Because the solar started to set on Sept. 15, about 60 members of the Cheyenne Mountain Biking Crew converged on Bear Creek Park after finishing the primary stage of a grueling “Monster Mileage.” Indians coach Doug Bursnall and several other members of his teaching employees have been among the many riders who returned to the park after trekking anyplace between 21-28 miles over two hours that afternoon.
“A few of us headed up the Pikes Peak Greenway Path, whereas others went on Gold Camp Street and east into Bear Creek,” Bursnall mentioned. “Now we have eight teams inside our staff in order that gave us a lot of area to navigate the paths.”
Bursnall, alongside along with his spouse, Tricia, the staff’s director, have helped the children make the most effective of a troublesome scenario this fall after the season was canceled because of issues over the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our season goes, in essence, from April 1 to Nov. 1,” Tricia mentioned. “When it’s not COVID, we normally run three days every week within the fall with 5 races. However this season has been fairly a bit totally different.”
The Indians compete within the NICA Colorado Mountain Bike League. It’s a membership sport not sanctioned by the Colorado Excessive College Actions Affiliation. In early August, CHSAA postponed most fall sports activities to the spring. The NICA Colorado Mountain Bike League adopted swimsuit.
With the postponement of so many fall sports activities, the Cheyenne Mountain Biking Crew truly gained members — principally soccer and volleyball gamers — who have been left with additional time on their palms.
“Final yr we had 32 highschool racers and this yr we now have nearly 40 registered,” Tricia mentioned. “We even have one other 28 junior excessive youngsters registered. So, after all, we now have loads of coaches.”
Two weeks in the past, the Indians competed in a brief course problem occasion that was staged within the yard of a staff supporter.
“We created the course ourselves,” Doug Bursnall mentioned. “We highlighted cornering expertise and flat-out velocity.”
In a traditional mountain bike racing season, upwards of 1,800 opponents all through the state collect for every of the 5 races. That’s loads of costly aluminum, metal, titanium and carbon frames supported by 29-inch tires.
“It’s fairly unbelievable if you flip up for a race on league day,” Bursnall mentioned. “The car parking zone is full of every part from a $1,000 to $1,500 bike all the way in which as much as a $10,000 bike. It’s actually unbelievable what this league places collectively.”
Amongst Cheyenne Mountain’s most skilled and prime riders is junior Mark Turner. He will likely be competing within the elite Pikes Peak APEX Sept. 25-27. The race will carry lots of the world’s prime skilled and novice riders, of all ages, to the world.
The four-day stage race will happen at varied areas all through El Paso and Teller counties.
“Will probably be the longest race I’ve ever accomplished,” Turner mentioned. “I’ve by no means accomplished a stage race earlier than, so this must be an incredible problem.”
Turner has been coaching tougher in current weeks in preparation of the APEX.
“I wish to do nicely, however I’m doing this extra for enjoyable,” Turner mentioned. “Will probably be enjoyable to get on the market and experience.”
Turner will likely be within the below 23 division.
“There will likely be loads of quick riders, so I don’t suppose I’ll have that a lot of an opportunity in opposition to them, however we’ll see what occurs,” Turner mentioned.
One among Turner’s Cheyenne Mountain teammates, senior Carter Alanis, believes Turner can compete at a excessive stage within the APEX.
“Because the begin of the season I’ve watched Mark’s expertise, particularly his downhill expertise, enhance since final yr,” Alanis mentioned. “I feel he’ll do nicely within the race, however I actually hope he has a superb time. Simply to finish that race is a big accomplishment.”
To search out out extra in regards to the APEX, go to pikespeakapex.com.
To be taught extra in regards to the Cheyenne Mountain staff, go to cmhsmtb.teamapp.com.