Race #2 for the RME series moves north to Denver
by Sydney Fox
The second race of the Rocky Mountain Endurance series takes place at Bear Creek Lake State Park for Battle the Bear. With a 60-, 30-, 20, and 10-mile race to choose from, competitors of every style will have their chance to prove themselves.
The 20 mile cross country-length course is a great choice for those looking for a competitive venue after the demise of cross country-specific races in Colorado.
The start leaves wide open spaces ripe for passing. Few rocks mean a smooth race.
With a road start once again, there is plenty of time to pass and find your place in the pack before the singletrack. As the trail narrows, find flowing, smooth dirt that calls for a tight block, low-volume race tire that has a bit of meat to corner with. Gear into your big ring and fly along the meandering trail until the first climb appears. Keep it rolling fast and take advantage of places to pass. Be warned though: if you choose to pass off-course, keep an eye out for rogue rocks and sticky goatheads. Running tubeless will keep race day worry-free. At the top of the climb Denver is laid out below, but ignore the view and sail down, keeping momentum for the flats below.
Open space is great for spectating, so bring the fan base. The trail winds in and out of tree stands.
After crossing the dam, the best descent is ahead. Enjoy the ride and look forward to twisting trial that rolls over small bridges and up tight corners as it flows next to the creek. Soon the course loops around for another lap.
One of the few climbs that feels fairly steep after the flats. Mt. Carbon descent is exhilarating with sweeping views.
With minimal shade, the course is liable to be hot, so if temps creep into the 70’s, be prepared to take a feed each lap. This course is spectator friendly, look forward to cow bells and encouraging words throughout the entire race.
Wooden bridges cover the course.Most of the trail is flat and fast. Good for big ring rolling.
Technical Rating: 4 out of 10, a couple of loose climbs could cause spin-outs.
Rider Strengths for Course: Another power course, the flats will play a big role, but five climbs mean the climbers will have their chance as well.
Watch out for: Dry conditions will mean loose corners, but any amount of rain will create insta-mud. Goatheads could get you in passing zones.
The landscape becomes more lush, close to the creek. Pump over the bridges to keep momentum up the next short hill.
Pump over the bridges to keep momentum up the next short hill.
Soon you will be on to the next lap.