September 21st, 2012
The next few weekends are busy with local mountain bike racing as we transition from summer into fall. This Sunday is the Pro Cycling Classic in Palmer Park. It was originally scheduled for July 1st but had to be rescheduled because of park closures due to the Waldo Canyon Fire. Pre-registration through Pre-Race.com ends tonight, September 21st. There is also race day registration for an extra fee.
Race distances will be typical cross-country lengths. If I’m reading the course map right, it uses a similar course to the 2 Sand Creek Series races this summer but in reverse. I really like riding and racing in Palmer Park there but think I’ll ride up the Pikes Peak Highway that day instead.
There will be a pizza lunch and the number of pizzas ordered will be based on the pre-registration numbers so Andy would like everyone to pre-register. Donations collected for the pizza lunch will go to Kids on Bikes so take some cash. There will be a kids fun race at 12:15 that is free.
Go to SandCreekSports.com for all the Pro Cycling Classic details.
Next weekend, September 29 & 30, is 24 Hour National Mountain Bike Championships also in Palmer Park. Registration for the 24 Hours of Colorado Springs ends this Sunday.
Then coming up on October 6th is the Ring the Peaks Race. This race is a tough 70ish mile ride around Pikes Peak on Ring the Peak Trail. There’s no entry fee and no support.
October 7th, 2011
The Palmer Park 50 was nearly 3 weeks ago. I raced it as training for the Ring the Peak Race.
Heavy rains a few days before washed out some of the trails on the planned course so the course was shortened to 5 miles which meant 10 laps. The course had a nice mix of fast smooth sections and rocky technical sections. The advantage of doing short laps was being able to take better lines through corners and technical sections as the race went on. The downside of that many laps was by about lap 6 I was zoned out.
There was a decent turn out for a late season race. About half the racers where doing the 50 miler and half doing the 25 mile option. Russell Finsterwald won the 50 miler in 03:42:32 on his 20th birthday. Complete results are here.
I made a stupid mistake early on lap 2 on a smooth gravel section that sent me over the bars. Although I bloodied my knee, mildly bruised a couple ribs and had a couple painful fingers and shoulder, it didn’t affect my riding very much. A couple days later though, I was feeling it plenty.
By lap 9 I was getting some pretty bad cramps whenever I tried putting much power into the pedals. It wasn’t surprising since I hadn’t done any long rides after the Leadville 100.
Sand Creek Sports had moved the start back an hour but wasn’t able to change the cut-off time for starting the final lap. I missed the time to start my 10th lap. I should have been able to make it through another lap but with the way I felt on the 9th one I wasn’t terrible disappointed to not head out again.
Since I signed up for the Clydesdale class and no one else did, I won my category just by riding until I was told to stop.
Sand Creek Sports is planning on putting on the Palmer Park 50 again in 2012 on Sunday, September 16th and will again have a post race Pig Roast.
Below are some great shots of me from About the Shot. You can see the rest of their Palmer Park 50 photos here.
September 1st, 2011
Update 9/16/11: Didn’t sign up for the Palmer Park 50 by deadline but now want to do it? Email Andy Bohlmann (email@example.com) TODAY and let him know your name, category, age, and the distance you would like to race – 25 or 50 miles. You won’t get the pig roast but can still race. Race course is likely to have some changes because of the rain the last couple days.
Update 9/7/11: A 25 mile option has been added for those that don’t want to race 50 miles or do it was a team.
Sand Creek Sports is putting on one more mountain bike race this year in Palmer Park. It will be 6 laps of an 8.9 mile course for a little over 50 miles. It will be great final preparation for 24 Hour Mountain Bike Nationals two weeks later on many of the same trails. For me it’ll serve as my final long training ride before the Ring the Peak 100(ish)k race.
Some riders didn’t want to race the complete 50 miles so two person teams have been added. One person to race at a time.
The racing starts at 8 AM and the $45 entry fee includes a pig roast post race. Additional meal tickets can be purchased for $13. Entry deadline is Wednesday September 14th since the pig(s) for the pig roast have to be shipped from Iowa. See the Sand Creek Sports site for entry details.
The course is in the same area as the May race. The course map is here. Below is a great video of the course although I believe there have been some minor changes to the course since the video was created.
May 16th, 2011
Here are some of my best photos from the Sand Creek Series mountain bike yesterday in Palmer Park. You can find my complete Sand Creek Series Palmer Park photo album here.
May 15th, 2011
Update: Sand Creek Series Palmer Park mountain bike race photos are now posted.
It can happen to the best mountain bikers but this is a mountain biking position to avoid.
It was a good day of mountain bike racing out at Palmer Park today for the first race in the 2011 Sand Creek Series even though the day started out wet and stayed cloudy and cool all day.
I’m still going through the photos that I took but the one above is definitely the photo of the day. The photo below is the shot just before he crashed. The racer did ride on after a couple minutes but I think he and his bike were a bit beat up.
May 27th, 2010
I’ve uploaded several photos of the Ascent Cycling MTB Series race. You can see a few below. Clicking on them will show a larger image. The full set in higher resolution is here.
I’ve also gotten several questions about where the mama bear and cubs were on the course. When I saw them there were in the northeast part of Palmer Park not far from Austin Bluffs although they were first seen close to the central part of the park. The photos are geotagged so this map shows where the bears were on the course when I took the photos.
May 22nd, 2010
Today was the first race in the Ascent Cycling MTB Series put on by Sand Creek Sports. Mountain Bikers weren’t the only ones to show up. A mama bear and her 2 cubs wandered through the course during the Pro race during the afternoon.
I was out shooting photos of the race. My friend, Matt Simmons, was in 4th. I was expecting to come by and I kept waiting longer than I thought it should be. My first thought was he had crashed but no one else came by either.
All of a sudden my friend hanging out with me said to look behind. There was the mama bear and her 2 cubs walking across the course. They crossed a couple parts of the course and went down into a drainage.
Soon my friend came by along with about 7 other riders. By then I think the top 3 had a gap of nearly 10 minutes. In the end I doubt it made much difference if any difference in placing since the top 3 already had a fairly good gap.
Matt said he was close to the bears when he got stopped. The mama bear got up on her hind legs and was growling. He was happy when they moved on but knew they headed to where the course looped back. He wasn’t sure how long to wait to make sure he didn’t run into them again.
I also got several shots of the racers and will get some posted in the next day or two. In the meantime, here are a few more photos of the bears.
Update: I’ve uploaded several race photos. I’ve gotten questions about where I saw the bears. This map on SmugMug shows the locations of the bear photos.