Ian Jardine: Epic Singletrack contender
The Epic Singletrack Series is in full swing as it approaches race four out of six. These races see many incredible mountain bikers that not only have the stamina to complete many miles of cross-country and climbing, but also do so at a very high elevation.
Ian Jardine is a Grand County local racer. He began racing almost immediately as he started mountain biking about eight years ago. He started riding because he was forced to give up his passion for playing soccer due to knee problems. Ian was drawn to Grand County because of the countless miles of sinlgetrack trails. He and his family initially bought a condo here to be around part time but after racing in Winter Park a couple times they moved here full time to be close to the biking. Originally from Scotland, he is now a software engineer for a company in Colorado Springs, which allows him to work from home in Grand County.
He competed in his first race in Breckinridge, and has since raced everywhere between the Front Range and Fruita. When asked if he ever got away to other mountain bike destinations like Moab, Jardine said rarely. “If you live here, it’s hard to leave when there are so many trails all around us,” he said. His favorite trails are in the Vasquez Ridge area and include Sundog, Leap Frog, Take the Leap and WTB.
Jardine seems to be holding his own in the Epic Single Track Series, though he claims he is “sort of a middle of the pack racer.” He crashed in the last race, twisting his leg, as he was knocked off his bike right before a big hill climb, but he hopes next weekend’s event will go more smoothly.
Jardine races for the Red Spoke Racing team based in Denver. They race in many different series in the Front Range and surrounding areas. Red Spoke is a new team this year operating under the current name. Jardine likes the camaraderie of racing for a team: “If anything goes wrong you’ve always got your teammates there to help,” he said. Red Spoke’s main sponsors are Specialized, BikeSource Primal, Oakley, Clif Bar and Symmetry Massage.
Jardine is part of the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance. His job is to be in charge of the weekly trail maintenance. Each Tuesday the Grand Mountain Bike Alliance teams up with the Headwaters Trail Alliance and they target one trail that needs maintenance and spend two hours removing fallen trees, and anything needed to enhance the mountain biking within the Fraser Valley. He has been a part of the alliance since moving to Grand County. “It’s a small community,” Jardine said, “so I think people need to do as much as they can to help out and improve the trails.”
The next Epic Singletrack race will take place on Saturday, July 30. The Colorado Epic XC will include 25.6 miles for the Pros, 20.3 miles for the Sport division, and 16.4 miles for the beginners. It begins on Elk Creek Rd and finishes on Road to Nowhere.
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Over the next few months Middle Park Health physical therapist Sarah Tey will travel to Finland, Austria and China to assist Paralympic athletes from two teams in international competitions and the 2022 Beijing Paralympics.