"It’s Good being a Bella"

August 23, 2007 · Print This Article

By Heidi Kanayan
Mammoth Lakes, California

The smell of fall is in the air and it is still quite brisk at 9 am. I arrived to a small group of riders and officials huddled together. I go over to only find out that they are contemplating canceling the DH race for that day. No! I think they can’t. I need to do this race the get the DH Nevada state champ title. After much discussion they decide to hold the race for the seven of us that came to compete. I only had time for one practice run before the race. I still wish I could have gotten another. The course was fun with a mix of very tight single track through tight trees, a step up, a few small rock gardens, and a few small drops. During my practice up I lost my chain guide and my chain and had no spare. Luckily I had a spare chain but later I will come to find that it was of no use to put it on.

It was a 12pm start and we were all gathered around in anticipation at the start. The officials start lining us up. Among the seven of us there were about 3 or 4 pros, 2 sport riders including me, and one beginner on a single speed hard tail. I was the only girl. I was up and the official was counting me off for my start. Off I went down the course. In no time I was having problems. Not riding problems but ….my chain fell off and I had to coast the rest of the course. The top of the course would have been much easier is I could have peddled for it was fairly flat and slightly up hill. The rock gardens were a challenge since I could not keep my speed up by pedaling to get over them easily. The approach to the step up was also affected but I made it down with some new coasting skills. I was able to grab the Nevada State womens sport 19-29 title but now I had to focus on the XC race the next day.

I arrived to an even cooler morning for the start of the XC race. That day competitor numbers were not a problem. I did not get a chance to pre ride the course the day before so I was going into the race blind. I wasn’t too worried because we were to do 3 laps of the same course. I decided to go all out form the start of the race and see how long I could last. It was a good tactic for that day because I managed to stay ahead of a lot of people that could have possibly held me up on the descent. On the first lap I caught one of the three girls that were ahead of me. We went back and forth for the rest of that lap and for half of the second lap. This always makes things interesting when you have someone to fight for position with. But by the time I got to the descent on the second lap I put a solid enough gap between us that I didn’t see her again until the finish. So I finished up the race as the third fastest girl overall and missed getting the 19-29 expert Nevada State title by a slight over sight of the requirements for attaining an overall in the State series. That requirment was having to do at least two races in the series. I will keep that is mind for next year.

Oh and everyone loved my jersey and hair bling. Its good being a Bella.

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