Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pro Cross Country Tour #1 - Fontana, CA

Yesterday we got up at the crack for team photos. Photographers always want the good light which either means waking up early or doing the sunset shots which either way can be cold as heck!!! Luckily it was warm when we woke up and there was no wind or anything to send a chill through the bone while standing in your little kit waiting for the 15th head shot to be taken. We lucked out on that one as in previous years I have been downright goose pimpled for hours during shoots.

And poor Andy ate %$&* in one of his "riding" shots. That is what happens whe you are trying to ride slow for the camera cuz you aren't flowing. Man that has got to hurt but he was ok. Maybe just a bit bloody for his next photo shoot with a bike magazine. But at least he swept off the course for us with his back as he slid down the mountain. OWE!!!

It was nice to get out on a good ride yesterday too. The area is really beautiful. You just have to sometimes look really super hard for it but it is there I swear!


So today went better than expected for me. I placed 11th which certainly isn't the best I have ever done in a national cross country race but given that I really had quite a few things riding against me, I was down right pleased with the result. I could have given you a list of things and reasons why I should be completely off the back today but I have chosen to remember how much of a fighter I am when thrown for a loop which has seemed to be the going rate since May last year. There is no sense trying to give yourself excuses to do bad because the situation is what it is and you are what you are and you have done what you can do and that is all she wrote.

I think that my result it is a great start to what is going to be a really good season. I mean heck, if I can survive 2 parents on the verge of dieing on me for the entire winter then I can start off the year just like I did last year here with an 11th place right? I think so. Lets put it this way. I am going with it and given that last year was my best season ever, I have got high hopes for the rest of this season. It may take some time but I will get there.

The race day wasn't without incident of course. I mean now that is asking far far too much isn't it?

So today I got to the team tent to find that my one and only race wheel was loosing air in it. We were trying to get it to seal in a couple days which sometimes isn't enough and it wasn't jiving. So I got to ride on a tire that I had ridden in years - the Kenda Karma which is a great tire. Whatever, quite honestly the day hadn't even begun and the tire was the least of my worries. I would just have to get out there and learn the tire as the race progressed. And I did. The first few laps of the race consisted of getting adjusted to the new bike and the new tire at race pace effort. That is a lot different than dinking around in your backyard on your bike, that is for sure! And as it turned out, the Karma on the front couldn't have been more perfect!

And I have got to say that the Tomac Type X Hardtail is a phenomenal bike. Absolutely phenomenal. It just begs you to rip the downhill while tipping the bike over with your weight back. It is crazy amazing and I had little problem adjusting to this new incredible machine that I am going to be able to ride for the whole season. I am psyched. An all carbon, well machined bike. And considering that this was my very first MTB race back since I broke my hand/wrist/arm in Windham, NY in July, I was pleased with my current dh skills and was happy the bike could help me along with that. You never know how that stuff is going to affect you and I was ok out there today.

The other wack-a -dilly thing that happened in the race was that I saw a snake in the middle of the trail. Just a black one with a green stripe but thankfully I seemed to be faster than it. I see a snake here every year and this one was tiny compared to the big one that I saw a few years ago thank heavens.

As for the team, Chris Magerl, our team mechanic rocked the mechanical aspect of the weekend and is just an all around outstanding person. I am looking forward to working with him for the season. He is a listener, do'er and thinker. He is good at what he does and he cares.

Teammate Amanda had an incredible breakthrough race today. She has been working hard this winter and it is showing. That girl has raw power.

Heather Holmes is still nursing her broken wrist but was out there helping with our feeds all weekend........even though maybe one of them was dropped during the race. But you know what?? Beggars can't be choosers and having her there made a world of difference. Thanks Heather - you rock!!!!

I also met Andy Schultz and Colin Cares for the first time this weekend. Andy is our Men's Pro guy and Colin is our under 23 guy who also races Pro. What great guys plus they are ripping fast! Andy was 12th surviving on like one water bottle the entire race (2 hours) and Colin killed it for 24th! Not too shabby out of 110 + guys that started the Pro Men's field.

Tons of spectators showed up this weekend too.

Next up is head to San Diego for the week at my cousins house.

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