreational riders and kids have been attending, and it’s not diluting the race vibe. In fact, it’s doing the exact opposite. It’s making the race vibe more vibrant (see what I did there) and engaging. With the chill vibe and accessible course, the King Race Series provides a race environment for everyone There’s ever a Minime course for the little fellows. Year over year, there is a constant influx of new racers, and it’s awesome. Plus, it’s pretty cool to see the next MTB stars hit the trails.
It’s a really cool mix to have “first racers” booking it on the same course with Bateman’s Cycling team, the occasional national champ, weekend warriors, experienced racers, and kids as young as seven years old.
So thanks to Centennial Park, King Race Series, Jamie and Evolution Cycles, the staff and volunteers, King City, the awesome racers, and the amazing sponsors. Thanks for making our sport better, thanks for developing an awesome race vibe FOR ANYONE AND EVERYONE, and thanks for giving me a cramp in my jaw from smiling so much every Tuesday evening. Oh, and if you don’t let us race last Tuesdays course again, I am going to be sooooo upset–although probably not because whatever course you make, it’s always awesome.
If you keep building it, I’ll keep coming.
I do the King Race Series, but there are so many other weekly series across the region. On any night, from Tuesday to Thursday, there are some really awesome series to choose from, ranging from Kelson and Albion in the west, to Durham in the east, to King, Coulson Hill and Hardwood Hills to the north. Check out my 2018 Race Calendar for more details.
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