AKA – Home turf!
Day 1 – Practice
Absolutely beautiful weather. It was so perfectly warm and just lovely riding conditions. I felt so much less stress than usual, being that Silver Star is my home mountain and I didn’t have to worry about camping or travel and all that fun stuff.
The race trail was brand new, so I didn’t have the practice advantage that I thought I might get at the start of the year. Short, super fast and very loose. The course actually got easier as people rode down it, because ruts formed in the dirt that you could get your tire into and just ride the trough.
Even though there were a couple tricky sections, there was nothing on the course that truly intimidated me, so my main goal for the practice was just to play with lines and trying to find the fastest way down the course.
One section of the course is a steep chute, I tried to take the inside line, and bonked straight into a tree! The impact cut a hole in my race plate and embedded it into my headset. I think I’ll just leave it in there and see how long it stays…
The only other thing of note that happened was me hitting a jump at the bottom of the course way too slowly. I just kinda cruised off the lip and didn’t realize it was quite as large as it actually was. I cased on the landing and ended up riding down the trail on my front wheel. I saved it (mostly!) but it was scary nonetheless and I decided to cut the jump out of my race run since it wasn’t really any faster.
Day 2 – Race Day
I found out that I’d be riding alone in my category, so I didn’t feel too much pressure when my race time came up. I still decided to run the course as if I was competing against everyone to get the best possible time. It’s still nice to see how I line up with women (and men!) in the other categories, even if I’m not actually racing against them. I ended up crashing in an off camber shale rock section, so I made a split second decision to throw the last jump on the course in for personal redemption. Success!