The Legendary Parkfield

By Luke Ramseth

We trekked to Parkfield, California for Cal Poly’s race, an easy 9.5 hrs. of drive time. Youch.

We rolled in at 1:00 a.m., and I promptly passed out in my tent for some quick zz’s only to get up at 6 to register for the XC.  Owww.

Winston and I took the start in A’s, and for some reason I felt damn good up the first super-steep climb, which turns into a running affair quickly. I sat in third for awhile, trying to keep my tires on the narrow, cow-pie strewn animal trails (the race is on a ranch). One of the unique aspects of Parkfield, other than being directly on the San Andreas Fault, is the XC is one big loop. I always prefer a big loop to doing tons of laps.

On the last 5 mile dirt road climb, I starting going backwards. A USC rider caught and passed me, and then another group caught me at the top. But, ahh, the rest was all descending, which I must admit I’ve gotten faster at. Dropped the crew of UC Davis roadies that caught me, passed USC who had a flat, and finished in fourth.

Cal Poly had a crackin’ pixie bike race that night, and as always, it was complete with folding-table jumps, and some broken teeth. Luckily Humboldt did not injure themselves, or so we thought. I woke up the next morning to hear Sean moaning, and asking me to inspect his face, “How bad does it look, man?”

Apparently, on the way back from the UCSC camp sans flashlight, he had ridden the pixie bike into a huge ravine. Popped some painkillers, and raced the Downhill later that day.

In the short track I placed third, my best result thus far. I just couldn’t beat Menso or Eric Lau. It was a kick watching big Mario’s determination coming through a gnarly sand pit section in the Men’s C. Kevin also had a strong showing, consistently using his NorCal High School racing chops to move up in the B’s.


About hsucycling

Ride for HSU.
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