When I think of the 4th of July, I think about America. It gets me a little patriotic and I think about eagles. When I think about eagles I think about The Misfits. That lets my mind wander to some deep thoughts of all things Punk Rock. Which then leads me to some blurry memories of a party that goes down in the forest of Flagstaff every year called Cruiser Nation. This is the race of all races, and it embodies everything I love about mountain biking. Run what you brung. Drink booze on the side of a mountain with 30 strangers who are now your friends. Go down the hill as fast as you can, or as fast as you want. This event is goddamn incredible. If I had only one image to sum it all up, it would be this one:
Since I rode my moto up north this weekend instead of driving a car, I had to ride from town up to the race. So with a pack full of whiskey and Dale’s, and some great tunes pumping from the speakers in my pack, I pedaled to the mountain. It was more enjoyable than you could ever imagine. But when I got to the trail, it was pretty empty. There wasn’t a line of people pushing up the hill as there has been in years past. I started to worry that maybe it went off early, or wasn’t going down at all. But sure as shit, as I got to the top there was a little group of the usual suspects. The Turkey flowed like water as we waited for the rest of the stragglers to get to the start.
With the bikes lined up we started the show. Entering the woods with the fast guys I quickly realized that I had more whiskey in me on this day than skills. I made it about a third of the way down the hill with the plume of dust from the leaders still in sight. But as my favorite Minor Threat song came over my speakers and my lungs began to burn like an STD, I decided to pull up and ride at a bit safer whiskey pace. There was no winning for me. But there was still a couple miles of downhill to rail, so I did.
My buddy Handlebar suffered another year of mechanicals but did a little write up over here. It just so happens that he is putting on the next event in Flagtown called The Crazy 88 and it’s guaranteed to be a good time. I recommend you hop in the car and come check it out.
All said and done, it was a fine day on the bike. Everybody should make something like this in their town and don’t forget to invite me. I just may show up. Keep it dirty…by