Mount Snow Super D

The first stage of the four-race-weekend saga was the Super D. I've never done a Super D but I do like going downhill, so hey, why not? I have four inches of travel in the front and 2.3 in the back, that's pretty good, right?

Maybe if you're Greg Carpenter.

Thirty minutes before the start, I was up top with fellow IBC'er and 6-inch travel biker George for a Super D practice run. Ten seconds into the run my seat was in my stomach and I was reminded that nothing at Mount Snow is easy. A minute later George flatted and now it's panic time. He headed back to the top, I headed for the bottom to grab him a tube and CO2. Gotta hurry to get back up in time for him to change it...

Of course five minutes later I crush a rock I never even saw in the high grass they call a trail and now I have a flat too. I ran all-out to the bottom of the hill (ow), got Thom to change the tube and put a little air in, wasted a ton of time trying to find George's tube before just grabbing one of my own... back on the lift... get to the start line in time to get the 30 second warning for the expert start. Ugh. My front tire only had 15 psi or something so as I'm pumping frantically the race starts without me. After spotting everyone a 30 second head start, I'm off.

Not much to say about this run, I caught a guy on a hardtail and never saw anyone else. Top speed was 30 mph, which feels more like 900 mph when you're bunny-hopping a water bar every 4 seconds, going straight down a work road.

Luckily we were going to do two runs, with the best combined time winning, so I still had a chance for redemption. This time I actually made the start and used my Le Mans skills to get into fourth or fifth place in line down the opening slope. I was right behind Miles on his freeride bike going into the first steep pitch and as I put my belly-button on the saddle, he just wheelie-dropped off it like it was no deal. I realized that my bike and lack of giant brass balls were going to be a problem.

We hit the first wooded singletrack section and two guys got tangled up, awesome! We kind of bottlenecked a bit and I rolled back into the mix and started hammering over roots while trying to pass someone.

Then the line I was on kind of disappeared and I was like, crap, I need to be about a foot to the left. I tried to steer over there while finishing off the pass, and while I managed to get my tire on the line I wanted my weight was hanging way out to the right. There was a little drop, my tire washed out a bit, and that was that -- flipping over the bars I went.

I hit the ground, and before I can even move I see the guy I was passing doing a huge nose wheelie, since my bike/body is blocking the trail... he's teetering... ohhhh crap he's flipping over onto me. So I lay there pinned to a rock, in a tangle of bodies and bikes, while everyone else rode away.

That's when I realized that my current bike/skills combo is going to get me killed if I try to ride any more Super D's against competent people on all-mountain bikes.

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