By Scott Martin
After several years of road racing, I decided this season to return to mountain bike racing. (Or, as my mountain biking friends said, "So, you've come back from the dark side.")
There aren't nearly as many off-road races, but luckily we have the CCCX series in our backyard (Fort Ord and Toro Park). It's low-key, fun and not scary-technical. I missed the first 2 events in the 9-race series, but managed to hit all the rest, including the finale over Labor Day weekend. I won the last 7 races and the overall series in the 55+ Category 2 division. Hats off to fellow Bike Tripper Dwight Goss who finished second overall and was getting closer and closer to me each race. The Trip was also well represented throughout the series in other categories with Chris Baker, Matt Wocasek, Geoff Drake, Jose and others I'm no doubt forgetting.
I really slacked on my race reporting this year, so here's a quick recap of the rest of my season:
1st 55+ Cat 2 at Napa Valley Dirt Classic, Angwin
Very muddy. Very steep. Crashed hard, lost my pump (and my nerve) but hung on.
Apr. 22: 3rd 55+ Cat 2 at Sea Otter Classic mtb, Monterey
Two SoCal guys schooled us, but I used my road racing skills (i.e., wheelsucking) to stay with another L.A.-area rider and sneak away on the final climb to get my first-ever Sea Otter podium by less than 15 seconds.
4th 55+ Cat 4 at Wente RR, Livermore
My token road race.
6th 50+ Cat 2 at Rockhopper, Vacaville
100 degrees, brutal course. Managed to get a piece of paper towel stuck in my CamelBak hose. (Don't ask.) Long day.
Next up: Chris Baker and I are heading to Bend, Oregon, for the Mountain Bike Marathon National Championship on September 15. At 60 miles, it will be almost 3 times as long as my next-longest race this year. Gulp.