Crested Butte Race

I'm a little late getting this up, but it's been a busy week. The Crested Butte trip was a fun weekend. We stopped at the Angel of Shavano trail head on the drive out so Nick could ride another piece of the Colorado Trail. There was a bear of climb right out of the parking lot, but once we reached the top it was rolling single track the whole way. The view over Monarch pass and the mountain was worth the climb.

We decided to stay at the Gunnison KOA for the weekend instead of CB. There are really nice "Kamping Kabins" at the KOA and we know the area well. Things are also quite a bit cheaper in Gunnison then up in CB. Nick also wanted to ride at Hartman Rocks a few times while we were there. The KOA is the most convenient place to stay for that - they host the 24 Hours in the Sage race every year.

The weather was perfect every day - except race day. It was cold and wet race day, with clouds draped over the mountains. Rain looked very likely. Nick and I both opted to stuff jackets into our jersey pockets just in case. The course was nice - a long steady climb on mostly single track. Not super technical, but steep enough to make it hard. The descent was on freshly cut single track with a few fire road sections. I think that the ski resort was hoping that the race would burn the trail into good shape. I got into a good position at the start and rode the hill at my own pace. With three laps, there was no need to sprint up the first climb. The descent was fast and bumpy, keeping me on my toes. Everything was going well, but the clouds were starting to build. At the top of the second climb, I was afraid that we might only get two laps done before a major storm hit. We were lucky - the rain held off until the third climb, and then just a light drizzle. The light drizzle turned into a steady soaking, drenching all the riders and the trail. Coming down on the last lap was a little tricky. Everything was slick and muddy and tire pressure that was perfect for dry trails suddenly was just all wrong. I managed to get around the leaders on that last descent and held them off - my first win in the Cross Country. It was really close and I really had to work for it.

Sunday was riding at Hartman Rocks. We rode a little of the Sage course, but mainly did some exploring. There are lots of trails in that area, each one unique. I had a great time chasing Nick around. It was perfect day for riding and there were many other groups out enjoying the day and the ride.

Monday was another exploring day. Nick rode a new piece of the Colorado Trail west of Highway 50. I wasn't feeling up to riding, so I went for a nice run instead. Afterwards, we stopped at the Twisted Cork in Salida for lunch and wine tasting.


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