With all of the racing the past couple of weeks, my motivation to drive across the state to do Pando was pretty low. I traveled down to Ohio the day before for an Antique tractor pull to spend some time with my Dad and Brother and for a couple of hooks of the sled. Antique tractor pulling is a different kind of fun as being on a 6000+ lb, 7” stroke, 300 cu in 2-cylinder tractor with the front wheels in the air and the engine lugging down to the point you can hear each cylinder fire is very cool… even if there is a 3mph speed limit!! Anyway… back to the mountain bike racing. I was pretty burnt out and wasn't looking forward to more driving, but knew that I only need to finish behind Mike to win the series. Rick Williams offered to car pool over to Pando and I accepted. Due to our schedules, we decided to get up at the crack of dawn and drive over the morning of. I was a little nervous as I have never ridden Pando and wasn’t excited about having my first race lap be my pre-ride. Lucky for me there was a large window between the Expert/Elite race and the Sport race, so I went out on course for my warm up and completed a lap. For those that haven’t experienced Pando, the race starts out riding up a ski hill. My original plan was to just sit on Mike’s wheel and see how the race played out, but when I looked back at the top of the hill I had a 5 bike lead, so I put the hammer down. Plan B was to get as far ahead as possible so that the rest of the guys can’t see me. By doing this I won’t be their carrot to chase. The plan worked well and I maintained a "steady hard" (A Robert Herriman Term) pace and just tried not to do anything stupid. Another motivation at this race was to pass my buddy Rick Doornbos who races in the 19-29 Sport class. He has been beating me up at the last couple of CX races, but I had a feeling that Pando was my kind of course. As I approached, he heard my free hub and looked back with a smile and a greeting. I debated riding his wheel but decided to push on. One thing I enjoyed about Pando was the group of people on the hill near the finish that would cheer every time someone came through for a lap, which motivated me to kick it up a notch as I climbed the hill. Finishing up my final lap, I sprinted up the hill to the finish shoot for the class win and the second fastest sport time. This win locked up the 1st place points in the Sport 35-39 class in the MMBA. It has been an amazing year for me.