|Oasis Feb 2011 HS Race Report|
|Written by shawn|
Round 2 of the D-36 Cross Country series was held on Feb 12-13 at the Oasis MX facility in Clearlake Oaks, Ca. Brian and I made the trip up to compete in the C Sr race on Saturday afternoon. The weather had really been cooperating leading up to the event with lots of sunshine so we were stoked on the prospect of racing on a relatively dry course.
We got to Oasis in plenty of time to set up, gear up and make our way through the sound check cluster to arrive at our starting line, number 4 right behind the vintage bikes. The start for this race was a dead engine, hands on helmet shotgun start so the additional comedy of racers running to their bikes was not available this time around.
Groups were leaving at 30 sec intervals and sooner than I knew it, the gun sounded for our row. Learning from my experience at the PCGP, I made sure my battery was fully charged and the e-start quickly fired the bike to life and I was actually off the line with the pack!
The group piled into the first corner of the five mile course, part of the MX track, and to my relief, I made it through unscathed. The first part of the course took several turns through the track, taking us over a couple of tabletops and drops and then off into some nice tight fresh singletrack. The course wound all around the property, making great use of all of the terrain available, jumping on and off the track at various points.
The first really exciting part of the course came when our group came around the bottom of a hillside and the course took a left, leading straight up the hill. Due to the lack of recent precipitation, the hillside was already pretty churned up, revealing a healthy layer of loose silty soil begging to be churned up by spinning tires. I came around the corner and was greeted by the sounds of bikes screaming up the hill, riders down at various points leading up the trail, and a dust cloud hanging over the hillside obscuring any sort of a good view. I cranked the throttle, kicked it up a gear, took an outside line and dove into the fray. I was stoked to make it to the top in one piece, in one shot, and headed down the other side through a series of flowing turns that took us through an amusing Lake County themed garden of cable spools, wrecked cars, camper shells and other random junk.
This led to the next hillclimb, a bumpy, slightly off camber bit that was again at the bottom of a silty left hander. I used the same strategy from the previous climb and picked up a lot of positions as I passed folks who weren’t as lucky as me. This lead to a tight section through Manzanita where I got my front wheel stuck on a low stump on the outside of a sharp left. I had to dismount to pull the bike free and was blocking the trail and was amused to hear someone honking their horn as riders piled up behind me. Luckily it was a quick extraction and I was off in short order.
What goes up must come down and several turns later I’m heading down a silty, off camber downhill leading right into a sharp right turn. I managed to descend this section safely on every lap but my last, where I undoubtedly amused the course workers with my interpretive flying w downhill highside. Some more singletrack, another fun hillclimb, some water crossings/muddy bits and a short run through a rocky and tight slot canyon type creek area led us back to the MX course and the timing/scoring chute. Did I mention I dropped it several times washing out the front? No? Ok, that happened here and there, to my disappointment and contributed to the erosion of my concentration.
Fast forward 3 more laps and I’m feeling done and expecting the checkers but the flagger is still holding the yellow and saying ‘last lap’. The only saving grace at this point is that I know what to expect so I head out with the goal of turning a smooth lap with no falls. I can’t say I was smooth, or didn’t fall, but I made it around the course for the fifth time without doing any major damage to the bike or myself. What was left of my ego, on the other hand, was left in the dirt of the previously mentioned downhill.
Leaving the course I met up with Brian and we compared notes. He didn’t get as good of a start as I did and ended up getting tangled up in one of the hillclimb bottlenecks and jammed his thumb so he was off his race pace, but still put in 4 solid laps.
We hit the road before the results were posted so I was bummed to see the official results online for some reason didn’t count my last lap, but honestly it didn’t matter too much as I would have only moved up on or two places mid-pack. Overall a great race and good time, big thanks to CCP, Oasis and all the volunteers, especially the CERA guy who helped pick up my bike after my downhill launch!
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 February 2011 23:28|