After a long time on the east coast, I was pretty anxious to get home and race bikes with friends. I flew back to California super early on Friday and on my way to work my truck broke down and I barely made it back home without having to call a tow truck. I was tired and stressed about being behind in work and now having car problems, and was just stoked to be able to use the wife’s car to make it up to Long beach and race saturday.
I got to the venue a couple hours before the race and after driving around lost in the park for a while finally found the venue. I posted up under a shady tent with my new teammate Danger and tried to stay out of the sun. Since we don’t have our team kits yet Danger rocked one of mine just so we could look a little more official, the best thing about it is that it says “E. Reinecke” on the sides, haha.
We pre-rode the course a few times and complained about how bumpy it was and talked about how much we miss our third teammate, Gareth. After putting my bike in the pit I setup an ice sock and got to warming up. Since it was in the 90’s it didn’t really take much to get the blood flowing.
I was surprised at how many people were in our race, I didn’t have a call up and was on the third row out of 3.5 or so. There was some sort of weird, whistle, false start thing, but being near the back I wasn’t going to wait around and see what that was all about. The start straight was super short, and I burned a good bit of energy moving up and it took about half a lap to make my way into the top 5, which is where all the action was going to be. There was some dude, that none of us knew, who was bunny hoping all the obstacles fast, and beautifully, and riding at the front of the race with Kyle Gritters.
We caught the bunny hopper and Kyle on the second or so lap, and were a big group. Having raced against the Gritters before I thought that Brandon might attack at this point, but he just sat in, it was really hot, and dry. After another lap I got to the front and put in a good pull. I didn’t know the bunny hopper, but I didnt like riding in a big group on such a fast course like this and wanted to break it up. Both Gritters and Chris came with me and we had our own little group. I bunnyhopped the log and got a little gap on the group but we call came back together pretty quickly, it was really hot, and dry. I tried a few other smaller attacks just to see if I could cause someone to make a mistake, but everyone was on their game and strong.
After another lap or so Chris went into the pit to get a feed, leaving Brandon on the front. I knew what was coming. As soon as we hit the longer straightaway before the stairs Brandon laid down some wattage and got a small gap on myself and his brother Kyle. (which is their plan) Chris caught back on to us shortly and I kept the gap fairly small, probably about 3-5 seconds. We hit one of the straightaways on pavement and I asked Chris for some help, but he said he was toasted, it was really hot, and dry. Very well then, Ill catch him myself, then I slipped out on some slick pavement turning back onto the grass. Chris ran into me and dropped his chain, and Kyle, who was just slightly gapped off from us came around clean.
I didn’t loose too much time, and was right back with Kyle, but Chris had dropped his chain and was unable to chase back onto us. I knew Kyle wasn’t going to do any work to catch his brother, who at this point had more like a 30-45 second gap. So we took some turns leading each other around the course, and I was hoping for a sprint finish for a little redemption from our Lake Hodges race a couple years ago.
Kyle had other plans, and put in a small but successful attack with two to go, and that was all he needed. The race stayed the same for the remaining laps, Brandon, Kyle, myself, then Chris, with Siegel rounding out the top 5. I was glad to make it to the podium after the stress of traveling and car issues, and it was a good time racing with everyone. Pretty stoked that we have some talent around here to make the races competitive.