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Mt Evans Hill Climb - race report (long)(3 posts)

Mt Evans Hill Climb - race report (long)ChazWicked
Jul 26, 2003 8:32 PM
don't ask... I wrote this in a sort of reporter-rider format...
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"Up up & away" - by Joseba Beloki (hell I have nothing better to do)

Race report "Mt Evans Hill Climb (road)"

ChazWicked was in excellent form. Rolling out he looked back to notice that he was the very last rider in the peloton. "That won't do." he thinks to himself as he rockets down the straightaway like a grand prix motorcar leaving carnage upon the road. Ok maybe not but he did up the pace and was passing really skinny guys on very costly road bikes, one by one, over the entire course. Very few riders passed him and managed to make it stick. The most entertaining character was this guy on an extremely noisy Cannondale with deep V rims and a crazy aero frame with the inset rear wheel and bladed carbon fork. He'd come rumbling by only to slow way down again. Perhaps the noise was getting to him.

ChazWicked just spun the course at a reasonable pace and wasn't going for an ugly sufferfest. With that in mind, the views along the route were superb and rival anything found in Rocky Mountain National Park. With fields of flowers, legendary 1000+ year old bristlecone pines, and endless hulking snow covered granite all around, it was, in a word: beautiful.

Nothing on the course was difficult really. It was all a fairly easy grade. The only potentially demoralizing bit for these riders is when they could see far far away and up up high and see a line of ants creeping along, knowing that ... eventually... that would be them.

Summitting the Col de Mt. Evans in 2:50 behind a snarl of crappy drivers, ChazWicked let the glory wash over him. As it turns out there was no glory really but there was rain washing over him so he chucked himself down the mountain at high speed. With lightning striking into the low valleys, it seemed that the usual approaches to thunderstorm safety were not applicable at this point. After bunnyhopping a few ugly road irregularities, ChazWicked enjoyed unusually smooth soft buttery landings. He then decided that it was time to drop away from the 70-80kph speed he was maintaining and enjoy a scenic overlook while he repaired his flat front tire which was the cause of that buttery feeling. Alas the tire that went on without tools would not come off without the aid of tools that he did not have. So he inflated the slowly leaking tube as best he could and continued to race the storm to the bottom, bouncing the front wheel every minute while riding along to gauge the pressure. The downhill fun was over and he rode a conservative speed for the remainder.

Then the rain (really) hit.

"Lovely" ChazWicked mutters aloud as he's pelted with rain, hail, and road spray. Great... rain, hail, and a flat tire, all I need now is my brakes to fail for that hairpin switchback coming up.

Oh no

Getting a whole lot of nothing from his brakes, ChazWicked quickly relearns how wet rims need to have brakes dragged on them to keep everything in order. With one hundred meters until the turn with a soft front tire he's deciding where, not if he's going to crash. Now he's at forty meters, thirty, twenty... and the brakes finally do what brakes should and he breaks the speed down and cleans the corner without incident. Ironically, the dangerous soft and slowly deflating front tire forced a moderate speed and may have prevented a nice crash, sometimes referred to as an "Ullrich impersonation."

A few turns later ChazWicked exchanges his frigid and wet clothes for new items warm and dry right before the hailstorm really hit and so goes another average day in colorado.

Sadly there was a fairly large field of riders still on the course racing up and down the hill as the storm blew in. These riders will have really taken a beating from the weather as it was a powerful frigid driving rain followed by hail.

The stats: 28 miles, 7000' of climbin
congratsColnagoFE
Jul 28, 2003 7:20 AM
not a bad time at all...1st time to race it? i missed this year because i had to watch the kids. usually i plan to get a ride down because i'm beat after getting to the top and that ride down is LONG! usually raining or hailing by then too as you found out.
two things:JS Haiku Shop
Jul 28, 2003 7:44 AM
#1 your ride report was cut short.

#2 you can use your quick release as a tire lever in a jam.