I have had a few busy weeks since I got back from Costa Rica. The weekend after Rincon de La Vieja I made my first trip to Woodward West for Brian Lopes birthday bash. He set it up so a bunch of his friends and top athletes from Moto, MTB, Dirt, etc had the whole Woodward camp to ourselves for the weekend. It was awesome.
I can’t imagine how cool it would be to grow up with access to something like that. It’s no wonder the X-Games guys make the impossible look like the everyday. The indoor park is the size of an airplane hanger then the dirt jumps and outdoor park take up a similar amount of space. There is something for everyone there from the beginner to the pros. A lot of the moto guys didn’t even have their own bikes but were throwing back flips into the foam pit by the end of the day. The best part for me was watching this little guy shred everything from the park to the big dirt jumps. He’s about 12 years old now I think.
The trip was a whirlwind and no sooner had I arrived on Friday night then I was leaving on Sunday morning(is 4am considered morning or night?). I had to get back home and get ready for the Todd and Ned Durango Dirt Fondo that was happening the following weekend. The Fondo turned out to be way better then I ever could have hoped for.
The weekend kicked off with a Land Symposium Friday morning and then we had packet pickup all day at MBS. It was awesome to catch up with a bunch of people from town and meet people that had come from all over. Finally SRAM sponsored a media dinner at Carvers that evening where HB gave a hilarious slide presentation to honor all the athletes from the first World Championships held in Durango 25 years ago. He even wore his Bula gear(but I think he wears that all the time anyway:)).
Saturday was the big event and we lined up with all the legends from the first World Champs for the parade out of town to the 25 and 50 mile single track loops. It was a clear blue sky and warm temperatures for the 9 am start. By the time everyone made it back into town and through all that single track the temperatures were pretty high and everyone was happy to grab a cold SteamWorks brew, a RGP wrap and for those too bonked for that an ice cold Coke. Oh yea, there were plenty of Bread cookies too.
Saturday night we had a party to commemorate the first World Champs with a museum display and short video. There were so many cool old bikes it was probably better outfitted the Mountain Bike Hall Fame. I have never seen so many pristine old bikes in one place, it was sweet. Everyone was pretty worked from a long day in the saddle so it was great way to recount stories from the ride and get a little history lesson as well.
The weekend didn’t stop there because Sunday was the official ribbon cutting of the new flow trail up at Purgatory ski resort. Purg hosted the first World Champs in 1990 so it was fitting that they open there first flow trail on the weekend celebrating the event. We have hundreds of miles of XC trails in Durango but the flow trail at Purg is one of the few new style enduro type of trails in the area. It is so much fun and makes the 25 mile trip up the hill to the ski area worth it.
With the Fondo in the books it was time to focus my attention on my next weekend event, the Xterra National Championships in Ogden, UT. I have always wanted to do an Xterra and this one fit with my schedule allowing me a few weeks to run and swim before the event. I also made a little trip to Inter Bike between the Fondo and Xterra because I didn’t want to do too much training:)
The Xterra course was sort of a point to point with the swim taking place at a reservoir down in Ogden. Then we rode single track up to Snow Basin ski resort nearly 2,500 ft higher then the swim and we ran up there as well. I knew the swim was going to be the most challenging part for me but I never thought it was going to be as hard as it was.
If you have never done an open water swim in a group I can tell you it is terrifying for a bad swimmer. Add in a wetsuit and I didn’t think I was going to make it. We had to swim two laps around three buoys and after the first lap I had to flip onto my back and float. I had no less then six panic attacks and got passed by the majority of the field that started 4 minutes behind the pro men. It is such a strange feeling bumping into people in the middle of a lake. I came out of the water 10 minutes down on a 20 minute swim and was never so happy to be back on land.
The bike was fun, I didn’t have good splits there either but at least I wasn’t fearing for my life the whole time. I was worried about the run too because I hadn’t been able to do much speed work heading into the race. I only got passed by one person in the run though so it felt more like a training day. The single track is really twisty so I just felt like I was out there by myself and there happened to be people offering me water every mile. I had hoped to have a better result but after my horrible swim I was just happy to finish my first Xterra.
Now I’m off to the Clif Bar Cykel Scramble in Marin this weekend. Those guys always put on the best events so I’m sure this will be awesome too. http://www.cykelscramble.com/experience
Finally, next weekend I will be back on somewhat familiar grounds at the Providence CX races. I haven’t done much cross the past few years but I’m hoping to change that for 2015. I got my bike built up and now all I have to do is figure out how to corner on grass again and I’ll be good.
I wonder what Coops doing right now…..