Joyriding on down the trail
The All-Mountain World Championships is what the D-ville classic is all about. Last year I decided I would give this race another go. Which meant hours of pedaling on my xc bike, because to race the descent, of 13+ miles one must also race the XC course. This is not any old XC course either, this is a burly, nasty, grumpy, not for the feign of heart riders. 3000 feet of climbing in the first 8 miles and then one of the burliest XC descents you can find. Because of all the snow this winter the XC course was sent down Butcher Ranch instead of Pauly Creek. This news was heaven to my ears. I love Butcher Ranch and this meant I got to race one of my favorite trails twice.
I got to ride this event with a bunch of friends, Lauren my new Loeka Teammate, Christine my old Teammate and Roy, a co-worker. It made for an excellent crew on the trail and a lot of fun overall for the weekend.
I rolled up to D-ville on Wednesday, did one practice run, and found that I was covered in mud by the end. The top of the course still had a lot of snow and mud, but it was a blast. Thursday I did three practice runs, and got five flats. I tore up a tubeless tire and decided it was time to put 50psi in the tires. This took about 30 seconds to get used to. I normally don’t run that kind of tire pressure, but once I did get used to it, I was screaming down that hill. I felt really good riding the course and I was ready for the weekend.
Saturday morning I raced the XC course. It was tough, but I got to the top of the climb in a reasonable amount of time. On one of the jumps at the top of Butcher Ranch I hit my seat hard and realized after that it was not going to stay level. I stopped to try and fix it cause riding with a seat vertical was very uncomfortable. No luck and I spent a bit of time trying to fix it on the side of the trail… I eventually made it down, but I was not a happy camper by the bottom. To ride a broken seat that far was excruciating….
Christine suggested we do the Cruiser Criterium, which was the replacement for the river jump. What a great idea to shrug off my disaster that was an xc ride, drink beer. Love it!! The comp involved a log pull, with beer chugging, a pixie race, a track stand comp and a relay with more beer chugging. I love beer and this sounded really fun. I did get to do the log pull and chug the beer. I put our three person, women’s team in third place against the other seven teams, which were all dudes. I was stoked at least my beer chugging skills were still intact.
Sunday morning my legs were still feeling the climb from the day before. I felt good overall though. As I headed down that hill I was so pumped and had so much fun I couldn’t believe what a blast that trail is to ride. I lost my chain in a few spots, but I didn’t get any flats and I had a great time railing Butcher Ranch. When I got to first divide I still had gas in the tank and I gave it everything I could on the bottom. I ended up third on the day and stoked to race such a fun event.
Downieville is one of the toughest races out there, and I was glad to have worked hard and played hard on that mountain. The overall weekend was awesome and a great event.
Fontana Winter Series Round #5
The last race of the Fontana Winter Series has come and gone. It seemed like the series this year was over in the blink of an eye. I spend almost 2 weeks of February in the Middle East for work. It was a much needed break, because I had been over training up until that point.
I got back 5 days before the last race and resumed training and riding. I think I did a bit much before the race and was feeling a little jet lagged. It takes 24 hours to get back from the Middle East and one of the flights was 15 hours long. Plus I was getting up every morning at about 4am once I was back in San Diego.
Saturday of the race I headed up to Fontana early and spent the morning on the DH course. The course was technical and fun except for one funky turn to a ledge. There were a couple high speed sections in the course that I really tried to get all the speed I could. I raced Super D on Saturday afternoon. What a fun Super D course. My props to both Donny and Joe Lawill who designed the course, I really enjoyed racing it. The Super-D course was mostly single track with a drop and some technical sections in it. My Blur LT handled everything with no problems. I was the only girl racing the Super D course, but I was stoked on my time and the guy behind didn’t pass me till about 2/3 of the course had gone by. So I was feeling good.
Sunday I headed up early again to get in some warm up DH runs. As I made my way down the course, everyone was stopped midway at the turn to the ledge. Donny had closed the course and was changing the route. There was a lot of discussion on changing the course, but at the end of it, the course resumed the original track. This I was happy about because I had not practiced the change and had an hour to go before my race run.
As Donny counted down to 1, I got on course and tried to be smooth and fast. The technical rock section felt like it was over very quickly and I was pedaling down the wall. My legs were burning and I just didn’t have the push on the flat that I normally do, jet lag. The race was fun and Margaret got me by 2 seconds, congrats to her! My winning streak was ended, but I had a good time and won the 2011 SRC Series Overall title for both DH and Super-D.
Thanks again to my sponsors, Loeka, SixSixOne and Bike Bling for supporting me in the 2011 SRC Winter Series.
Windy Fontana Racing
The last two Fontana Winter Series races have been an absolute bear with the wind. I struggled to get down the mountain without being blown off because the wind was gusting.
The courses for the last two races have been really fun, both rocky and lots of flow. Both courses have had pieces of brand new cut lines down the mountain. This is nice because after 4 years of consectutive racing it is nice to see new lines down the mountain.
The race before last I had a bad race run, the course was challenging and with the wind it was even more difficult, one of the turns had us pedaling into the wind. Without the wind the course was a really fun, but once the wind picked up it was the worst at one of the fastest sections of the course. The place on the course you would like to go the fastest and the wind is blowing you sideways down the trail. This is also the place to do some bump-jumping over rocks. When I came through the section my hair was blowing sideways, you can see it in the picture below. I got though the race with Gabriella right behind me. I think that was my closest win ever at 0.20 seconds.
The number of women racing seems to get smaller at each race, but the guys have a pile of fast men. The race from this weekend was me and one other girl. The course was fun and the wind wasn’t too bad I pedaled hard down the mountain and had a good time and picked up another win.
For the 2011 season I have had three wins. I have a streak going, we will see how long it lasts.
The races have been fun to attend and given me challenges because of the wind and the new courses. I hope to see more ladies soon and it was good to run into Maxine from Crank Brothers. Cheers and see you on the trail.
To work on my training for the Downieville Classic retribution, which involves lots of pedaling, I decided to race Super-D this weekend instead of 4X. The Super-D is good in a couple ways, I can get in some pedaling and save my afternoon to work on Downhill practice. Racing Super-D helps me with time management and gets me saddle time so it is a win-win for me. Literally.
The Super-D course was AWESOME! It had less pedaling than the DH course. How does that help training? I would pedal to the start of the Super-D course, and that was a good climb. The descent was technical with rock rollers and rock slabs and even a drop or two mixed in. The course pushed the limits of my Blur LT. The size of last drop is one that the Blur can still do, but you couldn’t see the landing as you came up on it. So I walked up on and marked a location for take-off. I pedaled into it really hard and hit it too far to the right and landed in the rocks and not the landing area. Needless to say, I crashed. I had raspberries on my knee, elbow and hip. More annoying than anything else. So I had to back and hit the drop of course and I staked out the correct take-off location for the next time around.
I raced Super-D and cleaned my race run. A couple of girlfriends from Santa Cruz showed up to race DH and cheered me on as I flew down the SD course. Nova and Kelly are great and I love it when they come to SoCal to race. I won the Super –D.
I spent Saturday afternoon practicing DH and getting ready for Sunday morning. The DH course was also really fun. It flowed! I love it when the track flows and I could really pick up speed. There were drops and rock slabs and rock rollers. So I had a blast. Sunday morning rolled in, the weather crisp and clear. I was the first girl on track and I headed down the hill, I had one mistake, but the rest of the run was clean. I got the 1st Place by a half second on a fast East Coast gal.
I was really impressed with the courses that Donny put together this weekend and the Pro-payback is 50%, for Fontana that is really great. The first 2011 race definitely felt different though because a lot of the usual crew was missing. It would be good to see more ladies at the races.
Cheers to the win-win for the first race and hope to see more folks at the events!
Another exciting year has ended and it is time to look toward the next one. I have a New Year's resolution for 2011 - To be Positive, which means to always think on the bright side and to be supportive, upbeat and cheerful.
You would think with a name like Joy that would not be a New Years resolution, but I have been inspired by people I know who are always positive and supportive. I have been truely blessed with a great support group and folks who are just amazing! So a big shout out to say Thank You and I want to make 2011 an amazing positive year!