Why I Am Pre-Riding Race #4: Casper’s Wilderness Park


Pre-riding pretty much guarantees you’re gonna go faster.  But, you have to have a strategy.

I won Super-D Nationals at Mammoth in 2004 & 2005 (age group, not pro).  Both years I went to Mammoth multiple weekends before the big race and pre-rode the course.

Some runs were very slow, looking at every corner and line.

Other runs were full gas, to see how things looked at speed and to adjust my bike set up… I used the same black Turner 5-Spot each year – wish I’d kept that bike.

2005 shot down the top of the world-famous Kamikaze course… we hit 45 miles an hour.

It was so fast.

Our second and final weekend of pre-riding I tested out the goofiest set up ever:  skin suit, no protective pads, road time trial helmet and my motocross goggles… what a dork!

You should have see the looks John Tomac and Greg Herbold gave me on the bus to the lifts.  Hahaha… all fun and games, I couldn’t resist blowing by those guys pre-riding the Kamikaze section.  Whoops.

On race day, I came into a steep wood ramp with way too much speed and went over the bars.  I lay stunned in a giant dust ball.  I almost quit, but I came to my senses, realizing I’d been hauling @$$ and passing a lot of guys (it was a time trial format).  It took me a bit to get up to speed, I’d gone down really hard.

Crossing the line, I had no idea how I’d done.  Breathless,  I could only wait.  My brother-in-law Mike had come down and my buddy Bryson had raced.  I was pissed about the crash.

Finally an announcement.  Todd Brown wins by 7 seconds.

To win by 7 seconds in a race that took 25 minutes is nuts, but it confirms that pre-riding can make the difference.

…back to this weekend…

The day before a big race, I like to get on the course and hit it hard in sections.

Whether I’ve seen the course previously or not, I’m gonna open up my legs.  Doing 5-10 minutes several times in a Zone 4 effort works best for me.  I’ll rest in the days coming into it, but I’ll always do some good, hard efforts the day before – on or off the course.

Join me Friday if you want… I’ll be at Casper’s at 7:00 am, at The Old Corral Picnic Area

If you want to sign up.