The 2006 racing season started off for me at #1 NMBS race at Fontana, Ca. It was great to hang with Tonya and meet new mtbchick, Carolyn Popovic. The race seemed a bit out of place in a suburban area, but once off the town park area, the trails were quite nice. There was plenty of single-track lined with wild flowers and little lizards ran out on the trails in front of me. Riding at speed on a very narrow trail, I accidentally ran over a small rattlesnake, but he was gone on the next lap, so I think he was ok.
The short track was first on Friday. Not only was this my first real race of the season, but I had only done a few intense training rides going into this and was not yet comfortable riding in a pack. I impressed myself with a good start off the line. After all, I am twice as old as most of my competition. I was able to avoid the pile-ups on the first few turns, but fell to the back with my conservative approach. This is something I will need to work on, if I want to be good at short track. I managed to stay in the whole time without getting lapped. This course was one of the best short track courses I have ever ridden or watched. It had a steep climb, single-track and a technical descent. The pros got to go up the MX course. That looked like so much fun! A double thumbs up to the promoters for putting together such a great short track course!
The descents on the XC course had deteriorated quite a bit by the time the expert race went off. The course utilized the terrain well including several aqueducts. While pre-riding an aqueduct, I was surprised to have several pro men stop to help me, one of which was Jeremiah Bishop. Wow, it is so great to be part of sport that offers this type of passion. I could tell there was a lot of positive energy out there to start off the season. Well, my race went fine, finishing 3rd in my age group. My technical riding was good, as I did more than usual mountain biking over the winter, but my fitness was nowhere near where it should be yet. So, I need to get in some more intense road riding, which unfortunately is not as fun.