The last couple weeks I have been putting in some major travel time. It all started with a trip to the east coast. When I landed in Newark I looked out the window and noticed this as we stopped. As it turned out one of wheels caught on fire when they dropped the landing gear. It was the quickest thing I’ve seen at Newark airport – 15 fire trucks surrounding the plane in an instant upon landing. After my adventure in Newark it was off to Mount Tremblant for the first round of the Canada Cup. It’s about a 7 hour drive from parents house to Mount Tremblant just north west of Montreal. My first race didn’t go as planned since I took a bad line and sliced my sidewall 10 minutes into the race. I visited my dad in the feed zone where I changed my wheel and finished out the day in 18th.
After the race it was back to my parents house for a couple days of rain before heading up to Baie St Paul for the 2nd round. 9 hours later I arriveisn’t the race course north of Quebec city and Mount St Anne. After 4 laps of pre ride I felt like I knew the course as well as I possibly could. It had a couple figure 8’s within the loop – an east coast technical style course with a lot of up and down on roots and rocks. On race day I had a solid first lap and stayed out of trouble and continued to move up. After the second lap I had locked into a battle for third. With a lap to go, Jeremy Martin (Rocky Mtn.) and I started to fight for position into each section. In the end I came up a little short as Alex lit me up inside the finial 1.5k. I cruised in for 4th, good day for a bear, and was looking forward to the following race weekend.
After four hot days in NY, it was off to Hardwood Hills near Toronto. Split the drive in half and stayed in Rochester NY with uncle, aunt and cousin. Also Kricket flew in to Rochester to hang out for the finall race and take in some cold rainy weather. After the drive up and another successful trip through customs, I checked out the course which was super fast and fun. The soil was sand based and dry even after 3 inches of rain the night before. Besides from a couple slick roots, the trail was in perfect tackie condition. Sunday for the race… not so much. After I started to warm up I was thinking of trying one of those moves that never pans out for you – change tires! At 15 minutes before the start I really was considering the move as it just started dumping rain. Unfortunately for me I figured the trail wouldn’t take that much wear and boy was I wrong. The gun went off, I avoided the first pile up and was inside the top 10 when I quickly realized my fast dry tires with 17 psi weren’t hooking up at all. After laying it down hard in a rock garden I ended up almost clipping numerous trees in the first 3 of 6 laps. I totally was out of it and faded back to 19th before getting my head back in it and rallying back to 12th. I really wanted to call it day on the 2nd lap but I decided to stop trying to force it and just work on the bike handling. In turn, I started finding my lines and feeling good about my day. Wished I could have got that going a lot sooner but, oh well, valuable lesson learned and great mud practice.
Now I’m headed back to dtown after a good block of racing. Looking forward to recharging the batteries and coming back strong for the most important 4 weeks of my Mtb season – US Pro XCT in Colorado Springs, 2 world cups in Mt Saint Anne and Windham and US Nationals in Sun Valley