Race Team-Winter Series ReCap

As you all know, members of the race team have kicked butt all winter long! We started racing in Fall of 08 and started the Shimano Winter Series on January 5th,2009. Since then we’ve basically had a race weekend every two weeks until the end on March 22nd, 2009.

Our team consisted of our core crew of Priscilla Policar (XC), Kim Finch, (XC, Super D and DH), David Sanderson (Single Speed XC), Eric “The Animal” Hunner (Single Speed XC), Tony Finch (DH and Super D) and Joe Solancho (XC, Super D, DH). Then there is Moe Ramirez and yours truly, RL Policar. Moe tried his hand in XC racing in 08 then decided to race Super D and DH for 09. I raced my first DH event in 08 and continued to race for 09.

Before I go on, I’d first like to thank our sponsors,, Evomo Clothing, Hoss MTB, and Ergon USA. These companies have supported our team since the beginning and truly deserve some love. So do us a favor, click on the links, buy their stuff, why? Well honestly, its because their products rock! Evomo has some sweet mountain bike related clothing and jerseys, Hoss MTB makes some of the best riding clothing such as shorts, and jerseys. Ergon Bike…need I say more? Ergon makes super comfortable hydration packs and their world famous grips will literally change your riding…trust us!

One of the things I’ve often mentioned to the team and on the website is our chemistry. Not only do we all get along, but we actually like spending time with one another. In fact, on my birthday, almost all of the team showed up for the surprise celebration that Priscilla set up. I also have to mention that we all chip in with the responsibility of each race. Usually we would have a BBQ or some sort of potluck and we could easily rely on the team to bring what was needed or what ever they promised to bring.

Encouragement was also key to the success of our team. We cheered each other on during the races and while some of us were on the podium. One of my favorite things to do was to keep tabs of riders in each of their respective categories. So that meant I would keep a tab on the riders in Eric and David’s SS group, and as they passed by the feed station, I’d give them an update on how each rider was from them. After the races, our team would do so well, that they would often times get the opportunity to stand on the podium. This is when more cheers and praise from the team would come out in support of our rider. I think we were one of the loudest groups during the awards…

Our mechanical support system has been amazing. Tony Finch was our roving bike shop. He had just about any part you needed in his car. Plus if we needed advice about our bike, tire pressure or the terrain, Tony was the man to go to. With his years of racing and riding, Tony was like the living/biking Wikipedia for bikes.

As we raced through out the months, there were times when we all felt like the races had started taking a toll on all of us. It’s not exactly easy to race every other weekend. Some of us live far, have kids and the preparation as well as the effort to get to each race can be taxing after a few months. But I have to tell you, once we got on our bikes…all that seemed to not matter. We were all doing something we loved…riding bikes!

All in all, our team performed really well at Fontana. We took home a few championships and it also cultivated something much more out of each of us. I think if anything, I saw each rider push through some tough times on the trail as well as in our own lives.

I can’t really get into details, but some of our team members had gone through quite a bit during the series, yet they persevered and kept coming back. I tell you, our team is great. I actually look forward to seeing all the guys and gals. There’s just something about seeing Eric’s strength come into play whether off or on the trail. David’s enthusiasm was infectious, Joe’s photos and heart to race has been pretty awesome. Tony Finch’s knowledge and fatherly qualities was great to see because he really made sure he coached all of us newbies. Kim’s tenacity was very impressive. In fact Moe often viewed Kim as his racing role model. Then there’s Priscilla, she has been very supportive during the series. Not only was she out there giving her best, but she was there to support the rest of us during our own races.

I also want to take the time to say how proud I am of my buddy Moe. For this guy to race downhill is nothing but impressive. I’m not saying he rides like Eric Carter, but the guy is out there giving his best. Each race Moe isn’t holding back, he literally gives DH 100% of his heart and doesn’t stop working hard until he crosses the finish line.

Though the Winter Series is over, it doesn’t mean we’re done racing. There are a few more events this year and I am just as excited as everyone else to get back on the bike and compete. Besides, we get to hang out with each other again!

So I hope you’ve enjoyed our racing adventures through videos and race reports. We certainly have. I know that racing has brought something new and different to the site’s content. If anything, many bike companies we deal with are really happy to see us out there racin’ and having fun. How do we know this? Well…some of then will either tell us during the events, or we’ll get emails stating they love what we’ve been doing. Don’t worry, we’re still the same set of people that do reviews, articles and all that jazz.

Thanks again to our readers for choosing to visit and for your continued support in what we do.

Shimano Winter Series Overall Results:
Tony Finch Sport Men 43-50 2nd Place
Kim Finch Beg Wmn 35+ 1st Place DH, 1st Place XC
Joe Solancho Beg Men 35-42 2nd Place, Super D 2nd Place
Moe Ramirez Beg Men 35-42 3rd Place, Super D 4th Place
RL Policar 200 Club 1st Place
Priscilla Policar Beg Wmn 34 under 2nd Place
Eric Hunner SS 34 Under 2nd Place
David Sanderson SS 34 Under 4th Place

Shimano Winter Series: RL’s Downhill Report-The Finals

All week Weather Forecasters were predicting that Sunday would bring rain to Southern California. But as you know weather people are always wrong at least half of the time. I got up around 5 am to get the trailer ready to head out to Fontana to do some practice runs. Fellow team mate, David Sanderson agreed to go with me and take in a few practice runs.

As I drove on the freeway, rain started to come down. In various parts it would sprinkle then a mile later a big down pour. However, when I got to the venue, the place was still dry. As soon as I was done setting up base camp, rain had arrived with David.

We suited up and got on the shuttle van only to be greeted with a pouring rain. The van was full of racers and we all talked about how nasty the trail will be. I sat in the middle row and as the van pulled up to the top of the mountain, one at a time, the racers placed their helmets on their heads then quickly exited the van. The whole scene reminded me of some sort of action movie where the Commandos are being told to get out of the plane/truck and head into battle.

David and I lined up at the gate and the rain was hitting harder than ever. The wind was blowing at pretty good rate as well. The race course was far different from the dry and loose sandy conditions from the day before. Now it was a slippery mess and when you combine that with big rocks and boulders, its a Molotov cocktail for disaster.

David started before I did and I gave him at least a 5 second start. When it was my turn, I maneuvered through the course like an old lady on a Sunday stroll on her walker. I made sure I took my time to remember the proper lines, and taking extra precaution to be careful not to do anything that would cause injury. I don’t know about David, but I was slipping and sliding the whole time. I made it down to the bottom of the course, passed the finished line. We headed back to camp to wait for the rest of the team. As soon as Joe, Kim and Tony arrived, we jumped on the next shuttle to do another run. This time the rain had stopped a bit and the course was more tacky than muddy.

Races started at 10:30 am sharp. However, my category was the last group to go and that meant we had about a 2 hour wait before we had to line up. Around 11:30am, we loaded up on the last shuttle run for the day and made our way to the top where staging was occurring.

I saw off the rest of the team before having to line up. My only competition was Dustin, whom I had previously beat. Johnny D of KHS decided to retire from racing and focus on photography.

I forgot to mention, since this was the finals, I decided to have a bit more fun and wear my pajamas for the race. I orginally wanted to get a suit, you know, an old tux from the 70’s..but didn’t have enough time to do so.

I line up, and off I went. It’s really funny, during practice times, I have such a hard time with a course, but when it comes down to the race it self, I do a bit better. I nailed every turn and only put my foot down on one turn because I slipped. I am on my down to the last part of the mountain and as I turn the corner, I see a rider down, It was Traci Adams (Kim’s competition).
Photo courtesy of DALE RH

I slowed down and even wanted to stop to make sure she was ok(its the Dad in me). I asked her if she needed help, she declined and said she was ok. That’s when I let go of the brakes and finish the rest of my race.

By the time I hit the wall, my legs were on fire. I sat down a few times and as soon as the burning went away, I stood up again to pedal hard. Eventually I even caught a glimpse of Kim who was just crossing the finish line. I pedaled as hard as I could…dead legs don’t move all that fast. I cross the finish with PJs and all! Woohoo!

Dustin Hampton came in really fast, which meant I took 2nd this time. However, since I raced 5 out of the 6 events, I took home the overall champion award. I have never ever raced DH in my life. I had always talked about wanting to try DH, but never had a bike to do it with. What’s funny about this whole experience is the fact that I basically raced with an XC bike made by Ibex Bikes. The Ignition was close to an AM bike as you can get. The rear had about 4.5 inches of travel and the front about 5″. Joe let me borrow his Marzocchi fork which gave me a total of 6″ in the front to help absorb some of the crazy drops we experienced.

Some have told me that I may have done better on a longer travel bike. But if anyone knows me at all, I like to do with what I have. Besides I wasn’t willing to spend a grip of money on a DH bike…I have 3 kids that need my cash on a 24hour basis! Anyhow, I was rockin’ the Ibex through out the series and I have to tell you, this bike is one strong rig! I did have 3 problems that occurred through out the months of sessioning and racing. 1, the rear XC wheel came loose. On one training DH ride, the axle nuts came loose. It was quickly fixed with a set of cone wrenches. 2, rear triangle pivots came a bit loose from the same training ride. That was remedied by tightening them. 3, severe chain suck. On Saturday’s practice run, I hit a rock garden that bounced my chain off the middle ring, passed the granny and was wedged between the bottom bracket and the swing arm. I fixed that with an MRP chain guide the same evening. But overall, the bike lasted through months of abuse and this XC bike probably has seen more rough terrain than it was intended to.

I would like thank our awesome sponsors for supporting us throughout the races, Hoss MTB, Ergon USA, Evomo Clothing and

Eric Hunner’s Counting Coup 2009 Race Report

–RL Policar: Counting Coup has to be one of the tougher races hosted here in SoCal. On race day, it was estimated that over 300 riders participated in this yearly masochistic fest. Once again, our very own Eric Hunner didn’t disappoint us by racing this event with his single speed.

The results of my last MTNbike event have been posted, the 44 mile, 8,000 +- feet of elevation gain “Counting Coup” 2009 Pow Wow, 10th place overall, 2nd Rigid Singlespeed, 05:09:55 time, 320 plate, age 30. I beat my 2008 time in this event by 8 minutes, this was the most important thing to do in this event. I wanted to come in under five hours, it just didn’t happen. It was bitter cold on March 7, 2009. The event started at 05:30am in the dark. I was armed with a Mini Mag 2 AA LED flashlight zip tied to my helmet, this little light supplied plenty of power until sunrise, don’t knock it until you try it.

I was greeted by The “Moe” at the start of the race, he has some really pictures of Eric Young my buddy, and myself with sunblock not rubbed in, all over my face. I was a little distracted when applying sunblock due to the events early start and trying to make coffee on a Coleman Stove, I think next year I am going to stay at home the night before the race and not camp. I love camping but I am aiming for the Vision Quest next year on a SS. I am going to need every bit of luck next year to finish the VQ one of the 10 most difficult MTN Bike events in the country, and still be able to move when it is all done.

The Pow Wow started on time and we were off to Beeks place, some 10 miles away uphill. I am greeted by Joe “Mama Jamma” about an hour later. He snapped some sweet pictures and gave me some support to dig out steep climb around the corner.

The other riders around me looked at me like they wanted some support from their peers as well. I pedaled another 12 miles before a rocky, narrow switchback called Motorway. I made it down even passing three full suspension bikes, and letting two speed demons pass me as to not be in the way. I get to the first aid station and go to take my Ergon Backpack off to refill the bladder, I had to get help from one the volunteers to get my pack unclasped. My hands were freezing and rattled after coming down Motorway on a rigid bike. Soon my hands were feeling normal again, I was refueled and ready to climb Maple Springs. I caught up to my biggest competition at the SRC race’s Mr. Rod Leveque and offered him some teriyaki turkey jerky, he looked at me like I was crazy. Rod was in the Vision Quest (56 mile) event on gears. We had some friendly hill climbing competition together eventually he broke away.

I was able to pedal up most of the hills this year, I removed my Spot hub and laced in a new Hope SS hub days before the race. With this change I had a built in travel alarm for hikers, and was able to easily change my gearing to 32×20, last year I ran 32×18 and fought cramps early in the morning and hiked most of the steep terrain. Being able to pedal most of the hills this year feels better than walking, and its faster. I thought I would able to come in under five hours with not hiking as much this year but two factors were the snowy ice on top of Saddleback mountain slowed me down, and the bitter cold, it took me forever to feel my burn. The cold weather was keeping me numb.

After all the climbing I was again greeted with another downhill to the finish line, if you have never been down Upper Holy Jim put it on your short to do list, if you like scary ruts going into corners, rocks, stairs steps, gravel, switchback’s, rollers, high speed action for some 10 miles. I made it though the 44 miles without injury, bike failure, or cramps thanks to SportLegs, six liters of fluid while riding. Next year I aim to step it up to the Vision Quest (56 mile) and keep climbing when I get to the bottom of Holy Jim. It is time to start training for next year’s Pow Wow already

To see more of Eric’s photos from the event (56 total!), check out the Counting Coup Flickr Set.

RL the “Team Manager’s” Race Report: Mt Sac Fat Tire Classic

The Mt Sac Fat Tire Classic has to be one of the most fun races here in SoCal. It literally brings riders from all over the place in all riding levels the opportunity to try mountain bike racing.

The first race of the day for our riders was at 8:45 am. The next race wasn’t due to start until 11:45am. So that meant that I had to make sure that we had everything we needed such as food, canopy, gels, and family packed and ready to go just so we can be at the venue bright and early to cheer on Eric and Joe.

What made this race interesting was the rain that came down the night before. That morning Eric had called me from the venue, while I was still at home getting ready, to let me know that it was “misting hard.” When we got there, the rain was starting to come down a bit harder but it eventually cleared by the first race.

We set up our RAD Redline Bicycles Tent (thanks gOrK!) and got things ready for the day. We wanted to make sure our racers and family members were taken care of, so we had a BBQ for them. Our menu included flame broiled hamburgers and hot dogs, Salmon, and Mahi Mahi. We also had cup cakes and a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.

Around 8:40am the racers lined up and at exactly 8:45am, they all took off. Eric had a great start and showed his strength when he started mashing up the first hill. Joe, the Ninja that he is, easily snuck by and with his cat like reflexes, clawed his way through the other riders.

Here’s Eric and Joe coming by the Feed Zone. The feed transitions were almost perfect with the guys…except one time when I handed off the bottle to Joe and it either slipped out of his hands or his cage. But luckily one of the other feeders from another team grabbed his water bottle and ran it over to Joe…nice guy eh!

Ok I’m going to move on to the next race. I’ll go back and talk about Joe and Eric’s race results along with the rest of the team.

So now we move onto the next race in which Priscilla, Kim, Moe and our friends Val and Ner participating in. The beginner’s group is a large one…the organizers said that they must have had at least 100 racers in there.

In Priscilla’s category, Beginner Women, 34 and under she had about 6 in her field. Kim also had about 6 in her field of Beginner Women, 34 and over. The girls did a phenomenal job during this race and you can see them methodically planning their attacks through out the course. In one instance, after a big climb, the girl that was currently in 2nd place (Priscilla’s group) slowed down after the descent and decided to relax, but it was at this time Priscilla took advantage of the situation and hammered it.

Here’s what I was talking about, the girl in the red took it easy as soon as she got down. Priscilla went wide and passed her.

Kim used what she knows from years of riding XC into practice on the competition. She held her position during the race and never let anyone in her group pass her.

Then there was Ner and Val. We’ve ridden with these guys so many times and we knew that Val has the ability to mash it, but what we were all blown away with was Ner’s ability to ride. In all of our group rides, Ner sand bags it…He literally is a humble rider and doesn’t let on that he can mash. At the race, he held a good position and finished strong.
Ner and Val

Then there was THE MOE. You have to understand his mentality on this race. TM had no plans on winning the Beginner 35 and up class, nope. He had a personal vendetta he had to settle. This race was to redeem himself from the Bonelli Race in which he had mechanical problems that caused him to stop. This time he took care of all the bike problems, trained hard and rode with heart.

TM wasn’t concerned about other riders, all he did was “RIDE HIS RIDE.”

TM was pretty determined and only took a shot of MotoTabs during the feed station, the first time he passed by, he simply said, “no thanks…” TM had this calm but eerie confidence during the ride. He wasn’t loud, he wasn’t screaming, he just rode…by the way, Nice Jersey!

Ok now for the results…The girls did an AWESOME Job in bringing home the goods! Kim placed 3rd and Priscilla 2nd!

Eric came in at a respectable 5th place. Good Job Animal! Is that a Coke and Rum in your hands?

For the rest of the fellas, though they didn’t place. They all had a level of satisfaction being able to finish strong and having a great time. I’d like to thank all of the racers for making it out, and a big thanks to Redline Bicycles for the tent, KHS Bicycles for the Hammer Gels and Water Bottles, to Evomo Clothing for your stylish clothes, Hoss MTB for the awesome gear you guys make, ERGON USA for the fantastic grips!

I’ve compiled a small video of the race. The other riders will be posting their own reports, but in the mean time enjoy!

Eric Hunner’s SC Velo XC Race Report

My day started off brewing coffee at 4:00 am, not uncommon during the work week, but probably not the best thing to do before a race. I could not sleep. I kept turning the news on checking the current
weather conditions. The night before, the news said it going to start raining at 4:00am on race day. One part of me wanted it to rain it would be like the Camp Pendleton Mud Run but only with a bike under you, and another part of me wanted my wife and baby to be at the race warm and dry. Well the rain held out long enough for our MtnBikeRiders Team to race in really nice conditions, and keep the wife happy- choose your battles wisely.

My race started at 10:00am Single Speed 34 and under. I had my work cut out for me, some of the other Single Speeders included Mark Mumea & Calvin Lefebvre both have laundry list of races under their belt.

Our course was 4 laps, 16 miles total. First lap I was going like crazy with every body else about 21 minutes for the first lap, then I settled into my groove. Knocking the hills down one at a time and before I knew the race was half way done. The SC VELO XC CHALLENGE race was a lot of fun, everybody I ran into that day was in such a great mood fellow racers included.

I had some great competition from a gearie in the middle of the race. I threw my chain off in a rough downhill section and the gearie comes zipping by and says,”I didn’t think I was going to catch you”. I
put my chain back on as fast as possible. I took a gamble and rode with the loose chain for the rest of the race instead of burning up minutes trying to set the chain tension just right. It paid off because I caught and passed the gearie. The gearie caught up with me after a few downhill sections [ I am riding a full rigid he was on full suspension] he said,”Hey single speed I’m back” . He kept the pressure on and we were passing other racers together going uphill. We had are own race within the race. I pulled away half way though the fourth lap and BAM! threw the chain one more time with 1 mile to go before the finish line. I look back as I am putting my chain on and the gearie is in sight. The race is still on. Well I finish without any more hiccup’s or positions lost to a Warm welcome at the finish from family, friends, and strangers alike.

I end up on the podium in second place, second to Mark Mumea. This was such a fun event and a great beginning to the SC Velo Triple Crown.

Priscilla’s Bonelli XC Race Report

Oh boy, oh boy do I have a story to share with you! I am still licking my wounds, or wiping them I should say (Road Rash Kit first impressions are coming soon) but I definitely wanted to share my racing adventures with y’all! If you don’t care to read my looonnng race recap then save yourself that bad attitude and skip to the end! And first off I have to thank my wonderful husband, aka resident mechanic, for all his hard work and race prep. He did work really hard to make sure my bike and family were ready to go on race day. Thanks babe!

This is the second race I sort of, er, well kinda, sorta, trained for. Running counts as training right? Hehe. Well it sure was pretty out here is Socal. Nice warm day. And I was super anxious about this race because I haven’t ridden as much as I would have liked to. But it was all or nothing.

A little pre race warm up~

I already paid the $48, and darnit, I was going to get my monies worth! So I lined myself up with the other female riders before the clock starts. “Hhhmm. These ladies look kinda fit,” I thought to myself. “Oh wow. These women are all wearing sponsored jerseys by some big names. Lots of spandex here. Geez. Well it’s alright Priscilla”, I thought to myself. Every race needs an underdog, don’t be intimidated. I didn’t even start the race yet and I was already feeling defeated. 🙁 “Um, excuse me”, I asked the intense looking, spandex wearing female next to me. “This is the spot for the beginners, isnt’ it???”. Clock is ticking. We were the next group up to start. “No, this is the expert women” she said. WHEW!!! THAAANK GOD! That’s all I needed to hear! I was outta there quick and back to the end of the line! Oh man, what a relief! I found the correct sign and was feeling a whole lot better! Hehe.

Feeling a little intimidated….hehehe.

And so began my adventures for the day. I started the race with prayers, asking God to make it impossible for me to race if something bad were going to happen. It’s good to have the big G on your side! ;D

Lots of racers!

It doesn’t matter your age, or how long you have been riding, how many races you have done. We all are thinking the same thing. We check out the sharpie marked numbers on each others legs to see how many we are competing against. We all have the same doubts as we size each other up. For men it may be each others bikes. Women, we check out each other’s bodies. We try to gage how we’re going to compete against each other based on what we see. “Oh no, I am going to get my butt kicked! Look at her!”. It’s a good thing podiums don’t discriminate.

“THREE SECONDS AND COUNTING…THREE, TWO, ONE!!” And we were off!!! Cheering, yelling, “Honk your horn Priscilla!!!”…that’s all I heard. A surge of adrenaline and I was off. I had to leave all my worries at that starting point. I feared crashes, flat tires, and coming in last! But there’s no time to worry about that when you are mashing your pedals to get a good start.

And I have to say I think I got a pretty good start. I started off strong and was feeling pretty good. But then my “Yeeesss! She dropped her chain!!! Alright!! Only two ahead of me. Woo hoo!”, was quickly replaced with thoughts of “Dangit. That was a really quick recovery. Wow. She is really fast.” And so began the battles of the spirits and mind. Aye, the back and forth. It’s enough to put someone in a mental hospital. One minute I am thinking I am doing really well and feeling really strong. The next minute I am yelling at myself, putting myself down. And again the question that repeats itself in all our minds, “Why am I doing this???” Back and forth, back and forth. UUUgggghh the maadnessss!!!!!

Isn’t it truly amazing how resilient we are? I have always been fascinated with the way the body is able to heal itself and protect itself. Sometimes it is only our spirit that keeps us going physically. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. And so this leads me to my nasty spill. I was tempted to announce the team name of that that pro racing, red spandex wearing guy, but I will pass today. I was so angry when he bullied me off the path with his bicycle, even when I gave him more then enough room to pass me by.

I am even ashamed to say that I did not have nice words for him. In my anger, as my arm skidded across the asphalt, leaving a piece of my skin in the sidewalk, I wished him harm and I let him know it. As my head pounded, bounced off the ground and cracked my brand new Rudy Project Helmet, I couldn’t help but shout angry words at that meanie! But I will refrain from repeating all that ugliness. I quickly picked up my head off the ground as an almost ghostlike shadow just passed around my head. I prefer to think it was an angel caressing my face, but it was probably another pro racer guy just inches from leaving skid marks on my face. Aye.

I’ve been initiated by the pros.

I can’t lie. I was mad. I was mad every time I pedaled my left leg and my shorts pulled and reopened my raw bloody wounds. Did I mention I was only at mile 4 of a 9 1/2 mile race??? But whatever doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger, right? “Well, as long as I don’t look at it I’ll be ok”, I thought. Just keep pedaling. Don’t look. You can’t stop. And so I trekked on. The fighting spirit is amazing.

Souvenirs from the race. 🙂

And the adventures didn’t stop there. Lots of hills that were conquered, and some that were not. The steep hills do not discriminate. Grown, masculine men were left at the sidelines with broken chains, and flat tires. Some broken spirits. And still I trekked on. I wanted to prove to myself that I could finish this! I wanted to make my husband proud! I wanted to make the Mtnbikeriders team proud!

And still there’s those moments when I just wanted to throw in the towel. It just felt too hard, too hot, too long to finish. And then you here that voice. “C’mon Priscilla! Keep going!” Huh? Did I say that aloud? Oh, that wasn’t me. That was Kim Finch lending some words of encouragement as we pedaled up a nasty hill! Boy, was I encouraged to hear her words! And that’s all I needed to keep on my saddle and keep pedaling! The spirit was strong again! Another glance at my meter. Only 3 more miles!!!! Yeeeesss!!!!!!!

And then a nice ride downhill! One sweet payoff for the hard climbs. Nice. That sure feels good. Almost at the finish line. Husband cheering, kids yelling. Ah, that feels really good. 🙂 “What? Go left? Not right!? Ok, Ok. Are you sure???” Keep trekking. One last nasty hill. I can FEEL the finish. I can see it now! There’s an orange spandex lady to my right. I need to beat her! (We all have that one person we are riding head to head with most of the race!). Jump that curb!!!! I made the curb. What in the world is that?!?!? Why am I not moving???? DANGIT!!! A PINCH FLAT!!! NOOOOOoooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Orange spandex lady just passed me with a smile on her face]. My world just crumbled! I moved like a tortoise across the finish line with the husband screaming “Go Priscilla, Go! What’s wrong!?? GO faaasttteeer!!!!” Aye.

One Sad Rear Flat. 🙁

And there you have it. Racing with Priscilla. 😀 I wanted you all to feel my pain and my victories! After all is said and done I managed to place 3rd in my division. Lots of pain but it made the victories all the more worthwhile. 🙂 I really felt like God protected me out there despite my ugly response. That cracked helmet could have been a cracked skull. And at least I didn’t get that flat until the end! Haha. And no hard feelings Mr. Red Spandex Pro racer. Sorry for my mean words. I’ve got to take the good with the bad. It’s just part of the race. Ask me again, when my nasty wounds have stopped oozing, if I’ll race again. I am sure I will have forgotten all the pain by then. ;D

Yea! 🙂

Me and Kim. 🙂

Mmmmmm. I earned me some Chilli Relleno. Mmmmmm.

RL’s Mt. Sac Fat Tire Classic Race Report

As you’ve already read, Priscilla mentioned that the MtnBikeRiders crew raced yesterday’s Mt. Sac Fat Tire Classic. My daughter Breanna and I raced in the tandem category.

Here we are heading up to the starting line.

Did you notice our streamers…that’s to psych out the competition and if we needed to, we can take them off to whip the riders next to us so they don’t pass, you know a little Ben Hur action.

Here we are right when they said go. You can see Priscilla behind me all serious. She eventually passed us and a bunch of other riders.

Being in the tandem category, we had to ride 12 miles, basically 2 of the 6 mile loops. As much as Priscilla says it wasn’t a tough trail, I’m going to have to say that this was one of the most brutal courses out there…especially on a tandem. This trail had single track, steep climbs and descents, sand, ruts and cow patties…nasty!

We did race against another tandem couple. These two were riding an impressive Ventana with 8″ brake rotor, dual suspension…and basically a tandem made for mountain biking. Breanna and I were on our KHS Alite…it originally came with a rigid fork and we’re using v-brakes to stop us, plus its a hard tail.

This is our competition…

Before the race, Breanna and I talked about our goals for the event. For one thing we wanted to have tons of fun. Another goal was to finish the race. So for the fun factor, had had blast! We kept saying hi to people that we were riding next to, waving to the other tandem riders, and enjoying the scenery. As far as finishing the race…I have to tell you it was hard. At one point we stopped to rest and Breanna says to me, “Why am I doing this! It’s so hard!” But she knew that we agreed to finish the race so she never mentioned giving up.

There were a few times when I would ask her if she needed to rest, you know so she can let her legs feel better from all the climbing…she passed on the opportunity to rest and suggested we keep going.

The thing that trips me out the most is going down hills on our tandem. For one thing, this bike needed some disc brakes and a rear suspension. But as much as I wanted to worry, Breanna, on the other hand was having a blast. While we’re going down, she’s yell out…”weeeeee!”

On our second lap of the course, we thought we were the last ones. But we immediately felt better when we passed two other guys on the trail. The second time around we actually did way better. Just because we knew where to make up for lost time by mashing it, and where to rest on the down hills.

So after riding the course for 1 hour and 36 minutes, Breanna and I finished!

When the results were finally posted, the awards ceremony started. We waited patiently for them to call our names. Yup sure enough the announcer says, “Beginner’s Tandem, 2nd Place…RL and Breanna Policar!”

Here we are with our new trophy!

I’m very proud of Breanna for racing with me. She was such a trooper out there and refused to give up. Not only is she strong, but she’s got heart, so much so that she wouldn’t let her dad rest…Again I’m VERY proud of my girl Breanna!

Here’s our mantle with the two trophies that the Policar family got to take home. Priscilla’s is the one on the left and ours is on the right.

I do want to say thanks to KHS Bicycles for building an awesome tandem bike. For my boys Vince C. and Vince R. for hooking us up with KHS jerseys, I can’t forget about Khoa N. for his photographic skills and ofcourse my family for encouraging us through out the race. Thanks!

By the way, if you’re interested in more pictures from the event, check out our gallery HERE.