CES #2 – Toro Park

This weekend was such a blast!! Not only was it my birthday weekend, but it was the second race of CES!

Brian and I had a couple of super rad friends Brian Astell and Essence Barton staying at the house with us, so we got to trade training and nutrition tips and good stories all weekend! We only wish we had more time to just hang out with them!

Race day arrived quickly on Saturday and was clouded over, which I was happy about since that’s what I typically train in. All of us ladies got ourselves all ready to go and headed up to the first stage for the day.


When we were at the top of stage 1 we realized there was no timer, so we had to wait for the timer to get there which took about 40 min! It was awful because we pedaled up and were warm and sweaty…. and then we had to just sit in the cold. It was not good for my legs! The first stage was a pedally one and I kept trying to push, but I couldn’t get my legs to go even though I was breathing super hard and my heart rate was pinned. I got to the bottom feeling a bit bummed about not going faster!

After that we headed up to stage 2, which is one of my favorite stages. It’s what we locals call Rail Trail because you pretty much rail the whole way down! Once we got to the top of this stage I knew that I had to pin it as fast as I could, so I made it down this stage without making any mistakes. When I finished, I was super excited to see my good friends Kelsey and Zach and Momma and Papa Linder at the bottom of this stage, they came out to support me and it meant the world to me! <3

As I was filling up my water and getting food we checked results and I was sitting in 3rd. I was just a few seconds off of Essence and almost tied with Janea. I knew that I needed to have nearly perfect runs on the next two stages to stay in that group.

I saw the 100% tent set up on the grass and headed over there to tell them about my gloves that I just bought that had already started coming apart. Jason was super nice and hooked me up with a BRAND NEW pair of gloves. THANKS Jason!!

Next I headed up to Stage 3. This stage was the more pedaly downhill of the two DH courses. I pinned it on the top fireroad section, but as soon as we hit the switchbacks I basically had a cone head. It’s like I forgot how to ride a bike!! On one of the switch backs there was a new line and I slowed down to take it, but then I was like….no, don’t take a line you didn’t practice…so I practically stopped to go around the other side that was the line I practiced! CONE HEAD!! I am the one that tells all of my kids, it’s faster to ride a slow line fast than a fast line slow. Ride what you practice!! DOH!! The mistakes continued on down the trail….I was super bummed when I got to the bottom. I knew I messed it up and that sucked!!

Photo by Zach Prater

I then knew I had to make no mistakes on 4 which was going to be difficult as this was the most blown out stage out there. We go after all of the beginners and sports do, so since this is the “technical” trail out there there are a lot of lines that go straight off the trail because the beginners don’t have as much control. So you have to try and stay out of their ruts as much as possible. I think I got myself a little worked up for this race since it’s my home course and I wanted to do well. I again just started making mistake after mistake on this stage and I almost flew off the trail because I got so out of control in the loose “poof dust”. I had to get back on course and make my way down to the finish. I didn’t have any crashes for the day, but I knew all of the mistakes I made cost me a lot. I was happy to have Kelsey, Zach and Momma Linder there waiting for me at the bottom!

Shot by Melody from Called to Creation

Overall it was a great day! I got to hang out with friends and ride my bike, which is always awesome!! I ended up 4th place just a second and a half behind Zephyr, with Essence and Janea on the top two steps.

Brian and I were sitting on the couch after the race talking and he was looking at a magazine, he handed the open page to me and it was the perfect quote for me at the time, “When you have good legs but don’t get the result you want, there’s disappointment. It’s okay though, It’s all part of cycling. Next week we go again!” – Alena Amialiusik, Pro Rider – Canyon/SRAM Racing

The ladies are riding fast this year and I am excited for the next race at Wild Wood!

Thanks to all of my sponsors, this wouldn’t be possible without them!


Love this girl!

Our crew for the weekend!


Girls Rock Race Curious Program

Last Saturday I worked with Girls Rock and California Enduro Series to put on the #racecurious course preview out at Toro Park for CES Round #2.

As most of you know it’s a passion of mine to mentor folks on bikes, especially ladies and young women! We need more of them in the sport that feel confident and empowered to know they understand what they need to if they decide to start racing.

We started out going over how an enduro race works, race etiquette (helping a hurt rider if they need it), nutrition (eat and drink Skratch!), bike check and most important, HAVING FUN!!!

The trails were loose and it was super hot! Us peninsula folks aren’t used to the heat!!!

Since the trails are so loose and will only get worse, I gave some recommendations for going through the switchbacks… look through the turn, lean the bike, strong arms and be confident on where you want to go!

Even though it was a long day, I think the ladies loved it!! I know I did! Nothing makes me happier than being on my bike and riding with rad ladies!!

Huge shout out to Skratch Labs for sending us goodies for the day. We needed the electrolites and recovery after the long hot day on the bike!! You can learn more about their awesome products here.


CES #1 Mammoth Bar Enduro

This past Saturday was the first California Enduro Series round at Mammoth Bar in Auburn, CA. Since Brian is focusing on Moto this year, my road trip buddy is, the one and only, Dillon Santos!!

We headed up Friday morning to meet Tom with  California Expeditions shuttle to check out the trails one last time before the race. We met up with Essence and some of our other friends to dial in our lines for the day and it was a warm one, so I was super thankful knowing that the weather was going to cool down for race day! I chose to race my Attack Trail aka The Purple People Eater, and was happy to have it for some of the rocky sections on the stages. Plus, it gets me right through some of the fast loose technical sections effortlessly!

Me, Brittany and Essence pre-riding!


Fellow Marin Team Rider, Brian Astell, was out there showing some folks the trails as well as teaching them some skills!

Race day started off nice and cool, thank goodness, since we had to climb out of Mammoth Bar to get to the first stage. We had to wait a bit before we could start the race as the CES team was trying to figure out some issues with the new timing system, so my legs got a little jelly and cold while waiting. When the pro men started, we were all watching at the first turn and we watched several of them take a wide line and they pretty much yard sailed down the hill. I knew it was going to be safer to go slow there and not do what they did. I pushed pretty hard on the first stage, which had a decent climb in it and I was pretty gassed when I got to the end.

Stage 2 (My stage 1)

We had a short transfer to the next stage so we got there pretty quick and again had to wait a little bit before we started. I felt bad for the timing crew knowing that they were running the new system and doing the best they could! This was probably the most pedally stage of the day and I thought that I knew the trail ok, but I ended up losing quite a bit of time trying to remember where the short climbs were and when I had to shift. I clipped a few pedals on rocks and couldn’t get clipped in…I hate when that happens!! You can tell from the pic below that I was totally gassed!! HAHA!!

Stage 3 (my stage 2)

Once we were done with the 2nd race stage we headed to the other side of the hill to hit my favorite trails. This next transfer was the longest that we had so I dropped it in a low gear and kept the heart rate down. About halfway up the climb there is a really cool view of a damn from the lake, Zach and I took a photo break . 🙂

This second to last stage was my favorite, it was a run down Culvert. With the help of Dillon, I dialed my lines in and felt the most confident on this stage. I ended up in a “Silent Cheering Corner” that was hysterical, I have never seen anyone do that before, I kept thinking it’s so quiet I can hear my bike!! Here’s a video of the corner that California Enduro Series took:

I ended up tied for 2nd place on the stage, so I was super stoked for my good run! Thanks to my cheering corner!

The last stage was on the famous Confluence trail, this was a long pedaly stage as well but the pedaling was down hill. I kept misjudging the section of the trail that I was in which is a problem that I find when you pre-ride a course just enough to where you think you know the trail but you don’t so you anticipate things in the wrong places.

Shot from Called to Creation!

Overall I was happy with the day, I stayed on the bike and didn’t crash. I ended up 7th for the day, I am going into this season a little bit slower than in years past so that I don’t have any issues with my health like I did last year. I’m stoked to keep building this season and I’m super excited for the next round which is at Toro Park, (my backyard) since I didn’t get to race it last year.

I will be working with California Enduro Series and Girls Rock to do a women’s pre-ride of the course on the 20th of May, come out and join me!!

Happy Pedaling!


Skratch Labs Giveaway

I’m excited to partner with @skratchlabs for this awesome giveaway! I want to share their incredible products with you, so here’s your chance to win!

Here’s what you will win:

How to enter:
1. Follow me, @brilikesbikes
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