North American Championships

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North American Championships

San Dimas, California

At the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, home of the infamous Glendale Mountain Roadway, lies the LA suburb of San Dimas and Frank G Bonelli Park.

The main road, Via Verde cuts through the park, and is the lions share of the course.

The normal Via Verde course starts near the east entrance and heads almost straight downhill. There are a few mellow turns, but just enough to keep you moving. The normal, regional course finishes on Via Verde at the bottom of the hill. The new course made a right hand turn onto Fishermans Dr and headed towards the reservoir.

The top speeds were in the low 50's and the entire course was just under .6 miles.

Saturday, November 18

I pulled into Bonelli Park around 9:00 AM, after paying the $7 park fee. I think I missed the riders meeting, but I made tech was still going on.

We spent most of the morning practicing. We rode through lunch, with qualifying starting around 1:00.

Qualifying started with Standup doing their first run.

Gravity bikes and buttboards followed. Times were in the minute range, with the fastest time one of the fairing bikes at 52 seconds.

Silverfish was on site all day to record the race.

We got through qualifying with time to spare, so people were offered a chance to take a second run. As the sun was heading towards to the horizon  the day was quickly cooling. Despite the fact that it is late fall, with winter just around the corner the temperature int he middle of the day was approaching 90 degrees. But with the road surface cooling, it seemed that the speeds were increasing. About half of the racers decided to take a second run. I figured with the number of lugers who wrecked, I needed a second run to stay in the top half. Unfortunately my run was slower than my first.

We finished up around 5:00 pm and people started to pack up and head out. I watch part of the UCS - Notre Dame game at the hotel before meeting some of the riders at Applebee's for dinner.

Sunday, November 19

Once again I showed up at the race course just in time to suit up and jump on the first bus up the hill. The plan was to get a couple of hours of practice in before starting the races. As it was shaping up to be another warm day, a couple of tents were set up at the start line.

I got a few quality runs in, but with a fairly flat, almost uphill start, I was going to be at a disadvantage.

The standup race went first. With over 24 riders it would be a 32 man bracket, and would take a couple of hours to complete.

 Street luge was the next class to race.

I was trying to decide if I had enough speed to pass Brian Lee, who was in 3rd place, when I saw Tyler into the hay bales. I decided to take the corner a little slower, when I saw Lee run into the bales!

 

My semi final run was with Waldo. He got out in front of me, but I passed him before entering the right hand turn. Just as I exited the turn, Waldo eased ahead of me. Waldo exited the turn with slightly more speed than I had. As we raced towards the finish line Waldo drifted to the right. But the road curved left, so I hugged the corner of the road. I figured the only chance I had now to transfer was to take the shorter distance to the finish line. Although I was catching up to him, he hit the finish line just a few feet ahead of me.

I missed the inline and the stock gravity bike races. And then I headed up for buttboard. Since there were only five of us, we decided to take three runs. The first run we ended up in qualifying order. We all decided that if the second run finished like the first we would call it good. Of course it didn't, leaving Justin and Peer tied for the third, so we took another run. This time Tyler messed up and took third, tying him in first with Neehan. Falling back on qualifying times for final placement.

The fairing gravity bikes were the last race of the day. The race was spiced up by an enterprising standup rider.

Fairing Gravity Bikes:

McIntyre, Rodriguez, Waterhouse

Inline:

Merkert, Focke, Lambert

Buttboard:

Wendtland, Riley, Tolman

Junior Gravity Bike:

Collins

 

Women's Gravity Bike:

McIntyre, Williams

Stock Gravity Bike:

McIntyre, Williams, McIntyre

Street Luge:

Rogers, Tolman, McIntyre

Standup:

Sakamoto, Edstrand, Dekeyser

Most of the racers lived in the area, and after the awards ceremony, quickly packed up and headed out. I had a late plane to catch.

Despite several people taken to the hospital I don't think there were any serious injuries. Tyler blew threw the hay bales and collided with the hay bale laying against the stop sign. He may have had a concussion.