Cal State Champs!

5 10 2009

Well at this point this story is old news but its news.  So check it!

Cal State Champs!  Not quite as big as World Champs (Nice Job Steve Peat!) but nonetheless Team SLO DH made the trip out to Mammoth, CA to try our luck.  Ian, Nate, Mark, Chris and I drove out in Mark’s yacht (crew cab Ford truck).  This was my first time out to Mammoth and to say the least I was stoked!  The six and a half hour drive out there seemed like 10 minutes thanks to the beautiful eastern sierras and Nate’s knowledge about how the mountains came to be.

We met up at Vons in Mammoth Friday night with Daniel and our friend Jeff Bowers from Specialized to grab some BBQ materials and then headed to Daniel’s relative’s place which is about 25 minutes outside of Mammoth.  Daniel’s relatives, Brent and April, were some of the nicest and most accommodating people we’ve met!  Not only did they BBQ for us but they were always out of bed before us to wake our lazy asses up with the smell of bacon and coffee.  Can you say perfect race weekend accommodations?  We can.  Thanks Brent and April!

After we finally got over the wonderful scenery around Brent and April’s house we took off Saturday morning for registration and practice.  This is where Ian pulled a curve ball on me and signed up for “Pro.”  I can’t let Ian one up me so I signed up in the same category.  (We both were ready and had talked about starting to race pro but it was a little strange and rad to actually finally do it!).  The loosey goosey terrain took some getting used to but after a few practice runs we were lovin it almost as much as Ian loves Chris’s banana hammock shorts.

So it may have seemed we got too comfortable on the trails.  Shortly after a few warm up runs we started to blow up, to say the least.  I broke my derailleur twice, Daniel punctured his brake line and Nate… well Nate almost punctured his liver but he ended up walking away with only a couple broken ribs.  Ian also overworked his wrist from a previous injury and had to sit out his race run alongside Nate.

Race day was a blast despite a similar pattern in our luck.  I was first to get the run over with and after hitting the upper rock garden I dropped my chain.  Shortly after that happened I fell twice trying to pump myself down the rest of the track. Chris had some awesome luck with a gust of wind and a rock drop (see the video here- http://www.flickr.com/photos/29068455@N02/3914955110/ ).  Mark laid himself out on the first corner and our buddy Jeff had a problem with his drive train.  The only person to ride a clean run was Daniel.  All in all it was a great weekend (as always) but there is one lesson learned: diesel trucks + high elevation + road bikers = fun.

-Josef Duller

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