A wonderful day greeted a fairly large turnout of riders for our last event of the year. Not too cold and we had nice sunshine all day. A bit of warming up and poking around, interesting sections, looks pretty technical, with lots of turns with obstacles in them. Little did I know.
Got signed up, and confered with the other Advanced riders; we are doing group check, so we had a quick discussion of whether to split the 5 of us up to make things go faster or not. the discussion was inconclusive, the 5 of us pretty much rode together the entire day.
out to section 1, start looking around. whoa, nellie: imagine riding up the right front wheel of a mini-cooper, turning left, and then riding down off of it at the left rear wheel. that’s kinda what the first rock obstacle looked like. Many folks had trouble there, some went over the bars coming down, some didn’t make it up, and some if us just had a case of the heebie-jeebies once we got up on to and were looking down into that drop-n-turn as you come off. never did get through there with better than a 1 all day. On to the next section, which really summed up the trials. It had a challenging-loooking rock step at the entrance, and then looked like a tight trail ride through some rocks and up the hillside. The entrance was the easy part, it was the slimy rocks in the turns, no good place to put the back wheel, and the deceptivly slick leaves that made it really tough. All 11 sections were like that, in one way or another. It took us over 2 hours to ride the first loop. Overall, I felt like I was doing OK, but being a little bit too timid. This was not helped by going skydiving off the rock in section 3; made it up, but was too far right, and when I needed that dab, my right foot found only air. wheeeeeee, smack! right on the rocks with my right arm and shoulder. But no lasting damage, just a nice bruise on the elbow. By the third loop, I’d gained some confidence in the bike and knew a bit more about where the traction was, and had a few good rides. There was general agreement, though, that this was a tough event. Many of the corners seemed impossible, at least for Advanced riders.
Finished, back to truck to lick the wounds a bit. Then got around to tallying the score. Wowsa, thatsa lotta points! 105, with 2 cleans. But this time the 1-point score difference went in my favor! 3rd place! Hey, I made the podium!
As a final event of the year, it was a good ending. I think i’m getting some of my confidence back, I have a winter plan of a few things to take care of on the bike (front brakes need some attention, and i’m going to see if i can get the clutch to have a little softer engagement point), and I’m going to be ready to go in 2008!
see y’all on the loop trail! keep those feet up!