- To track online our current location, see instruction on the “Ride the Nation Route Plan” page
- Also, follow us on Twitter, search “ridethenation”
- Check out our blog on www.bmxmania.com for exclusive details you won’t find here.
Sunday morning racing always goes by so quickly. We had an 8:30am start and a 2 moto transfer for 128 motos … we were wrapped up around 12:30pm. We stopped at the Crit Plates booth at the request of it’s owner and found out that he’d been following our bike ride. He gave us official Crit Plates for both NBL and ABA racing and told us that the Beast can stop by any time and get a new plate. He also told us that an old school rider, Bob J., had wanted to see us. We all connected and Bob told us that he had done many a long distance ride, including Europe. He told us how people, wherever he rode, appreciated what he was doing. People fed him and had him stay overnight with them; all of that made his ride that much richer and fulfilling. He wanted to “pay it forward” and gave us some cash to help offset the road expenses that he knew we must be incurring. Thanks, Bob! We appreciate it and it will go to good use as we ride from PA to Ohio and Michigan.
Our extended BMX family started packing down their tents and EZ-ups and heading back to their homes. We had lots of hugs and well wishes and soon the BMX city that built itself at South Park over the last few days, just disappeared. The last hangers on were the core group that keeps South Park running: track director, George and his wife, Dee, Concessions manager, Michele and her family, Concessions wrangler, Nicki and her family and Jason and his mountain biking group, and a few other terrific people whose names escape me at the moment. Steve, track director at Westmoreland, also stayed and we all discussed our thoughts on the future of BMX under the new USA BMX umbrella.
I told them all that they didn’t need to stay longer at the track just for us (as we waited to connect with friends coming from Canada to meet us). We were assured that they all seem to linger long after the racing has ended just to be with one another. They truly embody the BMX lifestyle that is like nothing any other sport has offered all of us. We laughed, ate and talked until 6 in the evening, our group growing ever smaller as the sun slid down the sky. With warm embraces and good wishes from the Brain family, we bid the last of them farewell.
Our friends, form the great cold north, phoned us around 8pm to let us know that their trip from Canada to us would be delayed due to all the construction happening between Erie and Pittsburgh. Not a problem; we just relaxed and played 20 Questions, did Internet phone searches on bike routes, etc., while we relaxed in the ever cooler evening air. Around 9:30pm, they entered the park and Frankenbutt used the Google Latitudes map to guide them to where we were. When they parked, Sheena and I hugged and started gabbing immediately while Frankenbutt and Phil moved their luggage to the roof rack and cleared the bed of the truck for the bikes and trailer.
With everything strapped down, we follow the GPS to a townhouse rental we had scheduled months ago; we figured we’d be due for some R&R about half way through the bike ride. We arrived around midnight, after stopping for some snacks at a convenience store. We were pleased that our well-priced rental unit gave us 3 bedrooms and 3 baths and a back deck perfect for relaxing on under the night time stars. Sheena and I gabbed until 2 in the morning when both of us gave into our heavy eye lids and headed for rest.
Our bikes “slept” on the deck overnight while we slept in ski themed bedrooms complete with wall hangings of ski slope maps and beds with snowflake theme flannel sheets. It was quite relaxing. I think we needed this.