Last weekend the boys were out racing some Super D at the KMC Chains Winter Series at Southridge. So we asked each racer to give us a brief report on their race experience.
First up is Knight Rider-Kyle Knight:
Super D was pretty cool this week. I liked the layout of this course super fun pretty tech and kept me on my toes. I was able to get in a little bit of practice, really trying to get the rock garden line down. My run went well felt good about my race run on the techy parts but there were some sprint spots that I just could not push as hard as I would have liked. Over all great weather, great dirt after the rain, and a really fun course. Thank you to my sponsorsminbikeriders.com and Dainese D-Store of Orange County. I placed 15th out of 21 racers.
Round #3 at the KMC Chains Winter Series, if you can call it winter. We had a light amount of rain during the week, which made track conditions nearly perfect, in addition to the layout of the course, which was long and fun, we couldn’t ask for more. This time around we had a good number of racers in our class, well over 20, and fast guys. The track was long, with some fast turns, a technical rocky part, which we practiced a few times to get the line memorized, in addition there was a good little climb, which on this type of race format was going to get just about everyone.Race time came about, I took off confident, first fast turns, no problem, not crazy fast, just fast enough.Climbing time, pedaled it, paced myself as there was plenty more to come, as the climbing section was over, I felt the stress on my legs from the climb, then the rock garden, I was confident and tired, I pushed through it, made it through, then I got confident, hit a small rock and went over the bars, ouch! Yes I was mad, good bye race time…I got up as soon as I could, straighten my bike, hoped on it, and kept going. I tried to push a little harder to make up time, and stumbled on another section that I usually know by heart, but oh well, I kept at it. I finished off the race, I was tired, mad, and at the same time happy, I was still in one piece, with just a small bruise from my crash.I was the first one of the team to make it down, I went over by the finish line to cheer on my team mates as they came across the finish line. So here we are, another event in the books, took 19th place out of 24 I think, maybe less, all I know is I was not last. This was a fun day, the mistakes I made only make it for a better story to tell if I don’t win. I want to thank my team mates, for the fun times, and. All the sponsors we have, and overall God for keeping us safe, none of us suffered any major injuries, and we look forward to the next one
Dan Burdett is a man of a few words, actually he’s not. The guy looooooves to talk. If you get a chance to, ask him about audio and visual equipment. He’ll give you break down on everything you need to know. However, he works really hard on the race course. Dan took 8th in Sport Men 35+
The belle of the ball would be Adam Spik. He just came off training for marathons and drinking raw eggs and punching a side of beef in a meat packing house. Plus he saved a little girl and her kittens from a burning building just the day before. He too is a man of a few words. When I asked him for his race report, this is what I got….
3rd place “Thanks to the support of MtnBikeRiders.com and The Dainese Store of Orange County.” I couldn’t have done it without you.
So there you have it folks! Thanks to all the guys for putting 100% of effort out there and we do want to thank our sponsors MtnBikeRiders.com and The Dainese D-Store Orange County
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First race of the year which also means this was the first race at the KMC Chains Winter Series at Southridge, Fontana. What can I say, we had perfect temperatures for riding, a very dry course for winter, no rain, no mud, and many people out there trying to get it. We started out the morning by doing the registration line, which was short, but still took us 1 hr to get to the front due to the XC racers showing up late for registration, then Kyle as well as a couple of my other friends, Sandra,Kevin and myself headed up to do some practice runs. As we got to the top of the road, we started looking for the blue arrows which marks the SD course, we did 4 little runs on a section until someone told us we were on the wrong track, the SD course was on the other side of the hill, and not on what we were running on.
I got to do 2 dry runs before the race. Didn’t feel that great about it, just felt ok. Not too fast, not too slow, and due to the dry, dusty and sandy conditions of the track I didn’t want to go too fast either. Race time came about, I was pumped and ready. I lined up at the start, 3, 2, 1, Go!
I felt really good on my run, and a few slow sections, and made it down in 1 piece, overall I was happy with the Run I did, but I know it could have been faster. and the end of the day, I finished 7th of 14, not bad, but will have to step my game up for the next race if I want to place. I like that we have a good group of fast guys my class, which makes things a little more interesting and challenging.Looking forward to the next race! I’d like to thank my sponsors for their support MtnBikeRiders.com and the Dainese D-Store Orange County.
This past weekend I participated in my very first Super D race at Southridge at the KMC Chains Winter Series. I’ve been racing bikes on and off for a few years now, some XC and mostly downhill. When I did race downhill, I found that I really enjoyed it.
But after this weekend, I think I’m going to focus more on Super D racing instead. I thought about this during my drive home after the race. There were a few things that clicked in my head that made sense to me on why and how Super D is better than downhill racing. I’ve got some bullet points for you, ready?
- No need to buy a downhill specific bike
- Race the bike you ride with during the week
- No need for full face helmet and body armor
- Bike is way lighter
- Pedal up the instead of pushing your bike up
- Super D Races are typically twice as long as downhill races at Southridge.
- Practice and Race on the same day
So those are my bullet points on why I think Super D is better than racing downhill. But I probably should note that I’m speaking in terms of it being held at Fontana, Ca. If you’re a SoCal regular or you’ve raced in Southridge, then you know that the venue really doesn’t compare to any world cup destinations, but it’s still downhill. In fact you’ll often find super big name pros racing at Southridge like Arron Gwin, Gee Atherton, Kyle Strait and many more. Basically Southridge DH is good enough for pros, so it’s definitely challenging enough for guys like me.
But I digress to my bullet points. Here’s the thing, if you want to race downhill, try giving Super D a chance first. You can use the same bike you normally ride because it doesn’t really require a bike that has more than 6″ of travel. The bike I used was the Titus Rockstar with 5″ in the front and 4″ in the back. While the other guys on our race team rode 5-6″ trail bikes. Actually Art Aguilar raced with his carbon fiber XC bike. That was enough bike to handle the course.
Another point that I wanted to make about Super D is that you can use your current gear. Most DH racers will ride with a full face helmet as well as some sort of body armor. There were a few Super D racers that used a full face and armor during the race. But I find that a full face can be very constricting when you’ve got a long pedal section.
One last thing that makes Super D great is that when you do race, you’re riding a bike that you’re familiar with. Often times in DH you’re riding a completely different bike. That means you spend less time on it, not as familiar with all the handling quirks.
In conclusion, racing Super D opened my eyes to a whole new opportunity to enjoy my bike and racing
If you weren’t sure what Super D is, its basically a mix of XC and DH racing. The last Super D course was designed by Eric Carter (PRO Everything), which meant it was pretty challenging. In fact, some of us were talking and agreed that it was more difficult than the DH course.
I would like to give Priscilla props. She went down hard at the last part of the race. Donny Jackson (race organizer) was behind her on his Moto and when I got to her, he was already calling for a medic. This was pretty scary for me because she was sprawled out on the ground and her bike was somewhere else. I quickly asked her if she was ok, and had her try to move her feet, legs, fingers, hands, shoulders and neck. Even though she was in pain, she quickly said, “I’m ok, I’m going to finish it.” Donny and I helped her up, I grabbed her bike, and off she went to finish Super D. Cool thing about that, the people who gathered around, started applauding her as she rode away…man what a woman, I’m in love all over again!
We are finished with the third race in the SRC winter series! The weather was cold and wet both Saturday & Sunday. I chose to run the Super D race and the Downhill race this week and let the XC race to Priscilla, David & Eric.
Saturday morning we headed up to the top for some practice on the DH course, Donny has split the course this week and I must say when I saw it from the bottom I was glad that I was not running the course line that I could see from the asphalt road. We ran into Roger from “The Path Bike Shop” he joked as he told me that the the line I saw was for the Super D course. Gotta love Roger & Nancy! I laughed and head up!
First run down I was nervous, top section was pretty sweet with sweeping turns then came up what I called the Water Fall, stumbled through and then hiked right back up and found a sweet line right down the middle. I was pretty comfortable as long as I kept some speed. Then a few turns later and there is was “The Rut”! Wide and deep and on the right hand side of the turn, I was told later to keep my speed up and stay high. But not matter how much I tried, the back wheel was like a RUT Magnet! So I decided at that point that no matter how many times I tried it I would just let the wheel slide in and continue to pedal out of it. That worked on race run! Then I came up on the “Saddle.” OK let’s be honest I never made it up that section! The upper rock garden continued to give me problems and the wet rocks made me extremely nervous! I rolled so slowly through that section even on my race run I could have walked down faster!! HAHA! From this point I found a hard right turn that I LOVED! Tony the “Wizard” called it my Sam Hill corner. The straight away from there that merged with the expert run was slick, by my last practice run (3rd) I found it to be best described as a Slip-N-Slide. The rain made it so slick and I went sliding!!
Super D race was “WET” “COLD” and the wind started to blow! We are all at the top waiting for Donny and begging for the wind to stop. There was talk of snow up there! MoeJoe & JoeJoe were up at the top and they were being very manly! Braving the cold! However, I was huddled behind a rock formation with David’s jacket, trying to stay out of the wind. Of course it was funny because one of the young racers that was there was doing the same thing as I was. Shortly after David thought it was not a bad Idea and joined us. The Super D course was very fun! It took us backwards of the XC course which is the 3 “B”s I like to refer to them as. It’s strange going the opposite direction of a course you climb all the time. I noticed on the start there was a boulder on the trail, I had to ask myself where that came from!
Of course it was there all the time but it just looked so different! I had a blast blazing down the trail. I did find quickly that my brakes didn’t want to work through the first couple turns but I dragged them slightly and they dried out quickly! There was only one other woman racing this one and she was in the Pros. The course really was fun even though it rained the entire time and mud was spiting at me from my own bike!
1st Place Super D
DH race well what can I say! I was cold and nervous. I was still not comfortable with the wet terrain. RL, Moe, Joe & Tony were all at the top chatting and having fun! I did find another rider that was even more nervous then myself & Lala, her name was Tracy. She was so sweet, Lala & I made jokes to try to calm her. Finally start time. Count down…1 I’m off. My top turns are perfect, I hit the “WaterFall” just as I planed it and I was thrilled. Came to “The Rut”and again tire slide into the rut but by now was harder to pedal out of. I hit the saddle, still don’t have enough speed to make it to the top and start down the rock garden, I am toe tapping my way down. I am good over the next little section, and came around the last rock on my right to clear and then FLASH a camera goes off! I almost ran him over! The only reason I didn’t was because he moved since there was no way I was going to change my line! I hit my Sam Hill corner and then off the straight away. I hear David as I go past him! I am almost home! I shoot the rest pretty well and across the road. I hit the “GAS” pedal to head into the lower rock garden! I hit the top, clean, then the middle rock section clean, little bobble but nothing that threw me off line or even made me nervous. Of course it helps that I always vision Joe laying right in my line area from a previous crash! Thanks Joe!
Then one little last rock section to clear….I took the wrong line, I felt my tire slide of the rock and I get bucked. Not off the bike but I remember my hands on the handle bars and my stomach was where my butt should be on the seat! Something clipped my ankle and I could feel pain but the cheer of the crowd that I didn’t crash..or maybe they were disappointed…but either way I headed for the wall! I didn’t stand and pedal it out, but I did mash it while in the saddle to the finish line. There I find Joe High 5ing and Moe who looks a little dazed! We wait and cheer the rest of the riders and team member RL as they cross the finish line!
All in all the Team was once again a huge support and everyone did great!!! Thanks to everyone for their support!
1st place DH