This past weekend ws the first of three races to be held at Beech Mtn. Beech used to be a venue from back in the day and everyone thought it to be the burliest track around. Saturday’s practice was horrible for me. I had fought extreme exhaustion the first of the week. I think that race run a Snowshoe really put a hurt on me. Monday I was off, Tuesday I tried a trip to Lake City on moto with Devin, but that was a horrible mistake. All the rain had the track incredible slick and very overgrown. I crashed twice in a steep rocky creek ascent and turned back to the truck without hesitation. Then on Wednesday I tried Haw on the Shova, but the ground was slow rolling and I just didn’t need to be out. The I started to fight a head cold and sinus pressure the last half of the week. Against better judgment I tried moto with Ben and Devin at Duncan’s on Thursday. Surprisingly, the track was in great shape and new lines around the deepest ruts are starting to form. It was great way to end up the week. On Saturday morning I headed off solo to Banner Elk, NC. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to get there, so its not that bad of a trip. Practice on Saturday was terrible. I ended up crashing a lot on the track, which had quite a few tricky sections. Nothing too big, but stuff that gave me a little trouble. I crashed on a bigger step-down jump and dislocated my pinky finger. The EMTs didn’t want to help. They just wanted to send me off to the hospital. I’m not one for hospitals, so I looked for someone to help me pop it back in place. Luckily Andy Devault is a doctor by association I guess and he popped it right back in without any trouble. I tapped it up and took a few more runs. I felt worse so I decided to not take my qualifier run and just start Sunday’s final at the beginning of the pack. I grabbed my music for Sunday’s practice and it really helped to put me in a better mood to ride. I decided I would just pump and cruise my way down the track instead of busting out of the gate and going down like the Tasmanian Devil. Within a few turns I was feeling great and just having fun… until the hard sweeping turn in the grass just under the lift. I took the turn too fast and the back end barked out and down I went. I slid on the grass for a way and knew immediately I was out for the race, so I jumped back up and cruised the rest of the run. A funny thing happened though, by taking it a little slower I hit all my lines perfect and ended up with a pretty good time despite the crash.
There is a lot of speculation about how much time a crash can cost you. I had a 2:34 with a on back, go find my bike crash. 5th (in the money) was around a 2:32 if I remember correctly. So speculate all you want, in the end it comes down to who can stay on their bike AND be the fastest. Not just one of them.