Saturday, September 20, 2003
Katie Lindquist doesn't see 4 a.m. often, so she took delight in watching the August moon travel across the Canadian sky.
Lindquist was on a mountain bike for 24 straight hours during the 2003 World Solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships in British Columbia, so she had plenty of time to gaze at the celestial bodies orbiting Earth.
Lindquist, a Steamboat Springs resident, finished second in the Elite Female division at the Aug. 30-31 competition, held at Whistler Resort north of Vancouver. She moved from fourth place to second through the night because she didn't change clothes or stop to eat anything more than energy goo. Her momentary breaks were for drink refills and to change the batteries for the lights on her bike and helmet.
The 2003 competition marked Lindquist's fourth World Championships. She has finished first or second each time.
"My pit stops were two or three minutes," Lindquist said. "I'm constantly racing. There is no sitting down. There's no cup of soup. It's a mental game, and as soon as you sit down, 10 or 15 minutes goes by and that's one-quarter lap."
Thirty women from around the world qualified for the 2003 24 Hours of Adrenalin Championships. Lindquist said she entered the race hoping to be back on the podium after missing the 2002 championships. She wasn't sure if she was mentally hungry enough -- or even a good enough racer -- to compete against women 10 years younger.
She got her answer by finishing second behind Christina Begay of Denver.
"She was hungrier than me," Lindquist said of Begay. "She wanted a World Championship, and I already had one (from 2000)."
Whistler Resort, one of North America's premier ski resorts, is becoming a haven for mountain bikers, particularly downhillers, Lindquist said. The World Championships was staged at the resort on a 12-mile course that Lindquist said was rocky and technical.
Lindquist completed 18 laps and rode more than 200 miles. The race began at noon Aug. 30 and ended at noon Aug. 31.
"The top six were all really strong riders," she added. "It all comes down to how you handle the game and who decides to stop and change. This was one of the more demanding courses I've been on, and it confirmed to me that I was a good rider. Truly, the best part of the race was the competition."
Lindquist plans to compete in next year's World Championships and may have found the hunger to drive her toward another title. She is still one of the world's elite endurance riders.
"I've built my career around doing 24-hour races," Lindquist said. "It is fun to go all day and all night and see how you change and the Earth changes. Temperatures rise and temperatures drop. It's a fascinating way to experience the change of day."
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com