Wednesday, May 4, 2011

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 Voodoo Fire a Riders Perspective

The first stop on the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series was held at a new venue, Lake Pueblo State Park.  With its large singletrack trail system, no major climbs and just pure fun singletrack, this was a great first race of the season.

At registration Friday evening, a little monkey wrench was thrown into the mix. There was a last minute problem with a permit issue and the course had to be changed.  Instead of two 35-mile loops, we would have three 23-mile loops.  These last minute issues can be tough, but the race crew put together one sweet course without any issues.   

The race started with a good uphill pavement section, which thinned out the group before entering the singletrack. The first section of singletrack brought us to a little climb that bogged up the race, not a bad section, but a slip by one rider had everyone walking. This section seemed to put most people into recovery mode. Now let the passing begin!

Passing was not easy early in the race; you had to make a commitment to pass in the “rhubarb”, as a friend likes to say.  This was power zapping and it took some time to recover after each pass, but you needed to keep pushing the power out for the next catch and to make sure you weren’t getting passed back.

Lap 2 was sweet and super fast as the traffic had eased. This course was not technical by any means, but had lots of mean shale rocks strewn all over the trail.  These rocks were taking their toll on many racers’ lightweight race tires. Tire choice may not have seemed important on this course, but with many double and triple flats plaguing the field, it made the difference between a racer finishing or not.

The last lap can always cause some changes in the field when fatigue sinks in.  The first section of course was super fun and fast, but after the first Aid Station there was a section of bumpy, lumpy singletrack that beat up your kidneys and zapped your power. Everyone was talking about this section after the race and on this final lap it seemed to last forever. 

The little short ups and the canyons toward the end of the course made for a bittersweet ending. The descents were something you didn’t get much of on this course and then you would look up at the next rise and feel the burn.  The finish was a welcome sight after 69 or 70 miles of mostly all singletrack! A successful race for me, and all involved!

There is something about racing a bike and attending these events, you get a great rush from the race and then you get to socialize with friends who share your passion.  That is one of my favorite things about racing, you get to talk about the course and the fun you had over a few beers and some good eats.

Congratulations to all the racers and everyone involved in a very successful stop #1 at The Voodoo Fire in the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series.

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