On the drive down to California from Victoria I had some time to think, it was around a day total of driving, I find it pretty easy to get lost in thought on the road. I got to thinking about the previous 3 months, about the work and the time I put into my training, time put into thinking about training, dialing in nutrition, stretching, yoga, and all the other small pieces of being a high performance athlete.
What I came up with is that it is a lot of time. The majority of it was great, lots of fun. There were hard days but they pale in comparison to the days that produced massive feelings of satisfaction when training goals were met and personal records set. For me, training is not a sacrifice. All the training is an investment from which I get a return from every time I ride my bike. You get out what you put in, such is life. I got my first major return this past weekend at the Bonelli US Cup HC (Hors Categorie) race in San Dimas, California.
Our day of previewing the course could not have been more different than race day. On the Wednesday before the race the LA area had the hottest day in the past 2 months. My Garmin read a max temperature of 38 degrees (Garmin’s tend to exaggerate the temperature a bit but it was very very hot!). Race day was 18 degrees and the skies opened up during our race to turn the dusty hard-pack into slick mud. I was in a dream world. It was a really fun race, the course was changing every lap and the conditions even varied along a 30 m section of course. There was this one downhill that you really had to nail the muddy rut to carry speed through the corner otherwise it was like ice. Then the next corner was literately dust where the top layer of mud got washed off. A minute later I was running up a steep climb I couldn’t get traction on. Skills had to be dynamic for sure!
Conditions like these demanded quite a lot from equipment. I rode Kenda Small Blocks which were very good until the last two laps where a Karma would have been the ticket. My Norco Revolver FS handled everything I threw at it and my Sram XX drivetrain did its job flawlessly. Almost forgot about my Crankbrothers pedals, easy enough when they simply do as they are told. I said thanks to the whole crew with a cleaning, a lube and a re-grease.
I had a race that I am proud of and one that I learned a lot going forward. I finished up 14th at Bonelli HC, very solid with the size and quality of the field. Next up is some rest, some training and some travel to bring me to the next big sports event, Sea Otter Classic.
There were so many photographers out working their magic in challenging shooting conditions, enjoy some of their work.