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Posted by Bekah Rottenberg
The Bidwell Bump is said to be the oldest standing mountain bike race and I was excited to give it a try. Danny Stuart and I arrived in Chico Saturday night amidst full college home-coming frivarly, but we avoided the parties (and the horse cops) and quickly went to sleep in Emma’s new pad. We woke up early, had a hurried breakfast of yogurt and granola, and we all pedaled over to the Bidwell park. The morning was nice and cool, and I was feeling pretty relaxed about the race, just excited to ride my bike as I hadn’t been able to get out much in the past month. At registration I was asked to race Pro, due to the small number of women. That gave me a few extra butterflies in my stomach as I had never raced in the Pro field. Emma went over a verbal description of the course which proved to be quite helpful, then before I knew it someone had said, “go” and I was riding in a large pack, racing towards the first climb. A herd of guys quickly blew past me and I settled into the bouncy climb pushing hard, but feeling the hurt of being off the bike for a while. The first descent I had ridden once before and I knew that going too fast could result in a nasty crash. So I kept my weight back and enjoyed the swoopy bermed turns and the rock gardens. At the bottom of the descent we crossed a river that was half way up my thigh! The water was incredibly cool and refreshing but a brutal tease because the climb that lay ahead was ridiculously granny gear steep. I saw Emma as I started the climb and I was excited to be able to give her a cheer, but I didn’t think there was any chance I would catch her. I kept pushing up the climb and just when I was starting to hate everything, the second descent started with felt much faster than the first due to the longer straight-away sections. I soon saw Emma again was able to catch her on a particularly rocky section. The end of the course was super fun with tons of cool rocky-swoopy-technical sections. When I got to the end I was thrilled to hear I had won, but sad to learn Danny Stuart had crashed and rolled his ankle.
The Super D was later in the afternoon, and since Danny couldn’t race he shuttled us up to the start. Waiting around proved to be more eventful than planned. When Emma was trying to take some air out of her tire her removable valve stem came shooting out and she lost all the tire pressure in her tubeless set up. Fortunately we were able to pump it back up without any problems, although that didn’t end her mechanical mishaps for the day. On the first ascent of the super D her shift cable pulled out of the bolt leaving her with 2 rear gears to choose from. Total Bummer.
My super D race on the other hand was a blast. I had never ridden the course before, but when I got to the end the first thing I wanted to do was go ride it again. The trail defined narrow sick gnarly singletrack! Lots of places to crash, a lot of short technical up sections, and lots of places to leave a shit-eating grin on your face. If you haven’t given the Bidwell Bump a try, I highly recommend it!
|First Place Trophy!|
The Lost Coast Team ended up killing it as I finished first, and Emma place second! The best part of winning was the sweet handmade trophies we got.