When I arrived at Raleigh's at 6am on Sunday, August's bike was upturned in the center of the living room and my son and grandson were were working on the chain that had broken the night before. They were surrounded by laughing family, 3 dogs, and a cat. Michael was on the couch drinking coffee with his new puppy Stella in his lap. Candice was cooing to the puppy, and Jenny was sitting nearby with her cup of coffee. Libby was whining from her kennel, eager to be part of the happy scene in the living room where deaf ole Blue had free rein. It was early morning in a Harrelson household, and I happily joined the fray, enjoying the familiarity of my family who rise early, excited about the new day.
Once the chain was repaired, all the activity moved outside, so Raleigh and the boys could hook up the bike rack to Cindy's truck and load up. August, Cody, and I were going to the John Fisher Downhill Bicycle race at Miami Creek OVH Park in Oakhurst. The 2-hour drive was "sweet," to use the boy's lingo. The ride was also filled with a vocabulary I didn't know-- bike stuff, like hardtail, forks, and rhythm patterns. I was a happy driver. Their non-stop conversation served as a backdrop to the beauty of the foothills outside of Coulterville. which sported a plant I don't remember seeing before: beautiful yellow flowers on a low-lying bush, obviously something that opens in the early morning hours and closes up later in the heat of the day.
This day was blooming into quite a fine time. We were among the first to arrive at the Kamook staging area. The boys were anxious to practice the course, which they did again and again and again, with me picking them up at the bottom and shutting them back to the top. Eventually the race shuttle arrived, and I took a breather. After about 12 runs each, they stopped to eat and drink before the race actually started.
There were two timed runs. I situated myself to take videos (which I'm going to try to post later). I cheered with other parents at the bottom of the first leg of the first run. For the second run, I hiked down the course and sat in a manzanita grove taking videos at a section that had several jumps. My video camera is new and my skills are limited, but I got short clips of both boys as well as everyone else because I never knew when they were coming. Riders start at one minute intervals.
It was a terrific day. My grandsons know how to play hard and they are refreshingly polite as well as generous and witty . . . not every grandma gets to hear tasteful jokes from her 14 and 15 year old grandsons. I feel blessed to be in the company of these smart, congenial young men.
The scene in Raleigh's driveway at 6am;
August suiting up for his practice runs;
The boys after the first timed race, coming to get water & food;
Cody with his medal for first place in the hardtail category,