Solitude has always been the venue for the State Championship. I have never done well at this event. It was always something:
I lost my shoe. My foot hit a rock or root and popped my foot out. As I searched for my shoe, I realized it was actually on my pedal.
I was taken out by the meanest mountain biker I know. After she passed me, even though I could climb faster I wanted to keep my distance.
I crashed and landed square on my head on a descent. Luckily, it was my last lap and I was okay. I went home with a head ache and a broken helmet.
The past couple of years I have also not felt well. This race is usually the week after the 12 Hours of the E100 and I have never really recovered between the two events. So I start off feeling like there is lead in the legs.
The first lap, like Deer Valley last week, starts off with a road climb. I much prefer single track climbs—they wind around in the trees and don't seem as steep. At the start line, I am feeling pretty good—rested and unintimidated compared to last week. We hear the “Go!” and take off. Erika takes off. I make sure she does not get away and am able to pass her after some climbing. A single speeder comes up behind me—I hate getting passed. He asks how far back he is because he missed his start. I tell him two maybe three minutes, but I don't think anyone else showed up. I caught him on the down hill which made me feel a bit better. I felt strong climbing—odd for this race. The descent is a bit technical and rocky in places so I wanted to be smooth and safe. Even though Chris did not stick to the “No Crashing” rule, I did. I was pretty smooth, but slowed a bit on my last lap because I did not want to crash and lose my place. I was so stoked to have had a good race at Solitude after finishing. Finally!
The weather up there was ideal. It was warm but not crazy hot like has been and was in the valley. I drank well too on each lap. The hand off was sketchy just because it was on a rooty, rocky single track portion of the trail. I had to slow way down and like I said I my first lap, I felt like I was in slow motion. It was a great day on the bike.Chris felt good—hallelujah. But he crashed twice on his second of four laps. He started the descent with a crash and ended it going down also. Thankfully, he was not hurt. He is sore today, but that is to be expected.