I [fortunately?] have a few friends who have enough social influence to enable them to drag me out to events I have no desire of attending. This usually involves countless excuses on my part, then having said excuses shot down too efficiently and a half-joking ultimatum that not going would entail the end of our friendship. And this always involves rearranging my whole entire weekend schedule to make up for lost time.
So while I might actually wake up the next day, mascara smeared all over my eyelids, and concede that I was glad that I went out, that's not to say that the rest of the weekend won't be stressful. Going out actually makes me scramble out of bed at some absurd hour the next morning, and race to some secluded, quiet spot with my books for the rest of the weekend. I like to save myself the resulting panic and just putz away at whatever I have to do over the entire weekend, including Friday night.
One main reason that while friends in NYC were planning their first ever NYC Velo Cyclocross Season Kick-off event, I resolutely reasoned to myself that I could not possibly go. I wanted to. Desperately, in fact. But Federal Income Taxation of Corporate Enterprise stared up at me accusingly. It sucked. I just couldn't.
And then I woke up on Saturday in NYC and walked over bright and early to a bike shop milling about with friends and customers, and lucky for everyone in attendance, the Wafels & Dinges truck was there as well.
Inside, shots of espresso were being pulled and 'cross bikes examined. Questions were fielded and directed to a number of seasoned 'cross racers. Cards were exchanged in between bites of bacon-filled wafels. Embrocation and creams tested while talk of how the season went bounced amongst the attendees.
Maybe it was the sugar, but squeezing between new and old 'cross racers alike, there was nothing inaccessibly serious about the whole thing. Well, that's not quite accurate. The only thing really serious about the Kickoff party was the deadpan conviction that practically simmered in those who have discovered the wonders of 'cross that this was the single, most teeth-gnashing fun that you could ever have on a bicycle.
Which would sound slightly creepy if it wasn't for the fact that nearly every single person who races 'cross seems to passionately believe in this. And though cyclists tend to fall on the insane side of psychotic, there's always something to be said for consistency.
The NYC Velo Cyclocross Season Kickoff Party only served to heighten the excitement that seems to be bursting out of those in love with 'cross, just as the season starts to get into gear. And it's infectious, too. Because everyone seems to be talking about cyclocross this year.
If I had the funds and the bike, even I'd be up for embarrassing myself by face-planting in some mud on a cold, autumn New England day. And I'm pretty sure it won't just be for the wafels.
[More pictures of the event here.]