A-Basin’s 14th Bikes & Bumps wraps up with over-the-top racing
ARAPAHOE BASIN -It’s a good thing most competitors in Saturday’s Bikes & Bumps contest are not strangers to crashing, because even the most competent racers went over the bars at least once during the day.Because only 11 competitors turned up for the event at Arapahoe Basin, racers got three cracks at the slalom course on Ramrod trail, and their top two times counted.Denver’s Justin Koritza won with a two-run combined time of 46.33 seconds, but Idaho Springs resident Scott Summers, who, at 50, was the oldest competitor, had the single fastest run with 22.12 seconds.Summers took second place (combined 48.87) due to an endo on his second run, which he still recovered from quickly enough to beat his dueling partner Jim Binford (fourth overall behind third-place James Stevenson) to the finish line. Although Binford had about a 10-gate lead after Summer’s crash, Summers jumped back on his bike and straight-lined it, catching air off the bumps, to be the first over the finish line with enough of a lead to cut off Binford and send him sliding sideways to avoid a collision.”I smoke all the young kids,” Summers said. “I’ve been a competitive cyclist for 20 years and I almost won the state championship (downhill) in expert masters four years in a row. I was the event coordinator at Berthoud Pass Ski Area for three years, but this is more fun than skiing. I haven’t skied once this year. I’ve got a place in Butler Gulch at the base of Berthoud Pass, and there’s a crosscountry trail with backcountry skiing. It gets so heavily trafficked that there’s better snow there than at the ski areas. I push my bike uphill and get practice coming down. There’s a section where you get going about 50 (MPH) if you chose to, so it’s a lot of fun. It’s an adrenaline rush.”Summer’s was wearing a standard bike helmet and a pair of Carhartts, which, along with Brent Hunter, Mountain and Road Bike Shop and Factor Supply Company, is one of his sponsors.A-Basin officials said Summers was on the course practicing at 7:30 Saturday morning.Binford, who was competing in his ninth Bikes & Bumps event and lives in Frisco, said the lack of participation in this year’s event was due to losing a large part of the field to the Moab Canyonland races, which are also taking place this weekend.”It’s cheaper to do this race,” he said. “All the dedicated downhillers are doing Moab right now. But the course is really nice and firm today. Last year, we had a foot of powder on top of something like this, so it was just a nightmare.””This is the best this race has ever been as far as conditions,” agreed Summit Cove resident Paul Reardon, five times Bumps & Bikes competitor who took sixth Saturday but surely won the endo award. “It’s not huge ruts and mashed potatoes like it’s been before, but it still hurts. I railed one of those gates and got it right across my chest, so I think I’ll be a little sore tomorrow.”Only two women were brave enough to compete Saturday -Megen Anderson and Jules Larson. Larson, who lives in Summit Cove and only recently began racing downhill in the last two years and who was competing in Bikes & Bumps for her second time, won with a combined time of 98.09. She said the soft landings on the endos are the best part of the event.”That’s what’s fun,” she said. “You’re doing the big endos and stuff, and everyone is having a good time. Just dropping in (to the course), it’s really soft, so everybody’s front tire goes in, and … Bam!”Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at email@example.com.
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