That morning the snow came with a ferocity and frankly the only ones who seemed to notice the weather were Dan, myself, and the ducks. Well, maybe not even the ducks. But the riders sure as heck took no mind. Musing as we stood shivering in the cold and wet waiting for the start, the thought of "how are they going to go through this snow?" Briefly bubbled into consciousness.
Not through. Over! The first race took off. Never a backward glance, heads down, mouths agape, legs churning, the riders threw their bodies around their bike's ever changing center of gravity, defying potholes, roots, snow, ice mud and whatever else lay in their way.
On the straight away the racers accelerated hard - hard like making a light in the city, aggressive, almost angry, totally focused, damn the ice, damn the snow, damn the cold, they appeared not to notice, but rather draw strength from the challenge. Visibly they drove their tormented mounts ahead careening and oft times sliding into each turn.
Turn? Hah more like a rebound, a ball strikes a wall and ricochets off at a more gentle angle. Drive hard into the corner, plant the inside leg, whip the bike around your hip as a pivot, drive the outer pedal down and you are off! Or you are down, a rolling tangle of aluminum, rubber and flesh, for an instant. Hop up drive into the leaves and mud, churning gray snow flecked with tobacco colored leaves flying from your knobbed wheels, driving to make up the lost ground, to catch and to pass that one in front.