A couple weeks have gone by since my last race...and a silent couple of weeks. After my first race of the season in Vail Lake, California I was still getting my race legs back, but my race focus was there. Proving my race focus with a solid win in the Super-D at the Vail race proved my skills and mind were all there, but race pace conditioning is due for my legs for XC racing. That’s for sure!
I felt great coming into the Fontana race the following weekend, and felt like I should focus more on the Super-D race. Since Super-D/Enduro is the discipline I want to race in the World Cups, I didn’t want to spend all my energy racing the XC race hours before the Super-D race. Upon arrival that Saturday morning, I suited up after registration and headed up the hill to practice the Super-D course. The course was technical and rad...just my style of course. I was amped...maybe too amped.
I pre-rode half of bottom section for a warm up, just itching to go fast. Come the start of my full practice run, I came around a berm. I thought the berm was solid, only to be wronged by it breaking under my tires. The second the berm broke, it immediately stopped my bike and I went straight into a rock shoulder first. I had no idea what happened; usually when I crash I have time to put my arms out and catch my fall. But this was one of those wrecks where you'e on the ground and have no idea how it happened.
It was the fastest and hardest hit I have ever had. I was on my knees trying to breathe, with no feeling in my right arm. After I got my breath back, and removed what was left from my helmet, I began to try and move my right arm. I was in pain, and it was slightly dislocated. Half way up the hill, I had to walk my bike with my one good arm down the mountain.
Hurt, discouraged, frustrated, and in pain. My season just started, only to be quickly put to a halt. All the training, all the preparation and traveling to California, was all for nothing. Worst of all, my sponsors and fans, all whom watch and ask via Facebook how I do-people whom I felt I let down, thats what hurt the worst.
I looked back at the berm that owned me, what was left was rubble and rocks...a poorly designed and under built corner. It was not me, it was not my bike, but a trail feature that rocked me. All part of the sport of cycling. It's not just a matter of training and being fit, or having top of the line equipment, but adjusting to terrain features and line choices of the trail. It then has to be put all together for a race run, taking every aspect of mind, body, trail, and bike to the limit.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you crash. One thing for sure is that nothing is guaranteed, but if you don’t try then failure is guaranteed. I tried my best that day, even if it was for one practice run.