Monday, May 23, 2011

The Gowdy Grinder MTB Race

Located between Cheyenne and Laramie in Wyoming, the Curt Gowdy State Park is a hidden gem of incredible and beautiful trail that every mountain biker should take the opportunity to check out!

After hearing how fun this $10 bare bones race was last year, Bryce and I didn't think twice about making the 2hr trek up there and giving it a whirl. We were also told how techie the terrain was so I cleaned up the Orbea OIZ and brought that bad boy along instead of the 29er! Melanie, James and Josh all joined us for a little pre-ride on Saturday and a fun overnight stay at the Ramada in Laramie before the big day on Sunday.

After pre-riding on Saturday, I was really excited to race. The course is a true mountain bike course with incredibly difficult and technical sections throughout the entire race. The only double track we hit was about 300m on the start and then it was 13.2 miles of slow, fun, hard and intense trail that had the most perfect dirt from several days of moisture :) Unfortunately I woke up with a sore throat which I immediately dismissed (I refused to think I was sick), until about 10min into the race. I had a decent start but quickly realized I had no top end and was hacking up phloem the entire day. Yuck.

Although I felt like total dog crap, I tried as hard as I could to enjoy the amazing trail and the fun people I was racing with. I couldn't have been happier about the bike choice and almost forgot how fun it is to ride a 26in dual suspension XC bike! I ended up finishing 6th with my good friend Mel getting me at the line then 4th less than 30sec ahead and 3rd less than 2 min in front. I have to keep telling myself that I am not fit and still feeling all the effects of the Chronic Fatigue and that it's okay not to be where I used to be. As much as I hate to say it, I was a little more relieved to know that I was getting sick and that a fever/cold completely exploded only an hour after the race. I'm sitting here writing this post with a massive headache, a pile of tissues by my side and only a few hours of sleep :(

On to the more exciting stories of the race...Our new Aussie friend Josh Carlson took the big win which was his first in the USA. Bryce and Zach rode together the entire day and had a total blast trying to catch our good friend Melissa Thomas who rode in the Men's Open race. As always, there is more trash talk the week leading into any MTB race than you could ever imagine and the boys' goals are simply not to get ''chicked''. Unfortunately for almost all the guys, they did not succeed this time!

Little Judy Freeman was another chica racing in the Men's race and beat almost every single one of our friends except for Tom. This picture is awesome for several reasons...A) James caught Tony getting passed by Judy and B) it gives a great visual of how cool the course really was!

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