Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bavarian Bike and Brew

For those who are unfamiliar with the Bavarian Bike and Brew in Leavenworth, WA, it is an event not to be missed.  The course serves a capillary-bursting climb followed by a brake-burning descent that racers complete one, two or three times, but their efforts are rewarded with an all-you-can-drink-for-fifteen-bucks beer festival, a chance to win passes to Stevens Pass (and other great prizes) in the raffle, live music and delicious food, all set at the picturesque Gibbs Organic Farm.  And heck, what other race includes a beer stein with your entry?  On top of all that, the race is situated just minutes from the tourist-luring bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, which, by the way, is on the dry, sunny side of the mountains; we enjoyed 80 degree weather all weekend!

After surviving traffic and nearly leaving behind a phone, wallet, and suitcase, Rueben and his wife Jill, Derik, Michelle, Rachel, Nancy, Bernie, Jamey, Lee and I met for some pre-race beer at the new Icicle Brewery in Leavenworth.  Lee and his buddy Mike left to camp onsite, while the rest of us once again made our home the Reflections "Cabin," a huge vacation home riding distance from the race site that came equipped with a BBQ and kitchen which came in handy for breakfast the next morning.  After some pancakes and smoothies, we were off for a day of racing, beer drinking, and sunburns.

Erin on lap 2
Much as I love this event, the course has gotten the better of me for the last few years - in fact, I distinctly remember being near tears on my second lap last year - and this year wasn't shaping up to be much better.  I had come down with a cold three days before and knew that within minutes of the start, I would be a wheezing mucus-fest, which was pretty much true.  Remembering last year, I started mellow and paced myself up the road climb and into the singletrack.  I slowly caught up to two other ladies on the four mile leg sapping climb, and then the payoff; four miles of nothin-but-downhill.  The downhill is screaming fast and nearly always causes a broken collarbone, concussion, or separated shoulder to a racer or three, so I was cautious; unfortunately, my caution cost me some time and one of the girls I passed on the climb passed me back on the descent.  After fifteen minutes of downhill bliss, I settled in to another forty of minutes of climbing torture.   Near the top of the climb on my second lap, I looked back and saw Rachel had nearly caught up to me.  Rachel has bested me on this course every other year, but this year, I was determined not to let her beat me again.  The climbing was my opportunity to stay ahead of her, as she had been ripping it up on DH and SD courses all spring, but I was set.  I opened it up and let it rip for my second lap, and was able to stay ahead of her all the way to the finish line AND shave 11 minutes off my time from last year.  Nothing like a little teammate competition!  Unfortunately, I still occupied the second-to-last spot in my age category.  Next year!!!

Derik: 2nd Place Expert Men 35-44
Other GL6ers ROCKED THE HOUSE!!  Both Derik and Rueben earned a spot on the podium, each taking 2nd place in two very competitive categories!  And, both Lee and Nancy scored some Steven's Pass weekend passes in the raffle!  We got our money's worth out of the beer garden, then rode back to the cabin and made use of the BBQ.  I can't wait for next year!!  Definitely one of the best bike events of the season!
Rueben: 2nd Place Sport Men 19-34

Expert Men 35-44
Derik Archibald, 2nd
Lee Peterson, 17th

Expert Men 45+
Bernie Miller, 15th

Open Women 35-44
Michelle Kautzmann, DNF

Sport Men 19-34
Reuben Andrews, 2nd

Sport Women 19-34
Erin Roe, 7th

Sport Women 35+
Rachel Delateur, 7th

Sport Singlespeed
Jamey Poelker, 5th
Jamey singlespeeds it up the road climb

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