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CES #1 2018 | Toro Park Enduro

This last weekend was a blast at the first CES of the year! Not only was it race weekend, but it was my birthday weekend so my parents, sister, brother inlaw and nephew were all in town which added to the fun.

Leading up to the race the dirt was super dry and loose every time we would practice, but day of…..it was so good! We woke up and realized it had rained the night before and it was still super foggy and doing the fog rain thing it does here so the dirt was on point. We got to the venue nice and early so we could get a good parking spot on the grass, we were 3rd in line behind the CES crew, so we got a super star spot to set up camp.

The pros/experts got to start on the DH courses first, so with my jacket on we headed over to the first stage Barlow. For this being my local course, the DH courses I know the least because they aren’t open trails except for during the race. My goal on these stages was to minimize mistakes and stay up right because the corners are LOOSE! I made it down the first DH Stage with little mistakes, but felt a little slow on the loose turns. I was stoked that the pro men put in some nice lines for us. Next we headed up to the 2nd stage, which was Bessie DH #2, this one is one of my favorites because it’s fast and flowy! Again, made it down without any mistakes.

Photo Credit: Kasey Carames

Next we headed over to the other side of the mountain. These next 3 stages were my favorite even though they have a lot of pedaling! We started with Meyers loop first, I felt really good on this stage. I nailed all of my lines and rode super smooth.

Photo Credit: Kasey Carames

Next we pedaled up to Rail Trail, which is another favorite of mine. We had quite a line to wait in at this stage and as it got closer for us to go we thought we heard some cow sounds. I thought, no it must be people watching at the corner with some cow horns or something….little did I know I was COMPLETELY WRONG!! As you may or not know, I am terrified of cows. Stupid, but totally true! They are so big and as my favorite National Geographic Explorer Mireya Mayor loves to remind me, more people are killed by cows in the US than sharks world wide!!! So it was my turn to go and I get a few seconds off the start and around the corner is a group of HUGE COWS!!! I see a baby cow on the trail on the left side and the mother presumably on the right side, I slowed down not knowing where to go because I was basically going to have to go in between them….I heard some guys yell, “Go, Bri, just pedal through!”. So I thought shit, here I go…so I started pedaling super hard to try to avoid the mom and as I pedaled at her, she started charging me! I was screaming bloody murder and had to go off the trail almost into a tree to miss getting trampled by her. Needless to say, I ALMOST DIED!!!! I had to tell my self to focus and get my shit back together to finish the stage. I did, but it wasn’t easy!! I didn’t care that the cow chased me and cost me time, I was just SO HAPPY to be alive!! LOL I’m pretty sure everyone at the finish line was laughing at me because I was so worked up from it!! I hope that NEVER happens again on a race stage!!

Photo Credit: Kasey Carames

The last stage of the day was Pipeline, and I knew it was going to be tough for a couple of reasons. 1, because it’s a long stage with a lot of places to make mistakes and 2, because we had a long day of climbing. Pipeline is a very narrow single track with a drop on one side and an up hill on the other, so there is no room for error! I was also a little nervous because I had a stupid crash the weekend before on it and that’s never fun remembering the crash! (See my instagram @brilikesbikes for the video of the crash) I knew all I had to do on this stage was keep it up right, slow was going to be the new fast on this one. I started out pedaling super hard and got into my flow, as I came around the turns I started to see all of the skid marks off the trail so I kept telling myself to take it easy and look ahead. I came around the first blind turn and half of the trail was gone from people missing the turn, I immediately slowed down so I didn’t go off of any of the corners. It wasn’t my fastest times on Pipeline, but it was for sure the safest. It was worth not crashing or making any mistakes!

I felt pretty good with the day, I did what I thought was good enough for the podium. When the results came out I was stoked to land in 2nd place. Essence had a good lead, but the rest of us were really close on time. I was so happy that my family was there to celebrate with me, and my nephew Sterling was so excited to be around all of the bikes! Brian ended up kicking ass and won his class and had a pretty good time overall!!! Nothing is better than racing bikes with the love of your life along with friends and family!

Photo Credit: Mallory Smith

Huge shout out to my sponsors! I love my Canyon Strive so much, it’s such a great bike for a race like this with a ton of pedaling, but some good downhills where the suspension is needed. I feel like I can climb all day on this bike! My DNA Cycling jersey is on point this year, and my nephew looks good in it too!! California Enduro Series for having the best race community out there. Skratch Labs always keeps me fueled during the race, in fact, I handed my dad a bag of chews to give me at the end of the stage and when I asked him for them he said he ate them, DAD!!!! Smith Optics, KMC, G-Form, Grifall Family Chiro, Sweet Protection, Twin Six, thanks for all the support!

Photo Credit: Kasey Carames

Photo Credit: Heather Cooper

 

Photo Credit: Me!

 

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Shred down the Canyon….

Guys, I’m SOOOO Excited to announce that I’m partnering with Canyon Bikes!

As you know, Canyon is new to the USA and I’m so thrilled to be working with them to share how awesome their bikes are and get more people shredding on them!

For 2018 I’m going to be racing the Strive 8.0, this bike is INCREDIBLE!!!!! I have been doing some testing on this steed and I can’t wait to take it to the big kid playground!

For the suspension, I’m back on my favorite trusty Fox Factory Float DPX2 with 160 travel and a Fox Float 36 up front with 170 travel. Now here comes the BEST part, this bike has the Shapeshifter….this thing is a game changer. With a flick of the switch, I can have a super solid “XC” like climbing experience where the bike is in a more comfortable position. When I lock out the rear suspension with the Shapeshifter engaged, this bike doesn’t move at all, it’s like I’m climbing with my hard tail and it’s AWESOME!! Then when I get to the down hill, I just switch the shapeshifter off and I am in full downhill mode and it’s so cush!

I can’t wait to race this beast, I’m still working on a name for her, so stay tuned!

My nephew is so excited for me!!

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Thank you Marin!

To my Marin Family – a heartfelt thank you for the last 3 years of fun! It has been a truly incredible experience to be a part of your team and a journey that I will not soon forget. I can’t thank you enough for all of the generous support you provided – and staying committed to me during the good times and tough ones too.

From the first time I got on the Attack Trail in Santa Cruz, I knew that bike was something special. It helped improve my confidence knowing that as long as I was in the right position, the bike would get me down just about anything! In addition to helping me grow as a rider, it took me to many podiums in several states and lots of unforgettable adventures. As we turn the page going forward, I will always value the friendships made along the way.

Thank you so much for the support!

Cheers to new adventures!

Raaawr,

Bri

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CES #7 – Kamikaze Bike Games

This last weekend was the Kamikaze Bike Games at Mammoth Mountain for the California Enduro Series second to last round.

I was excited for this race for a few reasons. First it’s my FAVORITE mountain to ride, the dirt is loose kitty litter and it’s SO much fun! Second, my family comes to this race every year so it’s like a mini family vacay and third, I get to race my attack trail!! 🙂

This trip we had my mom, my superstar dad, Brian, DudeDogDillon and Jeff Evans in the condo with us. My mom laughed at how many supplements and healthy concoctions us health nuts had in the condo.

Thursday we got up to pre ride nice and early and Brian and I had a plan to get in as many runs as we could. I also knew that I had to tackle the fast line on the…dun, dun, dun…”HEART OF DARKNESS” which is on Bullet. I watched a couple of my friends do it when we were up practicing a couple weeks before and knew it was next on my list. We warmed up on flow trail and DC10, which is my favorite trail out there and a new stage for this year. We also did a couple of runs on the Kamikaze, shock treatment run which is another super fun trail.

I knew it was time to hit the Heart of Darkness, Brian did a good job of prepping me and having me practice leaning back and looking ahead. So I decided I felt more comfortable following him into to it vs. stopping and looking, so I followed him and I screamed as I made it down the first drop and out of the other rocks in the heart of darkness!! I was so proud of myself! Conquering my fears is something that feels so good! Brian asked me if I wanted to walk back up and do it again, I said NO! HA! The reason it’s so tricky is because you do the first drop in but then you have to avoid a bunch of rocks and trees when you get in there. The picture below really doesn’t give it any justice! Believe me, there are a lot of crashes and injuries in the darkness there!

The Heart of Darkness – The photo doesn’t do it justice! lol

We went up and did the run again from the top, this time when I went into the heart of darkness, I had a little too much speed, I made the first drop, but I got out of control in the middle of the darkness and I thought I was going to ride it out until…I didn’t. I crashed super hard and landed ass-cheek to rock and I just laid there attached to the bike. I made sure to yell that I was ok, but Brian was already running up to me. I just had to lay there for a few minutes as my booty was sore AF!!! I was super frustrated as I had just made it the run before. I decided it was better to run a slow line fast, than a fast line slow (or crashing) so I had Brian walk my bike up so I could ride the other line that I know well. He watched me go through and told me I rode that faster than the other line I was so determined to do….well shit!

I didn’t want to stop riding, so we did a couple more runs for the day before we called it good. I went to the upper rock garden on DC 10 and was super bummed to see that they taped off the line that us girls found a couple weeks before so I decided to tackle that another day since I wasn’t feeling tip top from the crash. Brian and I did about 8 laps while my dad and Dillon rode all day! My dad just loves riding lifts with us, I guess he is one of us now. We almost talked him into racing…but not this time.

Scoping out lines with the boy!

Friday I decided to hit the mountain with my awesome friend Alexandra for a girls only day. We did a few warm up laps on the Kamikaze run before we hit the DC 10 rock garden, we were going to tackle this today! I was really sore from my crash, but luckily Alexandra is a soon to be Chiro, so she kindly worked on my every day (and everyone else too!). At this point my back didn’t hurt too bad, it was mostly super sore and tight. So we went over to the DC10 rock garden and decided to look at it first. We saw Anneke Beerten checking it out, she took the new line that I saw too, so Alexandra and I followed. We decided to do the run again to put it in our memories. Then I took Alexandra over to Bullet to show her my line through the Heart of Darkness since she had an issue on the line I did as well. So we nailed the practice run and I decided to call it good so I could ice my back.

We went to go to the rider’s meeting and ran into Micayla Gatto who we chatted with and ended up inviting her over to the condo for dinner. The boys and girls were so excited, we had to play her, “Ferda Girls” video so my parents could see it. It was pretty funny she was singing it in person while we watched. Needless to say we had a lot of people over for dinner in the condo that night. I asked Ninja Brian to bring his massager to the condo for me, but somehow, Micayla was the one getting a massage not me!! HA!

Ninja Brian’s special massage tool got some love!

I decided to take off Saturday because my back was getting worse, I was taking any herbs and spices that the boys would give me for my back, turmeric, these special indian leaves, quit your bitchin stick and many more. I would also go from the ice cold pool to the hot tub back and forth over and over. I was pretty worried about race day because I couldn’t bend over and could barely squat. We realized we hadn’t seen my dad in hours so we called to make sure he was ok, he answered and said he was just having so much fun on the mountain! I guess we have a park rat on our hands!

Thanks to Brian my attack trail was super dialed and now had my “Ferda Girls” sticker on her. She was ready to race!

Race day came and I was feeling off, I was nervous because I like to do well here, but I was bummed because my back was hurting. I knew that climbing was going to be a challenge since I hadn’t pedaled at all since Thursday, I was just taking the lifts.

We started the day off with DC10 as our first stage, I knew I had to pedal as much as possible in the beginning of the stage, because the rest was just going downhill on the single track. I felt good, I nailed the first rock garden and just reminded myself to keep it upright in some of the deep, loose corners. I made it down with out crashing and I was smiling ear to ear! The next stage was my second favorite stage, so I headed up to stage 2.

Stage 2 is the Kamikaze to Shock Treatment stage which has a TON of pedaling! I was hoping my lady hips would help me keep my momentum up on the fast fire road and I could get some time on the ladies. I knew I just needed to keep it upright on shock treatment as you can get buck wild in some of the turns and it is easy to get out of control. I came around a turn in a blind corner right into a steep rock chute and there was a huge boulder in the middle of the line I take, it scared the crap out of me because I came into that turn super hot. I managed to make it through and pedaled my buns out. When I was on Whitebark I could see Zephyr ahead with Lauren right in front of her. I kept pedaling and tried to go as smooth as possible through Richter because I had some fast straight lines through the middle of the trail. I got to the last wood berm to the finish and was so close to the girls, I almost caught them. I was really happy with my finish on that stage. I couldn’t breath, I pushed so hard to try and catch them!

Photo by Called to Creation

Next we took the lift up to the stage 3, which is Flow. Tasha was lined up in front of me and she told me to let her know if I needed to pass, I told her I wasn’t going to need to pass her. We are very closely matched when it comes to racing this type of terrain, she rocks the DH sections and I have a little more in the pedal sections than she does. So since the segments are pretty half and half, we end up battling it out, but in a good way! She is a total badass and one of the nicest people you will ever meet, so we have a blast together! I pedaled off the start across Brake through again, it seemed so much slower than the first time! I then made my way across to the fast rocky downhill section and I saw Tasha, she couldn’t keep the bike upright at the bottom, so I made a note to myself to slowdown so I didn’t make the same mistake. As I kept pedaling down the hill I could see her dust, so I kept pedaling down Smooth Operator hitting all the lines I practiced. As I went off the last step up, I could see Tasha right ahead of me so I went to put in a hard effort standing up and I almost ate shit! I could hear everyone say, “whoa” but thankfully I made it to the finish where I just fell off the bike to the ground because I couldn’t breath again!! I was done! Thanks to Micayla, she was running Pinkbike’s instagram and got the whole thing on video. LOL

Photo by Called to Creation

Photo Credit Maddie Giger

Thanks Micalya! LOL

We had to pedal from Canyon Lodge to the Main Lodge for this next segment, I had to stop a few times and stretch out my back because it was super tight. I got to lift and this time we headed back up to the top of the mountain for the longest stage of the day. Again, Tasha lined up in front of me and told me to holler if she was in my way. So we started and the fun thing about this stage is that you can see way ahead on the segment so I just kept pedaling ahead looking for miss Tasha! When we hit the cross over trail Lincoln Express, I was dying, I felt so slow through all the corners before and was tired of pedaling, lol, but then I saw Tasha just a corner ahead. I thought, oh shit…I either need to get in front of her a good distance before we hit the downhill or I’m screwed, I knew If I didn’t have enough time she would fly through the technical section on Follow me because she knows it well and I would have to try and get out of her way. So I just kept pedaling, I was getting closer and was right on her wheel as we dropped into follow me, I hollered at her so she could hear me hoping that she would pin it, which she did but not because she heard me but because she knows the trail well. 🙂 I stayed pretty close to her until I got buck wild and was heading straight into a tree, I had to skid to a stop and get positioned back on the trail. We both finished laughing and happy again!

Photo by Maddie Giger

Her and I kept battling it out stage after stage, I was ahead by a few seconds after the first stage, then after stage two she was ahead, after three and 4 I was only ahead by 5 seconds. The last stage is Bullet and I was like, ah shit Tasha…Bullet is your favorite stage, I’m screwed!! LOL

So we took a little break before we went up to the last stage and we headed up. When we got to the top I saw there were some pro men up there, so I told her I was just going to go before they went because I wanted to be done with the day as I was super sore. So I went, and I nailed all of the sections I had practiced and I felt good all the way down the hill, I got to the bottom and was excited to see my parents waiting for me! It was a bit before Tasha came down, I was like where the heck is she….well she broke her crank and pedal off in the Heart of Darkness (I don’t just make up these scary names, there are reasons for them!!) and she rode the rest of the stage on one pedal!! She is my hero!! She is such a badass, she rode the elevator shaft down with one pedal! I would have died!!

Photo by Maddie Giger

I ended up beating her, but not without a battle!! I finished 6th for the day, I was stoked. I made it through without any crashes and was just off the podium. Overall it was a great weekend, lots of bikes, friends, food and fun!! I’m already excited for next year at Mammoth!

Huge shout out to Matt Guntert for all the local hookups for the weekend! Not only did he take us around the mountain, he hooked up my dad with a full face helmet for his week of fun! Also, shout out to Megan and Steve for all of their hard work putting together this series!

Thanks to all my awesome sponsors for their support this season! Marin Bikes, Westridge Chevron, DNA Cycling, Skratch Labs, Sweet Protection, Smith Optics, Gform, Glace Cryotherapy, Grifall Family Chiropractic.