I’m Back and Still on the Bike

Chad Davidson, New SoCalRunning.com Member with Team Steelballs Makes the Podium in AG Downhill

I’m back from an awesome cycling trip in Monterey, CA, the Sea Otter bike festival. Friday, I had a tough day on my road bike race, as my bike tried to throw me with severe speed wobbles at 38 mph. The last thing I need is to crash three weeks before Wildflower. Somehow I kept both tires on the pavement. So I rode back to the campsite and hopped on my mountain bike. I previewed the course I would race first thing the next morning, great country.

Saturday was my 19-mile cross country MTB race. The entire race schedule was not the best organized. The actual start time of my Saturday race was not announced until 30 minutes before the race. They just said get there at 7:30 AM and wait. I decided to guess when it would start and missed by 40 seconds. I had to fight through the next wave to start 40 seconds late. I worked my way through the back of the pack on some early short, steep climbs then we hit the fire road. These guys were fast downhill. I was getting passed until we hit the single track. With over 700 people on the course at this point, the downhill single track came to a stand still. Once we made it down to the bottom of the first valley we had a steep climb back up to the next ridge. It was still packed. We were wheel to wheel and going slow with nowhere to go. I used it for rest knowing that this course had 6,500 feet of total climbing, most at the end.

It finally broke up a little and when the track was wide enough you tried to pass. Beautiful scenery and California backcountry. The course has a long uphill climb before the downhill finish. I locked out my suspension and hammered it uphill. I didn’t get passed until the final downhill, where I almost crashed into a tree. I got back on the bike and rode in.

It was my first x-country MTB race and it was great. I need to work on my downhill confidence yet overall I felt like I raced well. I still have to wait for the results to be posted but my time was around 2:00. Mountain biking is great for your trail running skills and if you can be out in nature, why not?

Got Dirt? Train Focused, Steve Mackel – USA Cycling Coach


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