Friday, July 2, 2010

Crested Butte Wildflower rush

This last weekend marked the annual Wildflower Rush race weekend in awesome Crested Butte, ColoRADo. For the first time, the fat tire festival went off at the same time, featuring music, food, mountain bikes and even a chainless race down Kebler pass. The Banshee deadbros arrived, somewhat in style, beginning on Thursday with Curt passing me on Kebler pass. He rolled up with Abby, his lovely lady friend, asked how my trip had gone. I have no idea what I told him, I'd pedaled my bike about 65 miles that day and had gone over one big pass and halfway up the next. They wished me well and drove away, I kept going until I found a good campsite, set up my simple camp and had some dinner. An hour or two later, Nick found me and we had a beer before I completely passed out.

The next morning, Nick took off to register and I pedaled up the rest of the way to the top of Kebler. Another twenty miles and I had made my way, atop my bicycle, from Glenwood Springs to Crested Butte. I don't keep track of mileage anymore on tour, but I heard it was about ninety miles on that route. The miles don't get you, kids, only the elevation. Starting at 5,500 feet over the sea, I spent the weekend at 9,600 feet and higher.

On Saturday, mountain cross was on. The course was technical, with some rough flat turns between loose berms and big, precise obstacles. The bottom of the course ended up with a long line of doubles holding consequence for anyone not on their game. Curt took a sixth place finish and had some strong race runs.

Sunday, of course, had super d and downhill. Even Devon Balet raced that day in the super d, having a tough course with steep climbs testing lungs and fortitude, ripping downhills with rocks and roots to send you off course into aspen forests, he took a respectable 12 of 15. Nick Hansch had a great downhill race, one of his best performances this year. He finished well, despite catching the guy in front of him right in time for the big hits toward the end. That being said, if you're out on your race and you hear someone yelling rider back, get the hell out of the way! You've been caught, you will not help your place by holding back a faster rider, just scoot over and try to keep up. I'm sure we'll see more out of Nick at the next race.

Curt's run was clean and fast, earning him a fourth place finish on his Legend mk1, that's right, he's still rocking the first Legend frame. Curt has some mad skills under all that hair, and it was hanging out all over the place for Crested Butte's fun loving populace to see. I gotta say thanks here to Curt for the photos and just for being a bad ass dude. Keep up the good work!

The order of downhill racing goes by class, from the CAT 3's, starting youngest to oldest, the CAT 2's, etc. The reason for this is so we all get to watch the pro classes and how they deal with a track that has changed throughout the day from a few hundred sets of tyres tearing it down. We always look forward to seeing the pros descend, and Evan is no exception. He was looking good on his legend mk2 and in his new jersey, shooting past like a green and white Antelope. The rock garden looked more like cobblestones, smoothed out by his vast skill, and I think I saw a smile under that helmet.

So, I think the weekend was a great success. One of us rode a long way on a modified Banshee Morphine to get to the race, all of us shredded the mountain while we were there, we all had some fun with the locals for the fat tire festival, and everyone even had their jerseys. We can thank Nick Hansch for that, he did a great job getting the jerseys done on a shoestring budget, showing ingenuity required for a life of racing and riding.

So, until next time, keep riding all you in the 22pride, and we'll see ya there.