A year is a long time to be working towards a goal - espcially when there’s so many individual milestones to be met along the way. In 2018, ...

Jun 25, 2011

Ascent Cycling Series

The 2011 Ascent Cycling Series finished up on June 19th with a fun day at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. There were four races in the series this year, starting with a long, wet day in the saddle at Palmer Park on May 15th, then two short and speedy circuit races at Bear Creek Terrance, and the finale at CMSP. In the Women’s Pro/Cat 1 field, Stephanie W from WMBA of COS took the win, proving the most consistent over the four races. Despite missing the first race, I finished second in the series. Tracy H, also of WMBA of COS finished third, with Collen C in fourth.

Rounding the loose switchback during the first
Bear Creek Race
June 1 – Bear Creek Race 1. It was a smaller woman’s field, with only four starting in the 6:00 group. Hillary and Jessica were both on SS, and Stephanie and I racing gears. Andy started us in our own group so we had a few minutes to get settled before the guys started passing us. I pushed the pace on the first lap hard, with Hillary right on my heels. The course was well suited to the single speed and I was using all my gears to stay ahead of her! There were nearly 50 racers in the 6:00 start group alone, but the field moved smoothly around the track. Passing and being passed was much better this year – everyone was polite. I had gone into the race with the hopes of not getting lapped by the Pro Men. But alas, the three leaders caught me on my last lap – finishing 7 laps in the 60 minutes we were racing. I was happy with my six laps and dead tired – an hour of racing all out is still harder for me then the longer events.

Powering the flat on the top of the course during
the second Bear Creek race
June 8 – Bear Creek Race 2. Five women toed the line for the 6:00 start time this week. With a new course and more climbing, the game was a little different this time. We also were started at the tail of the men’s group, with another large group just behind. From the gun, the trail turned straight up hill, climbing to the top of Bear Creek. Like last week, I took the lead from the start, but had a close pack on my heels on steep climb. The switch back from the regional trail to the single track proved the real winner as I only made it two of five laps. I was still lapped on my last lap and it turned into a sprint for the line between me and Cameron C. He was riding a single speed and still managed to out sprint me!

Entering Blackmere, setting up for the next rocks
 - photo Ralph Clark, About the Shot
 June 19 - Cheyenne Mountain State Park - Series Finale. Nick was planning on racing this day so we pre rode the course earlier. And I knew that it would be a long day on the bike - the start lap and one course lap took us over an hour! There was a good field for the women's race, with six women lining up for three laps of fun. I took the start lap pretty chill, knowing that it would be almost a three hour day. Then onto the technical climb up Boulder Run, across BlackMere and down to Medicine Wheel. I would like to say that I had smooth and clean runs across Blackmere and Med wheel, but not so much. Did some soil sampling each lap and was off the bike in the same spot on Med Wheel each lap. Jinxed by Nick (who had to say something about my earrings before the race) I even managed to break the chain on my necklace! Should have just left it and come back, but nope, I decided to that I needed to find it during the race! Oh well. Got a little thrown off with that one - but got back into the rhythm pretty easily. Compared to the first two races, the pace was slower but the length was so much longer - just as hard. And I couldn't ever take a break and relax. After going back and forth for first and second for most of the race, it came down to a pass with a mile in the race to go. Wasn't the best pass - called the side I wanted to pass on, but didn't pick the best location on the trail. Got around, and held on to for win. It was a long day but a fun day on the bike.

It's great to see the growth of the local mountain biking series. There were 100 people at the finale of the series spread between all the age groups and classes. Looking forward to next year - hopefully I will be able to race at the entire series!

Jun 23, 2011

And the rocks still win...

It's always fun to get together with friends and ride, no agenda - just ride some fun single track and play on the rocks.Wednesday night proved no exception to that as Tracy H and Kristi O and I met up at Cheyenne Mountain State Park for some quality single track time. Kristi was riding her new bike for the first time and I don't think the grin ever left her face! Our original plan had been to ride the race course from Sunday, sans Sundance and work on some of the technical sections we'd had issues with during the race. Well, Tracy beat us there and had been treated (?) to tales of the big black bear that was at the junction of Medicine Wheel and Blackmere. Two riders individually warned us about the bear, so we changed things up a little - instead of hitting the race course right away, we meandered up the north side of the park, through the campgrounds, then back down to the main parking lot. The goal was to give the bear plenty of time to vanish into the woods before we got to Medicine wheel. Since we didn't see it, I think the plan worked. It also helped that we were being pretty loud...

Then it was time to work on some skills. I've spent plenty of time at CMSP working on various sections of trail and different skills. Even so, I still had some issues during the race on Blackmere and Medicine Wheel. So whenever we got to a rock that proved challenging, it was time to practice. There were a few things that we got easily, but other rocks were a little more stubborn. I still didn't make it through the rock garden on Blackmere - Nick told me what the line was, but I need to see him ride it. And then there was Medicine Wheel. There was one section in the race that I missed every time - and this ride was no exception! I walked the line a few times, but still didn't make it any further. We all tried everything at least three times - figuring three was enough to get a sense for the line, but not enough to start getting frustrated and sloppy. Definitely need to head back for another session of rock fun - watching other riders working through problems helps with learning the lines. It was a great evening of no stress, no agenda riding, even though there was a little carnage and I've added to my bruise collection!

Jun 15, 2011

Photos from the Beti Bike Bash

Nick was busy playing support all weekend. He took the camera out on course and got some cool shots and videos from the Beti Bike Bash. He also had a great time cheering and heckling the women racing in the Pro, Cat 1 and Cat 2 races. (He told me he behaved for the Cat 3 race - didn't want to distract anyone)

Ready to ride - my first Pro Number Plate

Racing in her first mountain bike race -
working the steep road climb

Lisa Hudson from Feedback Sports getting the hole shot at the start of the Pro Women Race
Not even two minutes in and already at the far back of the pack

Riding through the tall grass of Bear Creek Lake

Crossing the bridge on my third lap

Lona T - riding to the win in the Cat 2 race

2011 Beti Bike Bash

For my first big mountain bike race as a Pro, I headed up north to Bear Creek Lake Park for the 2011 Beti Bike Bash, presented Stan's NoTubes and hosted by the Yeti Beti Cycling Team. There were over 200 women competing in event across all classes - Cat 3, Cat 2, Cat 1, Pro and Juniors. By far, the Cat 3 race had the largest numbers and there were plenty of smiles as the racers completed their two laps. A large and very talented Pro field assembled for the four lap, 16 mile race, drawn both by the prize purse provided by Stan's NoTubes and the opportunity to compete in a Women's only event. The smooth single track course lead to some fierce competition among the top pros. Georgia Gould held off Katie Compton 52:32 to 53:02, with Erin Huck taking third in 55:25, Kelly Boniface fourth in 57:54 and Krista Park rounding out the podium in 58:14. I finished in 11th, one place out of the money in 1:02:44. It was quite the introduction to pro mountain bike racing, but a fun event. The Yeti Beti team did a great job with the race and there were plenty of women being introduced to how much fun mountain biking can be with a race number on.