This has to be the umteenth time we've raced in Bonelli Park over the past decade; maybe the only race I've attended more is Sea Otter Classic. I've won here, I've lost here, we've raced it hot, cold, rainy, and dusty, and one time Mitch Hoke contracted pneumonia. Thank god there aren't many places like it, but its one that still holds a special place for me. I love to hate it, but the season wouldn't be the same without it. 

Photo: Joe Lawwill

Photo: Joe Lawwill

It turns out 70 and sunny can feel pretty hot coming from the PNW jungle, where our 'normal' lately has been 45 and raining. And there just ain't much that can give you that long stare like a day turning your insides into Hamburger Helper. There was some spunk and spark for the first half of the race, I'm no Mr. March this year, but I think things were going the right direction; the diesel was heating up. Mid-way through I hit the boiling point though and the lights went out pretty quickly. 

Photo: Jonny Muller

Photo: Jonny Muller

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I'm not actually sure where I finished the day off, I really don't care that much to be honest. It wasn't a forgettable day, I had fun out there, the racing was great! But when I can't find that suffer muscle its hard to chock the day up as a success, whether I'm 2nd or 50th. Thats what I'm after out there. I'm struggling to find motivation on courses like this these days too. Maybe I need some novelty (which I'm seeking this year for sure); maybe I've just spent too many days in the San Dimas Extended Stay, and I've developed a Pavlovian response to that stimulus. Not sure, probably a bit of both.

I've had a hell of a lot of fun with Guthrie and Payso this weekend. These guys are gems. Its been weird not having Daimo around; for the past 5 years, I've gotten to listen to his terrible music and bad jokes, and damn I miss that. But this season is a new step for me, and getting back to my roots, tripping with a couple good buddies has made for a hell of a fun weekend, it helps to keep everything in perspective. 

Home tonight, its time to finish building up my new SAM enduro bike and a new Focus hardtail too.  Hopefully get some skiing in before Sea Donkey next week!

photo: PB Creative

photo: PB Creative