Opponents on this yr’s Banana Belt mountain bike race received an entire completely different expertise in comparison with its previous occasions.
Not solely did the COVID-19 pandemic pressure the race to change to a time trial format to unfold rivals out, however a flash flood within the Decker Fireplace’s burn scar alongside the Rainbow Path pressured the race to happen on a brand new course this yr.
As a substitute of climbing up CR 101, Bear Creek Street, and racing again to city on Rainbow and Race Monitor as up to now, this yr the bikers climbed up the Ute Path, CR 175, after which raced on single-track down Beasway, Rumba, Cottonwood and Hen Dinner to the end.
The brand new course was simply over 20 miles lengthy with somewhat over 2,600 toes of climbing.
“It’s positively a better climb, but it surely’s extra technical,” stated Salidan Camden Gillis concerning the new route. “That favored me as a result of I like technical trails.”
Gillis was the quickest native competitor, ending second total in 1 hour, 34 minutes, 47 seconds.
Gunnison’s Brian Smith ended up being the quickest competitor on Saturday, successful the race in 1:32:35.
“Attempting to remain targeted on driving was onerous,” Smith stated. “It’s a unique mentality. It makes you robust having to compete with the time trial format. It’s a great way to make individuals stronger.”
Smith stated a part of his key was taking a look at completely different metrics on his bike pc and adjusting accordingly.
Smith’s spouse, Jennifer Smith, in the meantime, claimed the ladies’s crown in 1:54:07.
“I’m glad they put it on,” Jenny Smith stated. “The path right here is superior. You climb up Cottonwood and the remaining is single-track.”
Smith stated she’s achieved the Banana Belt twice earlier than and stated that she preferred half of the standard course, however known as the opposite half, particularly the highway between Rainbow and Little Rainbow, “sketchy.”
Smith stated they’ve additionally competed within the FIBArk mountain bike races that happen within the Arkansas Hills system.
“It felt like a mix of the 2,” she stated. “I assumed the course was nice.”
5 members of the Salida Racing highschool crew additionally took benefit of the chance to get a race in with all the highschool races canceled this season.
“It was actually enjoyable,” senior Cassidy Gillis stated. “It’s positively loads completely different to race and be going onerous the entire time, but it surely was good to get again in race mode.”
Gillis additionally stated she preferred the course and rode it twice the week earlier than the race, together with as soon as along with her teammates.
“I felt good all through the entire race,” she stated. “A technique it was type of good is everybody was unfold out, however then you definately don’t know the place you stand within the race.”
Cassidy ended up clocking the second quickest day out of feminine rivals: 2:06:56.
Daniel Richardson (1:52:58), Ethan Nejame-Zeiset (1:55:48), Jackson Karls (1:57:27) and Max Hunt (3:06:02) additionally represented Salida Racing.
The waterfalls part added some technicality to the course.
“It’s fairly enjoyable when you get it down, however I think about it could possibly be scary to come back as much as it,” Cassidy Gillis stated.
The race had about 70 bikers competing this yr. Raymond Ferbrache, 79, was the oldest competitor whereas Wendy Skean, 76, was the oldest girl to pedal the course.
Salidans Brian Jensen (1:40:56) and Andrew Sayers (1:42:22) additionally completed within the top-seven total.
With a variety of different races canceled this yr, rivals appeared comfortable simply to have the ability to race once more.
“It was tremendous enjoyable; I’ve been desirous to go race,” Camden Gillis stated. “It nonetheless felt solo-ish as a result of it was a time trial, but it surely felt good to have individuals round.”
“The very fact they have been in a position to pull it off is superior, but it surely was positively not a standard occasion with no socializing after,” Brian Smith stated.
“I’d love to do that course once more. It’s extra technical so you possibly can’t simply exit and win it on pure health.”