October 15/10 10:52 am - Midland-Horseshoe-Midland Enduro
Posted by Editoress on 10/15/10
WOW what a day! The morning was a little crisp and had the riders guessing at what to wear. With the weather over the past week being dry as a bone, the course was in perfect shape. So, with blue skies, fall colours and an afternoon temperature hitting 16C the first wave set off. This was suppose to be the "tour" group, but looking at the gang, no one here was a casual rider. They were all seasoned CXers. I was worried the "racers" wouldn't catch up with the one hour staggered start. With that first group off I got the second wave ready to go. Okay, the first wave had talent no doubt, but the second was stacked. Maybe they would catch?
The course had a neutral start, just to get them up the ski hill together and then enjoy the next 10 kilometres before the double track started, letting the games begin! From what I've gathered from the riders, the "tour" gang pretty much stayed together till Horseshoe Valley Rd, when the cord started to stretch.
The "racers" started going at it in a slightly unorthodox way, as Brien Ross pulls away on a soft dirt road heading downhill and kept the hammer down for the next 5 kilometres. This led the group down a tricky dirt road that was very soft in areas, and required you to be on your toes and pick firm lines to ride. Nishman was supervising the following section which was over sandy short hills that were challenging and surprisingly energy sapping on the CX bikes. It was the technical guys (I can say guys because no ladies showed up to ride - very disappointing) that were now in the lead.
A short 3-4 kilometres of mixed road took them onto an old road allowance that is only used for ATV/snowmobiles - nice and fast, with the exception of a few fun ups and downs. At the check point leading into that section, the "racers" had only put in about 15 minutes into the "tours" by the time they got to 30 kilometres. Once out on Horseshoe Valley Rd/Bidwell Road, it gave the riders some more time to reorganize and loosen their grip on their bars and take on some food/water.
At the halfway point the course was set to come back out onto Horseshoe Valley road and ride through the resort's valley. A feature I had wanted the riders to do, but a group of the 'racers' knew the area better then the organizer and used some trails to bypass a busy section of road. No harm or foul, as their route was tougher then mine. The next challenge offered a $10 reward to the person who could climb the 6th Line that runs parallel to Mt. St. Louis, proved undoable for any of the CX bikes, but John Webb (the only one who took on the entire challenge on his mountain bike) hauled his skinny behind up the beast, with fat MTB tires collecting the money. For everyone who climbed the hill, home made chocolate chip cookies and Infinit nutrition sport drink on menu along with the Fudgeos and Fig Newtons to re-fuel before tackling the last part of the event.
The next feature was a great descent down into the Sturgeon River valley. Once down there it was bit of hike-a-bike, off and on till the river crossing - nothing special here because of the dry weather meant the river was only knee deep for most part. Most everyone commented it felt good on their legs - duh like no one has heard of ice water baths for athletes! The climb out of there gets the legs warmed up again and leads to a quiet road for the next few klicks, but once again back on the dirt roads/double tracks. The ride through the Wye Marsh was a great section of double track. Everyone commented on it with good flow and a challenging climb.
With just Brebeuf Rd left I was able to find some more ATV trails, just to add one more feature before getting back to Mountain View. The get together at the end was awesome. Going over the recaps of the day is always a good time. We had a quick pow wow about what we can change for next year. It was agreed the basic course looks good just some tuning to get off the busier roads.
For a second opinion check out Andrew Watson's blog
For next year:
• Thinking a figure eight type course. 35 kilometre loop circling back thought Mountain View before heading out for a 65 kilometre loop. This will give the race three different lengths of rides to do.
• Maybe a bit earlier in the year. There were a few leaves on the ground making it a little too challenging to find those nasty rocks and holes
• New name - the current one sucks!
I want to thank everyone that came out. We were not a big bunch but we had a good time and that is what it's all about.
A special thanks to the event sponsors:
• Our local bike store - Total Sports (prizes)
• Rob Spence of Velocity Cycle and Ski (prizes)
• Glenn Meeuwisse - Pulse Racing (prizes)
• Jenn Robertson - Infinit Nutrition (Sport drink & prizes)
Mountain View has it all! Come check out our races for both biking and skiing. See you at the next event.
Courtesy Tim Bourrie