Big Bear, CA 6/15/14
It’s my first race in the Pro category and I’m a little nervous to say the least. I’m just coming off a horrible stomach flu that caused me to miss the last race and have just gotten my strength back. The starting line chatter is along the the lines of “Dude, have you been racing in Europe this year?” “Yeah, man it’s been awesome.” “Just got back from the Dirty Kanaza and did really well.” Well shit. Clearly I’m in over my head. Nah, let’s do this. It’s my first geared race in about year and when the gun goes off I still think I’m on the SS. I’m still waiting for my Moots so I ghetto rigged my Niner with electrical tape cable routing and old parts from my Spearfish since I realized the day before the race that I lacked any sort of ferrels for internal routing. Oh well. I drop a big gear and take off since I don’t want to get embarrassed on the first climb up 2N10. It’s a brutal clip. Zachary Valdez goes out like a cracked up rabbit and I’m able to hold his wheel for the first 9 miles but gradually the legs just start to die. John Nobil snuck up behind me and by the time we’re on the single track he sneaks around me. He yells “Nice man, hang on my wheel, the other guys are a ways back” and then out of nowhere Julian blows by (apparently he was late to the race and missed the start and played catchup). That guys is ridiculous. So now I’m in 4th and fighting to to keep moving forward with about 6 miles left. They ended up changing the last bit of course since last year and instead of taking the fire road back down you end up on the enduro course, which is great, except for when it’s also occupied by every single category trying to make their way to the finish and it’s too narrow to pass. There’s lots of shouting and “on your right” “on your left” as Cat 1’s try to over take Cat 3’s and climbers find themselves being overtaken by descenders. It’s madness. Anyway, I make my way down as quickly as I can and end up in 4th place Since there are 12 in the Pro field it means that awards are 5 deep and I just made the podium in my first Pro race. Sweet. It’s time to head home and celebrate father’s day with my boy.