||UtCX Race 2
Fort Buenaventura, Ogden
The grass was white with frost as a few yellow rays of weak sunshine
broke through the tall trees of Fort Buenaventura. It warmed up quickly,
with temperatures pleasant by the second wave of racing. A great course
John Twitchell puts his Ridley on the new UMB bike
rack, which made its debut at this event.
||The course started on the broad grassy area southwest of
the old Fort. The lanes were broad, allowing four or five racers
abreast. Passing was never an issue.
Jason Sparks is called up to the front row of the
Masters 45-plus wave at 10:30.
||After a shakeout to the far end of the grass and back,
riders had pretty much fallen into single file before hitting the first
Rebecca Sparks cranks down the lane established by the
||The first set of barricades was right in front of the
staging area and announcers booth. Most of the race course was visible
from this central area.
Mike hops the second barrier, holding that beautiful
||After skirting the edge of the grass, the riding lane came
back to a tricky, off-camber barricade. More than one rider went down
here as they applied their brakes on the slippery grass.
Meghan Sheridan gets ready to dismount as the Women A
group hits the second barricade at the worm fence.
||Dismount on the left, turn to the right, run up a slippery
slope to the tall barricade in the middle of a tight turn.
Meghan hits the dirt about 10 feet from the barricade.
Her mountain bike has been fitted with smaller tires for cyclocross.
||Several riders, including our own Rick Morris, went down
hard on the slippery stuff.
Jason Sparks picks up the bike and begins his jump.
||At the south end of the grassy area, a series of
high-speed turns zigzagged through the trees. On one turn, a long
near-horizontal branch waited to catch riders. If you timed it right,
you could drag the branch 15 feet, then release it to smack the
wheelsucker behind you!
Mike Engberson leans the bike through the fourth turn
in the series.
||The course then followed the pond edge back north. At a
hairpin 180 turn, the course had been improved by dumping water on it to
make the turn a bit more challenging. Yeah, it's CX, baby!
Racers zoom northbound along the edge of the pond.
||Another high-speed turn sent the course back north again,
past a couple of teepees and over the footbridge.
Shane Horton accelerates out of the turn.
||After the bridge, riders dropped down to the pond again
and headed south.
After crossing the bridge, Mike turns and rockets
southbound along the pond's edge.
||Here riders hit the only singletrack of the course, a
short detour from the southbound doubletrack.
Mike takes a 90-degree turn onto singletrack.
||At the far south end, a pile of construction dirt gave an
excuse for a run-up. But by the end of the second race, riders had worn
it down enough that you could hit it hard and coast over.
The cliff at the top of the dirt pile is getting worn
away. Now only the roadies are running it.
||From the south end, a broad high-speed dirt path led to
some sand and some cobbles, then jumped out onto the grass 150 feet from
the finish line.
UMB again saw a good turnout with 17 racers. Podium finishers were
Jason Sparks with 2nd and Meghan Sheridan with 3rd. Congratulations!
Jason spends a few seconds cooling off in the grass
after his race. Rebecca is still waiting for her wave.