Watching the weather has become a sport this race season, and I am an Elite weather watcher. I wake up in the morning and check the weather on the computer. Go have breakfast and take a look at the weather channel. Feed the cat and poke my head out the door to see what’s shaken in the heavens.
I am sure mine were not the only set of eyes turned to the sky the days leading up the 2010 version of the Bring-A-Friend the 4th Manitoba Mountain Bike Cup race. We are all culturally paranoid about the weather to begin with, and the early spring summer weather and the non-stop April showers in the summer has pushed us all over the edge. On the day of the race, Environment Canada was calling for increasing cloudiness as the day progresses, with a 60% chance of showers and a risk of a thunderstorm. I was not going to bet any money on that forecast when I woke up to a beautiful clear blue sky. I did not believe a word of it when I arrived at the racecourse and there was not a cloud to be seen. Summer had arrived and I was ready to begin enjoying some much needed prairie heat and humidity. After a quick registration, I removed my mud tires, put on taller gear, changed and started to warm up but being paranoid I kept watching the skies.
What I saw concerned me. Clouds were starting to gather above my head, and not the nice fluffy white ones, which inspire poetry. These dark nasty threatening clouds were more likely to inspire nightmares and tornados.
I take full responsibility for what happened next. If I had left the knobbiness on it wouldn’t have rain. If I had not swapped the Speed Kings for Maxxis 310s we wouldn’t have slipped, slithered, skated, glided and tumbled down every decent, or had to scramble, grope, fumble and claw our way up the other side. However, I did and it did and we did.