Finding a Community: SDMBA Laguna Fest

“Put your Big Girl panties on,” I tell myself.  “The only way you’re going to meet more people is to get out there… no one is going to introduce you like the queen.”

My friend, Tina, volunteers for the local mountain bike association and was going to work at their inaugural festival this last weekend.  “A MTB festival in the mountains”, 3-4 manufacturers demoing bikes, group rides, skills instructions, 200-ish of your best friends, vendors, and some meals.  She secured a campsite and we were set!

Dreams of riding with new friends, killing the jump class and sitting by the campfire eating smores filled my head.  Well, until it started raining cats and dogs on Friday night.

 

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Poor thing has seen better days!

Poor Tina spent the night by herself on Friday night. At the edge of meadow getting the full force of the wind in an old/cheaper tent.  Poor gal texted me at 4am: “Been raining and blowing since 11pm. Not a fun night. Praying tent stays together and up. Half of the tent is blowing in.”  😦

Saturday morning, I loaded up with hot cocoa, my tent, a ton of extra layers and I headed up with the best of hopes.  I made it just in time for trail maintenance.IMG_1070

It was the easiest trail maintenance ever!  I loved it!  We were just trimming back growth and stashing the trimmings.  3 hours later my body was a little sore from the unaccustomed work and I was sitting on the road listening to trail builders commiserate. It was awkward being the newbie to the group… but I still enjoyed myself and made some new friends.

I needed to eat and rest a little before heading out for my ride and headed back to the campsite to do so.  That was nice.  I had forgotten how peaceful it is to sit outside and read a book.  (BTW – I’m reading The Miniaturist and highly recommend.) Bliss…fullsizeoutput_2324

I skipped the afternoon group rides; I know the trails up here pretty well and wanted to focus on dialing in The Unicorn. The rain had done the dirt a lot of good favors… it was hero dirt.  A few hours later, with a smile on my face, I headed back to the festival for dinner.fullsizeoutput_231a

“Tacos in the Trees” is how dinner was billed.  There was beer too 🙂 Rouleur Brewery made a special edition for the event…  Oh! and there was dessert, too.fullsizeoutput_230b

Ah… the raffle.  Yes, there was a ton of stuff and although there were times the paced lagged while we all stood in the cold,  I got the last prize!!  Yes, me!  I never win stuff!!  100% Status helmet… now I can at least *look* badass at the bike park!  I can’t wait to use it!

After a cold night of camping, blessing the warmth of a well-purchased sleeping bag before 2017’s BCBR, I woke to nature’s best moment: Sunrise. I watched the fog move across the meadow, the birds sing in the trees, the colors change in the air and the tips of trees emerging from their dark night’s sleep.  It was wonderful

After a little breakfast, I headed over to the jump clinic.  Getting air on my bike is my weakest skill.

Well, guess what, after a 2-hour group class, I still can’t jump.   Yes, I made progress and have a ton of homework… but I’m still a far away from purposefully jumping anything.  *sigh*  I tell myself that if this is the skill that I can’t perfect and the rest continue to advance – I’m still in great shape in terms of overall riding skill.

On that low note, I grabbed the BLT lunch provided, packed up my gear and started to head home. Overall, it was a good weekend.  Did I make new friends, YES!  Will I hang out with them in the future… MAYBE!  The point is, I got out of my comfort zone… I’m trying to do that a little more these days.

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