With more uphill than down, cyclists take on Berry Creek
EDWARDS —The Berry Creek Bash starts and finishes at the same location.
Logically, that would dictate that there was no net elevation gain during Wednesday, Aug. 15’s race, a part of the Vail Recreation District East West Hospitality Mountain Bike Series, in Edwards.
But if one talks to the racers …
“The uphill is three or four times as long as the downhill, and it really hurts,” men’s sport racer John Martin said.
“There’s way more uphill, for sure,” Gaja Wilson said.
While math and gravity say one thing, when one is actually in the saddle, there is clearly more uphill.
Going to school
Sam Brown is loading up and heading for Fort Lewis College this weekend. He’s spent the summer, at ripe old age of 18, racing in the men’s pro division with the J’s — Jake Wells, Jay Henry and, sometimes, Josiah Middaugh.
“The best training is racing,” Brown said. “The first race this year was a little intimidating. I actually beat Jay (Henry), but they’re very good cyclists. They’ve got very good handling skills. They’re super strong and fit. It’s good racing with them. They got the better of me this race.”
That said, Brown’s not going to be intimidated by anyone in Durango.
Meanwhile, Wilson is gearing up for her senior year of racing with Vail Valley Junior Cycling. The first race is Aug. 25 in Frisco. She has big goals for the fall and so Wednesday was a tuneup.
“It was good. Last year, I had food poisoning, so this year was better,” Wilson said. “It was nice out there. We had a little cloud cover.”
While the leaves aren’t turning, the colors were out on Wednesday.
“The top is pretty nice,” Martin said. “When you take that last turn going west, and with the smoke, it was pretty tangerine on the western horizon. You get a nice view.”
Martin added that his favorite trails are actually at Beaver Creek. The good news for him and the rest of the field is that the series finale on Wednesday, Aug. 22, is the Beaver Creek Blast.
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VAIL — The lift operator in the maze at Vail Village’s Gondola One tilts his head back and hollers: “Masks up please!”