Kristen Lodge: Rocks, roots, riding
June 21, 2012
On Saturday, June 30, Winter Park Resort hosts the second race in the Epic Singletrack series, the Cross Country Super Loop. Thursday morning I rode a few sections of the beginner race course with race organizer Laurie Mooney, from the Winter Park Competition Center. She took me on the popular singletrack trails such as Serenity and Chickadee, and they are fun to ride. The trails meander through large fir and pine trees, over two creeks, with purple Columbine punctuating the trail.
We encountered Scooter McDaniel as he mapped the route on his GPS. Later, he will be updating the Epic Singletrack website with the data prior to the race. McDaniel ensures the accuracy of the course and that it will be ready on race day. He will mark the course and ride it on race morning to make sure no trees have fallen overnight.
The course is in great shape, compared to last year when snow was still on it in June. Today, the trails are dry and we crossed a few streams. There were a few trees down that will be removed by the race officials before race day.
The Cross Country Super Loop mileage is different for each race category. Total mileage for pro, expert and sport men riders is 18 miles. Sport women is about 15 miles and all beginners ride 13.5 miles, Mooney said.
The race starts on Mountain Road just past the Sorensen Park sign. Sport Women and Beginners will take first right on to Green World to Serenity and pros will continue up to the 4 Points spur. Other trails that will be on the course include Upper Cherokee, Tunnel Hill Road, Green World, Serenity
Tracks Trail, Ice Hill, Little Vasquez Road, Chickadee, and Blue Sky.
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“It’s fun single track and great climbing, with a descent to the ski area,” said Mooney
Local racers include Debby Sullivan of Fraser who will be racing in the Pro category.
“Last year I won all my races so I had to move up to the Pro/Semi Pro category,” said Sullivan.
Cyclists don’t have to have a license to race pro in this series.
She hopes to race each Epic Singletrack race when she is not racing Xterra. This weekend she is racing the inaugural Xterra in Wyoming, and will be back in time to pre-ride the Cross Country Super Loop.
“I like the Super Loop course. It has a variety of terrain and technical. It’s a classic course. Sullivan is sponsored by Bolle, Newton Shoes, Redstone Cyclery, and Winter Park Real Estate.
Jon Brickner, also of Fraser, is racing the Super Loop on June 30. He is racing in the Pro category and is a USA Cycling Pro. He will be pre-riding the course this week, as well.
“It’s good to pre-ride the course; it gives you an advantage,” Brickner said.
He is hoping to be overall winner, again, this year.
“The races are fun, with great trails. The fields are big and it’s competitive. It’s a good series.”