After four years of almost perfect weather for each of the preceding versions of the Baker’s Dozen, Mother Nature decided to test the mettle of both the race organizers and all of the hardy racer’s that plan to spend a weekend matching themselves against the rock and dirt of Rockland Farm.  Fortunately for Mike and myself at Plum Grove Cyclery and Rob and Kelly at Go Time Racing, the racers that have decided to grace us with their presence each year are of the highest caliber and a little cold and wet combined with a sticky muddy trail that was a bit longer and more difficult was a minor inconvenience as they managed to beat it into submission.  I must say that I thought the atmosphere was a bit more serious this time around as people simply buckled down to the task at hand.  The “rendering pot” that we converted into a firepit was a big hit at the start/finish area and racers were taking advantage of the BTU’s to dry socks and warm up cold and aching limbs.  Thanks to Go Time Racing for doing an amazing job organization and after four years of setting up race venues, Mike and I are beginning to get the hang of doing a better job of making the Farm and the race course a more inviting place for racers and their families to spend a part of their weekend.

One of the highlights of my day Saturday was the Mini’s Race at 3 O’clock.  Those kids were sooooo excited and quite a few parents timed their laps so they could be there to push their kids along the course.  Mike had us sing Happy Birthday to Sam who has his seventh birthday coming up on the 29th of this month to keep the kids occupied as we waited for the race to begin.  I haven’t run that far since I was in high school (long time ago!) but I didn’t even notice it as I pushed and cheered the little ones along in the woods and the pines.  Afterwards Mike and I took all the kids and parents on a ride in the Fire Truck with the lights flashing and an occasional honk of the sirens.  I am not sure if the liked the bike race or the Fire Truck better.  Big thanks to River Farm and Fred next door for loaning us his big red Fire Truck!!

I can’t say enough about how genteel and well mannered all the people who came out this weekend were.  Clean-up consisted of only one truck load of trash 90% of which was bagged and neatly deposited at the dumpster.  Looks like everyone was very conscious of recycling and we had almost as big a load of recycling to truck off the property.  From what I have read those manners extended to the racing as people were quite polite about passing safely.

Once again, thanks to Betsy Brown and the entire Brown family for allowing all of us to enjoy this beautiful piece of property and  history.  I look forward to seeing everyone again at upcoming events!

Watch out for the corner!

First bottleneck

He is ready to go!

The next generation of racer!

Kicking back after registration!

Relaxing while waiting for Dad to ride by.

Warming up between laps.

Finish line in sight!

Do I REALLY need to do another lap?!