Friday, October 23, 2009

Collegiate MTB Nationals (Part One)

About this time last year, I got an [unexpected] invitation to the 2008 collegiate mountain bike national championships. It was too short notice to put together travel plans to North Carolina for a weekend. So I decided I would just go this year.

So, the day after I got back from Marfa, I packed a different bag and drove to Dallas. The next morning I met up with the A+M team, loaded my bag and bike into their van and tried to forget that I was going to be stuck in it for the next 34 hours as well...

Way too long of a car drive later, we made it to the Northstar at Tahoe resort in Truckee, California.

We unpacked into the condo, and after deciding we all wanted to ride, sat/laid down and took naps. Then we got some sandwiches. Then we went out for a ride. The course wasn't completely marked yet, so we rode the first couple miles before we couldn't figure out where to go, and then just explored some of the various trails. They were all pretty much awesome.

We got back to the condo and had some homemade chili and watched freeride videos and all decided we wanted to ride around 10:00 the next morning before passing out again.

Thursday we all woke up and were riding by about 1:00 in the afternoon...
The course was completely marked this time, so we got to see the whole thing. We started pretty much straight uphill, and climbed 800 feet. Broken up by a 3 second downhill section. It was a mix of wide singletrack and jeep road, with a few technical spots. There were very few spots where passing wouldn't be possible. At the top of the climb, we made a corner and started heading back down. The first section of descent was really flow-y with bermed corners and a few tabletop jumps. There was a short flat to slightly uphill section, then more of the same descent before we dumped out onto a ~40 mile an hour straight down dirt road with a right hand corner covered in loose gravel at the bottom to transition into the last short (read: maybe 100 vertical feet) climb on the course. Then it was downhill to the finish! This time though, there was some pretty technical rocky sections mixed in.

We headed back to the condo, showered, went through registration, and headed to the racers meeting, where they told us the trail was in such good condition they were bumping us up from 3 laps (22.5 miles) to 4 laps (30 miles) for the cross country the next day...

No comments: