Well after my first year downhilling, plus a couple weeks to reflect, I have learned a lot but am still gaining ground. US racing is different than World Cup racing, but riding is riding , and there are many skill to take away from every location. Here is my list of the places I've been in 2010 and what each place taught me ..
RACE #1- FEB 12-14 Thredbo, NSW AUS Rained so hard every day. This was my first race, course was 8min long, really rough, tons of effort, boggy, wet, loose. Had to sit down a bunch on the pedalling fire road traverse sections due to arm pump and tiredness. THink Thredbo is the best terrain in oz that I have seen. Race run struggled being able to see in the rain and mud, didn't pull tear offs properly, strap on goggles was loose so I pulled goggles into my eye and flailed for awhile:). Whoops. Tighten goggle strap when using tear offs.
MAR 26-28 NW Cup#1- Port Angeles, WA Another mud race, had never ridden proper downhill here even though PA is only 3 hrs from home. Good scene, super mellow. Awesome terrain, bit of everything. Think King diamond to falcon punch. Not all mud is slippery, hit banks, ruts, and go.
First big race of the year. Was on a mission for slalom, spent a lot of time prepping for it. Had the bike set up prior to the event. Felt really good. New team, new bike, stoked, love slalom. Dh was a waste, had nothing left. Shitty track anyway, need like a 6- 7" bike. DH bike was good, but too much. medium travel bike next time- Tr 250 would be perfect!.
APRIL 23-25 Pro Gravity Tour #1- Port Angeles, Wa Super stoked that Volcano in iceland trapped international talent in the US. Home soil, big names, Rach and Tracy for chicks, Minnaar, Atherton, Ben Reid, Stevie Smith, etc for guys. Just looking to see where I stood. 3 sec off rach, 6 off tracy. Not bad, had a stall in run, but liked the course. 2nd time to PA for DH. Bryn dominated this event, whoo hoo!! THink it was mostly dry, but slick in some sections. First glance at competitive speeds. First time using Shimano Saint stuff. FOX suspension testing.
MAY 1-2 Dirt Series Camp for Women Makes me appreciate all that I know to help others. Enjoy the people and experience. Santa cruz and San Jose.
MAY 21-23 PRO GRT #2- Platekill, NY This place was really important to carry speed . Rolling along doesn't cut it cause it was flat traversing into steep chutes. Hopping to find transitions and avoid square edges that slow you down were important. Hit a tree in final that killed all my speed. Small shelves to ride across. Super small town.
MAY 28-30 US Open- Vernon, NJ USA One of my favorite tracks and events. Love the rock gardens here. Wet conditions are not good, super slippery clay dirt. Dry for final, almost won. Didn't hit the last jump after a massive wreck on it in quali. Didn't get hurt. Won slalom, 2nd dh. Don't ever think you are tired before hitting a big jump.
JUNE 25-27 Pro GRT #3- Northstar Tahoe, CA USA Course seemed easy and flat, but the dirt was super loose which made it difficult. Altitude hurt lungs. Lots of pedalling. Being loose and making good turns. Felt in the zone. won.
JULY 09-11 Blast the Mass- Snowmass, CO Altitude, super high speed, straight and fast. Leaning the bike was important, moto skills. Should have practiced less. Day 2 was the best. Had a crash on high speed turn, twisted forks, stitches in face. Dropped my forks out too much and couldn't leverage it properly, rookie mistake. Had a great time the first two days though.
JULY 16-18 US National Championship- Sol Vista, CO Battle with hitting jumps, wind, altitude. Not super difficult terrain but big jumps and loose conditions. Felt in the zone only on race day. Lot of people got hurt here. Stiffer suspension set up.
July 31- 1 Crankworx CO & PGRT #5- Winter Park, CO GOod top section, bottom was hell flat. 7 min. Rained. Dunno. Delicious taco spot in town. Won slalom on medusa mud tires, won DH as well.
July 2-3 Transition Dealer Days New NW Dh trails to me. Near Mt.Baker. Good fun times, nice n chill. Sun out. Steep terrain, narrow trails.
AUG 27-29 World Cup #6- Windham, NY USA Most fun track to ride. I loved it. Took me awhile to battle through hitting the jumps, but got em and felt really good here. CHanged suspension to middle chip on tr450, wider bars. Bike was perfect here. Crashed in final, came into a section too hot. bummed.
SEP 02-05 World Champs- Mt.St.Anne, Quebec CAN Fun track, loved the high speed and tech bits. Good to see faster speeds. So much variation in weather, and way too much practice. Few crashes, not a sweet final. Long week.
SEP 11-12 Pro GRT #7- Lake Placid, NY USA Hard to go to another event after worlds. 5k downhill- 9 min. Lots of varied terrain, actually fairly technical in spots. slippery first woods. pulled a tear off in finals, stoked. Won the overall national Pro GRT series.
SEP 23-24 Interbike 2010- Las Vegas, NV USA Didn't go .
NOV 8 Depart for Australia and New Zealand.