Round Two of the Captain of the Boat race series happened Friday. The race was on Gunsmoke, an intermediate trail. The event was a huge success with a terrific turnout. I was unable to actually race, but I was there moments before just to bring you a preview of the course. Given the huge turnout, a difficult-to-ride-fast course and an incredibly stacked field, this was not an easy race to win. That said, given the friendly crowd, casual atmosphere and mild terrain, everyone still felt welcome.
I’m following a buddy who’s wearing a blue shirt to give you a perspective of the terrain. Right out of the gate, racers will need to sprint across a few dips and turns.
After a few mild obstacles, racers headed toward the trees. It’s important to pace yourself, even from half-way down the hill. It’s a long way down from anywhere in Steamboat. The Bike Park is MASSIVE!
The rider in blue is about to jump into the woods. From there, it’s all single-track.
Gunsmoke is a really fun ride. It’s full of dips and dives, turns and berms.
It’s one thing to ride this trail, but to race it is a different story. It’s not easy to keep speed here. Gunsmoke was designed as a intermediate trail, so high speeds weren’t necessarily on the menu.
When I pre-ride a course, I like to go about 80 percent and try not to use my brakes. I chicken out on a regular basis. You can see me reaching for my levers pretty clearly here.
A few more dips and dives across the waist-deep grass of the ski area.
If you’re going fast enough, you can link the rollers into some fun jumps.
Right about here, you’ll want to duck so you don’t get hit by a Frisbee golf disc. There’s a basket about three feet to my right.
Send it! There’s not much that’ll buck you too hard if you come up short.
It looks so beautiful and harmless, but two seconds after you enter this aspen grove, hit the brakes and turn left.
This is the final traverse toward the finish. Keep your eyes as far ahead as possible.
The last bit of the trail dips you back into the woods, across a bridge and merges into Rustler’s Ridge. Gunsmoke is a really fun trail. I expect the racing to be extremely close.
Mike McCoy, Downhill Mountain Biker