Thursday, April 23, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Helmet cam video shot by Frosh/Soph racer Shane Somerville of Newport Beach Composite.
Today's race was in Lake Arrowhead and brought to us in party by the Rim of the World High School MTB Club as well as the folks at Rim Nordic (yes, if you haven't gotten enough mountain biking by the end of the SoCal League season you can race there throughout the summer).
Start/Finish was in a large dirt area with a beautiful view of the lake as well as snow on the next hillside over. That's right, snow. In fact, there was plenty of snow on the drive in and the temperature was FRIGID when the GUSD crew began arriving at 7:30! Pretty soon, the area was all hustle and bustle and what was once a windswept knoll became a hive of activity.
The GUSD racers got on course early for a pre-ride and --- let me tell you --- this was a GREAT course! Much props to the folks at Rim for pushing this one through! I had a brief conversation with a US Forest Service ranger who was walking around the Specialized Pit Zone after our pre-ride and thanked the Forest Service for facilitating the event. To quote him, "It's about time something like this took place." Let me tell you, that's a REALLY good response! It's good to see that eyes are opening and people are realizing that not only is mountain biking a GREAT activity but high school mountain biking is a REALLY GREAT activity!
Anyway, the course was very physically challenging as it was not only at 6,000 feet but had the first real climbing yet this season! Some fantastic swoopy and wide single track, some short punchy and technical climbs that most probably walked, some longer uphill fire road climbs that were in great condition, some fun-fast-whoopdy-do downill fireroad descents, and a few splashes through slurpee (melting snow) mud all linked together with great views of the lake, the high desert, and the recently fire and beatle damaged forest. All-in-all ---- a great course in clear, dry, blustery air!
By the time the girls race started, the temperature had warmed up and it was only chilly if you were standing still. The girls raced hard and Pam steadily moved up the ranks. The boys then took to the course and also raced very hard with plenty of wheezing and gasping due to altitude! However --- other than Rim High --- everyone was suffering from the altitude! Now, 6,000 feet may not seem too high but when your usual training rides top out at about 2,000 feet --- it's high enough! The boys all raced hard and finished strong! I'm most proud to say that all 8 of the GUSD racers raced --- and all 8 finished!
Thanks so much to all of the coaches and families who came out to support the racers and the League! These races couldn't happen without you! It's not like we're all showing up at a softball field where we just need to walk onto the field from the parking lot (not dispariging softball here). These race courses appear "out of nowhere" (not really, there's a LOT that goes into permitting them, designing them, marking them, etc) and it takes all of you to turn a small, barren area into a bustling hive of mountain bike racing goodness!
So without further ado --- here's the immediate post race race reports from YOUR GUSD racers: