||The staging area for the race was in a broad alleyway west
of the dirt jumps. The usual waffle emporium was there, plus items for
auction to support Cross out Cancer.
Looking north. The auction items are under the green
canopies on the left.
||The race started southbound along the fence by the staging
area. The dirt here was loose but held under the tires.
Bruce and Rick sprint away from the start line as the
sun peeks over the mountains (and right into our eyes) as the 9:30 race
begins with the Masters 55-plus.
||Reaching the end of the dirt-jump area, the course bumped over a small dirt hill and turned west
along the drag strip.
An ominous photo. Of four riders in my category I
spoke with, three (plus me) had crashed during the race.
||After a short paved run, the loop deviated onto dirt with
ball-bearing gravel to hit two 180-degree turns. I had to lock up both
tires to avoid flattening a rider who, although already ahead of me, was
more timid coming into these tight turns. From these turns, it was back
to pavement for a sprint down to the west end of the drag strip.
After turning 180 degrees across the drag strip, the loop followed a
paved walkway below the spectator stand on the south side of the
Jason Sparks leads a line of Masters 45-plus riders
around the second turn.
||Suddenly at mile 0.5, there was a 90-degree turn into a
steep run-up on slippery grass. I stepped off my bike, caught a
pebble with my cleat and went skating. I came down hard onto my thigh,
taking some skin. My brake pad jammed into the spokes. Only 1/4 of the
first lap done, and now I'm 1/3 lap behind the rest of my race wave. And
my right foot won't lock onto the pedal.
Some riders with superior gearing and monster thighs were actually
able to ride up the hill. Wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it.
Racers hoof it up the grass at the east end of the
||Remounting was a bit of a challenge because of the steep
slippery side-slope. It took a couple of laps to figure out that you
needed to run higher so you could remount while aiming slightly downhill.
Jason descends from the upper slope.
||After a 180 on the grass, the course went into a
parking/service zone, where a staircase waited to take riders up to the
level of the racing oval.
After cleaning the stairs, the course went to the
right, then left into the racetrack.
||The racing oval was like a giant velodrome, having a
tilted track. It was a fast 0.3 miles going 3/4 of a lap around the
oval. For many riders, this was the fastest section. I hit 25 mph, and
younger riders were passing me.
Mike exits the velodrome heading east. Ooooh, look at
that nice Ridley cyclocross bike! Get yours at the UtahMountainBiking.com
store in Lehi.
||More high-speed pavement was interrupted by a shortcut
across slag gravel. Then the loop dumped onto loose dirt before turning
to the log pile. This was a five foot high pile of 18-inch logs.
Jason hits the top of the logs.
||Listening to riders mash their rims on the backside of the
log pile, it wasn't a surprise to see a lot of riders struggling along
on flat tires just downstream from the log pile.
Dave Benson descends the logs.
||More than one UtahMountainBiking.com rider had to switch
tires, wheels, or bikes.
Colleen Tvorik, riding in
Women's Singlespeed, gets help from the impromptu team Pit Crew, and is
quickly back into the race.
||After turning across the drag strip, riders headed back
west on high-speed pavement. But not for long. The course turned and
headed straight at the hill for a wall hit.
In Masters 35-plus B, Mike leads Shane up and around
the wall hit.
||After dodging ruts in a dry but formerly swampy area, the
course popped up sharply and headed back for the dirt-jump zone.
Dallin Hatch hits the bottom of the pop-up.
||On entering the arena, there were two broken bales of
straw to dodge, and a bit of loose dirt to fishtail through. Then came
hard-packed jumping ramps.
Jason hits the top of a jump. Another beautiful Ridley
||A few riders launched their bikes just to show off their air skills.
Most of us just rolled over to save energy.
Spencer has a bit of air showing under his front wheel as he hits the
lip of a jump in the Men 35-plus C group.
||The bottom of the jumping zone lead to a barrier and a
steep run-up. Remount and try to find get your cleats into the pedals as
you drop down. Turn and head to the next little hill then turn again.
Now a high-speed bermed turn reversed into a tricky off-camber turn in loose
dirt. Fun stuff!
Dallin jumps the barrier, racing in Men B.
||A sprint along the north end of the dirt-jump zone turned
south along the fence. The finish line was... where? At the front end of
a vehicle where the race official wrote down racer's numbers.
Cursed with his second flat tire, Dallin sprints
toward the finish line.
||It was a challenging but satisfying race in an interesting
venue. Glad I did it. The wounds will heal, in time.
A piece of Dallin's cheering section. John Twitchell
(Clydesdale) and Rick Morris (Masters 55-plus) stick around after their
race to root for their UtahMountainBiking.com team mates. John bought a
beautiful Ridley, and is crushing the Clydesdale category this
||Tallying the damages: hip bruise-raspberry, ankle scrape,
brake bent into spokes, and pedal fallen apart. But this happy rider got
all five laps. 20 percent of the Masters 55-plus didn't finish. And our
own Joe Benson had a nasty bell-ringer crash that broke his helmet and took him out of the
Men 35-plus C race.
Ah, but it was a great day of sunny racing.
Sally Reynders for the photos of the first and third waves on this page.
See the link below for more great pics.