A quick write-up of last weekend’s 2nd Annual Beachburg “Spring Chicken” 50 km Enduro Mountain Bike Race.
First, the good news: the weather was a huge improvement over last year, with snow, rain, and freezing temperatures replaced with sun and warm temperatures. Also, the field was considerably larger (probably due in part to the nicer weather) which made for better racing. Finally, I think (though I am not positive since I couldn’t find it explicitly stated anywhere) the race is meant as a way for the Beachburg Off Road Cycling Association to raise money to build and improve local mountain bike trails. Who doesn’t like supporting the grassroots?
Now, the not so good news: Alas, a repeat performance of last year’s 4th overall/1st in my age category performance just wasn’t in the cards. This was due in part to the deeper field, which unfortunately for me didn’t include just a bunch of really slow dudes on cruiser bikes… but it was also due to the 20 minutes I spent riding down the wrong trail – before hitting a swamp and retracing my steps. Signage along the course wasn’t great… and, well… that’s how it goes. With about 10 km to go a course marshal told me I was in 5th or 6th overall (he either said there where 5 ahead of me or that I was fifth – it wasn’t entirely clear)… then I took the scenic side-trip and I have no idea where I ended up (results still haven’t been posted).
This year’s edition of the race also lacked some of the promised enhancements… I have no idea where the feed station was and there was no bike wash to be found. Lucky for me I carried enough fuel for myself (and the bonking rider I passed) and it was my friend’s car that transported my filthy bike. I also preferred the aprés pizza party last year (and the free pint of beer) to this year’s bake sale and BYO. All in all? A beautiful spring Sunday on a mountain bike is never a bad thing… but next year I might take a pass on the Spring Chicken in order to find a mountain bike ride with less than the 20-odd km of gravel and paved road I rode last Sunday.