Greetings cyclingnews.com readers, Chris Davidson here at NORBA #1 for 2006.
In sunny, smoggy southern California the first race of the series this year is in a city park, within an hour's drive of like 10 million people. Definitely different than the standard ski resort-style venue - different for sure. Right now it is Sunday night and I am typing this in the Ontario airport waiting for the flight home. Seems like I was here in the same seat, waiting at the same gate, in the same place just a month ago. Oh well, due to lack of internet connectivity at my hotel I will recap the weekend, so here goes...
Friday: Pre-race prep and a little STXC for me
The race course is in a city park. Grocery store across the street. Elementary school next to us. We are set up on a tree lined section near the small set of ridges in the park. In general I would say that we are a little more compressed that the standard NORBA tech area. It is real dusty here - real dusty. The dust is really fine, but for my sake it washes off the bikes really easily. Some places the dust is really tenacious and you have to scrub for hours, but the bike wash here has been really simple; minutes instead of the hours it took at Sea Otter. Everyone is choosing fast tires for tomorrow, i.e., almost no knobs.
Due to the small nature of this park, the courses are kinda short. I talked today to a downhiller friend of mine, Pete Schafer (Blue Dart Racing) and he thinks that the winning time for the semi-pro downhill will be less than two minutes. That's short. The XC loop is seven miles, but the square area that it covers is pretty small.
Friday night I raced the expert STXC as my first race outing for 2006. It hurt to hold it in the red zone for 20 minutes plus 3 laps. There were lots of SoCal boys up front that have been racing since the first week in January. For me the Utah weather what rather wintery until late, so I am getting a late start to the season. It was fun as there were other pro team mechanics in the race too - we joked about working all day then racing at 6:00pm.
Read the entire Chris Davidson diary here.