Holy shnikees! What a weekend! This was the full-up Father's Day Hall Pass and it was utilized in grand fashion with great buds, insane scenery and great racing/riding.
Tuba Brown, The WP and I hooked up the Winter Park Circuit Race this weekend. We hooked up with Bevans and lots of other good bros once there. The course and racing organization were both S-I-C-K!
Day one had me in charge of scooping up the boys here in Boulder in the grocery getter in the wee AM hours, loading up 4 bikes on top and trucking up to WP. We got there, reg'd and warmed up together by pre-riding a bit. $45 bucks race day....but if you saw the race org, courses and the scene and amenities you get afterwards, etc, the race entry fee was a non factor. Probably the best race and most use of technology to track riders I'd seen in a while! They had the results up by mid afternoon. Sick.
The race for us was three laps totaling about 23 miles. I did Expert Men 35+ and those guys did the pro/semi race. They sent us off in waves. As this was what I am considering my first real race this year, I had T in my head like Obi Wan to Luke saying "...just be sensible, don't go too hard in the beginning and have fun...".
The course was delicious as is ALL the riding in WP (now I know how it got the name: The Mountain Bike Capital of the World). The course started with a one time pass up a fire road climb leading into a flat fast double track and then into the single track where we stayed for the WHOLE race. I let some dudes pull me up that fire road and drafted them on the flat section and just put in an ever-so-tiny little attack to ensure I got in the woods first (I'm glad I pre-road this during warm up). Mission accomplished. I got into the trees first and I basically set my own tempo on the first major climb which I led, never in discomfort. I actually did not want to be there but just rode my own tempo and honestly I was thinking some dudes woudl want to pass but there was some sufferin' going on behind. Apparently it caused a 10 or 15 person selection so we started playing from within that group pretty much for the next 2 hours. The climb cantilevered up the mountain face, mini Alpe d'Huez style, until it crested and you begin a mad traversing speed section twisting through single track then bomber down hill for ages where every lap I would pass tons of dudes trying to gingerly get themselves down alive. Roadies...
I had a strong 1st half of the race faded just a bit racing totally within myself. Probably too relaxed! I was seriously saying to myself "should I push this?". I seriously did not want to blow my wad as I think the last cross country race I did was like 5 years ago! It's been all 'cross for the most part for like 10 years but I stopped doing MTB's around the time I had my first kid. I recovered well and then starting flying until I wrapped myself around a tree at almost full speed on lap 2. Dude, years of BMX and DS and it was an insanely rookie front wheel wash out that got the best of me. I got back on my horse after collecting myself shocked I did not crush my collar bone but it all stayed in tact! I got me some good bones (but huge blue green halo bruise on my whole shoulder). I finished up 10th on the day. 2 hours and change and 3000' of climbing between 8500 to 9500 feet. I consider this a good result of testing where I am at vis-a-vis za plan. It made me happy to know that all that suffering is helping.
The WB continued his assault here in the Rockies. 3rd place for him in an impressive sub 2 hours. He'll be strong this year racing with me in 35 Open 'cross. It'll be great to have a team mate. The most impressive thing in his class was Walt from Walt Works (a frame builder here) take 2nd on his single 29'er! Tim Faia-esque. There were a MAD amount of 29'ers there racing. it's really here folks. Tuba had a strong race until the single most bizarre mechanical I'd ever seen. A ring on his ti-cassette actually sheared off! (Picture below). He finished up with limited gears in an impressive time.
Day 2 was all about the flow. I was dying to ride my single speed so WB took Tuba and I on a traversing all single track ride that was just perfect. I was in awe. I mean, we were FINDING single track that was absolutely perfect. Unmarked, technical. Jumps. Log crossings and obstacles. Tuba and WB had to let me go first even on the 1 x 1 'cause I was bombing it....railing that stuff completely zone like and could not help myself with the shit eating grin frolics down that juicy hidden single track. It ended up being another big day in the saddle at about 3 hours, 3K of climbing but all on the 1 x 1 to get a nice huge work out in to start the week right. Insane single track up there.
Most fun of all was the chilling. WB has this totally awesome little cabin he bought years ago up near Winter Park. Perfect. We chucked horse shoes, worked on bikes, had a couple of beverages. Insane fun. Thanks WB.
No racing or riding pics, but some stuff at the cabin.