AKA – Home, Home on the Ra…ce. That doesn’t even make sense.
Day 1 – Practice
This year, SilverStar went back to the old gnarlier race course, Dag’s Downhill. Since I’ve only been racing for 2 years, this was actually my first chance to race it. Despite this being my home track, I only got a chance to ride down this trail once before today. (I’ve just been THAT busy!) The trail was so nice to ride and you could really see all the work that trail crew put in getting it ready for the race.
I was so stoked to get my first day on my Norco Aurum. First time ever that I’ve owned a brand new bike!
Dag’s Downhill starts you off right into the thick of things! Right out the gate there’s a drop into a little rocky bit, then a rock feature (Fraggle Rock!) with some interesting line choices into it. Rock roll, drop, faaaaast open section into a flat corner and over a rock drop! Then some more line choice through another rock feature and a corner into a rocky rut! Rock roll, rock roll, rock roll, PIORA’S PITCH (for me that was a rock roll too! some people were dropping this but it scared me a bit too much!). Step down, rock roll, corner, drop, faaast open section and then roots roots roots and more roots! Faaaaaast doubles and a jump and done! Okay I might have missed a few corners in there but it was pretty fun to ride. 😀
Day 2 – Practice (again!!!) + Seeding!
This was Gondola opening day and the village was bustling! With the heat and number of riders on the course it quickly changed, getting tougher and tougher as the day wore on, but I kept up the stamina to keep tackling it. I’m really feeling like all that hard work training over the winter is paying off.
I ended up crashing through a tricky rock line that I’d been navigating with success and got a minor sprain in my wrist. I ended up changing my line to go around the feature for seeding.
Seeding was good and I didn’t take it too hard, just tried to put everything together and pick up the pace a bit. I really struggled with keeping my feet on the pedals and spent a lot of time in awkward positions trying to think of a place where I could reset my feet.
The day ended with a pretty epic dual slalom put on by SilverStar. They worked really hard on the course but I decided not to do it because I hadn’t gotten a chance to try it out beforehand and was fairly exhausted. It was super entertaining though and I loved seeing fellow riders stomp it and cheering on my team!
Day 3 – Race Day
I didn’t sleep very well on Saturday night and felt pretty tired on the day of. Wasn’t feeling well in practice and ended up going down in Piora’s. Luckily no scratches on my new bike though!
I made a fairly snap decision to put the rock feature that I switched out of my lines the day before back in because the ride around was too dusty and not fast. I also switched out my pedals for something with a little more bite to them.
One of my challenges in racing elite is that you have to wait around so long to do your run. There’s a fairly big gap between practice and racing and lots of opportunities for the course to change.
After some high fives from my fellow competitors I was ready to send it! I ended up botching my line through Fraggle rock which I had been riding great in practice and coming to a dead stop on my bike. Annnnd I messed up on the rock feature that I brought back into my run and almost hit a tree. That’s just how it goes sometimes!
The different pedals helped but I was still thinking way too much about my feet. I need to set aside my nervousness about clips and just ride them! I want to be ready to try racing in them in two weeks!