I love Park City. It is awesome. This year marks the third consectutive year that I've made the trip out to Utah for the NORBA National at Deer Valley. Unfortunetly it was just me and Brandon again, Matt wasn't able to make the trip. He better next year though...if he knows what good for him. The main objective for this trip was bumming places to stay. We left with no intentions of paying money for a room to stay in. And guess what, we did it. The first night we slept 10 feet away from the baggage claim in Salt Lake City Airport. We pulled the foam out of our bike boxes, jacked pillows from the airplane and snuggled up for the night. Yeah sure, people starred and little kids were puzzled and asked their parents what were doing, one parent answered their child with, "well they're probably waiting for their airplane", but that's what traveling to races is all about. The next morning we were able to pick up our rental car. By golly was it a beauty. Two guys driving around Park City, Utah in a white PT Cruiser isn't exactly cool, but we raged it nonetheless. We opted for the upgraded insurance which waived us from any damage we caused, so we had our way with the car. Burnouts, redlines, U-turns, and hitting curbs were commited recklessly and carelessly. By the end of the week the car was marked up and scratched inside and out, ran noticably worse than when we got it, shifted extremely hard into second gear and had a dent the size of Texas under the front grill. Thank God for damage waivers.
Besides the ongoing demolition derby of the Cruiser and endless loitering outside Starbucks in out sweet Walmart "rental" chairs, we did a bit of bike riding. The course was the same from years past fast, fun, dusty, and at altitude. The XC race didn't go so well for me after the first 20 min. My start was great, one my best yet. I was able to break the top 20 by the top of the first long climb and well into the singletrack. By the end of the first lap, though, the elevation was starting to take its toll and a retired after the second. I hate to blame a bad race on anything other than myself but I really felt like if the race was at sea level, I would have faired much better. I can't help but think what would happen if I had gotten a start like that at, say, Mt. Snow...
Next up was short track, my personal favorite. I got a pretty poor starting spot towards the back and was dead last after someone in front of me bobbled right at the line. Luckily, from years prior, I knew that the first turn/climb always bottled up nicely so I sat back and waited to find a the best line. It worked perfectly as a passed half the field, literally, in about 100 feet. From there on it was a typical sufferfest, just trying to hold on and pass anybody, anywhere you had a chance. I lasted about 8 minutes. Not too shabby.
Monday was a long ride day for Brandon and I. We started out on the Marathon course from last year and climbed all the way to the top of Flagstaff Mtn. From there, we climbed a little farther along the ridge until we hit snow. It was cool, walking through snow in 90 degree weather on the top of a mountain. We got to ride all the way down mountain on some sweet trails and ran into two giant moose. They were enormous, and ran really funny.
Another sweet trip out west...next up is Snowmass, CO. Hopefully it can live up to the great times in Park City.