by Cortney Bloomer
This year, the Sierra Cup Mountain Bike Race Series has been hugely successful in drawing lots of riders from around the area to compete in races in Nevada and California. So far, 3 of 7 races have been completed – the Pine Nut Cracker in Gardnerville, NV, the Skyline Cup near Napa, CA and the Peavine Challenge in Reno. The race series entry fees benefit a variety of local bike clubs that devote their time and energy to maintaining the trails in the area, so it’s a worthwhile way to support these organizations and to try out some trails that some of us don’t ride as regularly.
Peavine was last weekend, after being rescheduled from the original date due to rain. I went up to take part in the action, and if I had to use two words to sum up the race, it would be these: HOT and UP. The course climbed a lot up Peavine in the hot sun, and it was definitely a day to carry plenty of water. There was a water stop on the course that riders passed twice on the full lap and once on the half lap, but that was not enough, and I emptied a water bottle and most of my Camelbak.
I was racing the Sport Women 19-39 class, which was supposed to ride one and a half laps. The pro riders rode 2 laps, and the beginners rode 1 lap. After the first full lap, I decided I wasn’t going to be able to finish, it was so tough and I was recovering from being sick. So, I headed back to the Start/Finish area to wait and cheer on the other riders as they finished, and partake of the post-race food. There were burgers and the best watermelon ever. I don’t know if it was really the best watermelon, or if it just tasted so good because only moments earlier I thought I might suffer an untimely death from exposure out on the course! Either way, it was delicious.
Because of the hot conditions, my hat goes out to all the riders, including a few fellow Carson City riders, who were able to not only finish the race, but stand on the podium during the awards ceremony: Levi Grabow won the Sport Men 19-29 category, Brian Wallace won the Sport Men 30-39, Melissa Jones took second in Sport Women 19-39, and Susan McElhany was second in Sport Women 40+. Also, Seth Jezek was the third place rider in Junior Men 14 and under. All the riders from Carson City did a great job last weekend, and you can probably see them out riding our local trails. If you see them, ask them about their experience at the race.
I really appreciate that the mountain biking community in our area puts forth so much support for these races. The local bike shops do a great job sponsoring these events, and there is always a nice raffle at the end, so even if it’s not your day to win, place, or show, you still might go home with some nice swag. At the end of the series, a series champion will be named, too.
If you’re a rider who is looking for a way to meet other riders from around the area and push yourself on a challenging course, there are still 4 races left, and you can sign up at Bikereg.com. The remaining races are: Kirkwood Mountain Classic at Kirkwood on July 30, Sky Tavern Classic in Reno on August 14, The Great Tahoe Flume Race on September 10, and the Sawtooth Ridge Challenge on October 2.
Photos courtesy of KrisCanXS on Flickr.