Do you ever have the feeling, standing at a 'cross race, like the feeling George C. Scott's Patton got when he was overlooking the site of a great battle between the Romans and Carthaginians - that you were there, that you were born to it, that it's the most natural thing in the world to go out there and get your nose stuck in the fight? That there's something a little bit mystical about a bike race, especially a 'cross race where the tragedy of the self-inflicted suffering is so epic that it's damn near transcendental? Man, I love a good 'cross race. For some reason it resonates with me the way that few other things do. The day I met my wife I had that feeling in spades. Seeing live opera, or playoff hockey gives me that buzz. Getting a really good long section of flow on single track does too. But opera sometimes is lousy, with bad set design or subpar singers. In hockey, sometimes your team just dies, and you're in the second game and there's 2.5 more beatings to come. Getting to the point where you flow on a mountain bike, where your mind just disappears in a moment of sublime relaxation is hard to achieve. But 'cross does it for me every time, just focuses the mind and if I'm racing, engages the body. If 'cross resonates with you, if you're on the same frequency with the sport, it draws you in like few other things.
See what I mean? You can't look away. You're hooked.