Thursday, July 7, 2011

Echo Valley 30/60 Miler

One week after the Bavarian Bike and Brew, a handful of GL6ers once again found themselves on the dry side of the mountains for the second race the NW Epic Series, Echo Valley.  This area is not known too well in mountain bike circles, so not only did none of us know what to expect, but we didn't have anyone to fill us in on the course details.  We pulled into the onsite camping at 11 pm, with the surrounding terrain veiled in darkness, but as the sun rose the next morning, we were treated to some of the views we would see on the course; folding hillsides dotted with pine trees, expansive views of the cascades, and the promise of dry trails.

Lee sports his hardware and matching farmer tan
The course couldn't have been any more different from it's predecessor, Stottlemeyer; Stotty was full of flat-ish, technical and slippery root sections that snaked dizzily through dense forest, but Echo Valley was dry, smooth, included climbs and descents throughout the course, and the most technical challenges were maintaining traction on the descents and not being distracted by the expansive views.  Such a fast course made it difficult to regulate speed and know when to push or back off; all of us had the desire to push it the entire time.  As a result, I burned out after the first lap and let the woman I was chasing (and ahead of going into lap two) gain a full eight minutes on me, and Kyle decided to get intimate with a tree.  Real intimate.  As I crossed through the lap transition, I him standing on the sidelines with blood in his beard.  Apparently he smacked head first into a tree on one of the descents and was treated to a concussion.  Luckily he was talked out of finishing the race by some of the other passing racers and finally by his own good sense.  The carnage didn't stop there; Lee sliced his leg open on his seemingly blunt pedal while running up a steep loose section and had to go the ER to get stitches.  That didn't stop him from smoking the competition and earning 3rd place in the Men's singlespeed category and 12th place overall out of over 100 racers!

30 Miler Results
Lee Peterson, 3rd, Singlespeed Men, 12th overall
Brian Mitchell, 25th Open Men, 57th overaall
Erin Roe, 12th Open Women, 63rd overall
John Curtin, 26th Masters Men, 88th overall
Michael Scholl, DNF (injury)
Kyle Curtin, DNF (crash)

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