By Ambassador Sydney Schumacher

The “Dog Days of Summer”, as Ms. Merriam Webster would put it, is the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere. Or known to others as a period of stagnation filled with cold drinks and good company. Whether we like it or not, this time of the year is quite the change of pace. The heat of the season doesn’t inspire long pedal missions or boast hero dirt. It’s the time of year when we load up the truck and drive straight to the top of the mountain. Shuttle laps, party trains, fast rolling-jumps; it’s the season to session.

Sessioning…A crazy subsect of biking where you simply just lap the same section of trail. Might sound absurd, but it’s an opportunity to slow down the pace and pick apart a single section of trail. More so, it’s the opportunity to actually check off the long-awaited goals. The type of features you look at while ripping down the trail and say to yourself, “maybe one day.” While this heatwave has not been the most motivating riding conditions, it has given me the chance to actually push towards new projects. The kind of goals that aren’t just going to happen while trail riding. Whether it’s new drops or no handers, these new tricks all need a little dedicated time and space.

And that very concept is what brought me to Double D. I stood next to this new drop in nervous anticipation watching others go off the drop I have had my eyes on for years. I knew it was well within my skill set, but man, that did not help the jitters. After practicing similar drops in the area, I knew it was now my turn to roll off the edge. I put in a few hard pedal cranks, held my breath, closed my eyes, and…Just kidding. I wish it worked that way. After finally mentally committing to the drop, I found myself at the edge and ready to drop in. One slight pre-load at the lip and my wheels were already off the ground and on their way to sweet transition. I couldn’t help but throw my hands up in the air. Pure stoke and relief washed over me when I finally realized this one was checked off the list.

While I wish it could be perfect dirt and cool riding temperatures year-round, that’s just not realistic. We have had to be true to the season and whatever it might bring. I know the good dirt and trail building will return, but until then, this sultry season has given us the perfect excuse to slow down the pace and work on new things. Whether it’s trying new tricks, coaching the groms, or simply swimming more than riding, there is a time and place for all the wonderful aspects of riding.