Offroad Ontario’s cross-country #3 is officially in the bag and it will be remembered either as a nightmare or a dream. For myself and for a select few others it was a dream. But for many, the mud proved relentless and challenging and even created a ‘horror’ show for a few.
The morning began with the mini-class winding their way through trails, MX track and wide open roads with spectacular traction. After the start of the race, I immediately hit the first set of pine trees which eventually lead the riders into RJ’s intricate network of trails. I knew the riders went through this area as I remember that from having raced several times here a few years ago. Where ever I looked I found beauty created by the early morning rain as leaves, needles and forest floor glowed with saturated greens and browns.
No sooner had the mini race finished the morning class took the reigns as two-strokes buzzed and four-strokes thumped their way through the loop. Instead of walking back to the start I decided to continue my trek along the race course and settled upon a beautiful open grassy area. The riders would be tackling a steep, short uphill, bursting onto a field of green, and descend just as quickly and back into the darkness of the trail as they had come up.
Partway through the race the skies opened and rained. First a drizzle and finally a steady downpour leaving heavy droplets. As Ted Dirstein, Masters class, aptly put it ‘I wasn’t sure if someone had thrown some WD-40 on the course it was so slick’. Lucky for me, I was somewhat sheltered underneath a canopy of trees but decided to leave my flash in my camera bag. I knew my D3S would handle some rain but still I covered it under my rain jacket…just in case. My husband would really not be impressed with me ruining yet another camera (Nikon D80, D90 – poor souls they had no chance).
By the end of the morning the rain had stopped and replaced with thick gooey mud. And then, just like that the sun came out just in time for the afternoon race. The mud became tacky and did not shed from the tires easily. A deep groove had already been created in a marshy area of the course by the morning class. This is where I decided to set up for the afternoon race. I certainly did not want to miss any entertainment and action that would be provided in the first two laps of the race.
Some tackled the area with ease…ok…only Josh Long did while the others hit the tree before the mud and paddled their way through the deep rut. Some fell, some got stuck and others swerved left and right in a controlled fashion.
As always it was a pleasure being back at the races and meeting people I had not seen in a while. Thank you to the numerous volunteers, OCMC, RJ’s and Ontario Offroad for a great race. Too see more pictures of all classes please click here.