Had a killer time at this here race last weekend. Freshman and sophomore years my granite bay races were riddled with mechanicals and last year was super gnarly, so i didnt remember granite bay being such a sick course, but it WAS. I was in DC the days before, and was in boston a few days before that, so i only had 2 rides that week and only 1 the week before. I thought this would make me unprepared for the race, but turns out, it just made my legs more fresh than they had ever felt! I headed up the night before and hit the hot tub and lobbed around the plastic plate with cake and gnarly and max for a while. I went up to the course early in the morn to preride. The course was super fun the conditions were mint. I ate a bunch of food, more than usual, but still ended up hungry by the time of warm ups.
My warm up was very fun. We did a road warm up and pretty much just spun around, which was nice. Did a few sprints and stuff to finish it off and headed to the start line.
I got there on the later side and was in the very very back. I was like whatever. I usually have bad starts so starting in the back didnt mean a thing to me. But then i had some sort of like 15th call up and got into the third row. Then, there was an opening right in front of me so, laughing, i hopped into the second row among my peers. The start felt not bad. It was hectic and crowded, and i couldnt dish out an insane amount of power but i didnt fall back super far like i usually have this season. I ended up in front of emmet, and he quickly passed up to me and in front of me and we rode together in the pack for a hwile, hooting and hollering, singing around. He made some passes and that i didnt have the ambition to make and he ended up sticking to the top group that i ended up being right outside of. I had a little group for a little while but i soon dropped them and was on my own. My back had started to hurt and ocming into the second lap i was trying to keep trucking along. I was very concerned about pacing, i had nobody around me to base my effort on so subconsciously i think i slowed down a bit and not long after, the SF kid liam caught up to me. We rode together for a lap, i was leading basically the whole time. He occasionally made attacks but i could get some pretty easy time on the downihlls and technical uphills. I was kinda just riding with him, not making serious attempts to drop him off, but coming into the last downhill of the third lap, he was a bit ahead of me. I figured i would let him have a little distance there because it wasnt worth the effort to attack right behind him when i would make up likely most of the time on the dh. But then, on the rocky flat i see him pedal strike and something flies off of him pedal. I go up and am like "oh no dude" and he says "My shoe!!" his shoe had fallen clean off his foot and clean off his bike. I rode on and some dude was like "Ya brah, youve got a huge gap on whoevers behind you. And i thought yea thats a fat mechanical i probably wont need to worry. Poor dude. At the end of that lap coming into the final one, i was ready to just chill and have fun on the last lap, but i see coming around the other side Matt salad and some other dude right up there. I hadnt seen them for a while so i figured i was making time on them and decided to just put a little more effort, see what happens. I caught up to them quite quickly. And rode with them for a little bit, then me and the other dude broke off from Matt, then i broke off from the kid. I thought they would put up more of a fight but i pretty much just rode away into the distance. I was pretty stoked at this point because i had basically secured my position and some dude way earlier had said i was in 13th. With a little mathematics i deduced that after passing liam, matt, and the other dude, i was now in 10th, which is pretty cool by my standards.
Great race, had a lot of fun. Back still hurt like a mother heck, but i managed to have fun. Unfortunately, i want to ride too much to have that much rest so i guess my legs will just be perpetually chooched once again but it was a fun race without that.
Daniel McFadden, varsity boys, Oakland Composite, 10 / 22