Just to update you a little on what I have done, after the Fontana race, Luke and I stayed in Los Vegas for 3 days in a 2.5 star hotel for less than $38 a night...after taxes! During our stay, we rode to the Hoover Dam, walked "the strip" and I even upset a local road racer by asking him if he was doing the upcoming triathlon in the area. Hey, he was on a tt bike, I didn't know! The Hoover Dam was b-e-a-u-tiful and enormous! Downtown Vegas was cool for about 45 minutes and then everything started to look the same. It was neat to be there and see stuff that I have seen in movies, like the Bellagio, New York New York, and so on. I do know now why they call it Sin City.
After all this, I ended up back in Scottsdale, AZ. Luke and I were staying there with his cousin Travis, who took very good care of us, by the way. Thanks Travis! The race we were attending was the second round of the National Mountain Bike Series and was taking place in McDowell Mtn Park in Fountain Hills, AZ, about a 30 minute drive for us. The event was a stage race and consisted of 3 events: time-trial, short track and cross country. Based on my limited time-trial experience, I had high hopes for the weekend. I know I can do a good short track race and I love this cross country course.
Well, we started things off with the tt Friday afternoon. When I finished my run I knew I didn't win, but I was very confident I did well. I didn't have any mistakes and the guy behind me caught me but I got away from him before the finish. Solid, right? WRONG! Hahaha... I did bad!! I still don't know how I did so bad! Out of 80ish finishers, I was 37th! My worst result to date! Not very cool. I was bummed, really bummed. I was, however, very motivated for the stxc. Come Saturday afternoon, I had my mind right and my leg feeling good, I was ready to race. Before I tell you anymore, I want to say this: the stxc course was... horrible? I think that is the word I am looking for. Had it been reversed, I think it would have been ok, but the way they made us race spelled one word for me (and a lot of other unfortunate guys)... d.i.s.a.s.t.e.r! In stxc races, if you are about to get lapped, they pull you from the race. The first lap had about 3 show-stoppers! I mean, hard on the brakes, skidding sideways, trying not to hit or get hit. It was bad. I don't know for a fact, but I am going to assume that the leaders were finishing their first lap when I was still half way through it! Ok, now that I have a basic outline for you, let me fill it in with some bright colors... there were 90 guys that started our race! 90!! I thought I had it bad, but I was no worse that 50th once things got started. Basically, I worked my butt off whenever I could and moved myself into the 33rd (I think) position. I got pulled with 3 laps to go. I almost made it...
With two sub par performances in a 3-day weekend, I should be a little down, right? Apparently "Ryan" didn't show up because I still had high hopes for the xc race. I was confident that I could do well. When I woke up Sunday, I was a little unsure how my legs would feel on the 3rd day of intensity, but after a good warm-up, I was feeling great. For the second time in my "national" career, I got a great start! I was about 20th going into the single track. I think my extreme level of excitement over being able to see the leaders up in front of me was probably more of a hindrance than a boost. I was stoked! Of course, it didn't take long for gaps to form and the leaders to disappear...but they were there in the beginning!! We did 3 laps and after the first, I must have been about 16th or 17th. I was feeling great and still excited to be doing so well. During the second lap, I passed a few guys and made my way up to the 13th position. Heck yes! Starting the last lap, I was feeling good and ready for more. Unfortunately, so were all the guys in front of me. Except for one guy. He had a flat tire. I felt bad for him, he was about a mile from the finish and was trying to replace a tube. He could have run it in faster! Oh well, his loss was my gain and that put me in the 12th spot! My best xc result to date at a national level race.
I have been training pretty hard this past week, I am going to win Sea Otter! Ok, seriously, I have had some good training rides and I am very excited to see how Sea Otter will turn out.
With much regret, I have no pictures of any racing in Fountain Hills. However, I do have some from the first race for you. Well, it is bed time for me and I will leave you with this...Thanks to the Good Lord above us, Mom, Dad, Regan, Sara, Industry Nine, Powerbar, Bent's Cycling, About Bicycles, Santos Bike Shop, Mike Williams, Frank Myers, and everyone else that has lent a helping hand. Seriously, I couldn't have made it this far without you.
Thanks for reading and stare at these pics for a while...
Bad news, I can't get the darn program to work! I will post the pictures later...Sorry!