Wednesday, August 19, 2009
There are really no secrets to today's Buffalo Pass Hill Climb.
The second-to-last race in the Steamboat Springs Town Challenge mountain bike race series takes most riders from the bottom of Buffalo Pass to the top.
All told, riders pedal 11 miles, including more than 3,600 feet of elevation gain. Pro, open, expert, sport and singlespeed divisions climb the 11 miles from the bottom to the top.
All novice divisions and the 16- to 18-year-old division start at the Dry Lake Campground and climb eight miles to the top of the pass. Those racers starting at Dry Lake Campground will be responsible for getting themselves to the start. All other racers can park at the bottom of Routt County Road 38.
Registration for the race begins at 4 p.m. at the bottom of Buffalo Pass. Children's races begin at 5 p.m. with adults starting at 5:30 p.m. The cost is $15 for children and $25 for adults.
"A couple years ago, I tried to get rid of this race because for me, it's the toughest logistically," Series Director Gretchen Sehler said. "But we polled riders and everybody goes, 'Keep the race. Keep the race. Keep the race.' It's one of the older races. It's all uphill, and it's a challenge. They like it. I'm not sure why, but they do."
Only mountain bikes will be allowed at this year's race, Sehler said. This means bikes must have two working brakes, a tire with a minimum width of 1.75 inches and no drop handlebars.
Barkley Robinson won the men's race last year in 59 minutes, 30 seconds. Kelly Boniface won the women's division in 1:17.39.
Sehler said times could be slower this year after she looked at the course Sunday. She said the upper parts of Buffalo Pass are rutted out. She also reminded competitors to bring warm clothes for the ride down. She said her van will be able to bring the clothes to the finish.
The race will go on no matter the weather, Sehler said. She said in years past, even if it was snowing, she would just shorten the race.
"This race used to be our last race, so we saw snow quite often," she said. "I don't think it's out of the question. I don't want to jinx the weather, but it's supposed to be nicer (today). I hope we don't see snow. I'm not ready for it."