Monday, June 25, 2012

Cal State Season Finale Report

Capitan Christopher H. Sharp, here is the race report from the Cal
State Championships,

Cannot believe the whole US Cup Series and State Championships have
come and gone this season. Our last chance for redemption was last
weekends Cal State Championships in Big Bear. One time shot for glory.

After the US Cup West Series Finals debacle where I had just gotten
back from backpacking, I really wanted to prep myself for this race.
So, I decided to go up to Mammoth Mountain for four days and train up
there. Got in really good training rides on their singletrack trails in
and long road rides. Kept my hydration up with Amino Vital during and
after the rides. Riding in 8,000-10,000 elevation really makes a
difference when you have to race at 7,000ft. Rested on Saturday, ate
super healthy (bacon wrapped almond dates), and had a good night sleep.
Next morning Shortstack and I loaded up the Sigma EZ up of Impending
Doom, trusty ol' steed Tomac Type-X 26er, and a cooler of beer.

Mark Thome showed up to make our little homebase in the parking lot.
Thank goodness for the Sigma EZ up because the day was turning to be a
hot one. Shortstack I think fell asleep before he went over to the
Kenda Trailer to help out, good idea! Had a good hour of warm up in and
absolutely did not feel the altitude up there for the first time.

Feeling good by now, lets head up to the start line!

Gun goes off (Tom's voice) and we go off straight up the mountain. Legs
feel great, breathing feels great, I'm actually ahead of others and
keeping up with the pack until the "Cat 1" who should be Pro's just
take off. Feeling good, legs are pumping tremendously well, the Amino
Vital Focus Zone is kicking in by now, and I'm waiting for the
singletrack sections to come up so I can tear it apart with my Kenda
Karma 2.0's. More fireroad. Riding into a new area I had never seen
before, more fireroad. Finally we hit a singletrack, Wet Dreams, and
start climbing up it back to 2N10. What? Lame! We start hauling ass on
the fireroad ridge passing Cat 2 and 3 racers. The sun was glaring at
us in the open but thanks to our Ryder Sunglasses it was not bad.

Finally, we hit singletrack on the way down to the finish. That was fun and actually
mountain biking. At the end I was listed as 5th, but there was a
mistake so I got bumped to 6th. That is the best result I have had in
Cat 1 since moving up three years ago and been improving each year.

Very disappointed on the course though, this is mountain biking not a
leisure ride with Grandma on a gravel road. Fast course but for
roadies. Overall, felt really good on the bike. Prep work and getting
in the right state of mind is key to competing at your top level. When
your Xpedo pedals are glued to your shoes, your Spinergy Wheelset is
running true, Kenda Tires are gripping, Tomac Type-X is responding to
every acceleration, Amino Vital is pumping into your muscles, Royal
gloves are glued to your grips, then it all becomes instinct out there.
Your mind can focus on riding your best with all the fun that comes
with it, thanks to the sponsors for making this happen.

Big Shout-out to Captain Chris in BFE, Ohio. Roger at the Kenda
Trailer. Shortstack for lending a helping hand. Vegas Bob for
supporting us while he is on the mend. All of the sponsors that have
made it happen this year : Molly from Amino Vital, Joel from Tomac,
Randy from Sigma, Ken from Xpedo, Matt from HydroPak, Chan from KMC
chains, Roger from Kenda, Jay from Royal,
Jimbo from Denver, and everybody else.

Time for some epic rides now, let the summer begin!



At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Season is over? We just started riding here in CO!! The snow melter just long enough for the fires to start. Sounds like the Cal State Series has not changed a bit. Great write up Ara. Looking forward to your visit.


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