Day two at Downieville is the infamous downhill. People from all walks of life and every corner of the world come here to experience this ride. If you were to sit along the trail on a typical Sunday afternoon, you would see someone come along on an 8" travel downhill bike with its rider covered in crash pads from head to toe. A minute later, along would come a lycra clad xc type rider riding a hardtail. Funny thing is, both of these riders WILL be in their element at some point along the way.
Try as I might, the day doesn't stick in my mind like the xc did (previous post). At the finish, I don't remember hitting anything, but the blood oozing from my pinkie knuckle is sticking my glove to my left hand suggesting that I did indeed come into contact with something along the way. I'm tired, but not shattered. This is probably a sign that I'm not going to see a finish time quite as low as I'd like, but I'm glad to have made it down without flat tires, crashing or anything else that would have made the day a serious bummer.
I remember blowing out of a few corners on Sunrise trail early on while trying to find "my groove". I'd talk to myself quite a bit here with my legs, lungs and attitude all trying to negotiate a deal that would work out best for all parties involved. By the time I hit "the waterfall" section of the course I'd find myself riding and feeling pretty good. I was keeping in mind that I'd have to do battle once again with the climb out of Pauly Creek and that both sections of 1st Divide are more flat than descending. Then, there's the mile of pavement to the finish which would turn out to be waaayy easier with air in my front tire.
Was it fun? Yep. Did I ride well? Sure... but I can't help but think that my potential for a lower time is definitely within' my grasp. In closing, I'll just say that even though the price of registration is steep, the logistics of getting yourself around for two days of racing point to point is less than easy and racing guys like this and this makes vision of a podium blurry.... I'll definitely going back next year.