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  1. #1
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    King of the Rockies

    Anyone heading to WP for the king of the rockies race this weekend? I haven't raced XC (DH and SD are my specialties) in a few years and would really like to try my hand at it again.

    SO.....
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  2. #2
    enlightened.
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    I'm considering it as I am signed up for the series, however, I've been not riding much lately.

  3. #3
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    You might as well do it if you already paid. Plus it would be fun to race/ride with some fellow MTBR's.

    By the way I am racing 19-24, haven't decided between sport and expert. Used to be a top of the class sport XC but now I race expert DH, and open/pro SD. Not that DH or SD have any bearings on XC racing.
    2011 Sponsors: Rocky Mountain Racing, Golden Bike Shop, WTB

  4. #4
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    I will be there and racing in the Expert 35-39. It will be my second Expert race at WP.
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  5. #5
    EJP
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    I am planning on it (W's sport 40-49). I previewed some of the course last week and wrote up my impressions with some photos at 3 hours of pre-race passion

  6. #6
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    still deciding..

    it is a good race, i may do it, sport 40-49.

  7. #7
    Old, stale, negative
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    Not racing but riding east portal to come check out the festivities. Figure it's a good weekend to be a mtn biker tn the rox. Ride back sunday will be busy I bet.

  8. #8
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    So did anyone end up riding in this race yesterday? I am thinking about giving it a try next season and would love to hear what your experience was like!
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  9. #9
    Trail Sanitizer
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    I raced it but didn't finish. That is one of my favorite courses around. Just as I was starting the second long climb my rear derailleur gave up the ghost. Attempts to convert to a singlespeed mid-race were fruitless...

  10. #10
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    What a great race! I had fun and avoided the dreaded DFL which seems to afflict the recently upgraded. I took 4 minutes off last years time and that is with at least two minutes spent fixing my front derailler at the top of Chainsaw.
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  11. #11
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    I did it

    slower than in the past but had a lot of fun. I've been partying too much this summer...Bulldozer maybe I saw you & your rear derailler. I was riding right next to someone on that climb who's RD was getting all wrapped up backwards behind the cassette. Sorry to hear about that. Great course. The Sport men seem awfully fast tho.

  12. #12
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    This was my first XC race in 4 years. Apparantley I sandbagged because I raced sport 19-24, and won by a little over 11.5 minutes. Great course, I loved the long downhill after the initial climb. I guess when your riding a 35 pound trail bike with 6 inches of travel you tend to like decents more than climbs. Sorry to anyone I nearly ran off the course during the decents.

    Definatley going to be racing the whole series next season, hopefully on an appropriate xc race bike.
    2011 Sponsors: Rocky Mountain Racing, Golden Bike Shop, WTB

  13. #13
    EJP
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    The Long-winded Version

    My goals were to ride efficiently, conserve as much energy as possible, stay hydrated and fed, and finish. My friend Andy had registered for the series and we managed to talk his girlfriend Kristin into doing her first mtb race. She is super-strong and just did a half-ironman two weeks ago, so I was sure that she would do well.

    We visited a local nordic skiing friend the night before the race whose advice was to make sure and hammer the first part in order to secure a good position going into the singletrack. Andy and I both cracked up since we were both undertrained and had the opposite strategy: go out very conservatively and don't blow up on the first climb.

    I got to the start in plenty of time to change, figure out how to put on my number, fret when I didnít see the outhouse (more of an issue for a woman), find the outhouse, run into and chat with friends, etc. Finally it was time to go and the sport women rolled up to staging en masse. The race official let us know that the last downhill had a new wall ride on one of the corners. Uh, huh, just what we need at the end of the race. Another way to kill ourselves. Then we were off! I planned to use the first few miles of dirt road as my warmup and I went out at a comfortable pace as the pack sped away. Dang, thatís always tough, even when itís prudent. There were a few of other riders who were going close to my pace and so I got on a wheel. We spun up the road and chatted until the turnoff to the first singletrack, the Tipperary Creek trail.

    At that point, I left my companion behind, and started the first real climb. I was really happy that the climb felt much better than it had last week. I just stayed really relaxed and tried to stay out of the way of the beginner men who needed to pass me. At one point I had a train of six behind me and room for one to pass. I waved the leader of the train past and with some dismay, realized that the whole group was coming around. I was in the weeds trying not to fall over and I snapped ďcome on, come on!Ē Oops, I need to be a little more polite. They are faster and I need to let them by. I apologized for being snippy and we all rode on up the climb. I passed a very small handful of guys, and the beginner men continued to pass me. I felt fine when I got to the flats at the top of the climb and started to work on eating and drinking. I had some Sharkies, but I had trouble breathing and chewing at the same time. The gel flask of Hammer Gel worked a lot better.

    The downhill on Spruce Creek is a real hoot! I took it a little slower than I might ordinarily, since I was distracted by passing riders and wanted to make certain that I got to the bottom intact. It was still awesome. The fun continued with Flume. I was alone at that point and could just work on being relaxed. We turned onto Chainsaw, which is also a really fun trail. The climb felt sooooo much better than it did last Friday. I was definitely relieved. I rode for a little while with a beginner guy whom I had passed on the Spruce Creek downhill. He said something about wanting full-suspension and I joked that he would have to wait until he was 40Ö.and he said he had a long way to go before he got there. We rode together down Chainsaw and up Elk Meadow and down the first part of D2. I was about 40 minutes faster so far than when I previewed the course last week. Psyche! However, this was as far as I had gotten on that ride and I was in for three more tough climbs.

    I have ridden D2 a few times but I didnít remember exactly how much it sucks. This was where my lack of long rides (or long anything this season) really started to become apparent. The first beginner woman passed me, looking great. My main impression is of a long, sunny, warm, not very interesting climb on a crappy 4x4 road. Finally, we got back onto singletrack at WTB, which is the most technical part of the course. I expected to have trouble riding some of the obstacles and this was a planned walking section. It didnít seem like a good use of my energy to kill myself trying to ride the hard parts. I walked some and rode some and two more beginner women passed me, including my friend Taryn. It was good to use some different muscles and let my back uncramp.

    We turned onto D4 and it was back onto the bike. This was steep, loose, and rocky, but not scarily so. And it was downhill, so I was happy about that. We popped out onto Vasqez Road and had an easy climb up to Vasquez Ford. I started getting a weird cramp on the inside of my thigh. I wasnít sure if I would be able to ride the creek crossing, especially since Andy had gone for a good swim there in his last race and heís a much better rider than I am. But the course marshals were there cheering and telling us where the rocks were and I just went right through. Sweet!

    Then it was down Blue Sky and Ice Hill (with one little incline midway). At this point I knew I was so close, yet so far. Damn, damn, damn, I got to the turn where the beginners got to ride to the finish and everyone else went up Lower Cherokee. Golly thatís a tough climb at the end of a race. It was the only section of the course that I had never ridden, and all I really knew was that it was long and got steeper near the top. I could actually see the top when I finally got off and walked for a little bitóI was in good company from what I could see and from what I heard after the race. Lots of people had a little walk break on that section. It is a lovely trail and I canít imagine that itís that hard if youíre fresh. By then, however, I was far from fresh.

    I turned onto the service road, which should have been really fun for meóflat and fast. I love to motor on that kind of thing, but there was no more motoring to be had that day. I wasnít bonking or dehydrated, just tired. I had done a good job eating and drinking. So I spun it in to the last descent.

    I have to admit that itís hard to appreciate a tight, tricky, technical descent when completely whupped. The wall ride looked pretty cool and I did use the berm just a tiny bit. I need to go back and play on that. I saw a rider ahead and realized that it was another sport woman. She was really struggling in the technical stuff and I went by. I was actually quite dismayed, since I thought it meant I would have to go hard to the finish to stay ahead of her. I was feeling emotional at that point. A combination of pure relief that it was almost finished and dread of having to sprint. I pretty much have to go for it if it comes to a sprint, even if itís between DFL and 2nd to DFL. It seems to be hard wired into my psyche. But I was so tired at that point and I really didnít want to. And of course I wasnít going to look backÖ..The technical singletrack dumped out onto the road and I ďstood on itĒ. Well, I did manage to accelerate ever so slightly. I saw Andy and then the finish. Oh, yay. I was just so happy to be done, done done!!!! The woman I passed in the singletrack was actually pretty far backóshe must have walked quite a bit of it.

    I went back and found Andy and waited for Kristin. She finished strong, despite having flatted early in the race. She was frustrated because she'd been in a good position at that point, but she was also proud of having fixed her bike and finished the race.

    Good stuff! Kudos to the organizers and volunteers who make it all possible, and congratulations to our MTBR brethren with good results.

    Next year: more long training rides!

  14. #14
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    EJP, thanks for the great write-up. It was very inspiring! Will definitely put that one on my list for next year. I'm glad it's in August so I can get some conditioning done before having to do a 25 mile race.

    I'm going up to WP next month with some friends for a weekend of biking, we are planning to ride at least part of the race course. Sounds like fun!
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  15. #15
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    I totally agree with you on this one. By the time i got here my arms were rubber!

    I have to admit that itís hard to appreciate a tight, tricky, technical descent when completely whupped. The wall ride looked pretty cool and I did use the berm just a tiny bit.


    Fun write up. Glad you had a fun race and kudos to racing in the Sport catagory.
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  16. #16
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    Nice writeup!
    Congrats on the successful race, and no crashes. Maybe next year I'll be able to make the trip.

  17. #17
    Are we there yet?
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    Nice write up and congrats to all those who raced!

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