This may be a bit more of a personal take (so bear with me) on the event that has (in my opinion) rejuvenated the cycling community in Stillwater Oklahoma. And that’s no knock on the past cycling community there as I was a part of that some 30 years ago. It has always been there, it’s just now more noticeable and strikes a chord with many near and far. To return to the place I went to school (Oklahoma State University) and see the enthusiasm, comradery and love the cycling community has going on was a pure jaw dropping experience for me. Memories of campus, Hideaway Pizza and a place called the 500 caused my heart to swell and my brain to explode. To be there with the current day cycling community and take it all in was a homecoming and a crossing of streams for me. That’s all before you factor in Bobby and the crew at District Bicycles. The Greatest Showman on Earth as I think of him, but with a sincerity that is real, that is palpable, that we all want to be drawn into and be a part of. I’m embarrassed to admit that this was my first attendance at Mid South. I didn’t race but got to do a couple of short rides that brought the memories flooding back. I cruised through campus, saw the old buildings and some of the new. I ran support for our 3-person crew which really allowed me to see the excitement in riders from the fastest competitor to the DFL rider rolling across the line late in the night. It’s that special.
The day after The Mid South—-Bobby gets in touch with mother earth.
Mid South Gravel 2022–The return of the hugs
Yes, there were hugs. In my book we all needed one after the last two years. I didn’t race, but got one (or many) anyway. But there were hugs at the finish line and so many riders that have taken on the challenge that Payne County Oklahoma offers needed one. Sacred lands that hold so much diversity in everything from plant life to soil compositions to the people that are proud to call it home. Mid South has a vibe to it like no other event I’ve ever been a part of….and I’ve been to a LOT of events. It is a true expression of inclusiveness carried out on the back of a bicycle or on foot. If you lined up at the start, you’re a winner. If you listened to Bobby’s talk before you rolled out, how could you not get choked up. It may sound corny, but damn…. tell me about another event that is like Mid South….I dare you.
Not many braved the cold weather on Friday, but those that did were rewarded with excellent conditions.
Moots Owners at Mid South
We are always humbled by the dedication our Moots Owners have. They showed up in numbers at Mid South to show us their bike, check out the NEW Routt ESC (the first public in-person showing) and go on social rides. One made the trip from Tulsa just to meet us. He wasn’t even doing the event! He rode his Routt 45 and is one of the first that will take delivery of the Routt ESC when ready. The experience of meeting riders that love our bikes is never taken lightly by us. Here I was back in my college town where I had my first “industry job” at a bike shop, riding alongside folks that have amazing stories from riding their Moots all over the country and beyond….it was a “pinch me I must be dreaming” type of trip.
As race day unfolded, we met each Moots rider at the finish line and snapped a photo or two and heard feedback from their day. The smiles, the cramps and the tales of the day were inspiring and real. This is what bikes are about for us. A massive thanks for all the Moots Owners that went out of their way to come and say hi.
Michael made the trip from Tulsa to come meet and ride with us! Thanks Michael!
We’ll be back–
When I was done with school there, I left and never looked back. I moved to Colorado and now 30 years on (25 of those at Moots) I’m thinking fondly of those grasslands, those rollers, that red clay and the community in a different light. It’s magic. And I can’t wait to go back. Count on us at the 2023 Mid South and myself lining up with a number plate on my bike and a smile on my face. I hope to see you there. Thanks for reading.
Thanks to Kelly and the crew at Aspen Coffee Company…..can’t do bikes without coffee right?
The RAD one was in town.
Daughter and dad team from North Carolina lined up on a pair of Moots.
Nate and his MX RSL in a beautiful sunset at the finish.
Burrito, check. Recovery drink, check. Champange, check. Finish line scenes are the best.
Our own Jeremiah (silver helmet #364) put in a great time even though I missed the feed zone at mile 43. Sorry JG, next time.