Sunday, March 7, 2010

Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series #3 - Crystal Carnival

The 2010 Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series finally was celebrated with their Crystal Carnival. We stopped to grab a sandwich & saw a picture in the paper from the previous race. A pretty sweet shot, although it is only half of the group, hoisting a big Oskar Blues toast, CHEER! One of the Highlights of Crystal Carnival is the Ski Joring. Man, that is some crazy stuff...the horses are so powerfull & hauling ass while the skier holds on for dear life. It's a pretty fun gig to watch. They collect rings on their arms, round gates, & go over huge jumps that flat land...if any of them are missed the skier recieves a time penalty. There were some smooth runs & some spectacular crashes....the speed & power was sweet!

The Ski Joring was done I headed to get the lights mounted & get to registration to share a beer with the folks at Cycles Of Life bikeshop. These guys & the community of Leadville has some exciting trail plans for the summer of 2010 & all the race proceeds are going towards those projects, a great way to help the trail system & have fun riding at night above 10,000 feet. The course ran right off the Ski Joring course & started & finished directly in from of The Scarlette Inn which pours Old Chub on draft. Over 70 people filled mainstreet on bikes as the group headed out to race the Mineral Belt trail. A roughly 13 mile race, all on groomed ski trails except for the roll out of town & then the climb back in. The snow was set up super sweet & the speeds were high. The conditions were so good you were on the hammer 100% of the time & it hurt. The initial 5 miles or so was a good gradual climb & then the rest of the course was a fun twisty & rolling tromp in the woods. A good number of racers finished the course well under an hour.
After the race we all joined for Beer, Pizza, raffles & awards at Proving Grounds coffee to celebrate a fun series of 3 races.

It was a fun series. I'm looking forward to heading back to Leadville and grabbing a shovel to help get the trail project underway. I hope to see more of you there next year.


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