Aw, shucks. There I was (and so was everyone else in the 6:15 start) all dressed up with nowhere to race. The bluebird skies had vanished behind some very angry clouds and just was we (Nick and I) were heading out the door to ride over to Bear Creek for the race, the rain started. So we waited for a few minutes. I texted Amber, who I knew would be on site and have all the info, asking if the race was still on. And her answer was "Raining like crazy but still on as long as there's no lightening." Okay - so we'd wait a little longer and drive over. Racing without a solid warmup isn't the smartest, but neither is standing around in the cold rain! And then.... BOOM
Right overhead - the thunder and lightening had started. Amber quickly texted me "Nope!! Race stopping!" So much for our hour of fun. Nick and I stayed ready to ride, kinda hoping that the storm would move over and we would be on for racing. But when Amber said they were giving refunds to the 6:15 racers who'd registered, we knew it was off. When I posed the question, how does one write a race report for a race that didn't happen, Andy was quick to remind me that the 4:00 race had a full field and the 5:00 race at least got to start. So my answer? Have someone from the 4:00 start write my race report for me!
And here it - from Cat 3 racer Carol Lyndell.....
After the start whistle and a short sprint, the uphill on the wide regional trail started. And though veterans know how tough this two stage climb is, it still makes one groan as you hit the second part of the uphill. The climb tests legs and heart, and can easily send a rider into the red zone. Onceriders reached the top of the climb, a smiling course marshal waited to send the field back down a flowy single track, around a left-hand downhill switchback, grooved by recent rains, onto a rocky section of trail. This year we bypassed the short, steep cut that usually takes riders back to the timing tent. We were directed onto singletrack just below the regional trail and into the first muddy section: nice, thick, gooey mud. Mud riding is a skill many of us have little chance to practice. It was tacky, slippery, and challenging to ones sense of balance. How embarrassing it would be to fall into the mess, no way to hide that bit of clumsiness.
There was one more section of brown slop, not as long or as deep as this first section. The trail led riders to a short uphill before entering the smooth single track loop back to the timing tent. The trail was there but the tall grasses were doing their best to make the slight turns hard to follow. Past the timing tent, we started around for the longer loop. Halfway up the regional trail, we turned right onto the trails on the north side. Here the trails were drier except for one steep uphill switchback to the right. As if powering through this right turn wasn’t hard enough, adding a layer of mud that just wants to trap your wheels increases its difficulty. From this turn, there is just a bit more uphill before the trail levels out. Once again, the course marshal waited, sending riders back down the section they rode on the first lap, mud and all.
The only group to complete their race were the Cat. 3 women and juniors who started at 4 p.m. Rain drops were starting to fall as the last rider came in. The Cat. 2 riders started their race at 5 in a steady rain. Trails that had been dry for the first racers were quickly turning to mud. This rain refused to quit; lightning and thunder added to the misery of the course conditions. Andy had to call the race for the safety of riders and the course. The Cat. 1 racers never had a chance to even start.