Race Report SRC Winter Series #1 Kim “Champ” Finch

Editorial-RL Policar: As always, Kim Finch had a stellar weekend at the races in Fontana, Ca. Read up on her adventures!

Well here we are back in Fontana, CA for a whole new year! As I concluded last season, I have moved to the CAT2/Sport categories in all disciplines. I am going to mix up my XC racing with my Super D races as they always fall on the same day makes it hard to do both and still make it up the hill for Downhill practice.

This past weekend I prep myself for Saturday’s XC race. Upon line up at the start line, I found two other ladies in my class. One of them I had race before in the beginner category. I was glad to see other racers in my group. I also met the three women in the 34 under category. The start horn blew and off we went.

The course was still short from previous races but considering I now had to climb the ASPHALT road twice I was not that disappointed. Two laps this race approx 11 miles. The day was perfect for XC racing, little cloud cover and perfect temp! Some changes on the start of the course but still climbing that darn road. I hit the three hills to the water tower and then was time for the fun single track! I managed to pass one of the 34 under ladies, which always makes me smile! I kept Barbara in my sights the entire race. Came around to the last climb in my first lap to the rocky hill I have yet to clear without jumping off the bike and running! There was a man on the line and gave him a little shout and there I was half way up the climb…passed him..MADE IT! I was so proud of myself and even more so when the man I passed yelled out “How did you do it?”

Lap two, I managed to pass another 34 under lady and always keeping my competition in sight. Crossed the finish line with a battle with one lady from 34 under! It was a great race and I was close enough to Barbara I was thrilled. I had figured since starting a new CAT, I will be at the bottom of the list again!

After, made a little recovery and then off to DH practice. I managed to get two runs in and calling it a day! Sunday morning got in one good clean practice run and some pointers from Nancy Harris for a cleaner line on the second split on the course. I was bumped that Traci (my rival) had been injured the day before so she was unable to race with me. At the top I was chatting with Wendy, another DH racer, and I hear everyone yelling at me! “Get up here, your lining up!” Funny was that I was so used to being the one of the last groups to start so had to RUN UPHILL!! I was tired before the start and I was trying to quickly get helmet and gloves on.

The nice thing was, RL “BOSS” was there to get me to calm down and breathe. Of course he offered to do the Team dance, but knowing “Boss” I opted for “ No thanks”! Start count down,5-4-3-2-1 GO! & off I went. All I had to do was stay on the bike and make it down the course, but NO, I still pour it on as if I am racing the world! I was a little anxious on the steep chute, as it was soft during practice but now after all the racers would be worse. I cleaned the first two turns well. Had a slight wash out at the third turn.

NO crash, but looked down and my bike wasn’t under me. LOL Grabbed the handle bar gave my bike a bit of a talking to as we got it back together and headed for the shot and did just what I planed. Scrubbed all me speed and rolled down the chute with feathering the rear brake slightly. I had a few toe dabs through the bottom section rolled into the off caber line into the rut! Then started looking for Nancy’s pointer of rolling over the big rock. Kept telling myself “find the rock”! There it is ..I am home free.

I hear friends cheering as I get through and then it is sure speed down the rest of the course. The lower rock garden was very familiar and bobbled slightly but cleared and the it’s “The Wall” I hear the yells to get on the pedals! I thought about it and was exhausted, just wanted to hit the finish line! Was a great day! Great weekend of racing & friends.

Took 3rd in XC & 1st in DH!

About the author

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of MtnBikeRiders.com and BikeCommuters.com. Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).