I think the hill climb is a great way to start the season. Especially if you have never raced before. Not as many people show up for this race (go figure) so it is a little more low key, but at the same time you get to experience a race day.
There was a good turnout of Dirt Divas. We were represented by Stephanie Sytner, Dan DuShane, Yana Sweeney, Micki Harris, Amber Kinney and Alex Cleveland. Everyone did well and earned points for the team. Yana placed 3rd in her age group. Go Yana! Win, lose, good day, bad day – we were on our bikes and we were Dirt Divas.
The weather was perfect. A little chilly especially at the top at 11,142 feet. The course description says once you reach the top “head over to the Lunch Rock deck, put your feet up, and enjoy the views.” Maybe if I had my parka!
The Hill Climb race kicks off the Winter Park race series. It is a 5.2 mile service road climb. It starts at 9,080 feet evaluation and ends at 11,142 feet. It is a good steady grunt of a ride until right before the finish line. Then, o' boy, it gets steep for the last couple hundred feet. At that evaluation combined with digging deep – makes you wanna puke.
I always think it is a beautiful thing to be surrounded by cyclists. The shared misery and exhaustion followed by pure elation. How’s that saying go? “We must explore pain and exhaustion to know pleasure and satisfaction.”
Well, the pleasure and satisfaction part was the downhill single track that was open. I am not big on technical downhill, so not a lot of pleasure in that for me. But there were sure a lot of folks out that were enjoying themselves.
Until the next race – pedal, pedal, pedal