After a long winter of training, fitness testing, school, and of course riding, this past weekend was my first race of the season. On Wednesday night I left my home town of Squamish for Vancouver to stay with my friends Alex and Jeff Currie who I was going to the race with. I stayed the night at their place and got ready to head out early in the morning to pick up another buddy and then head down to Spokane for the “Double Down Hoe Down” at Beacon Hill. We left at about 10 in the morning then started the drive arriving at our motel around 8. Friday was the first practice day and after a couple laps I was starting to get the feel of the course, just to figure out I which sections of track were for Saturday’s and then Sunday’s races.
After a lap or so I was good with that and was starting to go fast - The course was sweet! I got a couple laps in on the Sunday course too so I could know what was coming when I was going to start practicing it after the race Saturday. We got up at a good time on Saturday morning so we could get a couple practice laps in before the race, I was feeling good on track and felt confident I could do well if I had a clean run. I got to the top just in time for my race run, so I had no time to wait around and was on track within 2 minutes of being in line. I had a good, clean race run and i was pretty happy with it so then all there was to do was wait for the results. I ended up getting 3rd place and was 0.58 seconds back from 1st, my time put me 12th in pro just behind my friend Alex. After awards we hiked back up to the top of the hill to get a couple practice laps in for Sundays course and get comfortable with the big drop, which by the way, the Legend/Dorado combo dominated. I was feeling good. Check out the pic!
On Sunday we got up nice and early to pack up all our stuff at the motel and get over to the venue. I did a couple laps in the morning and was feeling good again it was a sweet course- it had some jumps, a gnarly bit, a big drop and some pedaling. We waited at the top of the hill that day so we didn't almost miss our starts again. I got down the track with another clean run and I was fairly happy with it with only one spot I felt I could have gained any major time. I ended up in 3rd again this time about 3 seconds back from first. After awards it was time to drive home. It was good having 2 clean runs with good results to start the season since I only had 3 clean races all last season. We left at around 4 and had a stop for dinner, but the roads and weather weren't to great for a big section of the drive so it took even longer then we expected. By the time we got back to Alex and Jeff's and unpacked the truck it was about 2:30am so we all just passed out right away. It was a great weekend and the first time I had gone to the states for a race.
The Legend handled great on the course- pedaling, jumps, corners and the more gnarly bits, (Even the drop to flat!) I'm stoked to be getting my 2011 Chrome Legend soon with the rest of the Team but for now my race-tested beast is still shredding hard. It's great to see all the hard work over winter has payed off. See you at the Races!
-Kip Shortreed, Team Banshee/Trident Racing 2011