Monday, April 19, 2010

Project 365 - SoCal Lake Arrowhead Mt. Bike Race!

One unexpected, but welcomed, detail of the mountain bike races is the location... and the fact that 2 of the 4 races have to be weekend endeavors due to the distance the race is from Escondido. Last weekend we hopped in the car and drove up to the Lake Arrowhead Resort for some family bonding time and Chris' next mountain bike race. It was SOOOO BEAUTIFUL up there... clear... crisp... and yes, still piles of snow around. We had a lake view room with a balcony, we spent time in the spa, and walked to the Village for dinner at the Boathouse. At dinner, we were right on the lake, and watched as the sky filled with clouds... reflections bouncing off the water making each cloud look double in size... ducks swimming and looking for food before the impending storm... it was still... and it was gorgeous!
We have a family tradition (that my Mom started when I was a kid)... whenever we go out of town and stay in a hotel, we pack a snack basket... drinks, chips, and treats that we only get when we are on vacation. I figured that our Project 365 gallery would not be complete without a photo of this tradition, so here was the Lake Arrowhead basket (not pictured is the cooler... also with snacks for the kids AND adults!) ;-)
On Sunday, we arrived at the race "pit" area and set up our tent and BRAND NEW OGHS BANNER (THANK YOU, JD!) around 10AM. We were at 6,000 feet and in a large, unprotected dirt parking lot. The wind was HOWLING and the temperature kept dropping as the time went by. Jeff and Coach Turek did a final mechanical check of each of the bikes and our racers were off on their 3-lap... 16 mile race. I volunteered to take photos for the event and positioned myself on the last climb of the lap. You can see my photo gallery of the race here.
The course was BRUTAL and the quickly disintegrating conditions were making it even worse! Let's see... Luis crashed at the start of the first loop, bent his front wheel and had to be taken back to the pit. Chris crashed into a boulder and two trees and walked his bike to the end of the first lap. Greg finished two laps, but they closed the course early because of the weather and he didn't get to complete the race. By the time Greg got finished his 2nd lap, the temperature was around 40 degrees, the wind was a constant howl... it was just miserable. I just love the picture of Coach Turek bringing the extra food/drinks back to the pit... the wind and sand blowing so hard... augh! Within 12 hours of the race, the whole area was covered in snow!

Good news is that the last race of the season is up in Los Olivas... and it should be beautiful (in a warm sorta way!)  Make it a GREAT day!

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