Beaver Creek Pre Race

All I have to say is that I forgot how steep that darn hill was. Uff-dah. Nick and I got to Avon/Beaver Creek for the Xterra Mountain Championships on Thursday and the first goal was to get on the bike course and pre-ride. We parked near Nottingham Lake in Avon and started right at the transition. And the minute we crossed US 6, the course pointed up. And Nick had not had a chance to put gears on his bike - still single speed from the race last weekend. But seriously, this is a brutal hard course, with nothing but climbing for the first half of the race. It's a good mix of single track and narrow double track for the first half of the climb. After the water station, the Championship race points up again, on blacktop and dirt roads to the top of Arrowhead mountain. It's a fast road and single track descent to the Village to Village trail, which connects Arrowhead to the Beaver Creek Mountain. After the rolling and false flat of Village to Village, the course pops out for another dirt road climb. Another brutally steep dirt road climb. At least that was the last major climb in the race. We dropped down a loose, rocky and bumpy trail, crossed a matinence road and got on Allies Way. This single track trail is one of the best parts of the race course, a slightly rolling narrow track traversing Beaver Creek Ski area. There are plenty of small rock gardens and tight turns amid aspens and pines, seperated by wide open trail  traversing the ski runs. Nick rode behind me, evaluating my line down Allies Way and said it looked good. After Allies, it was a short road climb to Corkscrew. Nick had suffered the road climbs and double track so he could drop Corkscrew - a trail that resembles it's name. And we got to the top, only to find red tape stretched across the trail access. Closed for Logging Operations! Nick was not a happy camper. We had to take the matainance road back down to the village.

Today, we drove up to the village so I could run part of the race course. I decided to run the last half of the course because it was not as steep and I would be tired when I got on that section. It was a good idea to check that section out - they had added some new single track that required some fancy footwork to get down quickly. Some of those sections went right by a few of the fancy condos up on the village. It's a good challenge and a fun run course. I'm looking forward to run - I really like this course.

After that, time to for packet pickup and then back to Mike and Mollie's to chill out and watch the tour!

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