Midwest Mountain Biking 101

18 Jul

Summer is all about road trippin and its been a couple weeks since the last one so I thought it time the family checked out Iowa up close and personal. Plus I needed some dirt and Iowa was the closest race on Saturday. Turns out Iowa ain’t just corn. At times I felt like I was at the Cascade Cream Puff. This picture is from the most wide-open, straight, flat section of the whole race course.

I was impressed and more than surprised with what the Davenport area has to offer. I would have never guessed I could suffer and smile so much on a mountain bike in Iowa. I’m also pretty sure I’ve never pedaled constantly for 27 miles before in a race, zero recovery anywhere on course.

The race was the ScoCoPa Chase just a few miles North of Davenport, part of the Illinois Homegrown Series and it was my first stab at racing in the Midwest. I can’t help but make some comparisons to racing in the Mountain West, specifically, the ICUP. Here’s some quick and dirty observations, at least for this race but I have a feeling most of the races in the area will be similar:

  • Day of registration $25. Nice!
  • Timing chips to track lap times and finish times.
  • Multiple contusions to hips, shoulders and elbows and torn bibs none of which was caused by a crash but from pin balling off of trees.
  • Zero recovery anywhere on course, nothing steep enough to coast downhill but plenty of short hard efforts had me red-lined all day and it took its toll.
  • 94 dgrees and over 90% humidity felt like racing in Central America, one bottle an hour doesn’t cut it I nearly passed out.
  • 99% tight twisty singletrack has you focused the whole race, veer off track and pay dearly.
  • Similar great people and volunteers to ICUP, mountain bikers are just good people.
  • A 29er has its place but not sure it’s here, yep it’s true.

Racing categories are a bit different with Cat 1 through 3, Novice, SS and Masters. I jumped in with the Cat 1 group (no age breakdown) and we started and did the same number of laps as the Masters and SS. I finished 7th overall and am still not sure of the final class breakdown.

I can’t wait to see what Wisconsin has to offer next week.

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5 Responses to “Midwest Mountain Biking 101”

  1. KanyonKris July 19, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    7th? Come on man, you’re representin’ the west, step it up!

    Glad you found some dirt to race. But watch out for that tree, Brad of the Jungle.

    • brkeyes7 July 22, 2010 at 5:51 am #

      I was just feeling out the locals, next week I’ll try harder to represent.

  2. Kendra July 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    What!?! No place for a 29er… I can’t imagine!

  3. Rick S. July 20, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Amazing how hard it can be without the big climbs. I found that out at the CX races. Way to mix it up in Iowa.

  4. grannygear July 21, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    Maybe not the best place for a Jabberwocky. Wet Cat may not be East Coast ready.

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