My first race of the year. And last. Stone Temple 8 is the last hurrah for the mtb season, and I joined up with Johnny P, and Steve P., for the Alchemist Tres Leches. Stuart filled in for an ill Teo Mateo, and he and Ken joined forces for the Alchemist 10-4 Fat Little Buddy duo. Mike K. and Darin were riding a duo team as well. Drew rode solo. Max rode the Juniors race with the High Schoolers.
Stone Temple 8 is nestled in the IMBA-built trails of Curt Gowdy State in Wyoming. Rich and Todd, who coach the Laramie and Cheyenne High School teams respectively, put on the race as a farewell to summer and a quaint fundraiser for their High School teams. The trails of Curt Gowdy are purpose built for mountain biking, and there is a healthy mix of buff, flowy trail and technical, rocky singletrack. For an 8 hour race, it demanded every ounce of concentration the entire time, or you might find yourself going ass over applebucket, as Stuart found out, twice.
Max started us off with a 3rd place finish in the juniors race, beating high school juniors and seniors. On the podium, they kept asking how old he was.
“Where are you from?”
“Ah, no wonder”
Yes, the wunderkind from Boulder just beat all you teenagers. I was just glad Max was racing the juniors race, and not ours, or it would have been me he was shaming.
Steve and Stuart went out for our Teams first, being the only ones willing to run the 50 yards of the LeMans start. Drew had no choice but to run his one-man show. Last year, the weather was cold and windy. But this year, race day was perfect for riding. The course is a lot like Buffalo Creek, with swoopy , kitty-litter strewn dirt. But there was a good bit more technical rock features than Buff Creek. One particular drop off would send you ass-over-applebucket if you didn’t give it your full attention.
Steve rode his fat bike and crushed the course, logging the best lap time on the team. Drew rode an unbelievable 5 laps of that challenging course. Steve and Johnny P gave us a little cushion over Stuart and Ken with some really stellar riding. I went out for the 6th and final lap with a couple of minutes on 10-4 Fat Little buddy, but Ken hunted me down and left me for dead. We ended up 1.5 minutes behind after all that racing. our teams finished 1-2 on the podium. Drew finished 3rd in the open solo. Max finished 3rd for the juniors race.
Great day for all. It was nice to be back on the trail racing again.
Big thanks to Mike S, Grant and Steve P. for helping out at the Alchemist Veloswap Booth on Saturday. Another successful Veloswap in the books thanks to those guys.
Stay tuned for a couple of Alchemist Team events: Skills Clinic with Ryan Kohler, Team Ride down in Golden, End-of-year Team night at Mike W’s new office.