By Andrew Gunn
July 31st was the USAC State Downhill Championship race at Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, Colorado. Racer Andy Gunn provided a first-hand account, complete with GoPro footage of his race experience.
In 2015, on July 5th, I competed in my first ever downhill race. I hit my foot on a rock, twice, and broke my big toe in two places. I missed the rest of the 2015 DH racing season as a result. Then on Oct 3rd, 2015, I crashed on a jump while riding downhill in Angel Fire New Mexico. I dislocated my ankle, broke three metatarsals, and broke both my tibia and fibula. After 2 surgeries and 9 months of recovery, I wasn’t sure I wanted to get back on my DH bike. During my recovery, my wife was my biggest champion, and she kept me positive and encouraged me to “get back on the bike.” Her support is what got me back on the bike. This last weekend, I competed in the Trestle Bike Park Monster Energy Downhill event. It was my first DH race since last July, and the first time that I really rode my bike at 100%. With only one day of training under my belt, I took to the course. It was full of toe bashing rocks, and leg breaking jumps. Full of the things that I had grown to fear. But I did it. I raced, I completed the run without injury, and I had fun. And most importantly, I conquered my fears. Through all of this, I’ve learned something important: Not all victories end on the podium.
Now please enjoy the GoPro footage of my race run! Oh, and make sure you strap your helmet on BEFORE you start your race so you don’t have to stop in the middle of the race like I did.