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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well we finished our big local race of the year here in Chicago, the Palos Hills Meltdown. My son, 7, raced the beginner's course, 2 laps of a 3 mile course, with my wife following him and I did the sport category. There was no real childrens category and the kids raced with the adults, but his finish was great because on the last hill climb before the finish he passed an 8 year old and he already was ahead of a 9 and 12 year old. He finished 64 out of 68, the 68th rider DNF'd. He is on a Scott 20" AM bike and it weighs a ton, as soon as, or if the Alpine 440's go in sale this fall he's getting one of those for next year.

I placed 27th out of about 60, I think. There were some timing problems, but I'm happy I finished and on the 2nd lap I actually passed quite a few riders. The sport race was 16 miles, 2 laps of an 8-mile course. It is a good XC course and is the one being looked at as the Olympic XC course if Chicago gets the 2016 summer games.

The Asta performed flawlessly, and if it had a stronger rider could have done better. With the Zonos rims and Crossmark exceptions at 26psi front and 29psi rear tubeless I was able to pass a lot of people on any downhill, smooth or technical. The track is classified as technical singletrack and it is composed of various climbs, drops, and switchbacks over a dirt/clay base with a good amount of roots and rocks mixed in. There's one very fast descent on a trail littered with rocks that goes right into a 90° right then 90° left turn, all on 1.5" diameter rocks, then it leads to a 90° left up a 40° x 30' rocky hill climb. The Asta suspension wheels and tires did great over this stuff I was able ride smoothly over it. It'll be interesting to see what the Cook County Park District does if the Olympics get put there because the forest thickly lines either side of 90% of the singletrack course and there are no good viewing areas for viewing, unless you're a deer, coyote or fox. Now here are some of the pictures of us and the course.

Here's my son finishing the race with mom in tow.
Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel Helmet Bicycle helmet


Side view of me on the Asta at the beginning of the race. That's the side shot I've been trying to find time to take, so I could see my positioning on the bike. Correct me if I'm wrong but that bike almost looks to small for me, I'm 5'7" on a 16"?
Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel Bicycle tire Bicycle frame


The next 2 are at the end of the race with the brutal climb to the finish.
Bicycle frame Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle helmet Bicycle handlebar Helmet

Bicycle frame Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle wheel Bicycle handlebar


I haven't found any shots of myself in the singletrack so here are some expert race photos I found online. The first 2 are in one of the areas know as The 3 Ravines, it's a series of 3 ravines that each drop about 25'. You need to hit each one with enough speed to get you up and out the other side of it.
Tire Bicycle wheel Wheel Bicycle frame Mountain bike

Clothing Tire Wheel Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel


This last picture is an off-camber turn they added on the grassy hill section. If you were going to fast, didn't look through the turn or your tires didn't grab then you were going down here. I actually passed a few guys on this section the crossmarks with the lower air pressure grabbed great.
Clothing Wheel Nature Bicycle frame Bicycle jersey
 

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good work dude- i live up near Gurnee, and i went down to Palos a couple of weeks back- i know those three ravines, on the last one i snapped the chain on my i-drive!!!

hope to meet up down there at some point before the weather turns too cold.
 

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That rocks I want to race so bad but I'm nowhere near in shape yet I'd be that dude that would cross the finish line after everyone had gone home!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here are some more pic's I found posted online from the race.

This one is of the little guy going down about a 20° decline, it looks like he's really concentrating to find and hold the right line.
Clothing Footwear Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel


These pictures of me #269 on the 2nd lap of the race with about 1.5 miles to go. They are on about 1/2 mile climb up a trail called "gravity cavity". For this trail the name pretty much says it all. I really, really, really do prefer to go down this trail rather than up it.
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