It has been so much fun racing in the Sand Creek Sports Jersey and sharing my stories about preparing for and racing the Ascent Cycling Series. It was also a honor to be chosen as a member of the Sand Creek - Pikes Peak Sports team. Cameron and I both took the series and he pretty much demolished every race he entered, including the finale at Palmer Park. I had to skip that last Sand Creek race - the ProCycling challenge. The mind was willing but I needed the day off.
Cameron has already written beautifully about the purity of racing the local Sand Creek events, the simplicity in showing up to well known trails, tying a number on, then proceeding to kick someone's tail for 60 minutes. Even if it was just my tail I was kicking! Cam also touched on the great environment that welcomed both new riders and the seasoned pros. We've all seen the youngsters on the starting line and getting faster and more skilled every year. It's been awesome to watch. So I can't add anything new to what Cam has alreadh discussed. Except for this - juniors are the future of the sport and Sand Creek events provide excellent opportunities to learn racing. But there is another wah that Sand Creek Sports has worked to make mountain biking accessible to everyone.
Take one 60 year old woman and get her a decent mountain bike to ride jeep roads on. Gradually introduce her to double track and then easier single track. Encourage her to keep riding as much as she can and to try new things. Take a leap four years inti the future to 2012 and she's racing that mountain bike in the Ascent Cycling Series. She did all the races ar Bear Creek Terrace and found a new challenge and a new thrill on the single track trails. Everytime she made a new switch back or rode over a rock garden was cause for celebration. And while she never raced at Palmer Park, she had so much fun at the Wednesday night races. A tribute to how well Andy and his team planned the courses. I could not imagine her racing at the classic ski courses. She would have walked both up and down and would never have wanted to ride her bike again.
Not at the Ascent Cycling races. She had a huge grin on her face after every race. They were a challenge but not overwhelming. She started with other riders of her ability and was treated to a safe event. And when she was finished, she got to watch the pros blitzing the exact same course. One of the best learning opportunitites avalible to a new rider.
So from developing the next generation of speedy Colorado mountain bikers to providing a safe venue for an introduction to fat tire fun, Sand Creek Sports has accomplished both. It's been a journey this year and I have to thank everyone for tolerating my ramblings. Hopefully next year will be even better and I will be along for the ride!