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2008 Idyllwild Spring Challenge

To the victors...

The 2008 edition of the Idyllwild Spring Challenge was bigger and better than ever. Three StinkingWeasels, plus a few AssociateWeasels convened at the Hurkey Creek campground Saturday morning with a variety of individual goals for the day, including Survive, Podium, and Win. Five of us were racing various Sport age groups, on the new and improved 19 mile course, and Mr. T was scheduled to do the 30 mile loop in his Expert age group. Too bad he found some cracks in his Turner Nitrous the night before the race, so he had to slap a 19 on his single speed and gut it out in the 23 mile Expert SS category. A failed front brake just before the start added to the fun for him, and increased the entertainment value of the day for the rest of us.

We had a good day overall, with a couple of ups and downs. The day was beautiful and the race organizers and volunteers are as friendly and helpful as you will ever find. On the down side, Jeff broke his seat post on the Buena Vista trail, and had to retire before most of the fun stuff. On the up side, Shane and Dave both survived and finished in good form in Sport 45-49 and Sport 30-34, respectively. Honorary Weasel, Tom, scorched the Sport 40-44 field with a time that was faster than any Sport rider of any age. Unlike Tomís show of blinding speed, Scott finished first in the Sport 50-54 age group with a margin of about 30 seconds, by employing a combination of shrewd tactics and dogged persistence. You can see compete results at USA Cycling, or download the XC results here.

We canít say enough good things about the overall quality of this event. It has a nice home town feel to it, and the organizers and volunteers treat everyone like family. Much of the course is run on trails that are among the best we have ever ridden. And even if you donít want to race, the maps and course descriptions at the Idyllwild Cycling web site are your ticket to a fantastic day of riding, any time you are up to the challenge. If you happen to go on up for a ride, try to stop in Idyllwild for a bite to eat, and let them know you are there because of the great MTB trails. If you happen to run across other hikers, bikers, or equestrians up there, pull over and chat them up. We need to keep the local communities behind our efforts to maintain trail access, and showing them a smile and a little bit of cash can go a long way