Ride a bike, share your experience and love. When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Race Report: Southridge 19th Annual Challenge

I woke up to the sound of pouring rain but I was determined to race today. In fact, the only thing that was going to stop me from racing was a cancellation by the promoters. I loaded up my bike and headed to Fontana. The drive there was bad. It was wet, wet, wet and visibility was close to zero. In Ontario, on the 10 Fwy, there was an SUV off to the side. It had hydroplaned and hit the railing.

Once I past the 15 FWY the rain slowed to a light drizzle. In Sounthridge riders were gearing up and getting ready for today's race. There weren't many racers today, I guess the cold wet conditions scared people off.

At the staging area I saw a few familiar faces from last race. My class consists of about 10 racers. About 5 of them were completing the Triple Crown Series and points leaders. There was a competition for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

We started off at 9:30 am sharp. By this time the drizzle turned into a legitimate rain. The first 100 yards was a long straight away, then a quick 180 degree turn that bottle necked. Two riders in front of me went down and force me to dismount. There was a steady climb and fire road quickly turned into single track.

The Southridge XC course was pretty technical. The climb up the single track consist of windy 180 degree turns, steep climbs of dirt and rock. Balance and a steady cadence was crucial. Rain, wet slippery rocks, 180 degree turns, and tight single track made for a great race.

Heading downhill was tricky too. Here were some steep drops, deep ruts and large rocks throughout the single track sections. I was riding my fully rigid bike, which made for an interesting race. The course also consist of some sections of 2ft wide bridges. Keep your bearing straight and ride as close to the middle as possible and you'll be fine.

I have to admit, I wasn't used to riding this technical of a course and had to dismounting on some of the steeper climbs. For me the descents were fine, tricky at certain areas, but over all manageable. On the way down, a rider rode straight off the cliff. He appeared to be fine, probably hurting now. I yelled down to him asking if he was okay. He nodded as he made his way back up.

Race day, I opened up the garage door and it was raining pretty hard. Oh well.

Not too many racers showed up today. I guess the rain scared them off.

Downhill bikes.

It rained throughout the race, from a light drizzle to full on showers.

Hey, there's another Trek 930 Single Track!

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