Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Epic Single Track Winter Park Mountain Bike Race Series - Ethan's First Mountain Bike Race

On Saturday Ethan took part in his first ever mountain bike race. And boy was it a race. The first in a series of seven races, this one might just be the hardest. The course began at the base of the Mary Jane Black Diamond ski trail at Winter Park and continued upward for about 5.5 miles.

At times the grade is so steep that it is a challenge to even walk it. When Ethan was little he was always cautious, so I would not have imagined that he would take on this challenge.

This came about because a friend from college, Greg, called up and offered to sponsor both kids to race in the series. Ellie politely declined. Ethan had more of a "Hell Yeah!" kind of response. Early last week I think he began to get a bit nervous. Watching it and doing it are very different. Still, what fun to go racing with a college buddy.

Ethan raced with the 18 and younger , plus the 50+ beginners. I'm not sure what group Greg raced with. Larr took the lift up and then down the mountain. Ethan said it was a very hard race. It took him nearly an hour. Another boy from our team, the amazingly talented Skyler, placed 13th in the pro category.

He took something close to 40 minutes to do his race. I imagine they were all fun to watch. I pushed Ethan for details, but I got the usual teen boy, very short response, "Yeah, mom. It was kinda hard, but real fun. Sometimes it was so steep (here he shows me how steep it was by making his hand into a mountain and an indication of the bike with rider going up)that it was hard going. I did not walk any of it. It was fun."

You can imagine my surprise when I found that he won his category. Now, there were only three kids, but still, that's pretty cool.

He got a really lovely medal and a great beer drinking glass. It will be great for root beer. It goes nicely with the others Ellie has won. Now he is jazzed to to the other races. Unfortunately he will miss the Super Eight race since he will be away at camp.

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