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A View From The Equinox

It’s the same for us every year. The forthcoming Autumnal Equinox signals an official end of summer. It’s a highly anticipated moment on our calendars. Arkansas summers are beyond balmy or even sultry. We get damn hot and sweaty down here. So we’ll keep our fingers crossed that the literal end is soon to come as well.

It’s the end of summer. Crankworx is over. The MTB world champions have been crowned. We’ve done Downieville, Single Speed Worlds, and bombed bike parks in Colorado. We’ve had some great local adventures too. Despite the ubiquitous poison ivy and spiderwebs, we logged plenty of trail miles this summer. We got poison ivy, and we got covered up in webs. It was great. ‘Tis not the time for regret, however. We’re mountain bikers and despite all of the summer fun, what we’re really looking forward to is fall.

With the equinox looming, new chapters are sure to unfold. For starters, the shop is abuzz with excitement about ‘the show’ -- Interbike is always a strange combination of energy and total downer. The promise of new brands and new products from brands that we already know and love is nearly too much to handle, as is Vegas. Sadly, some of us have to remain behind and man the ship so to speak, but those that are going west plan on getting dirty at Bootleg Canyon at On Dirt Demo. We’ll take plenty of pictures there and inside at the show for a report and Twitter Updates to come.

Our state race series has been a bit of a hopscotch affair this season with cancellations due to inclement weather in the spring. Now, we’re off to a promising restart. There are a number of great events in our region. The end of September typically musters that nostalgic change-of-season romance. All we can think about is how we’ll trade in our bugs and sweltering humidity for crisp mornings in the woods and the crunch of new fallen leaves under our tires. Camping was a last resort two months ago. Now we’ll do more than entertain the idea. Weekend trips to trail systems in the Ouachitas or Ozarks promise good times for sure.

The shorter days of fall mean that we’ve got to be more careful with our ride scheduling to make sure that we can get home before dark. On the flip side, shorter days mean longer nights and we love riding at night. It’s a whole new experience. The hills we grunted up this summer in a fog of sweat and mosquitoes become a slightly pleasurable challenge, and the descents become just that little bit more exciting in the dark. Strange noises and rustling in the brush lend some to the intrigue. The occasional skunk encounter will be truly terrifying, if only for an instant.

Are we at the end of the season? Yes. Are we at the beginning of another? Yes. It’s not the time to sit back and quit riding. Around here, it’s the time to get back on the bike. If you never got off the bike in the first place, it’s time to pedal a bit lighter, to change attitude and be a mountain biker. Chances are, we all fell in love with mountain biking in the fall anyway. This is the time we reconnect, recharge, and recognize who we are.

** And a few completely unrelated notes: (1) We’re hiring! These job postings will be up for about another week. Check ’em out and send in your resumé if you’d like. (2) In case you aren’t familiar with it, we do once-per-week super-specials via text message. If you’d like to sign up, you can do so here. (3) We now offer price breaks on ~300 items that make sense to buy in bulk. Click here to see an example. It’s simple: The more you buy, the greater the savings.