Now in is seventh year, the Grand Junction Off-Road and Downtown Music Festival has become one of GJ's premier event. I personally worked my buns off the first 5 years of this event. Last year, the 6th annual, The Dude & I participated in the Klunker Crit on Friday and then took an afternoon field trip on Saturday. The Motet performed the final live act last year and they brought some nasty funk and afrobeat the H E Double Hockey Sticks out of us.
|Brand New Mavic Rear Wheel
So this year, I embraced the OFF-Road Endurance Weekend with a whole new set of eyes. I wanted to witness this successful event from a business stand point and bring ideas of what worked/didnt work to MAD Racing. On Friday, the second day, we at MAD volunteered at the aid station near the halfway point just off Little Park Road. I had a blast while standing in the blowing snow storm, the high winds, and sideways rain. We all continued cheering on the 15 milers as they wheeled through. Suffering Through
Also on Friday, only the Pro Men & Women hammered out a 20 min crit race Plus 3 Laps on their race ready mountain bikes. And take notice of those ominous clouds lingering above. We scored a brilliant double rainbow!! Sure hope the hired photographers captured this amazing marketing opportunity.
Saturday morning, standing behind the hay bales of turn one, the Amateur 30 mile and 40 mile racers were underway at 7:30 and 8:30am. You know what, Mountain Bikers are honest and genuine people. That's Refreshing
I hung out all day long downtown and throughly enjoyed myself on Saturday. In other words, socializing 101. Main Street was vibrant and alive. I casually placed myself under a tree limb during brief showers passing through. Loads of street walkers ducked under awnings in a panic and scurried off before the rain melts way their wicked ways. Many of us locals made eye contact and smiled because we know that Mr Sun will reappear in 5 minutes. No Biggie. After what I stood in the day before, Bring It.
|70 Pro Men Started on Sunday Morning
|26 Pro Women Tore Out with Vengeance
The poor Rebirth Brass Band, headliner of the event, were so disrespected by Snob Productions. The band itself was amazing and put on a hell of a show even thought they were freezing their A$$ off on stage. I did have the pleasure of reconnecting with a number of faces that I hadn't seen in many moons. Saturday really was stellar overall and what a gathering of good folks. The Rebirth Brass Band played a solid two hour set without a break. Yes
My favorite live performance came from the local act Zolopht on the 5th Street ( a total of three stages were set up around downtown ) Stage. They are known for a reggae vibe but they went a little space/dreamy with their first set. I was impressed and so were the party goers. Sure hope those guys sold a lot of merch.
Now Mother Nature created a masterpiece near the base of her red rock cliff formations. A full spectrum of color painted the landscape in our beautiful little hidden valley. A funny side note; I viewed Sunday's race on The Gunny Loop where a very difficult climb lay in wait. As a Pro would hammer on by, I would shout encouraging phases and then throw in " Remember To Enjoy Those Wildflowers"
Something that also opened my little brown eyes, the Pro Men constantly shifted gears during this climb out. They retained the same heart rate , same cadence , same momentum , all by working their gear ratio. So Cool
And with those massive 29'rs , Damn , they navigated those rock gardens with ease. Those guys read the single track so well and make all those minor/major adjustments look so effortless.
Then, The Pro Women rolled in and they were so fluid and beautiful to watch as they took advantage of different lines , sections , and managed the grueling terrain. Very Impressive!! One gal sheered off her rear brake leaver and was still motoring along with ONLY a front brake. Crazy Impressive
We all cheered like wild creatures of the landscape and blasted each and everyone of those racers with cowbells. Up Up Up
Our weather was ideal for 3 plus hours of exhilarating racing and the demanding attention along our well defined single track trails. This 40 mile race rides like a 50 miler and a number of Pro riders shed some blood. I felt the pain of one rider, we have all been there, he clipped a dead branch just below his armpit, jersey left flapping open, a nice red gash laid open for a sweaty filled afternoon. Oh Baby That SH*T Stings
Sunday excited me for the simplest of reasons. Number ONE, Yes, The Wildflowers!! Number Two was while waiting for the first Pro Male, a couple of ravens took flight. A Redheaded Turkey Vulture soared down through this canyon but then this particularly gorgeous valley went silent. A massive Golden Eagle rode the thermals without one single flap of a wing. The chatter came from all the spectators pointing out the obvious. We Were All So Fortunate To Witness Pure Beauty
And all the race fans!! It was remarkable!! So many locals were scattered along the trail systems and showing their support. Love It!! Those Kind Of Moments Re-energize Me!! Dig It
I am always more than happy to strike up a conversation with an out-of-towner. Talked with a couple for Arkansas that rode the 30 miler on Saturday and were cheering on their daughter during her race on Sunday. I agreed with their perspective of our Grand Valley and smiled when they told detailed reports from their "race" on Saturday. Its A Brutal Course
But it is a Phuc-N rewarding course. When you finish the 15mi, 30mi, or that son-of-a-Witch with a Capital B Windmill RD Climb, you just know that you could conquer anything. I highly recommend you adding this weekend to your calendar for 2020. You Will NOT Regret It!! You Will Prevail With Honor!! You'll Be Able Achieve Enlightenment!! Be Righteous
What Do You Think About This Above Photo??
And now I will really toot my own horn. I am very proud to say that four of my clients took a podium spot throughout the whole epic weekend. Flipping Stoked
Did I do all the work, NO. Did I invest any of the time on the course, NO. Did I dedicate hours to the bike, NO. Did I suffer through workouts, NO. I am not taking credit for their placements. I am just pleased to watch these folks cross the finish!! Two of them were beyond thrilled with the cash prizes.
Yes, Thats Right, Equal Payouts!! Top Male AND Female Scored $5,000!! 2nd handed out $3,000, 3rd $2,000, 4th $1,500, 5th $1,000, 6th $625, 7th $525, 8th $425, 9th $350, 10th $275, 11th $200, & TWELFTH Place Walked With A Cool C-Note. Total Women's Purse $15,000.oo & Total Men's Purse $15,000.oo And Thats The Way It Should Be
So Monday & Today were long days in the office for me. Almost all session were recovery massages and two in two days were Ortho sessions to release stiff joints. These sessions are convivial for me when hearing their trials and tribulations as they see them. One of my clients DNF'd on Saturday and was really quite bothered by it. I allowed them opportunity to work through and discharge without any reservations. Only then I offered up this question, " How Many Of Your Friends Or Neighbors Rode With You?"
Meaning: You were out there. You were outdoors. You were suffering, You learned something about yourself. You now know the definition of motivation. "As your practitioner, I am proud of you!" I Said With A Smile
THIS VIDEO WILL CRACK YOU UP!! The Bloopers Are Fantastic!!! Its A Video Of How To Ride With A Child Seat Strapped To Your Ride. Beautifully Entertaining.