After the winter fog blows over and the sun starts to shine upon all us riders out there, it's time to get the gear out, try out the new goodies and have some great fun on bikes. After all and deep down, that's why we go out there every time and ride.
For me, riding can be enjoyed in many ways. Be it simply chilling out and just flowing through the local trails with the other dirtbags, or feeling like a nervous wreck on top of that threatening start gate.
I'm lucky enough to experience both, even though the usual and most common experience is the first one.
Anyway, last month, I raced the 1st stage of the Minho DH Regional Champs, held in Felgueiras.
About the track, simply awesome.
It started off with a bit of pedalling, and some tricky little jumps over roots. These were followed by a considerably big drop, that landed on a steep downhill, which made you feel like a rocket as soon as the wheels touched the dirt.
Then we had a super fun "S" berm turns bit, followed by the first road gap of the track.
Next to this was the toughest section of the track, by far: a super challenging rock garden, in which we entered through the steepest wall I've ever seen on any track, and had two small drops in the middle.
Then it was flat on through the rest of the track, with some sweet air, twisty turns and rocky singletrack right up to the sprint to the finish line.
Saturday practice went well, my dad said he didn't like all the pressure that the competition puts on you, so he rode down once and shuttled us for the rest of the day.
Only this way could my brother and I have made so many practice runs. Cheers dad.
I started to really enjoy the whole track,taking the practice runs easy, and enjoying it. I came home with a big grim on my face.
Sunday practice didn't go so well, though. After some stupid mistakes and sketchy runs, I even ran into a slower rider, standing on one of the fastest sections of the course, and had to take the blow, so I wouldn't hurt the guy. Unfortunately, I wasn't expecting to land on my *ss, on top of some very, very spiky plants.
If you're reading this (although you probably aren't), next time, PULL OVER. Cheers.
The race runs themselves weren't good at all, I was feeling really beaten down, making lots of stupid mistakes, ending up with a shitty time, which placed me way down in the result chart...
So, to sum up, although the results were worthless, I had a lot of fun, I learned some pretty important stuff, increased my riding self confidence (through that evil rock garden) and came to know one of the best tracks I ever rode in.