Tuesday, July 3

Camping and UCI Mountain Biking World Cup

This weekend I camped. 

Fun Fact: I do not camp. I never have and never wanted to.

But yeah, it happened, and I survived and now I can write this amazing post. Anyways, Saturday morning we headed about one and a half hours away to the Catskills to Windham Mountain for the UCI Mountain Biking World Cup. Since Erik is way more into mountain biking than road biking it's something he's talked about going to since day 1 of dating. This weekend we finally spent a entire weekend doing all the things he has wanted to do so that was a nice change up. Basically there were a bunch of different races going on in different age groups and experience levels. Saturday we watched the real pros compete for a variety of levels including the Olympic athletes which was really cool to see. We watched the Cross Country races for both the men and women and watched a few downhill runs too. By about 4 PM we headed to our campsite which was nicely named "Devils Tombstone."

This is our tent. It was kinda small and trapped all the heat so it was super sweaty.
We quickly set up our tent and got to work on dinner. Well actually Erik got to work on dinner...I practiced my photography skills. After we had dinner Erik decided to break out his hammock...now this hammock was supposed to be made for 2 people but they clearly lied because getting two people in this thing was impossible. Instead Erik decided to take photos in the cocoon hammock.
Hmm...maybe I should have cooked dinner while he practiced his camera skill.
The camping was OK, definitely not the highlight of my weekend. The only amenity was running water from a faucet on the side of the road. The bathrooms were called "comfort stations" but I guess the comfort was the fact that the hole in the ground had crazy heavy toilet seats. Of course after a day of sunscreen, dirt, dust, sweat, and bug spray all I wanted to do was shower. The showers were located 8 miles up the road at another campground and the shower privileged ended at 8PM. Of course it was after 8 and thus no shower occurred. Instead I may have stealthily washed up near the water faucet...the campsite rules stated that you weren't supposed to wash pots and pans our under it but it said nothing about my face. 

I also didn't realize how boring camping gets when it gets dark out and everyone goes to bed. Since the majority of our neighbors were racing their bikes in the morning it seemed by 8:30 or so everyone was asleep. We retreated to our tent and had part two of our photo shoot.

It only took us about 100 pictures to get one that is normal looking.
Photo shoot over please.
One set of our neighbors decided that "quiet hours" were overrated and started their part at 12:30AM with a drunk fest...of course when you wake up to people yelling loudly in a language that is not English you tend to get a bit confused to where you actually are. What's more confusing is when you wake up to flashlights shining inside your tent from said drunk, non English speaking, neighbors. I definitely was not a happy camper but luckily by 1:15 they had passed out.

We were up at 6:30 the next morning so we could head back over the mountain for some more race spectating. Erik did a great job at getting things going and getting breakfast ready as I watched from the tent. I know, I know, I am a great camper...

Erik's friend Dave was racing at 8 AM in the single speed category 1 men's division so we headed back to the mountain and picked out a place to watch the start.

Dave is in the blue. He came in second place! He's pretty darn speedy.
We hiked up the course a bit and found a spot in the shade since Sunday was pretty darn disgusting heat wise. I was able to snap a few pictures.

We grabbed spots next to Kabush Falls and you could definitely tell the skill level by the way these rides went down this section. As the morning went on the skill level of the categories decreased and the crashes and falls exploded in number. By the end of the morning we were covered in a redish dust from all the dirt flying from the course. 

Erik's friend Dave had tried to get Erik to race in the open category for first time races and Erik decided not too. Dave and Erik ride mountain bikes every Friday night together with the bike shop we both have bikes from and I'm sure Erik could have easily had a blast competing on the course. As the day went on it was obvious that he had wished he wanted to race. I have a feeling next year I will out on the course with a cowbell watching Erik racing.

It was definitely a great weekend and I am looking forward to next years race weekend already!

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