The weekend began early for some who wished to get to camp before sunset, so the early van left at 2 with a later van leaving at 430. The early van got stuck in traffic through Austin, so they decided to stop and get an early dinner at a pizza place and wait out the traffic. Meanwhile, when the early van was paying for their meals, sure enough the late van (with Lee hanging out the passenger window screaming like a girl) passed the early van. 2.5 hrs down in GC already.
We continued the rest of the trip out there with only a slight hiccup along the way which included one of the van’s occupants stashing a stolen object from a gas station on another van. No worries, as this was returned unharmed on the return trip. We arrived to Camp Eagle all together; 6 hrs for the late van, 8.5 hrs for the early van. We set up camp, in an urban sprawl form taking up a seizable amount of space. Temperatures were cool, with a chance of rain all weekend.
Saturday morning called for an early wake up for registration and pre-ride of the Super-D course. Some opted not to pre-ride as to avoid rational reasoning in backing out of what proved to be a sketchy course. It was the same course as always, but this year there were large kickers in the downhill section (for drainage maybe?) that could buck you off and high speeds. During pre-ride Chad had another mishap as he was closing in on Shane a little to quickly in the downhill section-tapped his brakes over one of those kickers which triggered the ejection of his already frail body onto the rocky course. From what I heard, his bike flipped multiple times about ten feet up in the air, with Chad’s body coming out with only a few scratches. Needless to say Chad was a scratch for the Super-D. Shane also did not race, mainly because he was forced into racing B’s and didn’t see the advantage to the risk involved int the Super-D. Hey, it’s either 2 Haga’s or none at all right? Thanks to that whole situation, I was able to take 1st in the Men’s A Super-D. I can’t remember how the other categories finished, so they will have to insert their results here.
Between the Super-D and STXC we pre-road the South side of the XC course. Fun course as always, with a great thankfulness for full suspension in the creek bed. At the end of the pre-ride we took off to a playground. Log rides, wheelies, and one large terrain park. Lots of fun. As we get back to the campsite, Chad notices he is beginning to pull open his wound where the stitches were taken out just days earlier. Now, he is questioning if he will be able to race at all. So, we left him and Dr. Lee figure what to do, and the rest of us went to play in the river. They have some new slides out there which looked like fun, if you like atomic wedgies. But the water felt great; cold for great recovery.
Waiting on the start for the STXC we headed back to camp to relax/sleep. During down time it rained consistently for two hours. We herd the STXC races were cancelled, so we diverted our attention elsewhere: all you can eat pasta and bread starting at 630. While getting mentally ready for that challenge, we get wind that the STXC race is still on-not canceled, just delayed, and is starting in 45 minutes. We go over and have a meeting with the other teams and officials as they were offering us a “viable” alternative. That alternative was a wet grass field around the tennis courts. Everyone voted not to race, and headed over for dinner instead. Still don’t know if this will count as one of our 2 dropped races of the season?
Dinner, then hanging out at camp is all that pursued the rest of the night. It was cool seeing a couple new faces out there racing, and racing well. The night brought more light rain which made the course that much more difficult for racing. Slick limestone slabs and hidden rocks made for great surprises along the way. Many sections had to be ran through. Even that was a challenge.
The C’s went off first with 5 Aggies TTTing the whole 9 mile course to take the first 5 spots in the XC. (Correct me if this order is wrong)
- Zach Cornish
- Ben Silva
- Blaine Brawley
- Lee Chichester
The A’s and B’s went off about the same time, but sent off in different directions. The A race started off fast with myself taking the group into the first short section of technical single track. I had the vision of Seasons in my head as I was just flying over everything with no regard for the easiest line. So, about a half mile into the race I endo-ed and slid down the bank of the river into the water. I managed to hold my bike from sliding in with me, but I was pretty helpless as I struggled to get out. Thankfully, Hattaway was there to lend a helping hand to pull me out and get me on my merry way again. Crashes, cramps and all- I still managed 3rd. 2.5hrs for a 24 mile course, but I was satisfied with just finishing. Hatt also persevered through the whole course (on a hard tail!) and came in 5th. In the B race Hagasita dominated, as he should have, coming in first by a slim 13 minutes ahead of Krishna in 2nd place. Kath also stuck through the tough conditions with a solid 4th place in Women’s A.
This is always a fun weekend, and didn’t disappoint this year.
Steve “Huntsville Sunday” Mitchell