Epic night of bike racing thrills locals | SteamboatToday.com

Epic night of bike racing thrills locals

The best and worst of it comes in the middle of the night, Helen Brown explained.

Brown raced in the 25 Hours in Frog's Hollow, a massively long mountain bike race near Hurricane, Utah, two years ago and loved it enough she decided to go back this season.

It took a little recruiting — a call-out on Facebook looking for riders — but she found a team and joined with Miranda Schrock, Bec Bale and Becky Sears Edmiston to help lead Steamboat Springs cyclists in one, final, big mountain bike race of the season.

Somehow, Brown ended up with the night shift in the race, riding two laps starting at 4 a.m.

That's tough, she explained.

"It's pretty brutal, because you wake up from a nap at 3:30 a.m. and have to tell your body, 'It's time to go ride bikes as hard as you can for the next 2.5 hours,'" she said. "But, it's all worth it when you're riding at 6 a.m., and you see the sunrise come over Zion National Park.

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"Then, it's all worth it."

The team of Schrock, Bale, Edmiston and Brown — Team Stinger Snack Time — ended up winning its division, one of several Steamboat Springs-related teams to post strong results in the event.

Mindy Mulliken, meanwhile, rode with a five-person team that also won it's division.

Rob Peterson then raced in the men's solo singlespeed division, placing seventh.

Each came away with some eye-popping stats.

The group of four Steamboat women dominated their race, with Bale, Edmiston and Brown standing out as the top three racers in the category. Schrock, in her first such race, wasn't far behind, coming in ninth of 26 riders.

The group finished 21 laps on the 13-mile course, one more than the any other team. Three teams were tied at 20.

Mulliken, meanwhile, completed six laps, the most on her team, and she had the second-best lap time on her team, which won its division with 24 laps.

Peterson cranked out six laps before pulling off late in the night.

Many of the Steamboaters camped together, with a support crew made up of friends who came in to help out, and those not out pedaling spent the night around the campfire, swapping stories and laughs and awaiting their turn on out the trail.

"It's the most fun you can have riding bikes," Brown said. "This was by far the most fun I've had at a race in my life."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9