US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS PRACTICE

So after hanging in Boulder and Keystone, I found myself in Sol Vista for National Champs. I like Sol Vista. I mean the park doesn't have a whole lot of elevation, the air is thin and it is hot and dusty as hell but trail builders at Sol Vista have a lot of heart and really put in some serious effort in what they build. They are also very progressive in their building and build in a way which helps the sport progress. Last year they built 3 huge jumps on the course that wayyy too many of the pros were having a hissy fit over. I mean they scared the shit out of me but I think that they were needed for the sport...if we want to grow we have to step it up and be a little bit scared. That race last year redefined my thoughts of big jumps...I like them now and I actually feel pretty comfortable on them. Pretty rad!

Anyway, this year is no different. While the jumps are not quite as big they are much more technical. For the most part the course is pretty straightforward....its super loose and rocky with little doubles here and there...fun!! I think the hardest part of the course is carrying speed in all of the loose stuff...its so easy to get bogged down or blow out corners. About halfway down the course there is a pretty big drop which is supposedly 12 feet into an immediate step-down into a double/triple into a pretty big hip then into another double/triple then you are out in the open for a bit before you hit a 35-40 ft double in the trees....and then you have a bit more out in the open...and then you are done!

So yah, its pretty Β cool. I opted to sit out the first day of practice to give the stitches in my knee an extra day. I didn't really feel like I was missing much....I really wanted to ride but I just walked the course and conserved energy....tried to be sensible! ha. Fridays practice was so fun...struggled a bit carrying consistent speed but it was so good to get out of my element. We only had 45 minutes of practice this morning but I felt wayyyy better...good to have a night to digest the dust. ha.

All the Specialized people are here because of the dealer event so thats pretty rad. I am staying in a super rad house...gotta love the Specialized All-Ride crew....always a good time :)

I am going to go watch 4x in a bit here. R\ace is tomorrow so I will keep you posted.

Katie Holden