Divide(s) and conquer

The Sangre de Cristos as seen from the deck of Chez Dog outside Weirdcliffe, in Crusty County.

The Sangre de Cristos as seen from the deck of Chez Dog outside Weirdcliffe, in Crusty County.

This should be amusing — the Colorado junior/senior state road championships will be held in and around my old hometown of Weirdcliffe next June.

I found Crusty County a tough spot for road riding, if you define “road” as “pavement.” We lived 10 miles east of town, up a dirt road in the Wet Mountains, and said road was basically impassable on a road bike even in good weather. The drop from our house to the county road was a winding, rapid 430 vertical feet in one mile, and what went down eventually had to come back up.

Your Humble Narrator, enjoying a brisk workout on his private cyclo-cross course back in the day when he could still squeeze into a skinsuit without a tire iron and some lubricant.

Your Humble Narrator, enjoying a brisk workout on his private cyclo-cross course back in the day when he could still squeeze into a skinsuit without a tire iron and some lubricant.

So, since I’ve always hated driving to a training ride, I mostly rode cyclo-cross bikes everywhere, and a guy could piece together one hell of an eclectic workout that way, especially when the ride started at 8.800 feet.

That said, there was some stellar paved-road riding in the vicinity — the old Hardscrabble Century used some of it, as did a century out of Pueblo and a comparative newcomer, Ride Westcliffe. And it sounds like the state champs would like to use quite a piece of it.

If the organizers get to lay out a road-race course that includes McKenzie Junction, Wixxon Divide, Bigelow Divide and Greenhorn Divide en route to Bishop’s Castle and back, well, there will be fun for all, excepting the fat bastards, like yours truly. The only flat spot on the course is likely to be the start/finish line.

I always wanted to put on a Three Peaks-style cyclo-cross at Bear Basin Ranch, but we had enough trouble persuading the Boulder fairies to drive to Bibleburg. Throw in a couple thousand more feet of vertical, another 75 miles of driving, and the chance of meeting an actual bear on course, and the moniker “Wet” Mountains would have taken on a whole new meaning.

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4 Responses to “Divide(s) and conquer”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Would be nice if these organizers had a Fat Bastard category. I’ve tried to get the locals down this way to sponsor a less competitive metric century in Bombtown alongside the Tour de Los Alamos.. Nice roads, great climbs, wonderful vistas, and jack shit for enthusiasm except for one or two people. Sigh.

  2. Pat and Sandy O'Brien Says:

    I remember one of the mountain bike races here (on Ft. Huachuca) in the 90s. They had a 60-65 division, and two guys showed up at the starting line. One told the official, wake me up when you are ready to start. He then proceeded to really run some fast laps of the course. I can’t remember if he rode up the “wall” or not. Most riders dismounted and ran up it.

  3. John O Says:

    Do you need to wear shoes ?

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