Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Sweaty Yeti

Riding a race bike is an art - a thing that you do because you feel something inside.  -Valentino Rossi
Randy & Chris Hot Lapping
I had decided a few years ago never to run a race again.  After 14 years of being the race director of the Buzzard Buster mountain bike race, and no one getting seriously hurt or killed or sued....I figured I should count my blessings and call it a career.  Then...these fat bikes come along and a whole different "race" mentality comes along.  The fun factor was back in full force and the only way I'd step back into that race directors chair is if it was that fun and no one was too serious.

The race is On
The concept of racing fat bikes...in winter, on snow, is in itself a insanely fun idea.  Conditions could be anything-bitter cold, deep sloggy snow or a perfect softly falling snowflake rock hard race course day-like we had. The plan was hatched this past fall at Gnomefest, realizing that at Levis Mound, we had the perfect venue to run an event.  A warm chalet, singletrack and ski trail and start field right out the door and if conditions changed, the equipment to handle it if needed.  Besides, it was an opportunity to show off the trail a little to anyone who maybe hadn't been here before.  Plus...it sounded like a crazy enough idea I had to do it.

Fatty Lumpkin's Wheels making the Rounds
  The starting line (for the LeMans start) are quite a mixed bag-racers, super fit riders and others who just love to ride with a couple friends all day (or are recruited last minute).  There is a fair amount of pre-race joking around and "hydrating" by racers and spectators alike (which numbered about the same) so although there would be some serious pedal crunching, the enjoyment of the ride would not be lost during the next three hours.  


I like this bunch of people.  They are about the friendliest bunch of folks around and any pretentiousness, that one might have to wade through in other racing, is not to be found here and in them.  I raced for a long time, ski and mountain bike, and made many friendships along the way, but in the past year or so, attending Gnomefest and now the fat bike scene, has introduced me to a whole new group of people that aren't afraid to sit down and share a few beers and talk bikes (always have to do a little of that) and about anything else.  And in this inaugural Sweaty, I got sucked in by them and switched from directors hat to pull on a helmet to give it a go.  The years of racing were buried inside somewhere, and tired my best, but lack of fitness made the laps hurt!  No matter, I rode within myself on the later laps, enjoyed the ride and knew the post race would be worth it.


In the end, the victors were crowned (with some sweet funky hats) and the "Most Fun Team" awarded, and prizes to just about everyone else, thanks to Sand Creek Brewery.  The riders seemed to think the day went well, was fun and were appreciative.  Some riders headed out while others stayed to hang out around the fire long into the night. The snow then kicked up a notch as to signal a good ending to the day with good people and I could only agree.





No comments:

Post a Comment