Ridgeline Rampage Race Report
What follows is VERY exciting reading. Don’t miss it…whatever you do.
More than 50 of us lined up for the first Rocky Mountain Endurance series MTB race in the 30-39 group on Saturday. The course was in the hills south of Denver, 30 miles long, 3,000 feet of vert and fast. I started in the front and was seventh wheel going into the singletrack. This was my second MTB race in Colorado since we moved here so I didn’t know what to expect. My first race was a 35 miler in Breckenridge last fall…yah, that sucker started at 10,000 feet up and went over 12,000! All I have to say about my experience with that one is that it’s really hard to peddle with no oxygen.
But this time, and thanks to Bike Camp (woot woot!!), I felt confident and ready to kill it. Right away I saw two guys from the same team (Avout Racing) get off the front so I made sure to get thru everyone in our group ahead of me in the first mile or two so I could chase ‘em down. By the time I did, those two were nowhere to be seen. And now I had another strong rider dangling about 30 seconds back. He stayed there thru lap 2 (of three) until, as my body was ailing a bit, he caught and passed me on a climb. The difference in mountain bike racing from, say, road or training for hundreds of miles on a road bike is the amount of lactic acid one has to deal with. And, since I basically took last year off from MTB racing, I was not quite ready for this. The end of lap 2 saw me suffering in the acid-clearing department. The course was punchy and tight and tho it was only 80 degrees, it was so dry there was not a drop of sweat that didn’t instantly evaporate—not a drop! Not even from my helmet! Craziness. My body had not seen that much acid since 1969… So, as I recovered a bit, staying just outside the cramping zone, the dude passed me. Dang.
But going into lap three I felt better but tired…but then I saw one of the Avout guys ahead of me. I dug deep, caught him, passed him handily and kept it up and now I was sure I was third and would get a picture for PCP on the podium. Well, the short version is that after 2 hours of a scoring snafu, my mis-count of how many Avout Racing jerseys were actually in front of me, I ended up fourth. DANG!! I even had my clean jersey on ready to raise my hands in podium awesomeness. Now I know who to mark, I guess. My take-aways are that Colorado people actually ride and race their mountain bikes and are therefore quite fast!! I gotta get back on the pain train to see the podium. And I was pleased, actually, that I had fairly consistent lap times, with the second and third being about one minute longer than the first 45min lap. A 30 mile mountain bike race in 2hr 17min! And the winner did it in 2hr 14min!! Fast, yo, supah fast. (P.s. I don’t remember 1969).