My mountain biking season began with the Ridgeline Rampage Half Marathon in Castle Rock this weekend. The organization (www.warriorscycling.com) always puts on a good race, and a strong field toed the line.
We took off hammering in an attempt to hit the singletrack in good position, and I learned that my starts could use some work. The 30-mile course consisting of three loops was almost entirely singletrack, and the trails were incredibly windy, with turns every few seconds for the entire course. This provided some excellent skills work, and I was happy to be on the Yeti, which is great in the tight stuff.
Mike West provided some excellent downhill pacing for me as I tried to stay with him through a skills clinic in the curves for half a lap. When his chain broke, I began time-trialing and did not see another pro rider for the remainder of the race.
Friends Kelly Magelky and Josiah Middaugh rode strong, finishing 3rd and 4th, respectively, and I was 6th.
I hope to make it to the Mountain States Cup in a couple of weeks in Salida, although moving plans may interfere.