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Downieville Classic

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

ImageWe arrived in Downieville on Friday, July 22nd at around noon. We were racing the DH on Saturday so we needed a practice run. I have ridden it so many times I know it pretty well. It is hard to describe what a 16 mile DH race is like. It is pretty epic. The rides all around D'ville are all pretty epic. Vikki and I noticed how many more water runs there were this year, from all the extra snow California received. During the ride Matt comments on how remote it is. All goes well other than Matt going over the bars and smashing his knee. No flats or mechanicals. We get into town to pick up our registration packets I get number 49, Matt gets 118, and Vikki gets 206. These signify your seedtime. I start 49 minutes after the start and so on. Vikki is not too happy with this since she has to start 3 ½ hours after the start, around 1 pm. I tell her to sleep in.

ImageIt is 8:00 am Saturday. Matt and I get a ride from Jenny to the top of Packer Saddle around 7500 ft. elevation. Bear in mind that the race is 16 miles with 5000 ft of descending and 500 ft of climbing. It's 75 percent single track to boot. In the words of Homer Simpson "woo hoo!" So I head down at 9:49 to be exact, yes believe it or not they started on time. I finished in 1:03 not my best, which is 56 minutes. I was not too happy with that, but hey I am in Downieville, all is good. Matt's time is 59 minutes; pretty good for his first time, damn whippersnapper. Vikki's time is 1:15 not her best but great considering she is still fighting Lyme disease, plus she is racing with these girls who race expert XC; ie sandbaggers. They are also half her age. She got 9th overall.

We then hit the river to cool off and watch the river jump. They set up a ramp next to the river. It is pretty entertaining. I take a nap by the river; it is heaven.

Sunday morning, when I should be sleeping in, I am getting ready for the XC. Not my strong point, I have never raced the XC here, so what the hell. The race is 29 miles point to point with 4500 ft climbing and 5500 feet descending. I opted for the single speed. Mainly to prove a point that I could do it Matt and Vikki think I am nuts. It starts out with a little 13-mile climb where you have to reach a checkpoint or they cut you off. This becomes my goal. I get to the checkpoint with 5 minutes to spare. I tell them how happy I am to get there with time to spare. They tell me they are not cutting anybody off. Great! Well the DH portion of the race is left. I think I am in the clear one hour to town. The XC goes a different route than the DH, which I find out is harder than the DH. Well about 2 hours later I cross the finish line exhausted, sunburned and chaffed to no end. It took me a grand total of 4 ½ hours. It took Matt 4 hours with his SC Superlight, so I don't feel so bad.

Well that's it; cannot wait till next year. I highly recommend this race to anyone; it is what mountain biking is all about. For more info check out www.downievilleclassic.com.

Happy Trails,




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