Unadilla, what a blast! I honestly don’t think I have smiled that much in a long time. If you have followed me for really any amount of time, you know my situation, so I will keep it short. For the last two years, I have been suspended from racing in the states, and for about a year and a half of those two years, I never thought I would get to race down there again, or anywhere other than Canada, just because of how the process was going. So, when I got to go out and line up, it was an unbelievable feeling.
Even though the actual riding part of the day wasn’t the greatest, I was still able to find it enjoyable. The first practice seemed to go well. I was sitting okay in qualifying and knew there were plenty of spots where I could go faster. Well, in the second practice I went 5 seconds faster…but ended up getting the last spot of qualifying. Well, that was stressful, but I knew there was plenty of more in me. A terrible start in the first moto didn’t make it easy, but I spent the entire moto moving forward and feeling good – I ended up 22nd. For the second moto, I finally got a good jump and a good start. For the first few laps I was riding really well, until about halfway when I started to feel like a complete idiot and didn’t know why I suddenly started struggling so badly. Well, it turns out I broke my shock, so bringing home a 24th isn’t the end of the world but I expect way more of myself. Lots to look forward to heading into Walton and Ironman.
This week I have been taking it a bit easy. With a few busy weeks it’s nice to take some time to recover a bit. Mountain biking is so great in my hometown and I get to spend a lot of time doing it. I mixed it in with a little bit of riding, so it’s been a good week. I promise I have been working on my starts. Hopefully it will finally pay off this weekend. I am excited to get to Walton and watch some of the top amateurs before we race.
I have always loved Walton. It’s a great race track, and I feel like Unadilla was great preparation for it. With long ruts mixed with some hard-packed, it has a little bit of everything. The atmosphere is always a little bit different. Last year was the first time I had ever wandered off and explored to see the amateur side, and it was so awesome to see all the families and friends making the week about more than just racing. I remember when I was going to the races with the whole family back in the day. Don’t take it for granted, because soon enough it will go away and you’ll miss it. I hope to see everyone this week. If you’re racing, best of luck. If not, be sure to cheer on your local guys; they appreciate it more than people know. See you at the races.