Nova National

Last weekend the team traveled all the way to Fountain Hills, AZ. for the second Norba National Series race of the season. Brian wasn’t able to make the trip so it was Emma, Maureen, Tsering and I that all piled into my little two door GTI on Thursday afternoon for the twelve hour drive. Luckily we were able to take a four hour rest just after midnight at my Mom’s house a little past the half-way point near Palm Springs.

I had to be the alarm clock for the team and wake everyone up super early so we could get to registration by 11:45. This is why it pays to pre-register! We rolled up into the parking lot at the race venue, with about an hour to spare, and received many jovial glances and comments as we all piled out of the little two door “clown” car. Team LCB doing our part to reduce our carbon footprints!

After getting registered we drove up the hill and set up camp and kitted up for the Super D pre-ride. Now this Super D is not the trophy winner of Super D courses, but considering that there is not a whole lot to work with at this venue, it is as close to a S.D. course as McDowell MTN. Park has. I started off first a bit after 4pm and rallied down the single-track, sand-wash, fire-road course to place 46th out of a large Pro mens field. Maureen was off next and scorched the dirt with her fast time to place 34th. Next up Tsering (aka T-bird) flew down the course to place 32nd. Emma was off just before dusk and raced during the cooling evening to place 4th. We all went back to camp and were pleasantly surprised to be invited to dinner by our newly arrived campsite-mates, Chad, Wendy, and Robert Herber in Chad and Wendy’s opulent motorhome.

Saturday morning brought many a bird song from the desert and we all woke up in our palatial tent rested and ready for the short track coming up in the early afternoon. After breakfast we kitted up and rolled down the Super D course to the venue then all went out on a pre-ride lap of the XC course. We ended up riding for over two and a half hours and by the end the Arizona sun was working it’s draining magic on the crew so we all scurried into the shade to get out of the mid-day heat. Up first for the Short Track (STXC) was Tsering ‘T-bird’ Alleyne. He had a good race even though he knocked bars with a fellow racer and placed 31st. Maureen was up next and let me just say that Mo was ready to go as she started out strong and then just kept getting stronger as she picked off the Pro womens field methodically during the twenty-eight minute race to finish an astonishing 25th! I finished off the day of racing for the team in the Men’s Pro field. Staged toward the back I powered hard into the first corner and knocked elbows and bars with riders on either side of me, yelling “get some!” to those around me as we all tried to stay upright and survive the madness that is the first corner. I rode as hard as the legs and lungs would go and finished 48th. Thanks to Matt and Clayton at Hayes for loaning me a rear wheel for the weekend as I had an Easton wheel and could not find a spoke to replace the one that snapped.

We all were starving by the end of the day and lucky for us Maureen had a friend she wanted to meet up with for dinner. We all drove into Fountain Hills and ate at Mama’s italian/mexican restaurant. We met Sarah and her mom Sallie and enjoyed our meals and conversation thoroughly. What made it even better was that Sallie paid for everyone! Thanks alot!!

Sunday brought the penultimate stage of the weekend. The Cross Country race is a super fun swooping, rocky roller coaster ride through the desert. Emma and Tsering started out early in the morning and beat the heat of the day. I was lucky enough to be there feeder for the day and watched them go by having great races. Emma rolled through the finish line after completing two challenging laps and dropped the hammer on one of her competitors in the last few miles to finish a super strong 2nd place!! Tsering rolled in a little while later finishing a grueling three laps and finished 33rd in the stacked Semi-pro mens field! Maureen was up next at 11 and actually raced during the hottest part of the day, I think because the she was riding so fast it scorched the desert. She is definitely having a stellar start to her pro career with a 20th place finish. I was off last again and had a challenging race. I got caught up in the crash at the start, then slowly picked my way back up the field on the first lap. I struggled with a very tight back and I slowed considerably on the second lap but was able to recover to make up a few spots on the last lap to finish 52nd.

Shortly after the race finish we packed up the clown car, headed to Tempe for dinner with Sarah and made our way west to my mom’s place, then on to Berkley in the early morning hours on Monday, stocked with a killer sack lunch for the team made by my Mom, to get the crew back to school on time.

Check out lots more pictures here and here!