Team Giant Report, Mont St. Anne World Cup, and Homework...
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Submitted by biker Adam Craig DRHS alumni on July 29th - Before we get to story time I've got a bit of homework for everyone… click on this link and Read about my motoring habits. And maybe prove that I'm more popular than last week's "Celebrity Drive" subject, Sammy Hagar… Not bloody likely.
As I write this I'm neither in a hotel room nor on a plane. I'm in a location that is quite the opposite of those I've frequented for the last five months, a location quite the opposite of most locations, in fact. Beside Lake Chesuncook in Maine's Great NorthWoods sits a small camp belonging to two very close friends of mine. John and Carol Frachella. I've been coming to this camp for almost ten years now to have breakfast or just meet up with the boys for a run down the West Branch of the Penobscot River. Tomorrow morning will be just like so many others, HI and Peter will show up at 9ish to chat and get ready for a day on the river. We'll head down to Big Eddy and set shuttle before walking down into the Ripogenous Gorge and floating off into classic whitewater. I'll have earned this run down the Gorge and Crib by floating the two upstream whitewater stretches of the
Penobscot (Canada Falls and Seboomook) today on my way down from Quebec. Sometimes it's good to do things in sequence…
This kind of familiarity and order of things was embraced this weekend at the annual Mont Saint Anne World Cup as well. It's really nice to have this time of the summer to get back to my roots in the midst of all the excitement. It's also really nice to have legs and mind in good working order twenty-six days before the big race in China.
After a nice, albeit brief, week spent at home in Maine catching up with friends, family, trails and the local media, I did the once a year solo drive up through Jackman to Quebec on Friday. Normally a bit more than a day's prep is preferred for a World Cup race but I feel like I've got the drill down at this point in the season… Immediately upon my arrival our DH mechanic, Joe, told me that Carl reckons they'd "smartened up" the sections of the great old course that had been "dumbed down" in recent years. And it rained. Perfect.
A glorious massage and some Smartened Up riding on Saturday was all I needed to be ready to roll on Sunday at 2pm. Carl and Kelli were ready too, mostly so they had something to do after hanging out in Quebexico all week… We were going to have the Fun Team Challenge again this weekend. Them on hardtails and mud tires hoping to climb fast and take chances and me on the bike with full shocks and dry tires hoping to sag the climbs and get all freaky on some euros in the thought provoking bits. I'm always interested to see how these little ideological challenges turn out…
Turns out mud tires and hardtails are a good combo for punctures… Shoot. Dry tires and shocks are a good combo for biding your time somewhere in the top 10 until two laps to go, then watching your rabbits (on the same setup as Decker and Emmett) crack, crash and flat their way out of contention. At least a few of them. Three guys still were faster and kept it together… I ended up riding faster laps as the race progressed and finished fourth, a long ways behind a resurgent Julien Absalon but still in front of some legit fellows. It's always good to ride fast, even more so when it happens to be such fun and such proper mountain biking.
Post race and post podium I took Paul Thomasberg out for a "cool down" on some of St. Anne's finest singletrack. We got muddy (again) and had a real good time (again)… Have I mentioned I like it here on the east coast? All the finer things in summer life, including Whoopie Pies…
Next week, more right coast glory in Bromont, Quebec, bringing things full circle to the first World Cup of my career in 1998. It usually takes things ten years to fully mature, right? I suppose it was ten years ago this summer that I first floated through Big Eddy rapid with Josh too… Hmmm, could a good sign of things to come.
Thanks to Colin Maegher over at www.inmotionphoto.com for proof of what really happens on World Cup Podiums… And in the deep, dark forests of Quebexico… Cheers, Adam