Under the cover of Lights

We headed to Palmer Park Thursday evening for a fun night lap and to double check lights. Once again, my night riding has been limited to the laps in the sage during 24 Hours in the Sage. And unlike that course, Palmer Park gets a bit tricky in the dark. Its fun to ride, with the whole park bathed in dark amid the sparkle of the city. But the technical sections sneak up on you so quickly. No room for complacency and the more light, the better! It was good to get out, but I think at least one more night lap is in order. Just to make sure I'm comfortable on the rocks and won't do anything silly come 2:00 am. I've not ridden at Palmer Park much at night, either so it's a bit of an adjustment. Racing there, at night? More then a little worried!

I'm also still trying to learn the course so I don't get lost. Luckily, Tim marked the course earlier this week. I didn't know what to expect, figuring all the white flagging would be torn down within days. But no, there was still enough tape to clear up some of the questions we'd had. Hopefully, the flagging will stay up as more people start showing up to learn the course. I think I'm doing okay - remembered most of the corners and turns last night.

Another thing to worry about - like at most 24 hour races - the wildlife! We saw the normal assortment of rabbits and birds and rodents. But on Grandview trail, while I was leading, I spooked a huge buck. Fourteen points, still covered in velvet. Not something I would want to run into in the middle of the night. A buck of that size could do some damage. And just before the last road crossing, we saw a black and white fuzz ball shuffling across the trail. Nick crammed on the brakes the minute he saw it. I immediately recognized the skunk and also slammed on my brakes. Luckily, he was more interested in the bugs off the trail then us and we were able to sneak by without any issues. That would have been a long ride home if he'd gotten mad at us! One more thing to worry about in two weeks.


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