Friday, July 17, 2009

US MTB Nationals Preride - Granby, CO

Got to Granby, CO safe and sound in 6 hours exactly yesterday just in time to do a couple laps on the course. And what can I really say about the course except that it isn't one that I would ever ride on my own. It starts out on one brutal dirt road climb that goes straight up for several minutes - and when I say up, I mean up. You can relate if you have done the last part in the Little Stick hill climb at Deer Valley before except this is that way the entire climb. Wowzers. In fact even the start line is on the hill itself and not on the flats which is usually the norm. So from there you hit some wider techy and rocky singletrack through the woods that traverses back and forth until you hit the top.

Off the top you are sent down a moon dusty singletrack which exposes another triangular shaped rock with each pass through. It is amazing how many rocks are just waiting to grab that front tire of yours.

There is also one pretty steep section that you at first look at and say to yourself "Ah hell no!" But if you can grow a set and just do it, you will see that it is just fine and is completely ridable. At the bottom of it is an immediate left turn and a nice pad just in case you don't make it. I am sure you will see it as all the photographers will likely be there to watch the carnage.

Oh speaking of carnage. So far in a less than 24 hour period we have had my fork blow, Andy's bike frame break and Heather's car almost not making it to Granby yesterday. Ah yes, all in a days work in the life of a cyclist!

So for tomorrow the ladies get four laps. Should be around a 2 hour race. There will be a lot of interesting things going on tomorrow. Keeping it upright and keeping yourself safe from others who couldn't will be imperative. This is a true mountain bikers course and who ever wins will be a superior all around mtber.

And speaking of winning........hello Colin Cares, our trusty teammate and NOW CURRENT U-23 NATIONAL CHAMPION as of today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The team couldn't resist helping Colin celebrate with some champagne

Colin has quite the future ahead of him and is gonna have to learn how to open those champagne bottles!!! And he is going to have to watch out for those pesky rocks!

Amanda and hubby Nate are pictured below. Nate is responsible for not letting me ride on a blown fork tomorrow. My ride is all ready to go as of late this evening (whew!) with a nice new fork. Thanks Nate for slaving over bikes tonight!

After going in circles today trying to figure out the best strategy for racing tomorrow Andy will still ride his CRACKED carbon hardtail on tomorrows course in the Pro Men's race. I think duct tape and epoxy were part of the program there. Wow. Brave.

And here is little bit of the area we are in at the lower elevations. This is a dirt road just across the street from the venue. A golf course sits down that road.

Saw 2 massive storks today in the water too!

And this kid riding his unicycle outside our condo was pretty impressive. That is high up there if you decide to goof and fall or something. Another brave one!

Alright, time for some sleepy at 8100 feet. Gotta big day tomorrow.

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