race report compliments of GROM Racer Eric Vest
Over the weekend we headed up to Beech Mountain for the dual slalom national champs qualifier. The course was the same as 2011 Nationals but a little bit wet from rain on Thursday night. Even though it was wet in the berms it wasn't too slippery (something about this dirt that allowed it to provide traction even when there was an inch or two layer of muck on the top), which was good because I only had street tires on my bike (Ben, Eric and Jay were all riding Specialized P Bikes - Jay and Eric on single speeds).
It was a very cool experience to ride the track when you can look down the hill and see skiers. The track held up nicely with a little work from trail builder Christopher Herndon. We had Jay, Ben, David, and I practicing on all different parts of the track, with Jay and Ben laying over in the berms to David showing everyone he was not here for play. And I, well I was trying to clear the jumps with Nathan Swarts tuck-no-handering them like it was nothing, which didn’t help me at all. After a couple run ins on the big jump I went for it and landed right on the back of the lander but OK.
Since Jay and I were the only two riders in category Cat. 1 Juniors, it made us first and second with Jay in front. He also won the whole race winning the pro class as well. David finished 2nd in CAT 3 overall with a tough time to beat (if we were in age groups, David would have taken 1st in Cat.3 Juniors). Thank goodness Christopher and USA Cycling combined the age groups within the categories. In made the race flow better and allowed everyone to compete against riders of all ages.
After the race we all headed to the Black Cat in Boone for dinner.
On Sunday we had a lot of fun at the new Rocky Knob trail system in Boone (Specialized was an early financial contributor to this new trail system that will bring more XC riders to the High Country). The XC ride was a true ride in my eyes; super fast down hill and then you ride all the way to the top which is a little harder than you would think. Jay and Ben were just monsters on the ride. I was having a little trouble from not being on the XC bike as much as I should. David gets the most credit for keeping in the pack the whole way without complaining (that's tough for a young rider and he really stuck it out with us).
Over all it was a very fun weekend but we were sad to say good bye to our 2011 Specialized Big Hit bikes but the new bikes are on their way. We loaded up the pick up and the trailer then headed home followed by a very exiting car wash so we could return Jay's Grandpas pick up clean.