A place to share words and pics. Mostly bikes, but my photog eye does wander.

Bikes let the good times roll. In solitude or with friends. For a half hour or 8 hours. Pedals become the gears that turn the earth as the sun seems to track their motion, day after day. Miles become food, and you're hungry. The bike stops being a vehicle, or toy, or transportation and becomes an extension of will, allowing you to journey beyond the pain of self into the realm of almighty, joyous nature, she that feeds our souls. Pedal yourself into the maw of creation. Pedal yourself silly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fire on the Rim

The towns of Pine and Strawberry, just north of Payson, had decided to put on an endurance mountian bike race to raise money for fire prevention and the creation of more multi-use singletrack in and around town. This is something I could get behind, since I'm a big fan of Mogollon riding and one could never have too much trail, so I put up the relatively modest 50 bones, compared to Epic's usual 75-100, and looked forward to my shirt and pint glass.

The course was a 15 mile loop with 15, 30, and 45 mile options. I was in for the 30. Could have done 45, but it would have been tough, and I didn't want to wipe myself out for the rest of the day. 30 was plenty. Two laps. Each one with 2500ft of climbing. 900 of that was right at the start, in the first 2.5 miles. Big climb, big effort, big success. Made it both times, but with much more self-soothing and motivating chatter on the second climb, which was easy as I was alone for most of my second lap. Finished in 3:46 for seventh place out of 12. I was pretty happy with that. First beat me by an hour. Sixth place was even in about 25 minutes before me. But I was still pleased. For 5000ft less oxygen than I'm use to, I didn't notice much. The lungs must have plans, chugging away at the lower elevations, because they were way ahead of me this day.

Myself in rare racing form. Certainly not a racer, but I see the allure, especially as I get stronger for longer, and can scoot past lots of noobs on DC, but what is that worth really? Meh, still fun! Thanks to the photog posting this one for free.
The route left town, and headed west....and up, clockwise. Coming in and out of the neighborhood was fun, as there were people on the side of the streets, cops and volunteers holding traffic, locals cheering from their porches. The community seemed to have lots of fun with it, which can really make this event a future success. The course, even being mostly fire road, was still fun, and had plenty of challenge in it. And if you took a header, there was plenty of support staff. An ambulance was even out at mile 6 or so. I heard that they volunteer to racer ratio was about 2. Good job.

The trail ran around Strawberry Mountain. There was a substantial second ascent halfway through the course, and the descent back into pine was a technical feast. None of that June Bug 24 HITOP smooth rolling. Rolling through there too tired could be hazardous to the integrity of your skin. Good fun.
Two laps of symmetry. That first step is a doozy!
Too bad I forgot my goody bag at the race, but Janet, an organizer was nice enough to send me some of the last shirts and cups that the Rimside Grill was selling. I paid for them sure, but she took care of the postage! Sweet! Gotta get that shwag! Great race. Super pro for their first year and I only see this growing. The community involvement was half the experience. I wonder if that is what its like in Fruita or something? A city celebrating the bike for part of a day (or whole weekend and some festivals can go). I want some more of that!

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