It’s a heck of a time to be a cyclist in northern Arizona. As the 2016 cross-country mountain biking season is coming to close, here’s a recap of a month’s worth of pedal powered shenanigans.
The 2016 off-road season is stacked with some pretty burly races, starting off with the Barn Burner in Flagstaff. This was a 26, 50, or 100 mile dirt road race, circumnavigating Kendrick Mountain not far from Flagstaff. This course is consistently hilly, and famously muddy, however this year it ended up being more of a Dune-like dust-storm environment than derailleur-hanger swallowing mud. The race starts Le Mans style, where racers must first run a quarter mile to their steed before sprinting off wondering why they started so hard. Regardless, the four racers from Prescott College crushed it and enjoyed the free post-race libations. This was a great, grass-roots mountain bike race that would certainly be friendly for beginners, we’ll be back next year!
Next up for the team was a singletrack race in Gallup, New Mexico on the High Desert Trail System. This course never disappoints and takes riders over three distinctly unique mesas and countless interesting rock-formations. The geology nerd inside all of us was a bit sad to blow past these formations so quickly. Gallup is a great race year after year, with a growing crowd of quality competition, here’s looking forwards to next year!
After a month of two of getting our legs under us, a brave few took on the Bradshaw Grinder starting out of the near by town of Mayor, and taking the dirt roads and doubletrack to Crown King and back. Early on in the season, the 62 mile course with a butt-ton of climbing seemed a bit Hurculean for the lot of us mortals, but historic stoke levels from teammates and other riders made it seem as casual as Sunday brunch. The team brought the full assortment of bikes, including ‘cross bikes, hardtails, and even Martha’s famed wooden bike! The course seemed to be four parts up hill to every one part down, but the scenery was enough to somehow pedal on. Luckily, they had tons of free Little Ceasar’s pizza at the finish that kept team moral high. A special shout out to Luis, who raced this course on a singlespeed and still managed to finish smiling.
As the cross country season drew to a close, the always entertaining cycle-cross season began with races every weekend between Phoenix and Flagstaff. Cycle-cross never disappoints as the most quirky, fast paced, and viewer friendly form of bike racing out there. The stoke-train is being relentlessly driven forward by Greg Cooper, who can be seen practicing his skills in Granite Creek Park. Contact the team to join in on our weekly, beginner friendly cycle-cross practice!