Buff Pass Hill Climb presents 3,500 feet of vertical climbing

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If you go

What: Buffalo Pass Hill Climb

Where: Starts at the base of Buff Pass and Dry Lake Campground

When: Adults start at 5:30 p.m. with children's events at 5 p.m.

— There's nothing really fancy to today's Buff Pass Hill Climb, the second-to-last race in this year's Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series.

Riders start at the bottom of Buffalo Pass and wind their way up to the top.

"This is a race that people either love or they hate it," Town Challenge race director Gretchen Sehler said.

Adult divisions will have a mass start at 5:30 p.m. Children's events begin at 5 p.m.

For all divisions except novice riders and racers between the ages of 16 and 18, the race covers 11 miles and 3,500 vertical feet.

The novice and 16- to 18-year-old divisions start at Dry Lake Campground and face only an eight-mile jaunt that climbs a mere 2,500 vertical feet.

"You just get into a cadence and climb," Sehler said.

Children's events will all finish at Dry Lake Campground.

The fastest time, recorded several years ago, was a finish in less than an hour by the British national team. Sehler said she expects times to be slower than normal this year since the upper sections of the road are in bad shape after recent rain in the area.

"You could probably ride faster on your bike than you could drive it," Sehler said.

She said she anticipates the top finishers coming in with times just a little more than an hour.

Although the race consists of mostly uphill riding, the upper sections flatten out a bit and even feature some downhill portions, Sehler said.

She reminded competitors to bring warm clothes for the ride down. She said her van will be able to bring the clothes to the finish.

"It's going to be cold," she said. "But we want people to be responsible for getting themselves down."

Those racers starting at Dry Lake Campground will be responsible for getting themselves to the start. All other racers can park at the bottom.

"This is pure-on climbing," Sehler said. "It's for somebody who likes to suffer and go uphill."

Cost on the day of is $16 for adults and $11 for children.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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