Syrae Weikle of Denver attacks a hill on the back side of the course in the Cat. 1 category of the Beti Bike Bash. PHOTO BY MARTY CAIVANO
Words and Images By Marty Caivano
(June 12, 2011) LAKEWOOD, Colo. - In its second year, the Beti Bike Bash - an all-women’s mountain bike race held in Lakewood - brought racers out in force.
A field of about 200 women toed the start line at Bear Creek Lake State Park, flanked by cheering husbands, boyfriends and children, before embarking on laps of a non-technical, four-mile course with about 300 feet of climbing.
They were joined by a small but elite field of pro women, including Georgia Gould, Katie Compton, Rebecca Rusch and Krista Park.
Gould edged Compton by about thirty seconds for the win, completing the four laps in 52:32.
“The fact that the course was so fast made it pretty tactical, “ Gould said. “Katie and I got off the front pretty early. I was leading on the third lap when we lapped some other riders. I rode off the trail to pass, and Katie did the same, and I think she crashed, because I managed to get a gap on her there.”
The pros were rewarded well for their efforts, thanks to a $3,000 donation from Stan’s NoTubes, which gave Gould $1,000 and paid through tenth-place finisher Jenny Smith, who received $75.
“They are great athletes, and I really want to put the spotlight on them,” said Cindy Koziatek, co-owner of Stan’s, who was on hand to award the prize money. “I want to pay them their worth, and recognize them for their effort.”
But the riders showed up for more than just the money. “I just want to support a women’s-only race,” Compton said. “I think it’s awesome to see this turnout, with all these women on their bikes.”
Gould stayed at the finish line for another two hours, chatting with other racers and posing for photographs. She shook hands with Dawn Riedel of Colorado Springs, who had made the Bash her first-ever mountain bike race.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, racing with so many girls,” Riedel said. “But it was a great challenge. It gives me motivation to come back and keep up with these girls who are all so fast.”
Amy Thomas, a rider with Golden’s Yeti Beti team, organized the race for the second year. While handing out t-shirts, she watched each podium presentation with a smile on her face.
“Last year, we proved we could get 200 women to come, even without any real marketing,” Thomas said. “And this year I met my goals of getting more pros and more juniors.”
She says the race fills a need for women who may be too intimidated to start racing at a traditional coed event. “We looked around, and no one’s really trying to get new faces on the start line. So we tried to put all the stuff into this race that a beginner would want to experience. But regardless of the category, I didn’t see anyone finishing that wasn’t smiling.”
*For full results and more information, visit Beti Bike Bash
1. Georgia Gould 2. Katie Compton 3. Erin Huck 4. Kelly Boniface 5. Krista Park 6. Rebecca Rusch 7. Sage Wilderman 8. Lisa Hudson 9. Sara Tarkington 10. Jennifer Smith 11. Tracy Thelen 12. Rebecca Blatt 13. Nicole Duke 14. Sarka Ruzickova