Fontana Fall Challenge 2010by Joy Martin on 11/22/10
Have you ever used your imagination to take you someplace because dealing with the immediate situation has you struggling?
That was me on Saturday as I stood at the top of the Fontana race course during practice. The rain was coming down sideways and I couldn't see a thing. I was soaked to the bone. If I made a fist water would come pouring out of my gloves. I was asking myself what am I doing and I hope I make it to the bottom in one piece. I decided to go for it and see how it turned out. I took myself out of Fontana and went to the World Cup races this year. Every one of them had pouring rain and I figured if they can do it, well let's give it a shot.
As a southern californian we don't do much riding in the rain. It is considered rude because it damages the trails. So the only time I do ride in pouring down rain is if I am racing. This doesn't give me a lot of practice. As I headed down the course I tried to keep the mud and dirt out of my eyes and look ahead to the next turns. The course go sloppier and sloppier as I headed down and I let go of more brake and started sliding. I was able to keep all the lines and had so much fun. I couldn't believe how fast I could go in the mud and rain. I was smiling from ear to ear and hiked back up for another run at it.
I had some great practice runs on Saturday in the pouring rain. Sunday I headed up a little late, and it was pouring rain again as I drove the hour and a half to Fontana. Once I got there the sun came out and the course started to dry up. Pertect tacky dirt with mud in the low spots. I got two quick practice runs in. Then I headed up the hill for my race run. It seemed like the beeper was off before I knew it. I had a couple small mistakes, but had a lot of fun on the course. There were spots I could pick up speed and get some air. My run was over in a blink.
I pushed myself hard on the wall, and I think that helped get my first place for the Fall Challenge. Stoked for the win and thanks to the ladies for the awesome commraderie!