Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ft William: Race day!!!

Oh boy what a week!!! I had a very surreal moment in my qualifying run yesterday as soon as I crested up over the Nissan arch jump starring down towards the grandstand finish area. I had watched so many movies and have seen riders do this many times before, but actually doing it at that moment made me pause for a second, and I thought to myself, I’m doing here, doing it, time slowed down for just a second and little video clips of past movies ran through my mind, then time sped back up again and I executed exactly what I just visualized and saw myself not from a riders point of view, but from a spectators, weirdest experience I’ve ever had riding! I think the past few days of riding were catching up to me and fatigue was setting in, or the golf game I played the day before screwed up my arms because I had massive arm pump, it was really bad! Yes, I did play golf and it was awesome! I had made friends with the owners of the Ft William Country Club and Caleb and I played a round as one of their guests. The course was different to say the least, your never going to play on a course like this. It was full of rolling hills and natural terrain which made it tough, but the surroundings were so breathtaking that I didn’t even care how I played, just the fact that I was there was enough make me extremely happy. I figured if I didn’t play golf in Scotland I would regret it, now, back to the bikes. Compared to the first few days, race day I felt weaker, I still haven’t figured it out but it played a major factor in the way I rode my run. I didn’t psyche myself out or anything neither, I was riding well, liked the course and had finally figured out all of my lines. Before the race run I chilled out with my fan club, all seven of em, just a few kids I met at a bus stop, they made me a banner which was awesome! While watching the women qualify I ate an energy bar and drank plenty of water, so lack of energy shouldn’t have been a problem. At the top of the gondola I did my warm up, a variation of one at least; really don’t have a set warm up yet, I more or less just ride around visualizing, looking through turns, do jumping jacks and other dynamic warm ups. The start was delayed for around 20 minutes, I watched some riders set off down the hill before I went up for my run. I also took in the view from the top taking mental pictures all the way up to my race run as I was in the gate, figured it would keep me relaxed. My run was a mixed bag of great, good and bad riding! Out of the gate I felt a little twitchy and not as loose as I would have liked to have been, as soon as I entered into the rough sections I started to ride faster, however I made mistakes and my arms started to pump up causing my hands to lose their grip. After giving all I had up top I tried to be smooth and to have fun on the bottom but it was too late, my hands were gone and my technique was faltering. I made it down successfully through the middle tree section, but it was slow, and as I came out of the forest and entered in the last stretch called the motor way, I was holding on for dear life, death gripping my bars and letting out joyous heehaws off of all jumps as I knew I had just about made it. Then on the last table top jump, the excitement of finishing turned to fear of endowing over my handlebars as my bike bucked me forward nearly ending it all, but it didn’t and I finished into the arena and I could hear my fan club yelling from the top of the stands, I gave then a little point and a wave, my day was done as I finished out of the top 80. The rest of the day was an awesome display of riding from Greg Minnar and Tracy Mosely as they were the victors. Ft William was and probably will be the coolest race I will ever compete in, the fans were amazing, the numbers were outstanding and the environment was a celebration of bikes, also I was listening to the race at the top on the radio, when does that ever happen? After, we rode our bikes back on the bike path for one more time, did some wall rides on a castle and then packed and celebrated our weekend of riding long into the night!


barb buell said...

Hey Brian, Sounds like a little mix of excitement, nerves, and keeping as hydrated up 'till your turn out of the gate to keep up your duration for arm and hand strength. I bet you were a bit strained from playing golf as well! At least you got to play. Glad you kept it together and finished strong. Thanks for all the pics and blogs.Love, Mom

Colin said...

Golf, racing, and a little Scottish castle action... I'd say you had a pretty successful day. I love that you picked up a fan club. Keep on draining it out there. Each race is a stepping stone, hopefully on up the leader board. Top 80...top 50...and up. Glad you are having a blast, keep on rocking in the free world!