The season for me came down to this….BASP #4 at Coyote Point. No Natz or Worlds for me this year. Has anyone heard that we are in a depression? Have you seen how much Worlds is? You have to get a UCI license ($100), fly to Kentucky, hotel, monster car to fit the bikes, tons of food…and you might not even get to race the “real” race. If your group is too big you have to go in heats and qualify. I’m passing this year. I am going to have to save all my pennies and skim off my daughter’s college fund to get there next year. Just kidding I am not going to save pennies.
So this was it. A favorite course for me. Lots of power stuff on this course – hill, sand and now this year a gravel pit. Good for me. After riding the last lap at Sacramento the week before with two shredded side walls I was out of tires. Well, actually I did have two new Dugast tires hanging in the garage, but I wasn’t about to slap them on for one race. I did manage to convince the local bike shop to let me “demo” a couple pairs of the new Specialized tubulars. In this case “demo” wasn’t supposed to me demolition.
Not sure the names of the tires, but one was for mud and other was for California. For some reason I chose mud for the BASP finale. There was no mud. Go figure. I got a 2nd row call up. My strategy was to go as hard as I can, blow up and try to survive to the finish without getting passed by too many people. It started out promising. I charged up the hill locking into 5 place. But then Don Myrah proceeded to unclip causing me to crash into his calf. I practically stopped and then had to get rolling. Back into the pack. Time to start scrapping. Unfortunately I fell into place behind roadie-turned-part time crosser, Jesse Moore. I really respect Jesse for his road skills, but he is not good on the dirt especially on the downhill. If I had ever ridden with Jesse before I would have made the reckless pass like Don Myrah did. I didn’t and suffered for it.
By the end of the first lap I had totally burned all my matches, but had made it onto the first chase group. Then, misfortune struck me for the first time of the year. I flatted that “demo” tire on the uphill, halfway to the pits. I rode that thing, slipping and sliding all over the place, for half a lap. After getting my pit bike I put myself in the “red” over and over again, but just couldn’t catch the lead group. I did manage to chop a Clif Bar rider in the sand. He was in front and I was behind him. He took the wide line around a corner in the sand because he was riding it. I took the inside line and swung my bike near him. That messed up his rhythm and he fell off. Sorry Clif guy. I am usually not that type of rider, but this day was not getting better. BTW…I chose not to ride the sand trap, but run it…like this.
I did ride myself back into a respectable 9th place and an end to a successful season. Next year upgrade to Cat 1, Natz, Worlds and basically do it all. See you then!