Gritty

True Grit Epic - one of the races on the BPR-CO calendar where the Colorado Charter is in full effect. Why? Well, rocks are fun. Steep downhills with rocks are fun. And suspension makes it all that much more fun! So yes, plenty of mechanical advantages on the Two Wheeled Self Propelled devices AKA Bikes. True Grit really lives up to the motto "Long, Tough, Technical" - and that's just the 50 mile loop! For those hearty souls brave (nuts?) enough to step up to the 100... Yeah. Not happening for this Crew. But anyway... True Grit is a tail of four trail systems, which makes it one of the best endurance races around. There is the relentless double track and single track climbs and sharp, washy descents of Barrel Ride, with the waterfall descent as the exclamation point at the end. Next comes Zen - some of the most fun to be had in 6 miles of singletrack that requires the ability to ride both up and down. No free speed descents in Zen; it's all earned speed. After the Three Fingers of Death and the woops of BearClaw Poppy is the mind-numbing ascent of Stuki Springs. So easy to lose focus and start day dreaming about adult beverages during this section. Finally, a return to singletrack on the sometimes, somewhat techy Barrel Roll trail before the pavement spring to the finish.

After a night punctuated by a downpour that left both Leader and Pit Boss wondering if there would be a trail or peanut butter for riding, race morning dawned cool and cloudy, but with hints of sun. Both Leader and Pit Boss were racing in the Open class, as Pit Boss did not want to ruin the following vacation and trail riding with only one gear. They both lined up, ready to tackle some rocks and hopefully finishing higher then back of the pack. It was a fast "neutral start on blacktop that saw a flyer off the front, at least until the first dirt climb... Then it was business as usual, with Pit Boss and his faded orange helmet disappearing from view and Leader attempting to keep pace with the speedy women around her.

The results:
Pit Boss (3:50:46) - Middle of the Pack. The cooler weather favored him and he was able to knock nearly 10 minutes off his time from the prior year. The rocks were fun and the bigger the lines, the better - within reason as he was riding his race bike, not his trail bike.

Leader (4:23:32) - Middle of the Pack. While she was faster then last year and was quite pleased about riding everything but two little climbs on Zen, there was some pouting at the end. After all, the goal is always to move up in packs. However, the compliments from the guys around her made her day - several times... No ponytail factor here!!
 
The data:
Total Distance - 45 miles (It's an easy round up to 50 miles, right?)
Elevation gain - 4,806 (and since it was a loop course there was just as much descending...)
Suspension - 120mm of glorious squish both front and rear
Gears - there was a 30x(XI) and a 32x(XI)  Figure it out....
Droppers - always; seat up @$$ is not a pleasant feeling.
Functional Clothes - as allowed by CO Charter

And a nice scenery photo from after the race, just for kicks....

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