Monday, July 23, 2012

Urban Assault Ride - Denver Edition

On Sunday Ellie and Ariana took part in the Urban Assault Ride in Denver. Ellie is interested in doing some of the extreme adventure races, and this was a great place to begin.

It was big fun for a great cause.

The girls caught the attention of the local media and ended up as the front image - how fun it that!

It was a great day for a bit of interesting people and bike watching. This is just one of the super cool fixies. They are a very hip crowd.
Five hundred teams of two took part in this adventure. Start times were based on how well you did on a pre-event quiz that was really pretty tough. The girls were in the second wave to go off the line. The bikes were stored in a bike coral. Once the horn blared, you had to run about a half block to your bike and then fight your way out of the enclosure.
A list of five locations for challenges was published pretty early on. On the Wednesday before, riders had a chance to complete a word scramble game to figure out the location of the first mystery location. Therefore, the start was mayhem as teams went every direction. I am thankful that Ellie and I were able to drive her planed out the night before. It made it possible for her to know where she was going.

I had these lovely visions of me driving to each location and arriving way ahead of the girls so that I could pick out the perfect photographic spot to capture the action at each challenge. It was a lovely vision, but really only a dream. In reality the girls were ahead of me at all but one stop. I found myself parking and running to catch up with them. It was really pretty comical. I was so focused on getting there in time that I nearly tripped countless times. Luckily, I was able to catch myself before I actually went down.

(Photo by Westword photographer)

The first stop was a the Aztlan Recreation Center for a little Aqua Scrabble where the teams had to spell out a four letter word using letters found on the bottoms of rubber duckies. The girls found this refreshing. They spelled, "Eggs."

Next up was the Highland Tap and Grill where they completed a hoop throwing event. Ariana threw the rubber chain drives (hoops, kind of like a fan belt) to Ellie who was riding her bike back and forth while trying to catch using a nerf foam sword. It took several passes and lots of misses before they caught their required two hoops.

Down the hill they zoomed to Little Man Ice Cream where Ellie had to bounce balls on the ground once and Ariana had to try and guide the ball into the bucket. It sounds easy enough, but was actaully a bit of a challenge.

If you find yourself in Denver, you might enjoy going for ice cream. It was one of Ellie's birthday stops.
The girls made it to Cactus Marketing and finished the big wheel course before I could get in place. I was a little bummed as I was looking forward to photographing that one. I think it might have been the most fun, at least from my point of view. Off they go.

Don't you think that one would have been extra fun?

Just around the corner they did the Yakima Chopstick Challenge where they had to navigate the balls over, under and around a set of barriers.

This looks like it was a little like a limbo contest.

On to Stoney's Bar and Grill where there was a cup stacking contest. The Westword photographer took about 50 shots of the girls.
Here's what they were aiming for.

Cheeseman Park was next on the map for a little urban surfing or bike chariot. What ever you call it, I am sure it was fun. It appeared to be pretty challenging for most of the adults over 25.

The person on the bike tows the other rider as he/she holds onto a bit of rope that has been put around the seat post.

It was all pretty good, until they had to turn a corner.
The next stop was at the Salvaghetti Annex where they figured out the clue to the next stop. Unfortunately, my camera's card was fun and I do not have an image of that stop. They figured out that they needed to go to the Denver Bike Cafe.
I am not at all sure how they put that together, but they were off quickly.

After finishing each challenge the team was awarded a bead for their necklace. This was proof of their wicked skills. :)

Back at the venue at Skyline Park a post event party was in full swing with more fun challenges. Here the girls are doing the world's slowest race to see who could finish last. Ellie is great at this one.

In this challenge you had to do a track stand (balance on your bike) for at least 10 seconds. The bike was really too big for the girls and that made it extra challenging.

It was such a scorcher that morning. At one point a stream of sweat rolled down my forehead and into my eye, causing it to sting. It was a combination of salt and sun screen. Aiko Pops was there with wonderful, healthy and unusual flavors of popsicles. After a lot of debating, I settled on cucumber and mint. Next time I may try the mint and melon flavor. It has inspired me to make some of my own. If you check out Pinterest you will find that I have started to find some great recipes already. My popsicle molds are in the wash.

We also had lunch purchased from one of the food trucks.
After giving awards to the fastest finishers in each category, they moved onto silly awards and contests. (Ellie and Ariana finished 39th in the Female category and 193 of nearly 500 overall.) Here was a mustache man dance off - pretty funny!

A select group of ladies did a shoe toss into an Ultimate Frisbee cage. Two guys won their height in New Belgium beer. They both walked away with 9 cases each.

I'd imagine that she will take part in the Urban Assault Challenge in 2013. Next time they might be astronauts.

(Here's the link to Westword's slideshow of the event.)

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