Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Bash

Of the many options available this weekend in September, the Bash is always a fine choice.
This weekend mt biking event is hosted by the Rattling Creek Singletackers Club at Camp Muckleratz in the beautiful Weiser State Forest near Harrisburg, PA. This year I drove up with my friend Tony, from DC. Yes, that Tony - the one who had his bike stolen and then bought it back. We were meeting up with friends from PA, Baltimore, and Frederick - including a bunch of Singlespeed Outlaws.
Check in for us was Friday evening - light rain and a fair amount of mud. We set up camp, met the whole Baltimore contingent, and settled comfortably into chairs and cold beverages. We kept hearing cheers, louds music, and seeing weird lights from across the field - so I went to investigate. The Lehigh Valley gang had built a disco nightclub complete with dancefloor, disco ball, strobes, smoke machine, sound system, and a live DJ. Who do I see in there ripping it up but a bunch of folks from LHORBA - including the Muckers. I think most of the Lehigh Valley folks were passed out by then as they had started much earlier. I went back to camp and got the whole gang to come down. This photo won't do justice to their spread, but suffice it to say it was the most impressive mobile party I have ever seen.We ran into Train Wreck from OH, Shawn from PA, and all partied like rock stars. The next morning we were a little slow in getting things rolling. Coffee, bagels, pancakes, water, Advil - repeat a few times, then sit in a chair. We missed the rollouts for all the group rides and were finally prodded into action when Shawn Withers rolled into camp. "You guys planning on riding?" I saw the opportunity here and helped to finally get things rolling. The opportunity was Shawn is a local, knows the trails, he's fast, and easy to get along with.
Turns out our group of almost twenty got pared down to six when the majority opted for taking shuttles up to the top. So our smaller group began the long doubletrack climb right out of camp that takes you up to the singletrack. Once up on top there is very little climbing. The rocks were still a little slick, it was really humid, and when the sun hit you it was actually damn hot. Joe had the first mechanical of the day, but by no means the worst one.
The singletrack looks like this and is great fun to ride. or, if your crankarm happens to look like this - to walk.
Tony's XT crankarm fell off as we were approaching the point furthest away from Camp. One mile into a five mile sweeping singletrack masterpiece, Rattling Creek Trail. It was an installation error and not field reparable without an external bb tool. So we waited at the bottom and arranged a shuttle to run him back to camp. Once back at camp we did some of this:
And later that evening some of this:
Sure am glad that photo turned out blurry because I thought it might have been my eyesight. They had four taps running Troegs, three bands, a chicken dinner, and a swag lottery (Griz's mugs were the first to go).
An old friend from the Thorpe area, Robin, aka Birdman - he welds the awards for the Rock's Ridge contest. Also spotted: Craig, Cathy, Mike, Brenda, Joe, Brett, Dona, Kristian, Don, Emory, Don, Pontzer, Jeff, Train Wreck, Mike S., and Keith.
Tony tending to his sheep.

The whole event was extremely well run - without feeling pressured things just unfolded as if they were unplanned but not unintended. Credit to the RCST gang (Rick, Jill, Keith, et al) for pulling off another great weekend.

As things wrapped up on Sunday, we reflected back on seeing many old friends, making many new friends, miles and miles of high-quality singletrack, no major medicals, and few mechanicals - we grabbed some fine local pizza and parted ways.

Until next year.
Epilogue: Tony's bike was repaired by the onsight wrenching provided by Spokes, the same shop that helped him recover his lost Sheep in DC, and in the Saturday night swag lottery he got a Spokes work shirt - Karma?

1 comment:

Chili said...

We love putting on the BASH as much as everyone loves attending it. Thanks for coming and the nice write up. Until next year... (its the 10th anniversary -- expect more!).