Dark Horse Cycles on Facebook

June 2009 PDF Print E-mail

No body enjoys a good party like I do.  The joy is in the hosting, more than attending.  Because I have an 8 o'clock curfew, it's easier to control the revelry allowing me the luxury of so called beauty sleep.  Anyone who has come face to face with me in the last couple of years, won't argue the fact that perhaps I am lacking in much needed slumber.

When you take a good party, and combine it with a mountain bike race, odds are everyone will be going home with that fuzzy feel good aura that comes occasionally from an epic sporting event.  Bikes, singletrack, friends and beer seem to be the magic formula to a really good time.

A very dear friend of mine, Joe Habermann always used to say that we are "Drinkers with a cycling problem!"  Joe always had this warped bag of sayings that quite frankly, were very predictable once you hung with him a few times.  I think that's why we got along so well for the time spent together, until he moved away to Maryland...I could never disagree with his analysis.  I, and all my riding buddies are just that, but we never lose focus of our stay fit, respect the woods, and enjoy our lives for the brief time we are alloted.

My race partner "Hawaiian" Mike and myself recently hosted the first annual Single Speed-apalooza, mountain bike race.  The notion was concieved in January after an extremely cold Sunday morning ride, and the more pints we hoisted in the parking lot, the better the idea sounded. Stupid ideas have a habit of gaining momemtum in direct proportion to the number of pints consumed!

The concept was rather simple.  Because single speed bikes had become so popular, and the classes were consistantly growing at regional races, we decided that it would be wonderful to have a single speed only race to bring these like monded folks together.  The fact that this is a whole different genre than "normal" racers, and their penchant for beer consumption being somewhat legendary, had nothing to do with it.  I smelled a big old party brewing!

We flooded the forums with our proposition, and the feedback, was somewhat positive.  Date solidified, paperwork secured, course chosen, and major doubt that we were doing the right thing...another stupid idea until the next hydration session where we patted ourselves on the back feeling like we had just hatched the next Microsoft!

Mike and I figured maybe a 100 folks would show, especially with the promise of a pint glass, and beer...maybe a few more.  Well, were we ever wrong.  204 racers later, and possibly the largest single speed gathering on the East Coast, proved that we weren't the only ones who love a good party.

My immense joy at being the host of this event is almost indescribable.  It was awesome if I may be allowed to say so.  All those single speeds...all those smiles...all those tattoos...all that beer...and most importantly, all that life and positive energy gathered in one place...I was momentarilly a millionaire!  We pulled off a party that people are already planning on attending next year.

I cannot speak for other race promoters, but we never cared about the money or profit.  I always felt that as long as we didn't lose money, and everyone left feeling good, that was reward enough.  I know there will be people who read that statement and roll their eyes, but if you've ever attended one of our parties, I mean races, you would agree.  We always lock the gate, and praise ourselves for a job well done.

Can we top that event?  I don't know.  The Dark Horse 40 looms in the near future, and if this year is anything like the last 7, possibly.  We will try, I promise.  It's all about the sport, and the bringing together of friends.  Simple minds and simple concepts, but right as rain.  Every day life can be tough, and as long as "Hawaiin" Mike and I are still speaking, we will do our best to soften things up a little.

Until the next post ride, parking lot, team meeting, hydration session, idea hatching Sunday, I bid you adieu.  My pint glass will forever remain half, or more desireably, overflowing with both beer, and joy! If you see me standing there, feel free to come by and hook me up with my all time favorite beverage..."Free and cold!"

P.S.  For those of you who don't already know....I offer this one time definition...

"Hawaiian" Mike:  (adjective) Phrase used to describe a rather portly, one time mountain bike racer, adorned in an outlandishly dated "Hawaiian" shirt in celebration of his good fortune in getting to hang out with the Mayor of Stewart...(noun) traditional, party animal, sometimes  known as "Good time Charlie."

"Yours in Humble hosting"...George