today is the first day of racing at the catamount classic pro XCT.
i will be there all day today and all day tomorrow.
today i was lurking in the woods near the course (ok, i was practicing orienteering) and i over heard a lot of what riders were saying about the course while they were on it.
the general opinion is, in a couple of languages, that it is fun and it "goes well". the riders make woo-hoo noises and they laugh, which ought to make the course designers happy.
this afternoon i heard one of the pro riders tell his pit crew: "ok, now all we have to do is take some video of me going off a jump and we can call it a day."
there's a UCI official whose job it is to ride the course on a MOTORCYCLE to inspect it.
there are banners.
the course goes right by the edge of the beer tent.
and a thing you maybe don't know about a lot of bicycle races is that there are different classes of race that go on the course. there is the pro division but there are also junior and three categories of sanctioned lesser races and also a citizen's class, which describes people like me who hold no UCI racing license.
so old guys and little girls and current champions all ride out on that course and today a race volunteer was telling me about a former world champion who is here, a woman who sometimes stood by the sidelines to cheer for the middle aged ladies instead of going back to the trailer to put her feet up. the race volunteer says she won't ever forget the graciousness of that.
it is exciting and it is beautiful.