The Tour of California rolled through Santa Cruz County yesterday. Pretty cool to have such a big event in my own backyard. I rode up to the Bear Creak KOM with a few boys to check it out. There were sooo many people…lawn chairs, BBQ’s on the side of the road, lots of costumes, beer, wine, snacks….great scene. I was totally blown away by the guys speed uphill…especially after nearly 100 miles. So gnarly. I have a whole new respect, seriously. Those guys are machines. There were also some guys that were just totally blown out, faces were pure pain…and they were still flying too.
Not only were they flying uphill but they were pinned on the downhills. You would think being a downhiller and all I would be able to descend on a road bike…not the case. It is freaking scary with cars and little tires. hahah. Last night when we were watching the Tour on TV we saw this guy descending Jameson Grade PINNED….foot out and everything. Crazy.Wayyy more gnarly than any downhill course.
Peter Sagan has won Stages 1 and 2 so far. He got a flat like 5 miles from the finish in Stage 1 and still came back to win. Yesterday he got in a wreck, got a flat and won again…digging deep.
Anyway, for all you California people, there is a good chance the Tour is coming to a town near you. Today is the start of Day 3 and it is 8 days long so there is still a bit to go. If you’ve got a chance I would definently recommend checking it out. You can find all the info here.
Sea Otter has come and gone once again. I feel like it totally sneaks up on me every year. You are doing your thing all winter and then all of the sudden it is the middle of April and bike season has officially begun. I kinda like it like that. Anyway, it was a great festival once again. Busy as. I raced slalom and downhill, spent a bunch of time at the SRAM Ladies Lounge, did a signing at Camelbak, went to the Strength in Numbers premiere and caught up with all my friends and sponsors. Fun times. Busy times. I felt like I just left Vegas at the end of it all.
I wish there were more slalom races, it is seriously so fun. Everyone loves it…racers and fans alike. I had a mechanical in qualifying and ended up qualifying right near the back which meant I was going to have my work cut out for me from round one. In slalom you are put into a bracket according to you qualifying position so first races last, all the way down and it goes out from there. Anyway, I raced Jojo (Joanna Petterson) in round one. Last year I crashed in qualifying and she took me out in the first round, this year we battled it out and I beat her. :) Good fun. Anyway, I made it to the round of 8 and got knocked out by Junior World Champ Manon Carpenter who went on to get 3rd. Jill slayed it all night long. Jill 1st, Buhly 2nd, Manon 3rd. On the boys side, Kyle Strait did America proud and won it…sooooo awesome.
I got my butt kicked in the downhill. I have so much fun riding the track and doing massive trains but racing it is another story. I have been working on my pedaling a lot this off-season and I am feeling pretty strong but to be honest I was just beat and the girls totally out rode me. Not a whole lot in the tank come Sunday after a big week.
The Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival is growing fast. More people, more sponsors, more legit. Pretty cool to see here in the SC…or Aptos I should say. This is the 3rd year going for the festival and in addition to the Pumptrack, Dirt Jump and Short Track races/contests, they added a Super Enduro. Overall the festival has a great vibe, really laid back, lots of vendors, lots of food, beer, the Camp of Champions air bag. Fun times.
I have never done a Super Enduro but I decided I ought to have a go at it as it was the first legally sanctioned race in Demonstration Forest and Nisene Marks. The race was capped at 50 because it was the first event of its kind in the area…stackedddd field. Huge step for mountain biking here in Santa Cruz County. Basically the format of the race was three climbing stages, three downhill stages. The climbing stages were not timed per say but you had to finish them in an alloted amount of time. The downhill stages were timed and a combo of those three stages gave you the winner. I was sooo nervous for this race, I mean there was nothing scary on any of the courses but it was more the unknown. Wasn’t sure how to pace myself, didn’t really know where I was going. I seriously had so much fun, it was like a giant group ride with a few timed bits mixed in. When all was said and done it was like 25+ miles and 5000+ feet of climbing. Can’t say I did too well, I really had no idea where I was going and I found it hard to keep speed, get in the right gears or anticipate much but I just went with it. At least I got the first one out of the way and I know what to expect for next time. I think this is something we are going to see a lot more of in the near future. :)