La vie de vélo

Adventures in cycling and life

Inaugural 40 in the Fort

Ever since my tires touched dirt at Lory State Park and the adjacent Horsetooth Mountain Park, I’ve dreamed of racing these trails. These are real MTB trails with technical singletrack, long brutal climbs, hike-a-bikes and just tough rocky fun stuff all around.

So when Overland Mountain Bike Club announced the first running of the Horsetooth/Lory event, I was stoked. The event, at first unnamed, came to be know as “40 in the Fort”

There were some tough competition for a local race capped at 150 riders. National junior champ Skyler Trujillo was there along with lots of strong local guns. I felt a good solid 90% all day long, never really feeling great but always feeling good enough to keep the pace high. Climbing Timber trail on the first lap, I was in 4th and had no interest in keeping the pace of the 3 leaders. I fell in and out of that slot all day long, eventually finishing up with a 4th place overall. The major climbs – Timber, Mill creek, Towers and Stout – seemed to come in rapid succession and I felt that the majority of the trail time was climbing. Indeed the 38 mile course showed about 6k vertical according to my Garmin! And the descents were brutal too, big techy drops and loose rocks made you work just as hard on the way down.

The only real reprive were the Valley Trails which offered some very familiar smooth swooping singletrack and a chance to mentally regroup.

There were definitely a few mandatory hike-a-bikes on the way up – I tried to granny gear up the climbs on the first lap but found it faster to just grind it out in the 32T and run anything that got too steep. There was even a descent that I ran on both laps, the big staircase on the Spring Creek trail. Dismounting is not my normal style and I’ve ridden all of this stuff before when I wasn’t racing but during a race you’ve got to minimize risks, conserve effort and do what’s fastest.

It was a great day on the trails and I was really grateful for the 7am start time .. it was getting HOT up there, especially climbing up the exposed 20% grades on Towers. I’m glad the Overland club put this event together and my only sadness is that I probably won’t get to race it again next year (Jeez, moving to Portland in 2 weeks and already feeling nostalgia for CO …)

July 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment