Reflecting back on my Island Cup DH race season I can be reasonably happy with results:
Victoria 7th of 43 racers
Parksville 33rd of 68 racers
Duncan 25th of 29 racers (32 with DNS and DNF’s thrown in).
Riding as fast as you can is an eye opening experience. It is mentally challenging as well as physically challenging. The mental game was a big part of the results for Parksville. Mentally I wasn’t “on” during the race. I tapped the brakes before the jumps, and took it easy through spots where I have previously crashed. I probably could have moved up a few spots if I had let go of the brakes more. 2 years ago I certainly flew more than this year. I think the reason for that would be sprout. Either that or I have turned into a chicken 🙂
Duncan was a physical problem (then mental). I added air pressure to my tires the day of the race, and I think that messed me up a bit. Then I crashed and mentally I couldn’t hold it together. The goal of a DH race is to get down the course as fast as you can. When you crash you aren’t moving. This is bad. Getting up from a crash the instinct is to get going as fast as you can. The opposite should be done though. I tried to grab the bike, seat myself, calm myself then go.
When I just jump on and take off, the adrenaline is flowing so hard I push too hard and am in danger of crashing again.
It is a hard mix but definitely was fun. If I had been a minute faster in the Duncan race, I could have placed around 9th. That could have been a huge improvement.
Victoria was the perfect race. I knew the course extremely well. I was in decent shape, I got in some good practice, and I didn’t need to chicken out on anything.
The thing I like about racing DH is the fact that the whole goal is to push yourself and go as fast as you can. I just can’t bring myself to ride like that on normal trails, but during a race, this is not a problem.
I guess I am a little sad that the season is over for me (I can’t make the last race), but I am looking forward to next year.