2016 Krosstoberfest: From Out of the Dust

It rose from a cloud of dust, a choking, spitting thing, black soot from weeping eyes, a thick coating of arms and legs, writhing across the open ground, into shadows, out to sunlight, rising high into the air when stirred into a frenzy, before settling back to earth. "It" was the reawakening of the SoCal Cross Prestige Series, emergent from a summer of slumber. Krosstoberfest was chosen, this year, as the season kick-off event, and it was large, and it was loud, bellowing from one end of the Whittier Narrows to the other. Not even the adjacent freeway, oblivious to the contest, could drown the nascent roar. In places it seemed to coil from myriad gopher holes, some appearing large enough to house badgers, gaping in ferociousness, giving me pause to call home for the dachshund to help even the contest. But no, it was the racers plight alone, only strength and will to see them through.

It is an interesting thing, the first race, like a Siren call summoning great numbers of racers, greater numbers this year than I recall seeing in the recent past. Some were ready, others were lapped. The dusty thing wound around seeking wheels troubled for traction, tripping, sliding, riders falling in heaps, yet rising again, dazed perhaps, unsure of footing, but strong of will. Pushing on to the end, collapsing to the grass, muscles quivering in exhaustion, consoled by friends, comrades, foes and allies, giving and accepting of congratulations, or seated alone, consoled with thoughts, head hung, too tired for movement. Already planning for next week.

The Flickr album contains a selection of eighty-eight shots, maybe a tenth of the photos taken. If you don't see who, or what you were looking for in the album, let me know and I will see what I can dig up.

If nothing else, always remember when life throws you a flat, just take a beer and run with it.