Friday was a HUGE day for for Lea Davison. And why was this day so important you might ask? USA Olympic Team selection. Mountain Biking is in the Olympics but it is only the Cross Country discipline, not downhill. A few years ago, going to the Olympics was a far fetched dream for Lea after she took a season off with major hip surgery. This was horrible at the time, but like many things in life, it proved to be a blessing in disguise. The time off gave her time to reflect on who she was and what she really wanted, it also gave her a much needed mental break from compteting. Fast forward to 2012 and Lea Davison was right up there in the mix for a spot on the USA Olympic Team. This day was the culmination of many years of hard work, determinations, tears of sadness, tears of joy….it was a journey that included many people her family, friends, Jojo, Coach, community, sponsors….sit back and enjoy one of the coolest moments I have ever witnessed!
(going to the Olympics has always been a lifelong dream for me, and it was so incredibly amazing to watch her dream come true in an afternoon….soooo incredible)
This was my 3rd year in a row racing at the Pan American Championships. I won in 2010 in Guatemala. Pan Am’s are pretty cool, basically it is the continental championship for North and South America. One thing I have noticed over the past few years is that the tracks are pretty sketchy. It is a hard race to do as your first real race of the year. Tracks are just built really differently. Wild…best word to describe it.
I have met so many great people racing Pan Ams, it is a different crowd than we usually see in North America or Europe. Since Pan Ams is held so early in the year, it is almost always in central or South America.
I met Lorena at anti-doping in 2010. We sat there waiting to pee for UCI and have been friends since. Anyway, Lorena is from Mexico City and Pan Ams were held in Puebla, Mexico this year (2 hours from Mexico City) so I flew down early to hang out. And we picked up Vero (for Chile) so it was the three of us…sooooo fun. Traveling is one of the best parts about riding and racing so you might as well make the most of it right? i think so.
Lorena’s family was seriously incredible. I felt like part of the family from the time I stepped foot in thier house. I ate so much delicious food, saw so many cool things and met a lot of fun people. And my spanish got wayyyy better. Lorena was really the only person that spoke english so just being around spanish 24/7 it all started to come back to me which was really cool. I was stumbling with the basics when I got there and by the end, enough came back that I was able to have real conversations.
I wish that I could report to you that I came away with another title, but I didn’t. :( It did go to Jackie Harmony though so that rad so the USA brought it home. 2nd one for Jackie in a row, she’s on a roll! We will see about 3 in a row…hahaha. :) Seriously though, I had a great time hanging out with Jackie and really got to know her on this trip…she is a great girl with a lot of talent and drive.
I just want to give a massive shout out to Lorena and the Drumondo family…my trip would not have been the same with out this kind family!
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. :)