Last time I wrote for The Mountain Bike Life, I had just raced at the Sea Otter Classic. Since then, I have had two more races, the Norcal League Series Championships and the State Championships. Summer is almost here, and so is a turning point in my race season.
I am now officially finished up with another season of high school mountain bike racing. Late last month was the Northern California Championship race at Boggs Mountain. Boggs mountain is always a favorite, with great trails and a weekend of camping.
The race course was a bit altered from what we have raced on in the past, with a much shorter loop this time around. Technical singletrack descents lead into a steep climb in the middle of the course. This climb was my biggest weakness, but I still managed to pull off a fifth place finish after 4 laps on the 4 mile loop. This being the series final, I also won the award for second place overall in the series. This would prove to be crucial at the state championship race.
A couple of weeks later was the state championship race. State champs were held at Laguna Seca, the same venue as the Sea Otter Classic. The main difference between the Sea Otter XC course and this one, is that Sea Otter is one big loop while here we have multiple laps of one small loop.
With racers from all over the state of California, this would be the biggest race of the year. In fact, my Junior Varsity field had the most racers of the day at a whopping 100. Since I was second place overall in the NorCal Series, I was able to start at the front of the group.
I would say that I had a successful race. I took the first two short climbs as fast as possible without blowing up. Following was the one large descent on the course,which provided ample preparation time before the climb out of the canyon. There were large wind gusts that played a large factor in the race, and they would actually push you off trail in a few places!
I managed to complete the first lap ahead of my teammates, which was a good sign since they are both strong riders. For the net lap and a half I stuck with another rider who was nice to pace with up the climb. I’m not sure if he knew I was there, since I never saw him look back! At the base of the climb on our third lap around the course, I passed him and he never caught back up.
The last lap came and went, seemingly uneventful and I finished in 21st place. I am happy with this result considering the large field and challenging course. My legs felt great during the race, and my mind was focused. This is great news to hear going into the summer.
I am looking forward to racing some enduro races this summer. The first being the Battle Born Enduro in Reno, Nevada. Despite being just across the California/Nevada border, this is the first race in the California Enduro Series. There are quite a few racers signed up in my category, so there should be some stiff competition.
Another race that I can’t wait to ride is the Downieville Classic “All Mountain World Championships”. I have never been to Downieville, but it is a very prestigious race here in California. The “All Mountain World Championships” consist of a cross country race on day, followed by a downhill race the next. This is all done on the same bike. I can’t wait to see how I stack up against the other competitors!