Mountain bike season is here in the WCCC. My fling with cycling began with riding mountain bikes in the NICA NorCal league, so racing MTB has always held a special place in my heart.
Parkfield is always a highlight of the season – it’s the oldest MTB race in Central California and the pixie bike races on Saturday night are a WCCC classic. Virginia and I arrived in the afternoon and did a pre-ride of the singletrack portion of the course. As usual the trails were extremely dry, but not too loose.
This year the race began with a lap around camp before heading up the infamous hike-a-bike first pitch. I didn’t start well and found myself about 2/3 of the way back in the pack once through camp and on to the hill. Knowing the terrain to come, I made an effort to advance on the rolling climbs leading to the cow trail singletrack. I managed to pass 4-5 riders here, and continued my push into the first main climb. Again, I passed a few riders and tried my best to stay with a group that included Ben from Davis and a few Cal Poly riders.
I ended up falling back a bit on the descent (no surprise there) and was alone by the time the A’s route diverged from the main course. The A’s course included an extra five mile fireroad climb followed by a very hairy descent. I dug in and suffered up the climb – it really never seemed to end – passing two riders on the way to the spectacular summit. I lost one spot to Brian from Cal Poly on the way down to the finish but ended up with 10th place out of 24 starters. Pretty happy with that for my first A’s race!
The MTB season will continue with Reno, Humbolt and Chico before Nationals, and Berkeley, Santa Barbera and Fresno after. Stay tuned for more updates and race reports!