On Friday, we woke with giddy anticipation to get over to Windham, but stopped at the Log Cabin Cafe for breakfast. It’s a great place to eat, but be sure to bring cash.
Upon arriving at Windham, we were greeted almost immediately by the Santa Cruz tent just out front of the main entrance to the park. Syndicate!
We rode up to the top of the mountain on the lift, which was a lot of fun taking in the views and seeing some riders coming down the lower, more open sections of the course.
At the top we wandered over to the starting point and began walking down the course. We quickly learned that while a lot of work goes into creating the course, bystanders and pedestrians are on their own. By the end of the weekend, foot trails were very well established, but there were several very steep and sketchy sections to traverse.
As we descended on foot, riders were coming down the course. We would stop at different points to watch. As I already knew, video and pictures can never portray how gnarly and steep some of these courses are. And it wasn’t long before we got a glimpse of Josh “Ratboy” Bryceland zipping by.
We made our way slowly to the bottom and got a real good feel for the course. All the while some of the best riders in the world were zipping by. There was a small crowd on hand, which was nice to allow us to get our bearings. The next day was going to bring out the crowds and the full-on festival atmosphere.