After my lovely wife cleaned my battle wounds, I quickly suited up to do my first ever Downhill practice. Joe, RL and I took the shuttle to the top and waited for our turn to ride. I was really nervous because I’d seen a few riders really eat it on the course. I didn’t start with confidence and it showed, I washed out 3 times and wussed out once on a more difficult section.
Lower Rock Garden
Once I hit the lower portion of the trail, it seemed familiar since I’ve just ridden it on my Super D race. As soon as I got to lower rock garden, I basically let the bike do its thing and I made it with no issues at all. I was sort of comfortable with the lower section of the trail, but I knew I had some work to do on the top portion.
Image by Chris/Sharky
On Sunday, RL and I walked our bikes to the top, we didn’t want to wait about 45 minutes for the shuttle to take us to the top. Also, walking up the hill gave us a good warm up and we loosen up a bit. Again, I was having difficulty on the top portion of the course so we stopped and climbed back up to ‘session’ the part that was kicking my butt. I finally cleared the section and I headed down to the car to wait for race time.
Once race time approached, I was nervous about my run, heck, I was borderline scared. As I was chatting with Tony Finch, he gave me some sound advice: “Take it easy on top section, if you crash on the top, you will lose confidence and ruin your entire run”.
Tony Finch: The DHzen Master
As I was sent down by Donny, I remembered what Tony said and took it easy on the top, as soon as I cleared it, I pushed it a bit and rode well on the lower part of the course.
MtnBikeRiders.com DH riders
I had a blast on my first downhill race, I made it in one piece and I placed 8th out of 9th. I don’t think that I would have tried Downhill racing if I wouldn’t be riding the KHS DH200, this bike is totally awesome and I owe a big thanks to Vince Calvillo from KHS Bicycles for letting me review the bike. I also want to thank Quinton Spaulding for letting me use his cutter, Tony Finch for his advice, Joe and RL for their support and most of all, Kim Finch for showing me that everything is possible if you set your mind to it.