By Steve Medcroft
How's this for an obscure fact? Lining up for the three stage Costa Rican MTB stage race, La Ruta de los Conquistadores, will be a Spokane-based cyclist by the name of James David. Starting Friday, riders will cover, 320 kilometers over 9,000 feet of climbing in the three days of the race in what is predicted to be nasty, soggy conditions. David's presence in the field means that UCI marathon world champion and Pan Am Championships gold medallist and native Costa Rican Deiber Esquivel will only have more to contend with than just several hundred hard-core mountain bikers from twenty-seven countries; they'll be up against the guy who set the Guinness world record for longest continuous skid on a bicycle.
David set his record in April 2001 at the Spokane International Raceway Park. For his feat to qualify as an official Guinness record, David had to adhere to a few strict rules in his attempt: The surface had to be flat, he had to run two skids in opposite directions to balance out any wind or incline and his vehicle had to be human powered with pneumatic tires. His record is 337 feet.
The rest of the La Ruta field is said to not be particularly concerned about David as a contender for the win but no-one wants to ride behind him in case he locks up his rear tires in an attempt to re-live his glory days.
You can learn more about David's record on www.superskid.com. On a more serious note; check back on Cyclingnews for race reports, results and photos from La Ruta de los Conquistadores.