Single(Speed) and Loving It

By May 30, 2013Blog
1305270873 Matt Ferrari
Today’s Enduro stage definitely felt more like summer camp than racing.  Before the start there was lots of goofing around in the parking lot and the passing of rumors about the gnar that we were all about to experience.  In the SS field, there was considerable tech envy as we looked around at the thousands of dollars of hydraulics and sealed bearings and squishy bits that surrounded us.
The rollout to Enduro stage 1 was casual and conversational — most of the SS’ers moved to the front just to stay out of the trail traffic, but there was no real sense of urgency going uphill.  Our only singletrack climb greeted us before the downhills even began and we were all acutely aware of the change in climate from yesterday — both days we were drenched, this time with sweat and the steam rising up off the forest floor.  Stage 1 set the tone for the day — a bombing descent down some of the areas best rocks, with a casual regrouping at the bottom.  Dejay, Dax, and I rode the bulk of the day together with me leading off the descents as the tour guide.  Apparently at the top of section 2, Dax was looking to hang back and give me a respectful distance but Dejay pushed ahead saying “If he knows the local lines, then I want to keep him in sight!”.  The remainder of the enduro sections kept that flavor — there were small gains to be made in the GC, but any significant reshuffling was unlikely except due to catastrophe — so we decided to have fun!
Wildcat Gap, section 4, is a legendary descent in State College and today was no disappointment.  The top is steep enough that the only way is to ride down or fall down — and the rock garden at the bottom will make seasoned veterans rethink their line. I played it conservative and ran the bottom section, to the jeers of the press corps, but there should be plenty of good shots of the hard core ripping it up — Dax says he cleaned it, but I’ll need to see pictures.
Dax and Brian Matter came into section 5 all together and spent a few minutes going through the formalities of “no, please, you lead us off . . .”  As before, I led the charge, this time hoping that Matter and his 5″ dualie wouldn’t run up over me.  I managed to hold him off until the bottom section and then led the line through the rocks and bridges.
Returning to real racing tomorrow may be tough — we all had way too much fun today and it wouldn’t take much arm twisting to get everyone to keep the party going.  But we’ll see if a good night’s sleep refreshes everyone’s competitive streak.

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