Hey so i am super stoked to finish the Oregon Super D series this year!
I started out a little slow with a 10th place at Hood River. I was a little out of shape and made bad decisions, but since then I have moved up each race. This race was no different.
I had been training more with increased effort. In the past i rode hard but stayed seated and focused on longer more steady training. This year i decided to stand up a bit more, let my balls get blood / feeling back in them and use different muscle groups. This all sounds a bit dorky but its really way less dorky than previous years training. I really should train with a group and wish i could but its just to hard to deal with scheduling.
Anyway… I just ran the hood to coast (blog to come) and had been training for that, i am super stoked to say that i think it really helped my conditioning. I only really rode my Mt. Bike a little, wayyyy less than i would like to but i felt good. I pre-ran the course a couple days in a row, no shuttle but did the top section 3 times before the race and the lower end twice. The top section of the trail is awesome. It has jumps and banks and banked jumps, & a rock drop…woah. Super fun then it goes into a Drag-strip like single-track where you just go, and then BOOM! you hit a hard left into the trees.
I started out good. Banged out the single track into the corner, hit the rock drop and started on the pump / jump track. I had my eyes set on the second bank– a little too high– tried to float high into it so i could bang out quick…..aaaaand I lost my wheels on the loose gravel and slid out. I jumped right up and cross styled on, peddled twice before i realized my chain had dropped. In a slight panic i jumped off, fixed the chain as quick as i could and then boom, back on the bike. Off i went, “damn i just lost the race, mother f**#$%er, i cant let the next guy catch me” were all the ideas jumping in my head. I was also slightly relieved in a weird way to be taken out of the running.
So right after the jump section I popped my seat into the high position (my brother kindly let me borrow his gravity dropper) and just started peddling. I hit the fast straight and still frazzled from my crash had a couple close calls with some rocks and branches they laid on the course. I felt pretty slow here. I approached the end of the fast straight and prepared for battle. Banged out the hard left turn into the trees and slapped my forks into locked mode. At that point just gutted out the section, doing small sprints and really putting those new training sessions to use. Once i had reached the top I slipped my forks back into downhill mode and hit the trial. Most of this part is a blur, i remember feeling pretty slow through alot of it and being upset thinking i had someone behind me.
Once i realized i was about to hit another hill i slapped my forks back into locked mode and cranked up it. Pretty sure that is where the first split timer was. They couldn’t read my number so i had to yell it at them. I hadn’t planned on switching my forks on this part of the course but it seemed right. The same time i was yelling my number i switched my forks back and banged off down the course. This is where i like to let it go.
The top section of Hide and Seek is f-ing nasty to race down. rocks and roots, banks and loose edges. Its got a little of everything that can hurt you. I got a fairly clean run on the top and cleared this section without bailing and that’s as much as i could ask for.– I did feel slow on many sections and i know i can make up a minute or two with a little work.
I hit the third climb and it totally felt half as huge as it did during the spring brake series. My training had paid off at least a bit. I smoked up that, unlocked my forks at the second bridge and was banging down the course again.
Now, right before i hit the climb i had passed a guy, it went smooth but i was pretty sure he had just crashed. –But now i had someone behind me, and i didnt know if it was the guy i had passed or another guy who was catching up to both of us. I could hear and occasionally see someone behind me who was making me nervous. I peddled hard, hit turns hard and tried to keep my flow. At one point I hit a jump that i cleared the landing of and almost dead sailored it into the ground- face smashingly good. but i pulled out of it by some grace of good luck.
Any way i peddled pretty hard down the rest of it, still feel like i could of made of 2 minutes easy over the whole course. But i finished in first place! That first place held for the entire round, Thor turned out had another DNF, think he must of crashed, and Tao got second place by 25 seconds or so.
I ended up getting First place this race and second overall for the series.They awarded me a gopro 960 and a brand new Fox Fork, both awesome- with an added bonus i got more SOCKS! Since i am broke the forks have got to be unloaded, but i am def gonna play with the GoPro and for the socks, well those will be put to good use.