Our Southern California Sales Rep Kelly Steelman approached me last fall and asked if the race team would be willing to head down to Fontana, California in February for some sweet XC racing. How could we say no? Fontana has a history of hosting the first rounds of the National Series MTB races, so we were excited to get down to sunny Southern California to catch some winter time rays.
Thursday evening is the weekly shop ride out of Coates Cyclery, so we strapped on our lights and ventured out into the wild nights of the Inland Empire. We were rewarded with flowing, crusey single track trails at Frank G Bonelli Park, and magnificent views of the sun setting over LA.
The next day we had some time to kill before our race on Saturday, so we ventured out into the hills of Glendora Canyon, Glendora Ridge and Mt Baldy Village. We discovered singletrack, winding, glorious roads and the feelings of great wilderness, all within 30 minutes of departing the lowlands. It was great. We also got very sunburned.
Saturday morning we lined up bright and early for our first XC race of the season. Toeing the line with Kris, Spencer and I was none other than living legend Tinker Juarez. Tinker took off like a rocket from the gun, and we gave chase for the next hour and change through the sinuous, rocky trails of Southridge Park. Kris eventually caught up to Tinker, and used his DH prowess to capture the win. I rolled in 3rd, with Spencer 4th. Its not every day that you get bested by a 50 yr old, but Tinker is the Man.
Later in the afternoon Kris and I gave it our best in the super competitve Super D race, as Spencer was having some trouble with old Lefty, his testicle friend. We got schooled by the new crop of young Enduro rippers, and got thoroughly heckled for our spandex and high seat posts, but at least we looked good out there. Kona Grassroots rider Ryan Gardner rode a good race, and ended up 7th, only a few seconds off the podium.
Thanks to Kelly and the crew at Coates Cyclery and the B-Rad boys, we got a great trip of riding, shop visits and racing all packed into a neat, 3 day package. Great times where had by all, and now we are all primed up and ready for the kick off to the rest of the season. Woo!