It’s that time of year again. Autumn, is the season of transition where change leads to dormancy in the natural world around us and one which many of our cycling community use to transition into other forms of training, or non-training and modalities of the bike. It’s signaled by the usual things we’ve come to know and associate with this time of year since we were youths ( or “youts” as an upstart Joe Peschi would one time phrase in his role as a Brooklyn lawyer gone country ) including all the de riguer Fall items: the trading of grass mowing for leaf raking, the realization that we now have earned(?) license to relax and enjoy beer for more than recovery, the interminable shortening of days when light becomes a recognized commodity, and of course, the coming of fall sport.
Fall sport to most Americans comes down to one sport and one sport alone, Football. No I’m not speaking of soccer, or “American Football” but good ol’, ball sport, get your letter and become a jock or not, scientists have determined concussions are bad for you, Football. Great stuff that Football, and I for one, still enjoy watching the game now as much as I at one time enjoyed playing it as an overly and overtly aggressive kid. The thing is, if you’re starting to see some lengthening in the tooth like me, Football has dropped way down on the list of weekend priorities, WAY down the list of priories, until it is no longer a priority at all. Life goes on and as time moves forward and the new, real priorities like your children’s kid-sports, or getting in a block of training, or a long fall foliage ride with friends, the inevitable and somehow usually spouse-inflicted weddings / birthdays / funerals or even a weekend Cyclocross race, take their place at the top of the list of things to do…and rightfully so.
It’s true, and we’re all the better for accepting this change and embracing our new set of priorities however uncomfortable or unfair they may appear at the outset. This correct socialization thing takes time and practice. The trick as many of us have grown to know, the art so to speak in this aging and working it all in, is finding the perfect, workable-for-you balance.
Luckily, after forty three short years I’ve realized my personal balance at this point in life for this transitional time of year. It’s simple really, but in it’s simplicity lies its beauty and truth. Cross and Beer, and in that order. That’s correct, that’s what I’m hanging my lid on this Fall, next Fall and until it doesn’t hold reason any longer. Cross and Beer are my official Fall avocations and these are the things that I look forward to most, as soon as Fall is over and one year and season on the bike move to another. Though perhaps not as eloquent as Frank Zappa’s take on what goes best with beer, this is something I think a good portion of you, kind readers, will not take argument with. And it is with this great anticipation for all things Cross and Beer that I am most looking forward to the Cyclocross race and day of Oktoberfest festivities that will be taking place as part of a new race in the Mid Atlantic, Stoudts Cross. At this point, full disclosure needs to be made here as my team Stoudts Brewing Co. / JB Mountain Bikes Racing are the guys behind this event, held on the grounds of Stoudts Brewing Company and the Euro-esque Stoudtburg Village in Adamstown, PA. You see, come November 4th, a full day of USAC & PACX series sanctioned cyclocross including a single speed category and Lil’ Belgian race for the tots, a complete German menu of freshly prepared Oktoberfest fare including a roast pig that will be slowly turning at the sign-in for pictures before being taken back for carving, twelve on-tap selections of amazing Stoudts craft beers and ales, and a post race party to take place in Stoudts indoor Beer Garden the likes of which have not been seen since last years Bear Creek Cyclocross weekend aka “The Race That Never Happened” injected a new level of fun into the Mid Atlantic scene, will be what I’d otherwise be missing Football for if it weren’t that my boys were on Monday night… as luck would have it.
I still miss seeing my favorite teams and games on TV most Saturday’s and Sunday’s but you know, I think I’ve made the right choice. Cross and Beer (in that order). I’m looking forward to celebrating that life choice come November 4th with as many like-minded friends as possible.
Thanks to Darren Price / Virtual Farm Creative for the images.