One of the worst things you can do going into a big race is use unfamiliar equipment. It doesn't matter if it's a new bike or new shoes, when you are making split second decisions at top speed the smallest things can distract you. One distraction could make for a bad choice, the loss of a position or even a crash.
On Friday night at Sarasota BMX I used the local race as a way to test the equipment that I will be relying on at the SSA Sarasota Qualifiers.
Goal number one was to learn the lesson of the High Springs qualifier. My three rider crash resulted in a swollen knee and limited mobility. Days later on my honeymoon I was limping around the cruise ship. Unfortunately two of the ship's elevators were broken so I had to limp up and down the 9 floors.
To counter this effect I made sure to visit the gyms at both the resort and on the ship. By the time we got home I could walk the stairs again. The lesson was simple - I need to wear knee pads.
The problem before was that my knees pads didn't fit underneath my race pants. I tried it with my Fly F-16s and my Answer Rockstar pants, both were too tight. Luckily I just got some Corsa race pants. The owner of the company Stephen Gerardi told me that he had designed the pants so that there would be enough room for moderate sized knee pads.
During my race at Sarasota BMX I wore the knee pads with my full Corsa Racewear kit. Not only did they fit well but the pants comfortably held the pads in place during the entire night. With my equipment test complete and my knees better protected, I'm ready to dive back into the division battle.