After a smooth flight from Denver to Phoenix, the boys picked me up from the airport Friday afternoon. We went directly to the race site to mingle and pick up our race packets then got some food, found our hotel and went to bed early for Saturday's race.
The race itself was fun but a frustrating day for me as I hadn't been on my bike much and I made a small mistake that got my bike beyond stuck and I had to wait almost 20 minutes for someone to bail me out. No injuries, just stupidity. Luckily, I had my super sweet helper Kolten Barlow keeping me in check between loops! Thanks Kolten.
Bryce had a decent day finishing 18th overall with a HUGE pro field. Justin, on the other hand, had a little encounter with the dreaded Arizona cactus. He crashed right into one when pinned in 4th gear (that's going really fast). We ended up picking quills out of his body for over an hour with pliers while he did everything he could not to lose it. I can't even imagine how bad that hurt but from his expressions, that was nothing I wanted to deal with which is why I was beyond careful not to crash into that crap.
Although I was stuck for what seemed like forever, I somehow managed to finish 3rd out of 6 girls for the day and actually felt awesome. I didn't push it but rather had a great time, helped out others and just cruised like I promised myself I would.
Most of our races are only one day events but this weekend had two separate races on Saturday and Sunday. Bryce and I were both tired and a bit beat up from Saturday but went into Sunday with great attitudes and ready for a fun and safe day!
The terrain in Arizona is very dry, sandy and extremely rocky. The course had a tons of great single track and lots of challenging sections which made the race so fun. We rode it one direction on Saturday then the other direction on Sunday!
I happen to hit one of 3 trees on the course during my first lap on Sunday and smashed my thumb pretty good but other than that, I absolutely crushed each of the other laps. I felt so great riding that I stepped it up and actually started to race and take each corner like it actually meant something to me. I guess it worked out pretty well because I ended up with the win for the day by over 6 minutes and my overall time would have been good enough for the win on Saturday had I not gotten stuck with my bike upside down forever :) Bryce had a killer second day of racing as well coming home with a 14th overall on the day. The competition among the guys down there is just ridiculous so a weekend with points on both days is phenomenal this early. Awesome job Buddy!
A HUGE thanks to Justin for being the ''pit bitch'' on Sunday. He made the tough decision not to race since his whole body was bruised, swollen and still numb from trying to make out with several cacti on Saturday. He now knows how it feels to be a racer on the sideline and how bad it sucks. However, he did a great job getting me and my bike through the race and driving us all over town. Karma is on your side JP, you're gonna rock your next race!