A week-long mountain bike trip at the start of the season serves two purposes. First, it builds some fitness and sharpens skills for the season that just arrived. Second, it reminds a guy of what he is, and what he isn't.
I'm an old XC guy. Give me some nice trail and a day to kill, and I can have a good time. Throw in a few moderate logs and small boulders to clean, and I can do something with it. Make the boulder piles the size of houses, and I tend to fade. Fast.
I have immense respect for riders who have the skills to pay the bills when the going gets tough, but I'm content with more modest challenges. Keep me close to the not-hideously-steep ground, and life is good.
I'll tell ya one thing, though. I never get tired of the frozen north, and the mountain bikers who ride it.
Same thing goes for the tasty ice cream in Carcross.