Monday, August 3, 2009

Sol Vista Nationals, July 16-19, 2009

Keith Morelan  -  5th Place, Category 1, 17-18
Khaner Smith  -  7th Place, Category 1, 15-16
Dustin Smith  -  DNS Category 1, 35-39

On Tuesday the 14th of July, Khaner and I began the 18 hour drive from San Francisco to Granby, CO for the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals at Sol Vista. I had a lot of work stuff happening, so it was literally two days before we left that we decided to hit the road. Otherwise, we probably would have flown. The drive was a bit brutal, but a stay overnight at Lodgepole campground just on the East side of Salt Lake City, broke it up into two manageable segments. We drove about 10 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday was about a 7 hour drive. 

We got there early enough Wednesday to register and walk the course with Keith. He and James took the easy road and flew. The course looked fun, rocky, with surprisingly large jumps for Cat 1, 2 and 3. There were opt out lines for each jump, but it was obvious to us that if you wanted to win, you hit the jumps.

Thursday morning we headed back up to the mountain to practice. We got a little riding in on some of the other trails before our practice officially opened, so we were warmed up to ride the race course. We took a few runs nice and slow, picking lines, and picking up a bit of speed each time. I timed myself on a chill run with no pedalling and I was just over 3 minutes. Keith timed himself and he was just under 3 minutes. 

After a few runs, I hit the road gap to virtual flat, and Keith and Khaner followed. Shortly after, Keith and Khaner hit the 25 foot hip mid course.

I went around it a few more runs, but the opt out line seemed like a cop out line to me. Toward the end of practice I was getting ready for a run and a kid I had known from previous races asked me if I had hit the hip yet. I responded with a "nah, not yet, you?" Of course he had hit it. I took off and followed Khaner down the course. As we rode the stair step section just before the hip, I decided I was going to hit it. I took a few pedal strokes, but it turned out not to be enough... I came up short and braced for impact. I hit and was thrown over the bars and onto my head and shoulder. I felt some snapping and crunching in my chest. Not good, I thought. "I wonder if I'll be able to get up and hit this thing again?" A few moments later I knew I wouldn't be giving it a second try. A few moments after that, I knew I wouldn't be racing nor would I be getting down the mountain by my own power.

The paramedics helped me out, put my arm in a funky gauze-ey sling and prepared me for the ride down in a Suburban. I started feeling sick, so they gave me some O2, which took the edge off. The altitude and my inability to breathe wasn't helping me much. I felt like I had broken my shoulder, cracked some ribs, and there was a concern that I may have punctured my lung. None of which are good, but I was rooting for no hole in the lung. 

I opted for no ambulance, and went to the infirmary at the resort. The doctor was cool, and knew pretty much right away that I had a separated shoulder. He recommended a cheaper option than going to the ER,  and James drove my car and I to the Timberline Family Practice. They took X-rays and found there to be nothing broken. My Clavicle was separated from my Scapula which constitutes a shoulder separation. In my case they said it was level 4, but later the Radiologist would confirm it was a level 3. All ligaments were severed. That's why my Clavicle was sticking up. Nothing to hold it down, so Boing! I got a wonderful sling to wear for at least 3 weeks and was told to see the Ortho doctor when I was back home. 

The kids kept practicing while I was getting looked at and Khaner had done the 44 foot "lip-skidder" jump. Keith followed him off, so they both were hitting it. I was so psyched that they were truly working together as a team. It was a milestone for Khaner. I had always wanted him to follow Keith and learn from him. But, I was extremely happy that he was helping Keith as well.

The next day I was spectator and hung with James taking pictures and supporting the kids. I had thought about doing that on this trip early on, but it took an injury to make it happen. It was a good time actually. I really missed being able to ride the other trails. I had hoped to get to know each trail intimately, but had only had a few runs down Silky Johnson.

In Friday practice, Keith and Khaner started hitting the jump over the road at the bottom of the course. Rolling it was awkward as hell on Thursday, but it looked like it started to pack in a bit by Friday afternoon. 
They were clearing it with ease and drifting the turn out of it down toward the bottom section of the course.

Saturday, race day, both kids got some good practice runs in. I'm usually riding with Khaner, so I know how fast he is or isn't, but this race, I'd just have to assume the best. Khaner came down and was about 10 seconds off the leader in his division with a 2:42:46 and a seat grab over the table top finish. He had went off course after the trail gap. He went over the berm and had to get off the bike and push it to get back started again. He had cleaned that whole section every time in practice, but the time that mattered most, he made a mistake. I was still incredibly proud of him. Without that mistake, he may have won, or at least had a top 3. He ended up in 7th place in 15-16 Category 1 (Expert). For his first year in Expert and having just turned 15 a few days previous, that's a solid finish.

Keith came down shortly after and had a great time of 2:23:46 which put him in the top 5. After all 17-18 Cat 1 riders were down, Keith managed to hold a podium spot with 5th place. Keith's consistency this year is one of his biggest strengths. He's been in the top spots at all the major races he's attended and podiumed at most of them. We're hoping it gets him a spot on the Worlds team for this year. Fingers crossed...

Mitch Ropelato took the top spot in 17-18 Cat 1 DH, and in Pro 4X that night. JD made a sly move in an attempt to take Mitch out, but Mitch managed to keep the bike upright and take the win.

Sunday, we went out and watched the pros race. The jumps they were hitting were huge. The largest I've seen on a DH course in the US for sure.

Khaner and I headed back to SF on Sunday afternoon and made it into Nevada before we had to stop to take a nap at a rest area. We napped for about 4-5 hours, then drove the rest of the way home. It was a great trip. Epic actually. I wish I hadn't jacked myself up, but I'm happy we went. And I'm proud of the kids for their teamwork and effort. Looking forward to next year!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pacifica - June 28, 2009

Khaner and I did timed runs with our Moto timers from the top of the middle section of boyscout, through the S berms to the hip just below "career ender" down to the drop line and through the new ravine trail. The watch was stopped as we exited the ravine trail and rode over the berm into the main trail. After our first run, we realized that we had both taken slightly different lines. Khaner's time was a :58 and mine was 1:02. I was progressively 2 seconds faster through each of four runs with a final run of 56:08. Khaner's third and final run was 55:90. With at least a second or so margin of error, you can't get any closer than that... 

The timers made great use of our riding time and added an extra element of fun to our ride.

Khaner pulls a nice seat grab... 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Team Ride - Thursday June 11

Khaner and I met up with Keith and Justin for a ride in Pacifica today. The weather was awesome, and we hit up Crack and Mile and sessioned Boyscout for a total of about 3 hours of pushing/riding. Khaner, Keith and Justin pictured.

View of Pacifica from the trail to the top of Mile.

Keith hitting one of the new doubles on Boyscout.

Cross Training at Napa BMX - Wed June 10

I took the family to North Bay BMX in Napa for Wednesday night practice and Racing. The track has recently just been completely redone, and I was told it was by the same people that did the Olympic track in Beijing. Not sure if it had anything to do with Donny Robinson, but I think that's at least part of the equation. He was actually there last night and it was pretty cool to see him air the quadruple on the first straight and clear it with ease... Its crazy to see how high level pros are completely heads and tails above anyone else.

The track looked great with an asphalt starting hill and asphalt berms. The rollers and tables were groomed perfectly. The starting gate was new and functioned flawlessly. What can I say. Its a true world class track. Khaner's one complaint was how flat it was. But, for BMX he's use to The Hill in Elgin Illinois. We stopped racing BMX when we moved from Chicago to San Francisco and therefore his memories of BMX are having to brake to slow down so you don't fly over the berms and over clear the tables. The Hill was almost a Downhill BMX course. Napa: Much more traditional. But fun and flowy.

Khaner practiced for a few hours in spite of a headache and the onset of what could be the Swine Flu.

Deegan (my 6 yr old) practiced and ultimately asked if he could race in what would be his first race of any kind, ever. He had a ton of great practice runs, especially taking into account that he had never even ridden the bike that he was racing.

Each time he got faster and better. Come time for his moto, he had 5 kids in his 6 yr old Novice Division. it was a 2-2 transfer and he got last on the first moto. In his second, a kid crashed and Deegan ended up transfering to the main event. In the main he got 4th and was sore and tired. I think he needs to get out there and train so he can earn a spot on the FACTION team for 2010.

Sick Pic of Keith from SC

This was taken awhile back, but I had to post it. Nice pic JB, and Sweeeet riding Keith!!! Check out the comments on PinkBike.

CCCX #6 - June 7, 2009

The Faction team rolled 6 deep to the second to the last race of the 2009 CCCX Downhill Series. Khaner and I headed out at 6 am to meet up with the rest of the team at Toro Park. Once there, we headed up the hill for practice. The course was supposedly "skinnier" than in the past, so hiking up was prohibited. We had to take a steeper section around the mountain to get to the top.

We stopped and sessioned an S-berm section in the middle that reminded me of the sandy berms at Sea Otter, except these had a a bit less sand in the bottom and a bit more chewn off the top. Still fun, but sketchy nonetheless. We ventured to the top for a few runs of the the fireroad start section and then headed down to a section of trail that Keith DeFiebre was touting as Virgin Trail. One section seemed familiar to me from years past, but was rutted and covered with loose fine powdery dirt.

The section that followed was steep, loose and as practice rolled on, a rut started to form at the bottom so you could actually hold your line and not end up in the brush. 

After that section, the trail drifted into another newly cut section of rough single track that led into a gully of freshly hacked shrubbery. In my race run, I ended up in and out of the inch or so diameter spears as I snaked toward the final stretch:

Another new section of trail that ran along the edge of a ravine only about 4 to 5 inches wide in some sections with a jump toward the end that shot you back into a section of trail about 5 inches wide.

I got one practice run through there as this was an area you couldn't hike back up to session without running riders off course and sending them careening down into the ravine. So, out of respect, we went to the bottom and opted to skip another trip all the way to the top for another practice run. It was about 11:00 and we would have been cutting it pretty close. 

The course overall was much more interesting than previous courses from Mr Defeeb, but lacked a sturdy base to keep riders on course. And in my experience with trail building, all of the new sections are environmentally unsound and destructive to vegetation and prone to erosion. Not sure if anyone cares out there, but building some of these trails sustainably would provide immense opportunities for future course options for years to come. Oh well... Its his race and the course was fun.

I had a good race run other than washing out in one berm in the s-berm section and running into the bank of the 3 inch trail toward the bottom. A jump in that section shot you toward the edge of the trail and to avoid ending up in the ravine, you had to make a quick left and hold a rut a few inches wide. A photographer happened to be just behind the jump as I came through and flashed me (not with his nude body, but with his flash of course), which distracted me just enough to get me off course. Luckily, instead of going right off the trail, I went left and buried my handlebar in the bank of the ravine to the left. It took me 4 or 5 seconds to dislodge my bars and get rolling again. The rest of the course was a good pedal and I missed a few of my lines... I had only been through there once, so it wasn't burned into my mind as it should have been. My time was 3 m 37 s and 42 hundredths. I ended up in a tie for 3rd with Mr. E, Eric Brecheen from Mr. E's bikes. 

Allen had a solid run and posted a 3:17 for 4th place in the Pro Division. Keith crashed in the vacinity of where I had my incident, went over the bars and into the ravine. Even with his mistake, he still managed to pull out a 3:25.

Justin came in with a 3:30, Tony with a 3:32, Khaner with a 3:41 putting them all on the podium in the 18 and under Jr. Expert Category with 2nd, 3rd and 5th, respectively.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Angelfire Chili Challenge - May 22-25, 2009

Keith’s been on a roll this year with a streak of podiums and top 10 finishes on the Gravity tour. Last weekend he took a little 20 hour drive to Angelfire New Mexico:

I chatted with Keith on Sunday after his race run:

Keith: "Practice went amazing all 5 days, but my race run didn't come together the way I hoped it would. Actually, I think it was one of my worst race runs on record. I was trying to go a bit too fast and blew some of my lines. I've been training regularly and have felt like I'm in great shape. Not this weekend. I felt like I hadn't trained a day in my life. I'm sure it had a lot to do with the fact that we were up above 12,000 feet. In spite of all that, I finished a pretty solid 8th place. Its never a great feeling knowing that you could have done much better, but I'll take 8th and chalk it up to experience."

Keith going big in New Mexico

A tech section on the course at the Chili Challenge.

Next weekend we'll be doing another CCCX practice race. The next big one is Nationals at Sol Vista in July. Keith, Myself (Dustin), Khaner and Allen will all be attending. It should be a blast. Khaner and I haven't ridden in CO in 4 years. I don't think Keith and Allen ever have.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

DMC Moto Timer...

Mine just showed up today, and I'm diggin' it already. I took it up on Sutro just up the hill from our house and timed runs with my youngest son, and then did some race runs down the switchback trail that empties out to Medical Center Way. One run down yielded a time of 2:48:90. Can't wait to beat it tomorrow. 

About the timer. Its pretty small. Smaller than I thought it would be. One negative: The button is a bit hard to push, but I'm assuming it will get easier as it breaks in. Hopefully it doesn't just break. I also have it in a location on the bar thats a bit too far in. I need to move my lever toward the grip, or move it out so I can put the timer between the grip and the brake lever. I'm pretty finicky about my lever placement, so this might be a slight issue. I'd like the set up to be so perfect that I feel comfortable starting it and stopping it in legit race runs to validate the official time. Most times I feel like I might have gotten jacked on my time. I'm faster than those guys... This will be the test.

If you want to get one, Phil at RideSFO is about to order them. The guys that distribute them said there are very few left and they may stop selling them, so now's the time to hook it up. If Phil doesn't get enough, then you can order them through

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

FACTION Team adds Three...

Tony Gerbino, Allen Stoddard and Justin Martin have been permanent fixtures hovering around the periphery of the team. I've been contemplating asking all three of them to be on the team for quite some time now, but finally decided it was the right time. Keith, Khaner and I all agree, they're three great friends, good kids and talented riders. Look for more info to come. I'll be adding their resumes to the website and creating picture sets for them on Flickr. Welcome to the team guys... 

Tony Gerbino
Alan Stoddard
Justin Martin

CCCX #5 - May 17,2009

Khaner and I got up at 5:30 and had the car packed and rolling by a few minutes after 6. With one toilet stop in Salinas, we made it to Toro Park just before 8am. I figured James would have beaten us out there, but he actually pulled in front of us just as we were exiting Highway 68. 

Once we were set up and up the hill, the temperatures went up as well. Most of the other kids race out there on a regular basis, so they needn't even hike to the top of the fire-roads. But, it had been awhile for me, so i hiked up and did two runs on the top section up to the transition into the trees. Khaner went up with me on the second run. Keith and Tony practiced the lower sections. The hardest thing for me at first was the new section of trail that ducked into the brush and was a bunch of loose dirt and dust. I'm pretty sure Defeibre had just cut that line a few days before, and it rode like it. You basically slid into the first corner which was a pile of dust, then slid into the next one trying to hold speed enough to keep your feet on the pedals to make it into the tight s-berm switch back section with a little speed. I had a decent few runs through that section, but nothing great. Tony looked really fast as did Alan. Keith was having tire troubles and went down to get that figured out. Khaner sat and watched other riders through the s-berms and I took a few more runs with Justin. We were the only two of the group clipped in... which for me, proved later to be a mistake.

I hadn't rode clipless in a race in at least a couple of years, and this course was like marbles, so probably not the best time to be attached to your bicycle. But, oh well, I committed to it and there was no turning back. 

Come time for racing, the sun hit mid-sky and was not yielding much shade. Luckily Phil loaned us the big RideSFO easy-up for the day to stay out of the sun. Regardless, the walk up was a bit grueling and hot. And we were a bit slow, so walking up the course probably wasn't a good idea.

Racing started just as we were a hill away from the starting straight. We were respectful of riders coming down the course and managed to stay way out of the way. 

Once at the top, the line was a bit long and slow. The heat was brutal. The bugs were attacking and there was no shade except for inside the poison oak. Perfect way to start a race. Luckily I had a bit of water and kept my mouth wet. Keith, Alan and Tony went off a bit before us. I went, then Khaner and Justin.

One of the great things about CCCX is the fact that they let you go in pretty much whatever order you want. So, you get up there, get in line and go. No standing and waiting for people to show up or numbers to be called. I also have to say, that while the timing system is a bit archaic, the coordination and accomodation of Rod, the timing dude, is awesome. Its one of the things that keeps me coming back and makes me wish I could hit more races out there. He's always on it, and politely will show you your division and your time however many times you ask. I've never been to a race series where the timing official lets you stand over his shoulder and look at times, and then will scroll through the spreadsheet and show you whatever you want to see. 

As far as runs go, mine was tolerable. No crashes, no cuts or bruises. I managed to stay on the bike the whole day. But, I had one major mistake which cost me probably a good 8 seconds or so. Coming out of the loose dusty section, I had to take my foot off, or it popped out... can't remember exactly, but the problem was that it wouldn't go back in. Or rather, I couldn't get it into the right spot. So, through the whole s-berm section, one of the most crucial sections on the course, I was one-footed and not hitting my line. I managed to get clipped back in after that section and all was good for awhile. I had only ridden the bottom section once that day and had never raced to the finish line they had set up. So, around each turn I wasn't sure what was coming. When i got to the finish line it came out of nowhere. I managed to make the turn through the creek and up the embankment, but wasn't in the right gear. I managed to finish 4th with a 3:11:61. Some shirtless dude was pretty proud of himself a few minutes later when he finished with the same time. Me, not so much.

Tony managed a 3:00:45 which was good enough for 2nd in Jr. Expert. Justin came through with a 3:04:11 for 5th place. Khaner came down with a 3:14:26 on his big bike. Not too shabby. I'm sure he was faster than me though the tech sections, but struggled through the pedally ones. Khaner's time got him 8th. 

Keith had washed out in the middle section and came off his bike. He pulled out a 2:55 and just missed a podium with 6th place in Pro. Alan had an incredible run and clocked the fastest time of the day to win the pro class at 2:49:68. He edged out John Hauer (a seasoned pro) and Defeibre by a few seconds.  In practice Alan was railing the s-berm section. Justin made a comment to me that he looked like a slot car going through there. When I saw him, it made me want my 510's and my flats. I think throwing a foot out in each turn was the way to go.

Justin ended up doing Pixie class on his little 16 inch bike and got 1st out of... 1 rider. I'm sad that I missed his finish, though. He went OTB into the creek 10 feet before the line. Nice job dude.

After all was sad and done, it was a good day of race practice. We need to do more of these things to get ready for Nationals in July. These races have propelled Keith to the top of the Jr. Expert division and are a huge value. Hopefully we can make race #6.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Local Boy Does Backflips

Khaner and I Just got back from the Barred for Life premiere. The event was hosted by AT in his home town of Santa Rosa. The movie was solid, but the energy was extra high when Andrew graced the screen. He's such a talent and just a great kid in general. I wish him all the luck in the world. If anyone deserves to make it, its him. Not sure when its released to the public, but its well worth a peek, especially for the local riders (Plenty of Carlmont footage) and AT fans.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Barred for Life video Premiere...

Check out our buddy AT backflippin Medium Pimpin' at Carlmont! If you want to see the whole thing, go to the premiere in Santa Rosa this Thursday the 14th of May.

Barred For LIfe!!!

Barred For Life Teaser 2 from Bjorn Aunet on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

FluidRide ProGRT May 3, 2009

After qualifying 5th yesterday, Keith put in a great run and ended up 6th place today in 18 and under Cat 1.

There were over 50 riders in the division. First place went to a local racer, and our friend Derek Teel finished 3rd. As Keith's dad James said "If someone's gotta beat Keith, We hope its Derek".

I Haven't found the official results and times on-line as of yet, but as soon as they are posted, I'll post them and a link to all results.

More info on Bones over metal.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ales and Trails 2009

Khaner and I went to Ales and Trails in China Camp today to represent SF Urban Riders at the event. At 6:45 am we met Mitch and Tom at Dan's house to load up all the bits of the Triple Feature under an overcast sky. Rain was in the forecast, but as we loaded up, the rain held off and there were hopes that it could still be a beautiful day.

The road into Miwok meadow was already muddy when we arrived, but the parking lot where the skills area would be was moderately dry. We unloaded and started the setup as it started to spit. The ladders went together easily and quickly, and were wet and slick almost immediately. This didn't stop us from having a little fun. Especially Khaner.

The REI skills section proved to be a great place for a warm up. The tight turns were loose and slick, but fun to drift. I timed Khaner, Tom and Mitch through the course and the faster times were between 14.5 secs and 18 secs. We should really develope one of these for SFUR events and set up Freelap timers. It would be ideal to have a competition between riders for swag, prizes and most of all, bragging rights!!!

Througout the day, it continued to rain off and on. Luckily Mitch brought the easy up so we had a place to stay dry.

I borrowed a demo bike from Marin, and Tom and I went on an hour or so long XC ride. The trails were fun and fast in sections with lots of climbing and lots of mud. Not the kind that bogs you down, but the really wet splattery kind that coats your componentry, your clothes and... well... pretty much everything. Neither of us knew our way around very well, so we could have taking the route with the most climbing. Regardless, it was a fun spin and good for a sweat.

Upon returning to the meadow, lunch was on. Whole pig was on the menu, but not on my plate. I opted for some chicken, salad and rice. The Ale began to flow as well...

All in all, A&T was great time. The only thing bad about it, was imagining how fun it would have been without the rain. And how many peeps would have shown up for the festivities. Hopefully IMBA still lined their pockets with trailbuilding cash and everyone had a jolly time.

FluidRide ProGRT Qualifying, Sat May 2...

Keith had a great run today and qualified 5th. From 2nd to 5th are all within one second, so racing tomorrow will be highly competitive for sure. I'll have an update and more info tomorrow. Good Luck Keith!!!

Details at Bones over metal. Article on Pinned.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sea Otter Classic - April 16-19, 2009

The Big News is that Keith won Junior Expert 18 and under with a time of 2:19:96!!! That's right, 1st Place out of over 50 riders. This is huge and something to be incredibly proud of. Great Job Keith!!! 

Here's Keith's account of his SOC weekend:

"To prepare for the Sea Otter Classic, I cut out all junk food, soda's and all energy drinks. I bought an indoor trainer, hooked it up to my dads Enduro, and I have that set up in my room. I do intervals and go through all the gears until I can’t possibly pedal anymore. I seriously burn my legs until I can’t feel them. Each interval is about 3 min, then I take about a minute, cool down, and I do it all over again. I do that to get used to that burning feeling you get when you pedal you’re a** off. What I have learned is that its all mental: as long as I don’t think about the burning, I feel like I can pedal for hours.

On that Wednesday, before the first day of practice, Tony and I simply walked the course, checked out what was new, and figured out what to do different from last year; where to sneak a few more pedals, and what are the straightest lines through certain sections. 

Thursday, I did 5 complete runs. No sessioning. That helped me pedal through the whole course without thinking of stopping like last year when I sessioned the whole track. That helped a lot. I didn’t work on speed, but I worked on my lines, and getting them burned into my brain, how to take certain corners, and where to and how to jump things.

Friday, I started to add more speed to my runs, and started to shoot lower on the jumps. I worked on not breaking in the corners, but braking before the corners for max exit speed,

Saturday, I also worked on exit speed, and pumping everything I possibly could to maximize my speed with less effort,

Sunday, race day, I felt really good. I had my lines dialed, and I knew exactly where to pump, where to pedal, and where to brake. I did one practice run, just to see how the track changed.

Twenty minutes before my race, I found a spot to be alone, had my ipod on, and my favorite song, so i could get in the zone and imagine my run corner by corner.

In my race run, after the starting beeps, I was in such concentration I didn’t hear the crowd along the track. It was silent. It was one of the best runs I’ve have ever had."

Khaner raced Slalom in 18 and under Cat 1. At 14, I'm proud of him for taking on this division and qualifying 23 out of just over 30 riders. 

In DH, Khaner had a clean run and finished mid pack in 15-16 Cat 1 with 11th place and a time of 2:33:13. 

In my race run, I slipped a pedal on the jump to table at the top. When I came down, my foot was just a little too far forward for me to pedal. I adjusted my foot and couldn't quite get it in the right place, so I had to pedal over the next table and the step up into the berm (instead of floating above them). I figure this cost me at lest 8-10 seconds in momentum and speed. I had been cleaning all these jumps in practice. I also didn't hit the rutted berm smoothly just before the hip. I came out of the ruts a bit too high and had to almost come to a stop. The rest of my run was felt fast and I ended up in 11th place with a 2:34.

All in all, it was a great 4 days of riding, hanging and chatting it up with friends and industry folks. Thanks to Phil at rideSFO for letting us hang around the hippest, most crowded booth at the event!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fontana City National - 03/23/2009

Khaner, Tony, Keith, Alan

Khaner leads the way in practice.

Dustin takes 3rd Place in 35-42 Category 1.

Keith Sprints across the finish line to finish 11th out of 5o in Cat 1, 18 and under.

The MOB in Mojave - 02/14/2009

Khaner and I left San Francisco for Bootleg Canyon on Friday morning. Keith, James, Justin Martin,  and Alan Stoddart had already left early that morning from San Jose. The plan was to meet them in Boulder City later that night.

After about 6 hours of driving, we reached a mountain pass just east of Tehachapi and the Highway was closed. It had snowed in the higher elevations causing them to close the road and keep us all sitting and waiting on or next to the highway. We pulled over onto a frontage road and waited, hoping they would re-open the road. About 2 hours later, they did and we were allowed to drive over the mountains and through the pass. 

It was a strange mix of snow and lush green mountainsides.

Saturday we registered and practiced the DH course. Shuttles were good. The course was fun and tricky in some sections. Up top it was loose and jagged rocks. Some off camber rock sections. Ledges with no where to go but down on one side. Gee and Dan were practicing at the same time and Gee took a nice tumble over the bars and onto the rocks. My best run down was following those two... not at all keeping up, but knowing they had stopped and were looking at the course, watching us ride by. I never flowed it so smoothly. If only I could have used that as my race run.

On Sunday, Khaner and Keith would be racing the same division in spite of the fact that they are over 3 years apart. Khaner is 14. Keith, 17. The division, Junior Expert 18 and under. 

Keith had a solid run and finished 3rd in 18 and under Cat 1.

There were over 50 riders in 18 and under Cat 1, so for points they split the group into 15-16 and 17-18. With this split, Khaner ended up 5th in 15-16 Cat 1.

I had a good run and stayed on course and on the bike. The top section felt reasonably fast, but down low in the rollers I lost my flow and had to brake coming into a crucial speed section. 

They usually have separate divisions for 30-34 and 35-39, but here they had them grouped together into 30-39.  A 30 yr old dude won my division, but as he was crossing the finish line, he took a bounce that threw him into a ladder bridge on the side of the course, snapping his humerus. I ended up with my humerus intact, and 10th in 30-39 Cat 1.

The temperatures turned chilly as the sun set and the awards ceremony become more elusive.