San Diego Season Opener
Barrett Junction, California
EDI opened their season with a race at the out of the way Barrett Junction. This race was the first of four races to qualify for the 2002 Gravity Games. The race course is the same course that IGSA has used, except the course was shortened, moving the finish line up behind the first bend. This gave everyone plenty of time to slow down before entering the congested camp area.
Saturday, April 27
Today was standup and gravity bikes. I took an early morning flight to San Diego, arriving at the race site around lunch time. One thing I noticed when I arrived, were the dueling flags.
While everyone was getting prepared for an extra qualifying time, the local skeleton riders showed up with their latest incarnations.
I put together my luge while everyone took another qualifying run. A couple of us headed up to the second hairpin to watch the racing. Cavey and Golter were on their game all day. The semifinals were interesting, only one spot to the Gravity Games was being given away, and everyone in the finals were already qualified. So the winner of the consilation was getting an invite. Cavey got the invite! Meanwhile Golter blew threw the second hairpin with a commanding lead, and apparently won with a large margin. But it was all for naught as he was DQ'ed at the start.
[Racing Photos coming soon]
Well some people were happy.
After the awards were given out Biker had pow wow session with the down hill skaters.
Sunday, April 28
Tech was from 6:30 to 8:00. I figured there wasn't going to be that many people here, so I got to the race site a bit after 7:30. The rider's meeting got started fairly quickly after 8:00 AM, but not after a "new" rider showed up.
According to EDI rules, "boomless" luges aren't illegal, so Dave tried to get his boomless luge passed spec.
Yesterday it was fairly cold, it was overcast and sprinkled. Today it was already warming up. Hopefully we wouldn't be doing to much hurry up and wait at the start.
We broke for lunch, and while some of us ate, others played.
I started the day off running Chaput's new 101 mm wheels. While I think these are nice wheels, I was really getting beat out of the two hairpins. Partially because I wasn't taking the turns very wheel, but I think the 101's were taking too long to spin back up. Before the last practice run I switched back to my new setup (when will I learn to NOT use a race as a testing ground?) I never did manage to figure out the two hairpins so I ended up in one of the race off heats. As there were 20 riders, there were two heats of three riders. The winner would advance to fill the 15th and 16th slots. Both Swartz and I had some tight heats, but we managed to win to advance into the next round. Again both of us took last in our next heats. I walked up to the finish line to take some photos. Unfortunately I wasn't ready for the amateur finals when Moody, DeKeyser, Kahn, and Lally all passed the finish line as close together as you could be. I missed a great photo.
[Race Photos Coming Soon]
Dave and John had a very tight race and crossed the finish line almost side by side. As usual there was much jubilation at the end.
People started to pack up before the awards ceremony. Bob decided to try out a tailess luge.
Before the awards ceremony, Grace held a fund raiser for the San Diego Regional Center for the Developmentally .
EDI decided to hold a race at Barrett just a few weeks ago, primarily because the Gravity Games was being held before the New York race and EDI wanted four races before the Games. Grace did a great job of pulling the race together on short notice, including some nice trophies.
The Twin Pines Gang is a group of Southern Californian riders that ride a road near LA called Twin Pines. After the awards ceremony we were taking a picture of some of the gang. I realized they were all holding up license plates. I was trying to figure out who stole a trophy, until I realized none of them had, the gang had swept the podium!
This was a fairly low key start to what appears to be a fairly busy race season. The weather was perfect, and there were no serious injuries. Perhaps the worst was Biker. He apparently hit a hay bale on his first run. Although his hand ballooned to the size of a softball, and many people thought it was broken, he continued to race. The swelling went down, he didn't think he broke the hand. It was most likely just badly bruised and banged up.