May 19th officially marked the end of the high school mountain bike season in California. This weekend was a huge weekend for mountain bike racing. As top enduro riders tackled the mountains of Punta Ala, Italy during the inaugural Enduro World Series, and pro cross country riders raced the first round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Albstadt, Germany, Northern California high school students battled Southern California in the California high school mountain bike state championships.
Photo by Mary Dinapoli
Last years state champs were held in SoCal so this year was in Norcal. I will simply say that I was not a fan of the track. Awkward hiking trails and bumpy, gopher hole ridden cow pasture does not make for a very enjoyable racing experience. Not the mention that every berm was soft and blown out! Enough with the negatives, let’s focus on the positive side of this sunny, spring day in Novato, California.
Shout out to Porter for winning the Sophomore Division 2 race!
I feel like this was the race I was most prepared for. My bike was dialed and my legs felt fresh. I got a solid start position and kept up with in the top 15 through the first lap. By the time I reached the “Jeep hill climb challenge” a steep, loose climb I was very tired from the extremely bumpy course. I was forced to walk/run this section as did the majority of riders. My legs felt good throughout the whole race thanks to regular drinking and Gu eating. The last portion was all flat, so when I reached the final part of my last lap it was full on time trial mode! During this flat stretch, there is an out and back section. Catch the tail winds all the way out and then dreadfully fight the headwinds all the way back. Fast forward a few minutes and it is a full on sprint through the grass infield to the finish line. I am happy with my 21st place finish and absolutely stoked that my teammate, Porter Wesson, took first place! Next year I will be making the jump from the Sophomore to Junior Varsity category.
This summer I will continue to race in the CCCX cross country and super d races. I am also looking forward to riding downhill at Northstar and maybe try a race or two. There will be countless rides on the UCSC trail system which I gratefully call home. The new Emma McCreary trail opens this weekend, June 1st. I hear it is rad! Maybe there will even be some road rides too. See you on the trails!