For New Yorkers fulfilling a complete season on the road followed by a complete season of cyclocross is a big ask. The road/cross double header adds up to a season that starts on frigid mornings in March and concludes in early December with the at times equally frigid racing at the NBX Gran Prix of Cross. That's ten months of early alarms, long drives and of course hard races.
Despite registering for Whirlybird, given the tough end to the road racing calendar I had, I decided that I wasn't quite ready to kick off cyclocross season, mentally or physically. And so with my co-conspirators Chris, Rog, Lisa and Liz we plotted to skip Whirlybird (where the team snagged not one but three top ten finishes) and hit some of our favorite trails at Six Mile Run instead.
Things started smoothly enough with blue skies and a wonderful cool temperature as we got underway. Then we hit a surprisingly muddy section of trail despite the fact that it hadn't rained for days. We plodded our way through but around the next bend was one of the many wooden bridges that dot the landscape at Six Mile Run where the combination of tractionless mud-covered tires and some oncoming traffic caught Burati off guard... sending him off the bridge and into the mud below.
There were some immediate expressions of concern (and more than a few laughs) but thankfully Chris was fine. So we got back underway and before long our trail legs picked up and the pace quickened for the remainder of the ride. By the end of the day we were in fairly rough shape between tired legs, some bonky stomachs and a splattering of mud on our kit and equipment. Of course a Wawa stop was just what the doctor ordered to solve all of our aches and pains. Not a bad way to spend the day before cyclocross season gets fully ramped up.