During this past weekend the Downhill Dept. of the MtnBikeRiders.com race team was in attendance of Race #3 of the Shimano Winter Series. If you had previously read, I had a jersey made just for this race. The last race I showed up in my brocade blue tuxedo and this time I wanted to make sure I came out with something special.
RL, Art and Wes.
This jersey was well received by racers and spectators. I had so many people complimenting and asking how they can get one. I had people comment that the chains looked real from far away.
One thing with this race, it was super windy. Not quite as windy as the first race of the season, but gusts were up to 30mph. Much like last time I had a hard time hearing the count down from the gate, but when I heard 5,…3…..1; I rolled out of the gate in a nice easy pace. I made sure that I took it easy because during my practice runs, I was going way too fast out of the gate and found myself not making the first turn and blowing through the other berms. Through the advice of team mates, Corey Pond and Art Aguilar, they told me to just take it slow at the start of the race and make sure I get down the mountain without incident.
As I carved my way down, I make a right turn before a short climb and found my front wheel washing out. I CRASH! Nothing bad, but I was stuck in my SPD pedals. I fidget with my feet to unclip and once I get out, I mount the bike, and start pedaling again. Already frustrated with my crash, I made sure I didn’t panic and start to refocus and continue with my race run.
It wasn’t until I got to the dreaded WALL that the wind hit me hard. I stood up pedaling only to be smacked with strong head wind. I yell out in frustration and to motivate myself….”C’MON RL!!!!” I pedal as hard as I can and occasionally sit down to ease the burn of lactic acid in my quads. I finally cross the finish line and I was pretty happy with my performance. It wasn’t the cleanest race run, but I was not injured.
Results were posted quickly and I was surprised to find myself in 3rd place!
Not sure if you can see it on the podium picture, but that’s a pimp cup in my hand. That was the inspiration for my jersey, besides I had promised my brother that I’d take it up there with me in the event I did well.
I’d like to take this time to thank our sponsors, Evomo Clothing, Ergon USA, VIP Energy Mix, Serfas and Dirty Dog MTB. I also have to give a shout out to Airborne Bicycles. I’ve been racing with the Airborne Taka and this bike has GREATLY improved my downhill riding/racing. Even my own team mates have mentioned that I’ve done better on this bike than any of the other bikes I’ve raced with. I’ve been really happy on how durable and fun it is to ride/race the Taka.