Saturday, January 10, 2009

....and the "epic adventure" continues

WOW!!! Today was my first mountain bike race in way too many years, and DANG if it wasn't probably one of the most challenging courses I have ever done! (Well for me anyway.) I have been rekindling my love for the dirt lately and riding whenever possible, but one of the major differences I have noticed between NorCal mountain biking and SoCal mountain biking is the amount of "sandy" trails there are down here (and ruts...but that's another story!!)! Yikes, riding in the sand not something I feel skilled in AT all!! Even with all the tips and suggestions, I am still not comfy in the sandy technical stuff! The picture above should give you a good idea of what some of the riding was like today!!! And the funny (stupid??) thing is I didn't pre-ride any of the course to know what the heck I was getting into. Ummm blind ambition? Perhaps. I slept until the very last possible second today, almost late enough to say never mind I'm not going...but I got my act together and made it after all even though I woke up feeling pretty cooked from climbing Palomar. How could I miss out on this cool opportunity to bring it back to the dirt!?? So anyway, when I was on the start line with super cool chicks I would be racing, I asked a bunch of questions about the course, they were super friendly...major bonus! They made me feel comfortable right away and I was instantly stoked to be there. So one thing I said was "you know I'm not all that good in the there alot of sand I should be aware of?" And they were both like "oh's not that bad at all, just maybe one section" Ha ha ha....not the case!!! In truth, they were being honest because to them it was not a sandy day on the trails since there had been rain recently, but me and my little NorCal mountain bike trained self were COMPLETELY shocked at what was yet to be seen on the backside of the course! It was nuts.. sandy, technical, rutted, blind turns, tight switchback turns, steep little grunts etc etc..all safe enough to ride..but I had such rookie skills out there with the conditions of the trails that I couldn't help but chuckle at how stunned and tentative I was!!! By lap four I was getting better....but man!, hats off to all the riders who can take the sand like it's hardpack! Hopefully, someday I will "get it". (and on another note...what the heck was up that wind!!)

Once again though, another gorgeous day on the bike, and another epic adventure...totally worth making the effort for! and I really did have a heck of a good time (and am keeping my crash average at one per-ride....just got a little scraped up!) now, it's back to the drawing board. I WILL learn to ride better in sand and decomposed granite. I have some pretty awesome teachers in that department :) It's just going to be all about "practice practice practice" :)

By the way... one of my favorite moments of the day was putting on a number-plate!

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