Do you even race mountain bikes, bro?

#MTBishere, like full gas here. This last weekend was the official kick-off for the mountain bike season with a UCI C1 race at Frank G Bonelli park in San Dimas, CA. San Dimas incorporated as a city in 1960, and is known for its small town and equestrian qualities. I think that in the future it will also be known for hosting world class mountain bike races.

The course at Bonelli isn’t fun, its just plain hard. If you were to go riding with your friends you probably wouldn’t ride the majority of the course if you were looking for enjoyment. This years course was slightly modified and slightly shorter with the lap times going down to 12 minutes for the top pros (I think 11:51 was actually the fastest time).

I swear this is steeper than it looks! Photo: Focus Bikes

I swear this is steeper than it looks! Photo: Focus Bikes

Fine, silty, dusty dirt Photo F

Fine, silty, dusty dirt Photo: Focus Bikes

The course goes like this…

Drink water on the flat concrete part going through the start/finish, climb a 20% hill, go down some rocky technical descent for about 5 seconds climb another super steep hill, go down a concrete like rock garden with baby heads for about 5 seconds, ride some flat-ish awkward bumpy singletrack, punch up a short steep hill, go down a blown out left hand turn, climb then climb more up some absurdly steep 20%+ hill, go down some blownout descent for 5 seconds, climb (the most enjoyable climb on the course), probably still climbing, think about going downhill, but you actually just start going up hill again, go through a couple turns down a hill for about 5 seconds, climb the longest steepest (newest) hill, curse yourself for running a 36t front ring, go down a super steep blownout descent trying to act like you are in control for about 5 seconds, hit the A-line, bunny hop three times, climb another steep thing, think about going downill but start climbing again, do some turns in the grass and you’re back at the start finish.

Just a little dusty Photo: Focus Bikes

Just a little dusty Photo: Focus Bikes

That’s it, that’s all there is to it. Given the large field of 119 riders, the short lap times and starting near the back it was really just a race to see how many laps you could get in. There was a bit of a hold up initially at the start that pushed me back a little further, but I was probably somewhere in the top 80 or so after the short parade lap.

It takes an army...

It takes an army…

I suffered as much as I could and kept moving up whenever possible. It seems stupid to say Im just using this for a training race, usually only the top guys use races this big to train through, but I know I’m not gonna pass 80 pros to get a top 15. Not really sure where I finished, or even what lap I was pulled on, but it was so hot and miserable I was glad for it to be over. Huge shout out to everyone who raced Saturday it was freakin hard and miserable. I’m glad to get the first big race out of the way!

Drive 3+ more hours for 15mins of racing on Sunday or just do this?  I did this with the family

Drive 3+ more hours for 15mins of racing on Sunday or just do this? I did this with the family

This next weekend is going to be even harder as literally the best mountain bikers in the world are coming over, Im talking Nino Schurter and possibly Juilen Absalon, holy cow!

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