Desmond Griffith - Granite Bay

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

I.  Day Before: After carpooling up to the venue with Emmet and company, I got in a 1-lap preride, which I would have wanted to do 2 of, but I kinda got separated from the group. I took a quick plunge in the lake and went to the hotel to get ready for dinner. I ate at Buca with OC Fed., and went in BOTH the pool and hot tub with the boys, upon arriving back at the hotel. I went back to my room, brushed my teeth, and slowly drifted off to sleep.

II.  The Morning of: I woke up to my alarm around 7:30, and got my 1st breakfast (eggs and roasted potatoes) at the hotel. I got to the course, drank plenty of water, saw the girls' starts, and ate my 2nd breakfast; peanut butter oatmeal, 1 hardboiled egg, and 2 bananas. I kept hydrating, and eventually changed into my kit. I got my race gear together early, which felt good. Right before it was time to hop on the trainer, I had a bit of lower back pains, and Tom led me through some quick lunging and child's pose stretches. I did my trainer warm up and made my way down to staging. Coco re-iterated what he had mentioned to all other groups at the start line, to "be cool" with one another out there. I thought of Pulp Fiction at the moment, hoping that all of us would be like Fonzies out there, and "What's Fonzie like?"

III.  The Race: 5...4...3...2...1... GO!! We were off! I had a decent start, and got right behind Conor going into the singletrack. I had trouble holding his and Nathan's pace, but I kept racing my own race. Branden from Clayton Valley Charter slid past before the 1st rocky climb. I passed some D1 Berkeley High and Monte Vista here and on the stretches along the shore. I had to dismount along some of the techy bits, namely the uphill rock garden, but was able to quickly get back going after. I drank along some of the flat sections. I began my 2nd lap, and passed a D1 rider right before the singletrack. Going along the shore of the lake, I ate my gel and washed it down with a drink from by bottle. Right before the last climb, my pedal struck a rock pretty hard, but it cushioned my foot. Entering lap 3, I proceeded to grab the bottle that Devin was handing me, but I didn't have a firm grip on it. Luckily, Bobbi had a spare, which I took. I passed some D1 along the 1st singletrack sections, and a Fresno Composite about midway through. He made a pass, but I passed back on one of the punchy singletrack climbs. Coming off the singletrack descent, I put the power down and saw Luke running alongside me as I sprinted for the line.

IV.  Recap: This is not my fastest course, but I put down a solid effort and finished in 13th. For those who fell during the race, I hope you're doing alright.

Desmond Griffith, Junior Varsity Boys, Oakland Tech 13 / 40

Max McFadden - Granite Bay

Max McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varsity

Max McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varsity

The week leading up to the race was pretty rough in school, so I was consistently behind on sleep, and it ended up being one of the bigger training weeks this season, which wasn't good for my legs this weekend, but good for long term. I drove up with mom the day before, did a couple pre-ride laps with Emmet and Caleb which was fun, and went to dinner. After dinner, we tossed around the disc for a while, before going back to the hotel, going for a quick swim, then tossing the disc for a good while longer in the parking lot. This was a lot of fun and will make a good memory with the boys. I got to bed a bit later than a usual race-night, a bit before 11:30. After a decent amount of sleep, I awoke at 7:30, and went to the course with mom. For breakfast I had a huge bowl of oatmeal with a pinch of brown sugar and a couple handfuls of almonds. I drank a bunch of water and heckled a bit with the guys. at 11:15, I started warming up. After a good warm-up we eventually rolled over to the start and got called up. I knew going into the race that Noah wasn't going to be racing, which gave me a better chance at winning, but I knew it wouldn't be a gimme.

Me and Birdo had front row call-ups, so we coco started the race we got the hole shot. I went out in front, which was my plan, and drilled a moderately hard pace through the flat open section. Going into the singletrack I didn't let up too much, but I wanted to keep the first lap civil, in hopes of getting Emmet or Caleb to ride up front with me and Birdo. Birdo did a great job of blocking anybody who wanted to pass me, and I stayed ahead for the rest of the first lap. Going into the second lap, I was planning on eating on that flat section, but Nate Davis went to the front and pushed the pace so I had to sit in his draft and pedal kinda hard. Then disaster struck. Right as Nate Davis cranked the pace up, I dropped a chain after misjudging one of those little river rut things and I cased on the backside of one. I coasted for a second, stopped, took a few seconds to get my chain back on, and started to try to close the gap. Luckily, Big Emmet was right there when I got back on my bike, and he offered to help close the 15-20 second gap that got opened on me. So Emmet pulled me past a few riders, including Caleb and Matt saldana, and I gave him a pat on the back and a thanks before pulling around him when we got to the singletrack. I had to burn a pretty big match here to catch the lead group, who had picked up the pace significantly, but after a couple minutes I got back onto the end of the group of 4 riders: Nate, Rylan, Birdo, and Matt garrison. I decided to go up to the front of the group because I prefer leading on the singletrack part of this course, and we did a decently hard pace for the rest of the lap. Except when we got to the flat drag section heading towards the finish chute, I decided I wouldn't pull here, and nobody was coming atound me for some reason, so we just randomly rode super easy for a minute in there, until Nathan reluctantly drifted to the front of the group, and after I gave him a "it's time to take a pull buddy" in my best emasculating tone, he pulled! I got to eat 1 gu about halfway through the 2nd lap, so I was a bit behind on eating, but I almost finished my bottle, and took a new one at the start of lap 3. Like the lap before, Nate Davis did a weird attack-pull thing on the flat section, and I took over the lead after a bit of singletrack. This lap was pretty quick, and I put in a solid attack at the technical climb section, but Rylan and Nate caught back on after a minute, so we just went along at a good hard pace for the rest of the lap, and I ate a gu at the paved road section. On the last lap, I hung back on Nathan's wheel for a while, and made a pass after just a bit of singletrack. Before I passed Nathan, he was already riding really hard, and I did the same. I was surprised that Rylan was still on the group, but I guess he has some good but inconsistent power. After the Techy climb I was attacking the best that I could, but my legs weren't doing too great of a job, which was fine because I just kept riding hard. On the flat section towards the finish area, I sprinted and just rode hard, trying not to let Nate or Rylan pass me. Then, Rylan tried to sprint around me but it was at a really sketchy part, and he clipped my bars and went down. I feel really bad about this but I don't think it was my fault, and neither did Nate who had a better view of the crash. Luckily I was able to stay up and stay in front going into the backstraight. I sprinted here so that Nathan couldn't pass me, took the sandy corner cautiously, and then had kind of a shitty sprint to the line which I narrowly won with a bike throw. Pretty stoked that I got a win this season, and this was my first ever win in the Norcal League which is pretty sweet.

What I did well: pushed hard, result
What I could improve: Preparing my legs for races (recovering harder), keeping on time with my eating, maybe spend a little less time on the front of a flat race like granite bay.

Max McFadden, Varsity Boys, Oakland Composite, 1 / 22

Dyan Gong - Granite Bay

Dyan Gong - Oakland Composite, Junior Varisty

Dyan Gong - Oakland Composite, Junior Varisty

I had a game on both Thursday and Friday where my school team ended up losing those good battles. Saturday, my family ended up playing in a volleyball tournament fundraiser for the Brain-Aneurysm foundation. We played maybe 5 straight hours with only 5 minutes for breaks in between each of the 5 matches. Winning a big match in the semi-final boosted my confidence after the 2 days of losing and I just felt great afterwards.

My dad and I woke up at 4:00 AM, loaded up the car, and drove to Granite bay while I slept. Even though I felt super confident, I did play 12 hours of volleyball with little rest but the love for the game masked my pain. I rode the pre ride with Coach Johnny and the Oakland team and we went at a super mellow pace. I was able to see all the lines and find what I wanted to ride, test out my dropper on a race course, and decide between my carbon or my aluminum wheel (because I raced the XTERRA and mtb race at Granite Bay on the aluminum wheel and it felt great). The course was so well put together and the dirt was amazing. After settling with the carbon wheel, I changed out into some casual clothes and I was able to enjoy myself for the first time ever. Sundays just feel more chill than Saturdays and even though I was anxious to race, I had fun just cruising around.

Nutrition wise, I had some oatmeal waffles at 4 when I woke up (it works with early races like XTERRA but not really for these later races). Also, I had 2 bagels with peanut butter and 2 bananas with 1 1/2 bottles of water leading up to the FROSH boys starting to warm up. 

Getting to the warm-up, I felt pretty tired in my legs but I just wanted to have a good day on the bike because I love Granite Bay, this is real mountain biking, and I wanted to go and have fun on my home track. The warm-up felt good, but I felt concerned that I was kind-of struggling to spin fast and powerful and I had a more than average sweat. With 30 minutes to the start, I used the bathroom and spun out on the dirt going to the start. Something new this race was that I was using calf-socks in hopes they would help me out.

On the line, I kept to myself and took my HotShot before it was time to race. We started, I found myself in the top 10 heading into the first single-track, and I just wanted to stay on a wheel. From past experience, I knew the importance of not being stuck behind a slow rider on single-track. I also knew that the Monterey boys love to go out fast and hard so I fell off the wheel a bit with a pretty good gap between me and the guys behind me. I gave the lead train some room, but I kept them in sight as a marker and I feel like I had more flow in the first sections than they did. 2 crashes and some bottlenecks from the lead kids brought me into the top 8 and I was ready to TT my way through the track. Out at the point, I passed up a Monterey kid who looked gassed from the blazing start and I just kept flowing through. I kept saying to myself “Fast is smooth and smooth is fast” “this is a time trial so do your race” “We aren’t in Monterey anymore so send it.” Soon I caught another kid while I was maintaining my pace. Then I caught Drew from Fresno, my fellow Junior rival. I dropped him and I just focussed on a pace I felt I could maintain for 2 ¼ laps. I made it to the final climb and descent and I caught my boy Cameron Stewart. I stuck onto him and we worked together. On lap 2 I led him and we started catching packs of D1 kids. On the first significant climb, he got caught behind 4 guys and I rolled away in my TT mode (I didn’t attack, I just went at the same pace). For the rest of the lap, I did what I usually do where I attack the punchy climbs hard to maintain the flow and I tried to control my heart rate and energy. On the final lap, I caught up with Alex, the current points leader. He wasn’t looking good and I was sure I could pass him. As expected, I’d make a move and he’d try to block or counter it immediately. At one point, he collided with me and slid out and I slowed down so he could get back up. He countered when my wheel slide out and attacked hard on the same climb I dropped Cameron a lap ago. I was sure I would catch him again later because he’d blow up hard, but my heart rate was uncontrollable and my legs felt like jelly. I had been drinking and eating but I guess cliff blocks aren’t effective in a race anymore. From here, I just tried to maintain my race pace at 95% and just focussed on flow and cresting hills. From here, I was sitting in 4th and I just kept pushing so I wouldn’t drop out of the top 5. After the switchback climb near the end, Cameron caught me and he gratefully paced me up the rock garden and down the hill. From here, he opened up a gap but he was still close enough to not break my spirits completely. Across the road, marsh pit, and final single-track, I kept looking over my shoulder to see no one around me at all. I made it to the beach knowing I was home free and I just pedalled my way to my first podium of the year. I crossed the line and waddled my way all the way to the water where I jumped in with a cheering crowd behind me. Cold water never felt so good and my drained legs and aching back thanked me. I stayed there for a while and Calvin from SF and Brian from Black Mountain joined me.  

I walked back up to the finish area where I got my back cracked out, changed, and feasted on the amazing chicken and rigatoni that was there. I kinda wish I ate more because I heard the meat got thrown away but that’s a lesson on my part. My weekend was a success and I feel so proud and accomplished with what I did. I feel like racing my own race and having a technical course really favored my style of riding and I need to work on my nutrition and training because I feel so drained by the last ⅓ of the race. 

Dylan Gong, junior varsity boys, Oakland Composite, 5 / 40

Andrew Fee, Granite Bay

Andrew Fee - Bishop O’Dowd, Freshman

Andrew Fee - Bishop O’Dowd, Freshman

I left Oakland with the Binders at about 10:30 Saturday morning. We arrived at the race venue at around 12:45 to eat lunch and watch the northern conference JV/varsity race. Once that ended Lucas and I wandered around the course, trying to get a sneak peak of what we would be pre-riding. At around 3:15 he and I left with Mike to go on a lap. I went really slow to try to find the best lines. At about 4:15 we picked up a couple more riders and did a second lap, where I showed some of my teammates the best lines in the beginning sections, but then decided to attack the course at a faster pace to see what it would be like in a race. Unfortunately, when I was going faster I forgot to session the rock pile, which was the only bit I had trouble with, so after the lap I decided I would do a cyclocross dismount on that last 8 ft during the race. Then the Binders and I went to our hotel where I met up with my family, showered with Tecnu, and promptly relaxed. We then headed over to the restaurant where I ate a little bit of everything that was given to our table. I then headed back to the hotel and got in bed at around 10:30.

On the morning of the race my family and I headed down to the venue at around 8 to eat breakfast and watch the girls start. For breakfast I had a big bowel of oatmeal with brown sugar and two bananas. After watching the girls start I headed back to the pit zone and started warming up. I enjoyed the warm up; it made me sweat, but I was drinking and eating well during it so I felt really good heading to staging. At the start I got lined up in between the red netting and Alex from Piedmont, so I felt really good about not being ran into by other riders during the opening sprint. 

Coco counted down, and we were off. I think I didn’t have the strongest start, but I didn’t get run into, so I was pretty happy. heading into the first single track uphill, I passed Lucas who took a spill right when the asphalt turned back into dirt. He promptly passed me, and from there I knew he had the adrenaline from his fall to boost him to his goal of podium. For the first half of the first lap, Arlo and I were separated by about 5 riders in one group. Nearing the rock pile we began to run into D1 racers and by the time I was at the bottom of the pile, it was clogged with walking riders and Arlo was nowhere to be seen. I ended up dismounting at the very bottom of the hill and sprinting up, passing a lot of the slower riders but still losing time myself. Once I got back on my bike it was just me behind a D2 rider from San Francisco who I drafted for the rest of the first lap and the majority of the second. During the second lap he and I were struggling to get around the D1 riders, so I felt like I needed to pass him. About 2/3 of the way through that lap I began to loose steam and the SF rider started to pull ahead. I tried to keep up with him but couldn’t until one of the very last hills before the paved road. He was tailing a D1 rider and they both went on the wrong line, causing both of them to stop. I jumped at the opportunity to pass both of them, and put in a hard effort until the finish, and I ended up finishing far ahead of him.

All in all I loved this race. I didn’t have any crashes and I placed better than my previous races, but I really need to work on nutrition during the race itself.

Andrew Fee, freshman boys, Bishop O'Dowd, 14 / 37 

Dan McFadden - Granite Bay

Dan McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varsity

Dan McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varsity

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

Desmond Griffith - Fort Ord East Garrison

I.  Race-Day Morning: The alarm blast woke me at 6:30 in the am, and I was like, "I'm gonna set it to 6:35", and so I did. I then got ready and we were off to the races! I had some bites of an Arizmendi scone, to get some initial fuel in. I'd hoped to pre-ride Friday, but that didn't happen, due to my poor communication! Anyways, I went on the pre-ride /w/ coach Johnny, and he suggested that on every climb, I should make an attack during the race. I finished the pre-ride, drank a few cups of water, ate 2 granola bars, and watched the girls' starts. Returning, I ate a big bowl of oatmeal with peanut butter in it, a pear, and 2 hard-boiled eggs. I drank a few more cups of water, made sure my bike was ready to go, and changed into my race kit. I had some of those mini energy bars which I believe are fairly healthy; grains, Omega-3 and not too sweet, and got me feedzone bottles all sorted out. Tom helped me get my bike on the trainer, and during my warm-up, the rain began! It got pretty chilly, and Devin insisted that I wear a hoodie until all racers were lined up. I was worried that there would be a bottleneck at this start, especially during the heavy rain. I had a 12th place call-up, and the adrenaline was flowing through me when my name was called!

II. The Race: Coco told us that he wouldn't leave us hanging, and then he counted us off. My start was decent, and I passed a couple riders on the singletrack. It was muddy from the start, and figuratively speaking, my brakes and cogs/cassettes were pissed off at me! I sympathized with my bike, and it was a struggle to race in such conditions. When Connor dismounted, I encouraged him as I passed by. I passed a pack of riders on one of the little climbs, and was cautious on the slippy corners, despite Morgan and Devin telling me to let go of the brakes on some of those turns (I didn't want to slide out, and at times felt like I was close to doing so.) I got passed by 2 riders, including Connor. I followed them up the gravel hill, passing 1 or 2 Berkeley High riders towards the top. I got passed on the descent, and passed a D1 on the flat section. I passed again on the climb where most of the spectators were, and proceeded to lap 2. I passed an El Cerrito rider after the 1st descent, and another on the flats. About halfway through this lap, the rain had let up, but I was already demoralized, as my bike didn't sound too good, and some mud/sand got in my eyes. However, I knew that if I forfeited, I would regret it after, and so I kept going, and thought, "Wow, It's gonna be great when I'm done!" Nils passed on the fire road descent, and I stuck with him for a bit. He got ahead going into the final lap. At this point, I grabbed a bottle at the feedzone and ate my gel on the flat section before the flowy descent, some of which ended up on the handlebars of my bike! I passed a couple of riders, and Julien caught me. We rode together for a bit, both of us passing Nils. Julien passed before the gravel hill, and I passed him on the hill. I put some power down through the home stretch, including the final, punchy climbs. I snaked around the twisty section, looped around the finish area, and sprinted for the line, my bike and body dirty as hell!

III. Recap: Although a good portion of the race was not too enjoyable, I pushed on and got a 12th place finish in JV D2! This is not my strongest course, but I felt like I gave it my all. Despite the fact that there was very little climbing, there were hardly any places to recover. What went well: I pushed hard, kept going when I felt like stopping, was fairly consistent, and finished in the top 15! What I need to work on: Had I drank a little more fluid during the race, my legs probably would have felt a little better. At times they were sort of on the verge of cramping up, but I acknowledge that it is harder to drink at Ft. Ord since the course is so fast. Overall, I'm proud of both my result, and the team's results as a whole!

- Desmond Griffith, junior varsity boys, Oakland Technical High School, 17 / 52

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

Desmond Griffith - Oakland Tech, Junior Varsity

Max McFadden - Fort Ord East Garrison

Max McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varisy

Max McFadden - Oakland Composite, Varisy

I've been sick for a bit over a week now, so with that and the rain I wasn't able to get in very much riding in the week leading up to the race. Also, a couple days before the race when I was washing my bike, I noticed a crack on the chainstay. It was pretty sizable and I wash my bike frequently so I think it was brand new or else I would've noticed it before. We wouldn't get a new rear triangle in time so I decided I would just race it anyway and it would probably be fine. So the day before I got in 1 pre-ride lap on a loaner bike. I started with Emmet and Caleb but got dropped pretty quickly. But nonetheless, I decided that this course was marginally better than the first one but that's not really saying much. But still, they did do some trail work and it was running pretty smooth. We did our normal night-before-race routine, which is dinner at Louie Linguini's, toss around the frisbee on the beach, go back to the sandcastle inn, toss the frisbee around in the parking lot, chill in a hotel room for a little bit, then go to our individual rooms and go to bed. I got a good amount of sleep and I was feeling less sick that morning than I had felt the days leading up to the race. I eventually got to the venue after some miscommunication, and ate a fat breakfast. I had a big bowl of oatmeal with some brown sugar and a lot of almonds, half of a bagel with cream cheese, half of a bagel with peanut butter, and a banana. We did some mellow heckling of the girls' races and then meandered back to the team tent. 

Eventually it came time to warm up so I rolled out nice and early about an hour before staging, wearing my lightest kit and a minimal long sleeve thing just for some extra warmth. After all, it was a nice day out there. So I was doing my efforts up that paved hill a little ways from the parking lot, and out of nowhere it starts raining! It wasn't too bad at first and I thought "oh I'll be fine I'm already halfway done with my warm-up". But halfway through my next effort, it really started coming down, and on my way back down the hill it started pouring hail! It was quite unpleasant and at this point I was pretty cold and uncomfortable, so I headed back to the tent to hopefully finish my warm-up under there. The only trainer left was right between two of the tents, so it wasn't stopping rain very well, and while I was standing under it, it dumped a load of water on top of me. This was pretty frustrating and definitely not something that was gonna help me warm up. I was not feeling very patient at this time and we were having trouble mounting my bike to the trainer, so I just took it off and finished my warm-up on the road. I came back still pretty cold, and was told that I was missing my call-up! Coco was trying to start the race early so that we avoid the next shower of rain or something, but only 6/10 call-ups were there while he was trying to start lining people up, so we kinda waited until normal time, and everybody showed up. By the way, I ate a gu at the start of my warm-up, drank a whole bottle of drink mix during, and ate another gu at the start line. So me and Noah lined up next to each other 1st and 2nd, and I was really shivering at this point. My kit was soaking wet, and I was wearing just the jersey and bibs, no base layer or anything. But they started the race, Matt Garrison jumped the start a bit but no matter, me and Noah both got the whole shot and were side by side, and he let me take the lead. I think I pushed the pace moderately hard for the first half-lap, and the course was really wet and slippery. It was still raining at this point, and some corners were extremely slimy which I actually enjoyed on the descents. But the course was really muddy, and at times there was a little stream in the middle of the trail for a while. Noah took the lead on the gravel hill and I stayed on his wheel. At times we got little 3 second gaps on everyone but there was no point in trying to go off the front on the first lap at fort ord. I took the lead again going into the second lap, and me and Noah took pretty much the same rotation as the lap before. Then, out of absolutely nowhere, Birdo took the lead right at the end of that second gravel road section where it turns left into some tight singletrack. This had me stoked for certain, and going into the 3rd lap, I believe we were down to a lead group of Noah, Me, Birdo, "Enduro" Josh Vahlberg, Rylan "Ryan" Loader, and Nathan "WhAt's sENdeRs rAcINg?" Davis. I ate a gu early in the 3rd lap, and Me and Noah stayed on the front for the most part, but Birdo did some good work up there too. First Rylan dropped off, then Josh, and going into the last lap it was just a group of 4. 3 senders, and Nathan. I took a bottle at the feed zone. Noah led going into this lap, but I passed and did sort of an attack to get into the lead probably 1/3 of the way into the lap. My quads started cramping around then, but it wasn't as bad as Laguna Seca. I stayed ahead up the gravel hill, and all the way until we hit the flat section by the shooting range. At this point, I looked back and saw that we had about 5 seconds on Nathan, who looked like he was hurting. We were all really stoked about this and hammered on toward the finish. I let Noah go ahead getting back onto the singletrack after the flat fireroad, and was planning to pass on that little uphill rise right before you cross the road and do the last brutal climb. Unfortunately, there were 3 jv kids crawling up the rise and I couldn't get around them easily enough to have a solid chance of passing Noah. Noah attacked really hard on the steep hill, and dropped Birdo, but I dug deep and was able to stay on his wheel. I remained on his wheel, but he was hammering and I wasn't able to get around him right before the last little descent. Into the finishing straight, I tried to sprint, but the turn and the dip right before the finish made it really awkward and I pretty much just stayed behind him through the finish. I was still really stoked about a 2nd place though, and even more stoked about Birdo's 3rd place! Out of Nowhere!

After the race I was pretty drained and my legs were still cramping a bit, but the podium was craazy and really just didn't make any sense given Birdo's no-training-only-shuttling training plan.

What I did well: worked together and controlled the race with Noah, dug pretty deep, got my best finish so far, got to ride with Birdo for pretty much the whole race

What I could Work on: I guess nutrition (because I was cramping)? although I thought I was actually eating and drinking pretty well, maybe warm up on a trainer when there is a chance of rain, Ride a bike that's not broken

Congrats to the team definitely some solid results out there on Saturday!

Max McFadden, varsity boys, Oakland Composite, 2 / 25

Luke Tracy - Fort Ord East Garrison

Luke Tracy, Oakland Tech, Sophomore

Luke Tracy, Oakland Tech, Sophomore

I drove down after school on Friday, instead of missing school like I did for the first Fort Ord race. This meant that I didn't get to pre-ride the course, although I couldn't have anyway because I forgot my number plate. The McFaddens brought it down Saturday morning, for which I will be forever grateful. I drove straight to the hotel, and had dinner at Gusto with my mom, allowing me to get to bed earlier than I could have if I had gone to Louie's, around 9:45. I woke up bright and early the next day hoping to pre-ride, but the plate didn't quite get there in time, which I of course can't complain about. The ample time I had did help with my nutrition, as I was able to eat half a grilled chicken sandwich, three slices of poppy-seed challah with cream cheese, and a glass of my standard pre-race drink, chocolate milk and orange juice. I hopped on the trainer, and drank a bottle of water with two Gu electrolyte packets in it, but I felt like I worked too hard on the warm up. I walked over to staging, getting a fairly good general start position alongside Clyde and Renee. When the race actually started, I felt good, being able to accelerate much faster due to riding clipless for the third time in my life. Unfortunately, the folks in front of me were extremely cautious after seeing the pileups during the girls' starts, so they stayed spread out and I could't pass as many people as my speed would have allowed. I then settled into the first lap, passing a few folks in the first half. I did fall once, pulling my clip out too late on one of those janky uphill left-hand turns. I recovered in time to disappoint the guy trying to blow past me, and had some fun on the downhill berms. The worst part of the race for me was probably towards the end of the first lap, where I had just pushed really hard to pass someone and came to the bottom of that really rutted, washed-out climb. My biggest fear was not climbing it the first time, but knowing I would have to do it again. However, I got into a good pace during the second lap. Although I didn't pass too many people, I avoided getting passed by several (except for the groups of 6 guys who don't call their passes and force you into a bush). I would hear a tire behind me, start pushing, and then not see anyone at the end of my effort, which is either an indicator that I can really push if I need to, or possibly that I was hearing things due to oxygen deprivation. Either way, that fear of getting passed pushed me through the rest of the race, and I didn't even notice when I went up the dreaded climb again. I finished 22nd (I think), which was five or so spots better than my previous finish. In conclusion, I felt much better about this race, especially in terms of my nutrition and equipment, but I need to work on my fitness level to be able to avoid the choice between speed and endurance and just go fast the entire race. 

Luke Tracy, sophomore boys, Oakland Technical High School, 22 / 33

Noah Hayes - Fort Ord East Garrison

Noah Hayes, Skyline High, Varsity

Noah Hayes, Skyline High, Varsity

The day before the race I didn’t go to school and slept in.  I drove down to the course around 2:00, arriving around 5:00.  I did one lap of the course and concluded that the course was boring, that my legs felt like garbage, and that the race the next day would end in a sprint.  I then went to the hotel, cleaned myself up, and went to dinner at Gusto, an Italian restaurant near my hotel, with my mom where I had spaghetti and meatballs with copious amounts of bread.  After dinner I went back to the hotel and cleaned my bike up.  After being on the phone for about an hour I got to sleep at around 10:00, leaving enough time for 9 hours of sleep.

The morning of my race I rolled out of bed around 7:30 when my alarm started blasting at me.  I checked the weather and was excited to see that there was still no rain on the forecast for the day.  Shortly after waking up I loaded up the car and left the hotel.  My mom and I stopped at Starbucks for my first breakfast of the day which was a cheddar, sausage, and egg sandwich.  We then drove to the course and unloaded some stuff into the pit with just enough time to spare to go watch the girls start.  There was a lot of carnage during their starts which was sad to see but luckily it seemed like everyone was able to continue on with their races.  After their starts I ate my second breakfast which consisted of a bowl of oatmeal with some peanut butter in it along with two hard boiled eggs.  I didn’t get to do much heckling but I kept an eye on the races from the Oakland Composite pit zone.

Around 11:00 I got into kit and prepared my bottles - one scoop of GU Grape Roctane Powder in each bottle except the one for my warmup and lap one.  In my warmup bottle I put a GU Orange Electrolyte Fizzy Tablet.  I drank this entire bottle during my one hour warmup.  In addition to this I took two GU Electrolyte Capsules 25 minutes before my start.  Early on in my warmup I felt a few raindrops and decided to move under the team tent but I still didn’t think much of it.  About five minutes later I knew that this was the right decision because the sky opened up and started dumping rain on us.  There was a mad dash of people flooding into the team tent to get out of the rain which halted my warmup for a few minutes.  Luckily I was still able to get all of my efforts in.  Now it was time to take my bike off the trainer and get to the start.  I saw it was five minutes to start so I figured I had time to go to the bathroom.  Turns out I was cutting it close because by the time I got to staging it was about one minute to start.  I pounded a GU Roctane Gel and handed my jacket to Johny.  I stood there freezing cold for about 30 seconds in the pouring rain until…

FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE!  We were off.  I was on my way to another whole shot but yelled at Max to take it.  He pulled for the first half of the lap and put down a solid pace.  We were all yelling out about how we were cold and how our bikes were already not working due to the wet sand and mud that was accumulating on them.  On the fire road climb of the first lap I locked my bike out and put some power down to get around Max.  I succeeded but when I went to unlock my bike for the descent that followed it wouldn’t work.  This meant that my fork would  be fully rigid for the remainder of the race. I then sat on the front of the race for the rest of the first lap.  When we came through the feed zone at the beginning of my second lap I took a bottle and Max pulled through to the front.  It was during this lap that it stopped raining and the sun came out.  This meant that the course was rapidly changing as it dried out.  Throughout the race it went from sloppy mud to hero dirt so every lap it was basically a new course.  On the same fire road climb as the first lap I passed Max so I could pull for the remainder of the lap.  I did this and put in an attack on the last steep climb before the end of the lap trying to put everyone further into the pain cave.  On the third lap I didn’t take a bottle at the feed zone and the pace slowed a bit.  We were all gearing up for the explosion we knew would come on the last lap.  Going through the feed zone for our final lap the group had whittled down to only four riders.  I went to the front and started digging deep to put the power down.  I knew I was wasting energy sitting on the front but didn’t want to give anyone the chance to break away.  When we got to a wider section of trail Max pulled by me to take the front.  This made me a bit nervous but I was happy to get out of the wind.  Shortly after this he went into the bushes going around a tight corner so I was back on the front going into some more single track followed by a fire road descent.  On that descent max pulled ahead of me again just before the single track and lead the group of four until we got to another fire road.  I accelerated around him and charged into the next section of trail as fast as I could.  I stayed on the front into the final climb of the race and emptied the tank on it.  When I looked back to see what damage I had caused to the group I was shocked to see that max was only a couple bike lengths back from me.  He caught me on the tight switchbacks that followed.  I sprinted through the last opening on the course and into the single track, knowing there were only a few more corners to go.  When I entered the short finish straight on the front I knew I had the win.  I crossed the line for the win and fist pumped the air.  

There were so many things that went well in this race but still many things I can work on.  Can’t wait for the next one!

What went well: First race ever without any cramping!!

What to work on for next time: Bike maintenance  

Noah Hayes, Varsity Boys, Skyline High School, 1 / 25

Lily O'Hare - Fort Ord East Garrison

Lily O’Hare - Bishop O’Dowd, Freshman

Lily O’Hare - Bishop O’Dowd, Freshman

I left school on Friday at 2 and arrived with my dad and my big brother just before five. I headed out for a lap with my dad and although we didn’t do any efforts or anything like that, the pace was quite fast. I knew it would be even faster the next day and I would really have to carry my speed through those corners and climbs. I preferred this course to the other Fort Ord one because there was more singletrack but also more passing spots, but in my mind they both paled in comparison to Laguna Seca. After getting set up at the hotel, we went to team dinner at Louie Linguini’s where I ate half a pizza. We then went back to the hotel and I was ready for bed, but First Blood was on tv and that got priority. I fell asleep close to 11 and had a tough 6:30 wake up. We packed up and made it to the pit sometime after 7, and I took some time to relax and eat my oats. Not long after, we all hopped on trainers for our warm up. My legs were feeling normal and I was feeling a normal amount of stress. I stood at the start for a good while until I was called up. Unfortunately, the other girls’ starts were brutal and watching them did nothing to calm my nerves. After lining up with the girls and discussing our nervousness, I had an ok start. I did not clip in my left foot and somehow in the following stretch I unclipped my right foot. I was able to make it work and shift into a proper gear even with my feet just balancing, and got myself into third place by the top of the hill. The girl from Monterey (Lux) had a great start and was maybe fifteen feet ahead of the girl from Berkeley (Lizzie) who was not far in front of me, and I was not far in front of the Kirby girl (Sonya). One of my goals from last race was to stick with the top to girls, and I was doing my best. Maybe a quarter mile into the race Lizzie had a little trouble shifting or something and slowed down to get it under control. I made a fatal mistake in not passing her then, and let me tell you she put down some serious power after this. I didn’t quite stick on her wheel, but she was in my sights. As we started to catch up to more sophomore and JV girls, the gaps were strengthened between both Lizzie and me and me and Sonya. Although I know it’s good to ride with other people, it is much more enjoyable to be able to ride alone sometimes and I was feeling good. I tried to keep up my speed through the end of the first lap, especially on the descents because I knew that could power me through the flats. I had downed two blocks by the feed zone, but not a whole lot of water. I made a goal to drink the rest of my one bottle by the end of the race, but unfortunately failed to meet it.  When I came around on my second lap feeling good, I was glad to get some encouragement from the hecklers and ready to make a stronger gap. I felt like I had decent speed during this lap, although I now see that my time was significantly slower. This lap was pretty uneventful, I was just trying to not get caught by whoever was behind me. I finished strong feeling pretty good. Looking back on the times, the first two girls finished in a sprint and had a solid three minutes on me, whereas the fourth place girl was only thirty seconds behind me. Next race I want to have a fast first lap and keep the same time on the second lap. To do this I want to work on fitness, including sprints, and hydration/nutrition during the race. What went well in this race was my passes and my start (but I still want to work on those too). 

Thanks for reading my very late race report.

Lily OHare, Freshman Girls, Bishop O'Dowd High School, 3 / 14