Tim Bergsten created this Ning Network.

The Ascent Cycling Series will conclude tomorrow night with one last trip around the single track of Bear Creek Terrace. The series finale is always bittersweet. On one hand, the racing is over and we can all breathe a huge sigh of relief. Done. Time to relax and chill out. No more planning schedules, leaving work early or skipping fun rides to be "fresh" for the midweek race. On the other hand, the racing is done. No more gathering on the start line with friends, ready to tear legs apart. The pre-race jitters will be forgotten and the number plates discarded. As quickly as we come together, we drift apart. The courses are torn down, the trails cleaned as if we never existed the sounds of cheers and cowbells fade into memories, drowned out by the crush of daily life. The number cards are packed away, the bell wrapped up until next year.

And that means its time to say thank you. Thank you for a great season of summer racing. Without Andy's willingness to put on the races for us crazy riders, we wouldn't have a series. This was my fourth year participating in the Ascent Cycling Series and I am always in awe of how smoothly things come together. It doesn't matter what craziness happened the week of the race. Andy pulls it off, and the mountain biking community comes together to help him do it. As a rider, I don't see the behind-the-scenes efforts entailed for the races. I just see the finished product. Well marked courses, plenty of course marshals and volunteers and the best racing $20 can buy. It's a lot of work and Andy's been doing it for years. So Wednesday after you race, make sure you thank Andy for all the work over the last years to keep the "never ending Sand Creek Series" rolling strong.

Which he wouldn't be able to do without the sponsors and volunteers. The volunteers are key to a successful race - we ride around in circles and they stand out in the sun for hours making sure we don't get lost and that everyone is safe. Thank a volunteer tomorrow night - or even better, thank them all! It's a lot of work for very little appreciation (and maybe some chocolate milk this week.) Even a smile goes a long way. And then there's the sponsors. Many local companies support the races. I don't know all the details of course, but we should be thankful for them willing to step up and help Andy put on the series. Another party we should all thank - even while hoping never to need them - the medical and first aide team Andy assembles at every race. It's a good day when they are bored! And since the Ascent Cycling Series is USAC sanctioned, the officials also deserve a nod. That's not a job I would want! I know us racers get whiny about stuff all the time.

So instead of just showing up, racing and leaving on the 31st, be mindful of all the people who contribute to our fun. Smile, say thank you and appreciate all the hard work and effort that goes into us riding around in circles!

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Comment by Tim Bergsten on August 6, 2013 at 10:41pm

Great blog, great thoughts.

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