Today is the last day of summer before fall officially starts tomorrow on September 23rd. And the temperature is getting prepared for it. We've dropped from Monday's warm and sunny 80 to yesterday's 70 and today will only hit 65. However, it's going to climb back up to 80 after the weekend.
I've been pretty productive getting final things in place for the race the past few days. I got the online registration up and running as promised on September 20th at Raceregister.net which, I admit, is an experiment. I am offering a pretty big discount for all racers who sign up online and will eat the cost of the timing chip and transaction fee compared to those who sign up on race day. We'll see how that all plays out. I placed the order for The Mullet Fall Classic bike number plates and awards yesterday. Pi-Pi's porta potties are ordered. Most of the race route is ready to go and I finished the initial paint marking last night for those interested in pre-riding. A bit of mowing and some erosion fill work to do on the October 2nd, 1-5 pm trail work day. The only thing I didn't accomplish yesterday was booking a motel room for the timer that is driving over from Nebraska. I left a message to see what motel she would prefer, but didn't hear back yet.
The Mullet race route is in good shape and riding primo fast at the moment. I kind of like the big cyclocross downhill swoopy grass section that brings everybody out of the woods and back down to the start/finish area. I'll need a ton of markers, tape and chalk to set that up the day before the race. A ton of walnuts have fallen in the past 3 days which makes for sections of big "marbles" on the trail. I'm going to have to add that to the final grooming sweep of the trail to get the majority of walnuts off of the trail before the race - especially in the corners. I rode one loop last night and counted 42 deer. They are everywhere this time of year.
I've got too many irons in the fire at the moment with organizing a race, and directing an opera at the same time. On top of that, my father has been in and out of the hospital this past week and is now in re-hab for 8 weeks. Nothing like the stress of worrying about your aging parent and trying to figure things out from a distance with lots of phone calls, emails and shared concern. In terms of the opera, Die Fledermaus staging starts on Monday (we've actually been doing choreography the past 2 weekends). I pick up most of the props this morning and will get some rehearsal furniture over the weekend. I always forget how much problem solving is involved when directing an opera, but it all adds stress and keeps my mind racing to come up with solutions 24/7. I am not as prepared for the small details and particulars of the staging as I would like to be for Monday's start, but I put in about 3 hours this morning studying what I want to do. If I do that tonight, tomorrow, and as much as I can this weekend - I should be ready to go. Performances are October 27/28/29 - so there is time to let it develop and unfold, but no time to waste getting it all worked out with the students.
The racing season is winding down. Since I blew my DT Swiss/Hügi 240 rear hub at Sugarbottom, my weekly hours on the bike have dropped from 8-10 all the down to 3-4. Pathetic. In spite of that, I'm heading up to St. Cloud, MN for Saturday's final Minnesota Mountain Bike Series race. There seems to be enough punch in my legs for the climbs based on this week's training rides. Tonight is my final prep ride and I will test out the rebuilt rear hub. Sterling rebuilt it for around $55. Not bad considering I've been riding that hub since September of 2002 (bought it in Vienna, Austria). If the hub is fine on tonight's ride, I'll be riding it at St. Cloud. We plan on stopping by the outlet malls in Albertville to make the overnight trip productive. Then back to choreography rehearsal for the opera Saturday evening. Sunday, I'll mow some more out at Ahquabi, pick up some furniture for the opera and then do a big choreography session at night.
Bye-bye summer, hello fall...