My race weekend started on Friday when I went to scope out the course right after work. I walked to the top and recognized some of the course that Tom had laid 3 weekends ago.
Lower rock garden
The course was totally different from any previous races,we had a couple of rock gardens and a section so loose that claimed more than a few riders.
“Widowmaker” section, photo courtesy of Sharky.
I arrived early on Saturday, Wes was there and he already had done a couple of runs. His main comment was that the trail was really loose. Joe showed up a little later and we both decided to do our first run. As I arrive to the “widowmaker” section, I crashed but just a little down the trail, Wes was there too, on the floor. Widowmaker:1, Moe:0.
The other sections were fine, the last rockgarden before we cross the road was a little intimidating, but I managed to roll it just fine.
Lower rock section, photo courtesy of Sharky.
On my last practice run, I was a little more confident until I hit the “widowmaker”. Unfortunately, there was a rider down so I stopped and realized that it was David “Crash” Collins from Crash Innovations. I saw that his knee was scrapped up and he was in a lot of pain. Since he was unable to stand up, I raced down to get some help, unfortunately, I was so out of focus that I ate it hard twice. I quickly told the first aid guys that there was a rider down on the loose section and they promptly took off to tend to him.
I went to base camp and was trying to cool off when I noticed something weird about my bike, turns out, a bolt from the main pivot went missing. After consulting with Quinton, he pretty much told me that I was S.O.L. Since Joe happens to have 2 bikes that can handle DH, he was kind enough to lend me his Intense Socom.
I was only able to have one practice run with the Socom before race time. I was a little nervous since it was tough course for me and I was riding a totally different bike. Thankfully, on my first run I had a clean run, my time was not great but I was happy that I didn’t crash. My second run was another story, I washed out on the “widowmaker” section and I had a hard time trying to get out of the loose silt. By that time, Joe had already caught up and Wes was hot on his heels. Since there was no way I can catch Joe, I decided to let them go through so they can improve their times.
I was a little disappointed with my performance, but the rest of the team did an excellent job. We also had a “guest” racer, Albert Vinas, he happens to be my CPA and the dude can ride! He took 3rd place on his first race ever, not too shabby!
Next stop: Mammoth Mountain!
I would like to knowledge our generous sponsors: KHS Bicycles, Ergon USA, Evomo Clothing, HossMTB, and our new sponsors: Serfas and Icetoolz.