This is my final piece of 4 posts in a tiny series, or stages. My recollection of last weekend’s trip to Lewiston for the Devils Slide Mountain Bike Race. This race has a long tradition. The Brown’s and I have been there from the beginning. The 2010 movie.
2006 : My first race since I had given racing up back in New England.
I finally got USA Cycling to downgrade me to expert so I could race. I was really overweight as far as strength to weigh ratio goes.
I went to Lewiston early on to pre-ride the course. I would meet up with some new friends I met through the Thursday Night Ride group.
When I got there I couldn’t find the course and it was raining hard. It had rained all the way down there and I didn’t even realize what a beautiful trip it was. I decided to camp out at the campground and put up my tent. I had Marcy with me at the time and she just figured we were on another car camping trip. When I went to put my sleeping bag and pillows in the tent I couldn’t find them. I had forgotten my sleeping bag … that was the last straw.
I packed everything up and headed home to Missoula. I started to feel bad that I told my friends that I would meet them so I stopped in at the place they made reservations to leave them a note. Something came over me and I decided to use a credit card and stay in the same motel. I just needed to dry out and get some sleep. I was a wreck.
My friends “The Browns” were excited when they arrived and I got caught up in their energy. The next day it was nice and the trails were drying. So I signed up and raced.
I suffered greatly upon my old K2 full suspension bike but I was hooked from that moment on … or re-hooked anyway.
2007 : The previous year we noted little cabins along the Snake River. Nancy looked into it and booked one for our 2007 journey.
Marcy and I arrived early once again but this time the weather was great. I put together my bike and wet riding. I noticed immediately my fitness had greatly improved. This was the first race for my new Leader mountain bike. A great season was at hand.
My friends arrived and we all stayed in the cabin. We loved it and have done it ever sense (well kind of). I think I got first for the expert group that year and the girls raced as well. I started my tradition of pushing hard to try and lap my friend Ross.
In 2007 we stopped in at a pizza shop in Kamiah ID, another tradition had started.
2008 : I was in serious shape and the entire spring lead up to the slide. We were all excited to be traveling via white van and we all went together instead of meeting up at the venue. I took my tent and stayed just beside the cabin.
The race went very well and I won expert again. the difference this year is that I kept up with the pros and was edged out by two of them and got 3rd overall.
Again we hit the Pizza Factory in Kamiah ID for our traditional post race feast
2009 : This is my world championship year so Ross and I traveled Saturday morning so that I could ride the slide for 6 hours. It was just the two of us and I rode the slide so much that day I had it nailed for the next day at the race. I went exploring under the bluffs along the snake river and found a great little trail. I took quite a bunch of photos documenting the weird rock formation.
The next day I raced in the smallest field ever and it seemed that the Slide was about to fade out. It was a good race and I won overall for the first time.
Again Ross and I hit the Pizza Factory for post race recovery.
2010 : Thankfully a lot of people showed up this year and I think the Devils Slide is here to stay.
This year was also great with the Brown family in strong attendance. Emily and Nancy were in cheering mode as Ross and I posted our best efforts at the slide to date. Ross getting second in his age category and I winning outright for the second year in a row.
The difference this time along was our early departure time so we could enjoy Saturday in great temperatures. We strolled around the campgrounds and really did the camping thing very well. Even had a fireside reading of a Tail of 2 Cities (homework for Emily).
The best year so far has kicked off what is promising to be a great summer.