On the same weekend as the Redlands Bicycle Classic, there was this other bike race just down the 10 freeway a few miles. I have to admit, there wasn't much in me that wanted to go race Fontana during RBC, but it turned out okay in the end I suppose...
Riding a brand new bike that I had very little saddle time on and getting called up about 100th in a 110-man field didn't make me feel much better at the start line. Oh, and I forgot my gear bag, so by the time Denise & Ryder had delivered it to me, I had just enough time to throw on my kit and ride over to the starting line. That turned out to be my warm-up, a whole 3 minutes. Anyway, I started on the second-to-the-last-row, but I had good company because a stealthy Aaron Olson was in the row just in front of me. It's comedy when you start that far back because you know you're about to get a good seat for all the funny stuff that happens on the first lap of a race. And with the new gnarly downhill trails and steep & loose uphills they threw in at the last minute, I saw a lot of funny stuff.
To make a long story short (my entire life is about trying to make a long story short), I ended up 66th. Olson, BTW, finished 49th. I'd say there's not much more you can do when you start that far back, but Todd Wells broke a chain on the first lap and went from near last place to 7th. What frustrates me is when he passed me, I was able to ride with him for a few minutes before I lost him in traffic. Why is that, I have to ask myself? Today I go back to work and I see on his blog, that he flies to South Africa for a World Cup. Lucky bastard, say hi to the Dart for me.
The Canadians killed it. Four in the top ten including the first two steps on the podium taken by Kabush and Plaxton. I don't think Kabush has ever lost at Fontana since we started going there for a National.
My new Gary Fisher HiFi XC is rad. I had some serious doubts about racing a full suspension, but now I'm sold. I spent a lot of time getting my front and rear end working right and once I got it dialed, it's a much better ride than those old hardtail things I've been preaching about for the last few years. Who would have thought? My legs are trash today, but the rest of my body definately feels a lot better than if I had given it a go on the hardtail.
I'm bummed the weekend is over. RBC is one of my favorite times of the year. Everyone is in town, you run into so many friends that you don't see that often, and my family was out to watch Ryder & Destry race on Saturday morning. Joey & Jamie raced the USAC Cat 4 crit on Sunday morning. On a borrowed bike, and with a lap to go, Jamie bridged up to a guy up the road and rode away from him taking it to the line with a few feet to spare, while Joey finished in the top-ten. Good job boys. They obviously didn't learn their crit riding techniques from me.
I should probalby go to work now. Hopefully I'll have some photos soon...