I’d been dreading Barton just a little…ok, maybe a lot, ever since I saw it would be the last race of the my first Crusade series. Mention Barton and get a plethora of responses:
“Oh, the Maneater.” “I hate that course.” “I love that course.” “We called the ambulance 3 times last year.” “Wear a mouthpiece.” “I’m skipping that one.” “Good luck, you’ll need it.”
I’d heard the stories, seen the photos, and watched the videos of people descending that big ol’ hill, and crashing on the way down, at the bottom, and even up into the rock pit. As a newbie, I figured I’d be eating dirt along with many others, but was hoping to avoid being someone who’d need medical assistance. Thankfully I can say I made it through the final race of the series, and lived to tell about it.
I didn’t get to experience the course before this year, but knew that they had taken out The Hill that ate so many riders before and turned it the other way into a big, rocky run up. A different off-camber trick hill replaced it, and I couldn’t have been more proud than when I saw Martha, without a preride (as far as I know) cut across both lines and take it on a straight shot when she came down around the corner. I had a blast watching all the Pacific Pedaling riders and appreciating what a great series we had as a team! It was also fun to have David Rasca donning the big green P kit and ride with the crew!
Tyler had a great holeshot off the line in the Clydes race, and finished with a 5 finish to wrap up a nice series. Martha rode a strong ride, railing the off camber section. Pat and Ellen both did the single speed race, swapped out bikes and jumped into their A races, and James, coming off his rib injury, put his bike down again on the slick pavement corner, and got back on the beast to finish out his race.
In addition to a great day of riding for the team, the final race of the day was easily the best race all year. With Cameron holding a one point lead on the series, it was bound to be a good one. Standing at the top of the run up, just a few feet from the gasp heard round the world when Cameron hit the ground, I can assure you it was a thriller down to the wire.