Chrissie Pinney will repre- sent the United States in the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships later this month in New Zealand. Chrissie, a native of the Concord and Walnut Creek area, earned the selection after cap- turing the Junior Women 9s Mountain Bike Downhill Championship July 13-16 at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. The USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships event was designated as the stand-alone, American-only national championship for all levels.
It was originally sched- uled for Mammoth Mountain but moved to Infineon as result of record snowfall. The moun- tain bike downhill event falls under the National Off-Road Bicycling Association (NORBA) of USA Cycling. Turning 17 just a day before her Aug.
17 departure for New Zealand, Chrissie will be the lone U.S. representative in her Junior Women 9s Downhill class. Sixty riders fill out the U.S.
National Team roster, compet- ing in 15 events Aug. 22-27 in Rotorua, New Zealand. As a tune-up, she also com- mitted to national races in Utah and Colorado just prior to the World Championships.
At those venues, Chrissie raced in down- hill, dual slalom and mountain cross events. Chrissie races at the expert level (beyond cbeginner d and csport d), with technically enough results ... more. less.
under her belt to go pro 3 although that requires being over age 18. Downhill racing is simply & going down the mountain as fast as you can.<br><br> cThe course will have rock gardens, drop-offs and 8lots of ride 9 that can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, d she explains. A NEED FOR SPEED cI like going fast d is exactly what you 9d expect her to say of the races that may run upward of five pounding minutes on a typical course. This is high-ener- gy stuff that 9ll get your adrena- line pumping.<br><br> cThere 9s a trail on Mt. Diablo with a section called 8the freeway, 9 where local pros get their highest speed, d she disclos- es. cMy dad has been into bicy- cles all his life, d Chrissie recounts.<br><br> cHe asked me if I wanted to race BMX, but it was- n 9t too competitive 3 just for fun. I became serious with mountain-biking about two years ago. It 9s very addicting. d As for training, Chrissie says: cIt 9s good to do weight work, but I like to work more on skills.<br><br> Daily trail riding, work on my dirt jumping and rock garden work. Also, for conditioning, I 9ll get on a road bike, which isn 9t too fun. Very, very boring.<br><br> I ride a tandem with my dad sometimes. d Locally, she practices on Mt. Diablo. cBut usually I travel to do skill work with friends.<br><br> Pacifica or Carlmont in Belmont has trails to ride for a few hours, d she says. cI try to ride a couple of hours every day. There are some good places in Oakland, too. d Other local practice courses include Livermore, San Ramon and her favorite, Sand Hill in Brentwood.<br><br> cA lot of locals who run at Sand Hill win on the national level, d she reports. cI have really good friends who I ride most with. One is in Foster City and the other in Walnut Creek who compete at many of the same events.<br><br> We 9ll take BART to each other and our parents pick us up and take us to ride. d L EARNING THE LAY OF THE LAND Her father George, mother Della and little brother Josh (going into the first grade at Highlands Elementary) are her biggest fans when racing locally. Unfortunately, because of the high cost of the travel, none of her family will accompany Chrissie to New Zealand for the World Championships. cThere 9ll be a lot of practice days, d she says in preparation for the biggest race of her life.<br><br> cThe first day, I 9ll just walk the course and figure out which lines to take through everything and take lots of digital pictures. The next few days, I 9ll be prac- ticing the course and getting muscle memory. cI use clipless pedals to prac- tice where I 9ll 8clip out. 9 It 9s all about muscle memory & to have everything dialed for your race day.<br><br> It all comes down to preparation, d says Chrissie, who is also prepared with body armor and lots of protective gear. Chrissie used to cheerlead for the youth football Falcons. cThat was fun.<br><br> I miss cheerlead- ing a lot, d she recalls. cI played freshman basketball at Clayton Valley. I used to run in middle school but had a hip injury that keeps me from running. d Chrissie 9s race travel sched- ule was not conducive to daily school attendance, so she 9s shifted to independent study and will be graduating ahead of schedule.<br><br> She works at (surprise!) a full-line bike shop in Pleasant Hill and is cblessed when it comes to having a lot of bikes d cSuspension is very impor- tant for downhill, d she says. cYou can 9t run a 8rigid 9 on downhill. Geometry is impor- tant, so that it 9s comfortable and you can flow with it.<br><br> My dad does the mechanics. Heavy bikes can plow through things but are difficult for cornering. You also don 9t want bikes to be too light and squirrelly. d In a physically demanding sport, Chrissie admits to cscars everywhere d as csouvenirs. d cSurprisingly, I haven 9t bro- ken any bones.<br><br> You can take impact & but it 9s worth it. d 8J UST THE BEGINNING 9 Chrissie has big plans for her biking career. cOh, this is just the beginning, d she says. cMy dream is to go pro and be on Page B2 Clayton Pioneer " www.claytonpioneer.com August 18, 2006 Clayton Sports Clayton Fitness & Tanning 925-672-2010 672-2005 (fax) 1516 Kirker Pass Road (Located in the Clayton Station ) Hours: Mon.<br><br> - Fri. 5am - 10pm Sat. 7am - 5pm Sun.<br><br> 8am - 5pm F I T N E S S & T A N N I N G Frank Lagau, owner, C.P.T. Mike Quinata, C.P.T. 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Chrissie will be the lone US representative at the 2006 World Championships to be held August 22-27 in Rotorua, New Zealand.<br><br> C HRISSIE P INNEY , TAKING A BREATHER at a recent competition. See Pinney , page B3 Sports Editor Needed Beginning with the next issue, Pioneer Sports Editor, Bill Wagoner, will step aside. He will still contribute as a regular fea- ture writer, but with increasing demands from his insurance busi- ness, he finds that he must scale back his duties with the Pioneer.<br><br> So, we are looking for a new Sports Editor. This is a paid posi- tion requiring approximately 10-15 hours per issue (twice a month.) It requires writing one feature and one shorter story as well as organizing, compiling and editing the pieces sent in by our readers, which includes the Sports Shorts. The successful candidate will be thoroughly plugged in to the Clayton area sports scene, preferably be a Clayton resident and will have good writing skills.<br><br> A computer and a high comfort level with email and Word are necessary. If you are interested, send a cover letter with your qualifica- tions and a writing sample (a couple of paragraphs is fine) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put Sports Editor in the subject line.<br><br>