Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bear Mountain Downhill 2009 - Day 1

I arrived nice a early at the race in order to get one of the first shuttles up the hill. Once I parked I met up with some of the race organizers and then proceeded to gear up to get in some mandatory runs of the course before the mayhem of 200+ riders begins.

At the top of the trail, the moods was calm and relaxed and people were here to have a good time racing on a sweet DH track.

I know this course well so my runs were just to see if there were any course changes and determine if I can stick to my known lines.

Me during a practice run

My run up top went well and the course was sweet. Unfortunately though, there were riders going down all over the place. In a fast technical rocky section, a younger guy had gone down and smacked his head (6 stitches, scuffed up leg and belly). Apart from that, my run was clear top to bottom. The dry conditions were awesome and made for some good speed on the course.

My second run was much the same but again I saw a rider down on course. This time it was a young guy that had BADLY dislocated his knee. First Aid and course workers took charge of the situation and stopped the riders on course. I feel for the kid because it looked freaking PAINFUL.

After my two runs, the lines were getting HUGE for shuttles and I didn't need to see the course any more. I then locked up my bike and headed over to see what my task was today for volunteering. I briefly helped in the parking shuttle area but then was asked to marshal a corner on the course. I donned my pack and headed up course. Marshaling a section on track really helps you gain insight into the BEST lines for certain corners. In my particular section B9, there were 4 very tricky corners that for most people scrubbed tons of speed, but in watching the elite and faster riders, there were specific spots to hit and others to avoid. I learned a lot during the time I was watching my section.

Greg surveying an 'issue' with his rear wheel.

Tim looking unhappy with his pooched front wheel........ an Alex Supra D rim

A few more course closures were necessary due to rider injuries and then pro practice. After my couple laps and then volunteering I was done for the day and took off home to clean my bike and memorize my lines for the next day's race.

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