Month of Mud @ Moraine

I met up with Travis last week to ride the Moraine trails with him as he was getting things ready for the race.   There are a few new trails to ride and more course options compared to previous years where the course usually runs a more traditional race loop.  We both agreed we wanted to get the experts in the ROCKS (YEAH!) and do a little more mileage than the sport riders.  I’m sure there could be a few not so thrilled about riding the more technical stuff, but overall we thought the majority would be happy with it.  Once we figured out a spot to add a longer option for the experts it required a course marshall at a race loop “intersection”.   Because I was for this newly born plan I offered to help marshall and make it happen. 

We seriously weighed all the options and how to do it.   We decided on the one longer loop and one shorter loop for several reasons.  First and foremost, Gary Bywaters, specifically requested the course not be TOO long and so the race times do not take too long.  Part of the whole M.O.M. scene is short and sweet race loops.  Nothing too crazy.   We can respect that.  Second, we decided to take the experts out on the longer loop for the first loop to get it over with early.  Heading out the power line and into the bigger rocks on lap two may not have been as enjoyable as the first lap.  Come on.. you gotta agree with that!?   We knew there was going to be traffic.   I will admit  I was definitely overwhelmed at times with the amount of traffic too.  Most riders seemed okay with the scenerio but I’m certain some people were upset or frustrated with it specifically at my intersection or maybe further in the race when the experts caught back up to sport riders and had to pass in such technical trails.   We figured if your expert you’ll make it happen one way or another.  Its not the first or last time you’ll have to pass riders on trail. 

I asked my good friend Stacie T (and newly addicted mountain biker! sa-weeeet!) to join me on the course and then we can ride it after the race.  I’m so glad she agreed and REALLY appreciated her help during the stressful intersection work!  THANKS STACIE!!   We also meet up with Dustin W. and Mike W. (no relation) who joined us on course and ended up man’ing another point further down the power line where we had a short section of two way traffic.  Now Travis said he mentioned this at the pre-race meeting and then Dustin and Mike warned all riders as they double backed that there was potential for two way traffic, but I still know of at least one rider complaining they didnt know and encountered someone.   Note to riders: pre-race meetings and course marshalls happen for a reason.  Listen to the words coming out of their mouths! 

It was SO fun to see everyone come past!  I probably enjoyed it more than the race itself because I got to see everyone.  Experts stayed straight and across the seriously cleaned out power line trail.  Holy crap Travis out did himself with that clean up job!!   Up and over the nice and steep climb and down to the newly cut left hand turn into the expert rocky trail. We didnt want to put everyone through the entire rock trail though concerned for time and safety.  Its pretty excessive for any race course, but where he cut the course in to the switchbacks it led directly to the  fun twisty top section and then the technically fun downhill back towards where we were all marshalling.  I LOVE those trails!!  

Stacie wrote down the numbers for all riders who headed out the power line and then checked everyone off upon their return.  Once everyone was through we were able to close off the intersection with some tape and  all riders did the shorter loop on lap two.  I found out later and had no idea the Sport AND beginners did TWO laps also! Whoa baby!! I would have never expected that and give major props to all beginner riders who were able to finish that course lap twice!  No easy task! 

I really hope everyone enjoyed the race.  There are always people to complain which is a downer but a reality.  Fine.  The trails could not have been any more colorful and conditions were so perfect for the day!   That ruled.  (my camera phone and that picture above does not do justice for how beautiful it was that day)  BIG thank you’s to everyone that helps make the whole month of mud series possible.  Big THANKS to Travis for taking all the time and effort to clean up the trails and mark the course out.  Its so easy to take advantage of the amount of time and effort that goes into races.. especially in our back yard!  I SO loved the new north park TT this year and hope the whole series continue to grow into bigger and awesomer things!  Thanks to Stacie, Dustin and Mike for helping me help Travis and the racers!  Thank you to PTAG and all trail builders everywhere!  We cannot thank you enough for your time and efforts taken to build such amazing trails for us to enjoy, escape to and travel on.   Mountain biking completes me.  Ahhhhhh!  🙂


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