TOday I went up to Seven Springs to ride the 24 hour race course. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and about 70 degrees. Just a little more humid thabn colorado though! I arrived around 3 pm and a handful of tent areas had been set up, there were strong looking bikers everywhere and I was just a little intimidated! But after my EPIC RIDE last week (from which I still bear some weeping injuries), I figured 12 miles / 1500 feet would be a piece of cake, especially at about 7000 feet lower elevation.
Once I started putting my bike together and adjusting the brakes just so (a little grease here, a little grease there) I started to relax a little bit. I noticed some folks with jerseys as plain as mine (no logos, bike shop or sponsor names), and a few that hardley lookedlike they could pedal around the block (although they were much faster than me!)
I found the starting tent, got ‘directions’ from one of the course volunteers and made my way first loop of the course. Due to a construction area, it wasn’t yet marked which created a lot of confusion, but after a bit, I found the “2nd loop” sign and the fun began. The course was a nice mix of dirt singletrack, rocky ATV trails, rock gardens and a minimal amount of fireroad. Nearly the entire 2nd loop was single track or ATV trails, including the climb back up to the starting area. I managed to stay on the bike almost all of the way aruond, with the exception of a short super steep section about 2 miles from the end. That and the switchbacks up the ski slopes at the very end. Ugh, that was the worst part of the entire ride.
I’ll post the map here too, but my GPS read 10 miles and about 1250 feet gain, it took me 2 hours. I was little bummed out and was hopign I’d a) gone faster b) ridden further c) climbed higher. But when I compared this to my EPIC RIDE last week, I realized that about 16 of the 25 miles, and at least 2000 feet of gain were all on the road, not on the trail. So comparing apples to oranges, goldfish to geese, etc, etc… it was a pretty good ride.