Corral Hollow Downhill Series #1: Everything good!
April 23, 2007 · Print This Article
It’s been a long weekend spent in the dustbowl of Carnegie State Rec area where the first race of the Corral Hollow Downhill Series was held on Sunday. I just got home, am still dirty and am pretty spent so here’s a rundown of events in my semi-conscious state.
Saturday: Practice from 9-2pm. Get up at 7, drive to Jackie’s, load up, pile in and take off. I had been honestly dreading the return to this venue since a disastrous race run a few years ago and since then I had built up the parts I dreaded most in my mind. I guess that’s what happens when demons of a bad race are allowed to live.
We arrived and the place was hopping. Registration was going, shop tents went up, bbq smoker was heating up, even a DJ mixing and spinning tunes. The vibe was definitely fun and positive to set the mood for a good ride. When the shuttle (flatbed stake trucks) arrived we loaded up into the back (moo-cow style) in groups of about 30 or 40 and they hauled us away up to nearly the top. From there it was a few hundred yard uphill hike to the start, a grade too steep for the trucks. I threw on my helmet, snapped my trusty Zeals to my face, took a breath and let the brakes go as best I could down the ultra-steep start, right to the place where I had eaten it hard in prior years.
Something snapped. I don’t know if it was my bike and me actually being in tune or my head being pulled out of my rear at that exact moment, but whatever it was made me focus, load up and lean into the berm that had previously sent me flying. I pinned it and was sent accelerating down the course!
I was having a good time right up until I saw the 20’ double in the middle of the trail. Slowing down I didn’t pay attention to position and slowly slid off of the side of the takeoff. I never actually did get a good look at it, but I heard someone on the course say “I saw a girl launch this earlier.” That was all I needed. I turned the bike around and headed back up to get a good head of steam. CHARGE!!! Pedaling as hard as I could I hit the takeoff and from the air got a good look at the length of the double…and the transition wasn’t getting any closer! CLANK-BRAAAAAAP! The rear wheel didn’t quite make it but I was still upright. That was all I needed.
Finishing the rest of the course I took a couple more runs and headed home. It poured rain on the dusty course for the rest of the night.
Sunday: The dirt was Velcro. In my practice run I did the following to prepare for a solid race run: Put more air in my tires, practiced a faster line around a tight turn, learned to make motorcycle noises when hitting the double.
It all came together for a solid, yet conservative run. Good enough for third place in a field of about 8 pro women! A HUGE showing for a local DH event!!!
I was 10 seconds off of 1st place and I know where I can make it up and what I’ve got to work on.
Gals, Please come out to this race series if you have any desire to try DH! It’s an awesome course and every racer is appreciated and treated like a pro! The guys at RideSFO.com have done alot of work to make an outstanding venue for our local area!
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