Five, Four, Three, Two, One, GO! The classic words that every racer has come to love and hate. These words have becoming all too familiar with me over the past couple of weeks. Keep reading to see what went down.
|View of the pit area from the start hill|
The first race I went to was the first race in the Norcal High School MTB race series. To learn more about high school mountain bike racing check out my previous post. The race went extremely well. I raced 3 laps for a total of 15 miles. I finished in third place behind my two teammates Dylan and Porter.
|Leading the pack|
My strategy was simple. Get in front of the group and don’t let them catch up. It all started when I was lucky enough to start in the front row. I sprinted up the fire road we started on and was the first rider to enter the single track. After a minute or two of intense riding, my screaming legs were relieved once I reached the first downhill section. As the first downhill section ended my teammates Dylan and Porter approached from behind. Porter passed me on the first steep climb. That was the last I saw of him, as he went on to take first place. For the rest of the race Dylan and I were neck and neck. It was definitely an easier race knowing that my teammate was right there with me. After crossing the finish line about 30 seconds behind Dylan I could enjoy my favorite post race meal; ice cold Gatorade and a burger. My goal next race is to podium again and hopefully finish in the top 3.
My next race was a CCCX “Super D” downhill race. These Super D races are a bit less technical and have more pedaling sections than a traditional downhill race but are still a blast! The course consisted of steep single track, blistering fast fire roads, and a quick 20 second sprint up a hill. Scope the course in the video below.
The course started on a fast fire road with plenty of ruts and blind corners. No brakes was the way to go. At the end you make an abrupt turn onto the first section of single track. After a few challenging loose berms you drop down back onto the fire road and sprint up a small climb, then back onto single track for the steepest part of the course. A few corners and jumps later you wind up in a canyon with only the trail to ride on. If you are not careful here you will find yourself about 10 feet below the trail in the bushes. Finally you hit a table top jump into a step up which lands you on the final stretch. Make a quick right hand turn over a log and into a steep chute then sprint all the way to the finish. I finished 2nd place in Category 2 18 and under with a time of 3:27. After getting on the podium a few times I am looking to take that number 1 spot in the upcoming races.