2015 KMC Chain Winter Series, Race Weekend #3: Grinding Granite and Flying High

Photos first this time. The ten here are from the selection of one hundred forty-two in the Flickr album.

Remember doing something in your younger years, maybe it was to impress the girl you had an eye on, maybe it was just to bolster the image of the big man amongst your group of friends. Innocuous stuff mostly, things like asking that little red haired girl what her favorite color was; to her response of "blue" you, with some surprise say "mine too", when just a moment earlier it had been green. Maybe you walk home from school with a cigarette between your fingers, unlit because you don't really smoke. Then, of course, there was the ever popular (with the biking crowd at least) getting as much air between you and the ground, using any little excuse to pull up and fly, even as little as hoping off the curb.

Well, thank goodness for those years and those teen guys. After the XC race ran its course it was time for some Super D practice runs on Saturday afternoon, and as I took up position at one of the ramps riders would come down and roll over it, maybe get a few inches off the ground. Nothing exciting. But then these two guys came along, pulling those bikes up into the sky with all they had. They did repeats, fly past, and then go back up, and all the while the girls, next to me or just up the hill to get two different angles captured the leaps on their phones. So thanks guys, the Super D photos I took would have been pretty bland, pretty tame, if not for you.

The soil has become increasingly dry since the first race weekend, now four weeks in the past. What tackiness there was has long since evaporated in the face of the wind and sun. All those little bits of decomposed granite (dg) too hard to be ground to dust, cause treads to slip and slide. Normally this is but little problem - an intuitive lean or slight shift of weight is all the counter-balance action that is required to keep upright and forward moving.

Losing balance is the unfavorable option. Those granite boulders are just as sharp, just as abusively abrasive to XC racers lacking in padding as they are for the downhiller in full armor. No, more so. The boulder, immobile, impassive if we grant it human characteristics, provides a sure surface, firm footing unless one doubts a rolling drop from rounded shoulders, hunched back. Its decomposed self is another matter, tiny flecks of insignificance firm by themselves, but not as loose hundreds, thousands they move in unison beneath a great weight a thousand times their own meagre mass. The best defense is a good offense, and the best offense here is speed. The dg cannot shift beneath the weight if there is no weight. To win is to master the subtleties of terrain and surface.

Linda McGee faced the unenviable obstacle (or, depending on your outlook, i guess it could have been enviable) in racing against, not one, but two World Champions - Lesley Paterson and Anneke Beerten - in the women's pro race.

Results from the days' cross country race:

Pro Men: 1st Eric Bostom, 2nd Julien Bourdevaire, 3rd John Nobil
Pro Women: 1st Lesley Paterson, 2nd Anneka Beerten, 3rd Linda McGee
Veteran Pro: 1st Rob McGee, 2nd Romolo Forcino, 3rd Chad Jarrett
Expert Men U18: 1st Jake Legge, 2nd Richard Holec, 3rd Kyle Legge
Expert Men 19-26: 1st Luke Wronki, 2nd Peter Mellinger, 3rd Timothy Heinrich
Expert Men 27-34: 1st Ryan Fedorow, 2nd Chuck Ridal, 3rd Jeremy Kneisly
Expert Men 35-42: 1st Chad Nicholson, 2nd Marco Arocha, 3rd Matt Armstrong
Expert Men 43-50: 1st Rich Bartlett, 2nd Bryant Likes, 3rd John Umate
Expert Men 51-58: 1st Todd Stephenson, 2nd Francisco Vidal, 3rd Randy Leichty
Expert Men 59-66: 1st Jon Miller
Open Women: 1st Silvia Manzo
Sport Men U18: 1st Jarett Megla, 2nd Zach Rusich, 3rd Cayden Phipps
Sport Men 19-26: 1st Chris Clark, 2nd Brian Morgan, 3rd Tristan Schoenewald
Sport Men 27-34: 1st Levi Knudson, 2nd Nick Kneisly, 3rd Ara Movsessian
Sport Men 35-42: 1st Heith Masters, 2nd Vince Colf, 3rd Craig Johnson
Sport Men 43-50: 1st Victor Peters, 2nd Tony Smith, 3rd Michael Nasco
Sport Men 51-59: 1st Ron Friebrun, 2nd Willie Burr, 3rd Eric Zook
Sport Men 59+: 1st Rich Fersch
Sport Women U34: 1st Kenya Covarrubia, 2nd Kadi Niinberg
Sport Women 35+: 1st Astrid McAvoy
Beginner Men 9-10: 1st Grant Mitchell
Beginner Men 11-12: 1st Hayden Metz, 2nd Dominic Turner, 3rd Lance Weyman
Beginner Men 13-15: 1st Samuel Church
Beginner Men 19-26: 1st Ryan Upson
Beginner Men 35-42: 1st Christian Holloway
Beginner Men 43-50: 1st Jason Bailey, 2nd James Conaway, 3rd Lenny Spangler
Beginner Men 51-58: 1st Vincent Omaro
Beginner Women U34: 1st Hannah Phillips, 2nd Morgan Kesterson, 3rd Johannah Raqland
Beginner Women 35+: 1st Lauri Mackey
Single-Speed Men U34: 1st K.C. Miller
Single-Speed Men 35+: 1st Ryan Holdorf, 2nd Randy Smith, 3rd Al Garza
Sport Men 65+: Ed Mundy

As usual, if you see a photo you like feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). Want more? Go ahead and order your own copy of the CLR Effect racing annual. There are two editions available right now (2013 and 2014), and you can preview them by clicking the 2014 Seasons in the Sun Book Preview button near the top of the right hand column.