Wow, that was a lot of rain. I mean, A LOT! It had been raining for several days, almost continuously, and never stopped for more than about an hour total on Friday and Saturday. I’ve never seen that amount of water in the creek at the TTC. It was turning into a river. I had to change three sections because of the rising water. It also made setting the sections a new challenge for me because so many of the rocks and logs were too slippery. It’s hard to imagine it being difficult to set sections at the TTC with all of those great rocks but when so many of them are slippery, it really changes the place.
Even with the rain, we had an excellent turnout with 22 competitors. The Beginner class turned out a bit small because I decided to offer a Youth class (14 or under). The Youth class rode the exact same line as Beginner but I felt like they needed a separate class so the kids didn’t feel intimidated by the adults and the adults wouldn’t be embarrassed getting beat by kids (heh, heh, note the scores).
I also changed up how I set the Sport and Expert lines. Usually, most sections are combined Beginner/Sport and Expert/Pro with splits for each. In response to the online discussion about the big jump in skill from Sport to Expert, I made one of the medium-hard Sport lines into an Expert line as well and made the easiest Expert line into a Sport line as well. This gave the Sport riders a chance to experience riding an Expert section. Based on the scores, especially considering the rain, I think it worked pretty well.
Again due to the rain, I ended up only setting five sections for Expert and Pro instead of my usual six. I worried that the sections would be too slippery, muddy and, well, just really hard but these guys really stepped up. I did have to make a couple of changes to the sections because of the rising creek and changing grip but they were still some tough sections. You might see some strato dabbing in the pictures and video but that was more due to the wet than rider abilities. If these sections had been dry, I’m sure the scores would have been single digits across the board. Then again, I probably would have set harder sections.
I really have to thank everyone involved for sticking it out in the terrible conditions. But, special thanks go to all those who helped me: Tim Cash, Lance Kleffman, Tom McNeal, Chris Studi, Nigel Kohring, Jimmy Kuneman and, above all, my parents. Finally, thank you to everyone at the Trials Training Center for continuing to support bicycle trials.
|1st||Christian Annichenni||25||4 cleans|
|2nd||Noah Annichenni||25||3 cleans|