Local riders end bike season with bang in Moab
MOAB, Utah – Temperatures plummeted to about 18 degrees during the wee hours of 24 Hours of Moab Saturday and Sunday, but several Summit County mountain bikers braved the elements, some to finish at the top of their fields.
“You have to dig deeper when you think there’s nothing left,” said Keystone’s Annie Black, whose team, Clif Chics/Mountain Sports Outlet, won the Women’s Sport division. “The toughest thing about it was trying to give 100 percent every time you went out. I’m still recovering, but there’s no better way to end the season.”
Black and fellow Clif Chics Kari Hillis, Ronie Gracyzk and Mary Scheifley rode a total of 15 laps to win by 27 minutes.
Former Summit resident Nat Ross took sixth in the Men’s Solo race, completing 14 laps. Vail’s Dawes Wilson was first with 16 laps.
Frisco’s Brad Grohusky and Silverthorne’s Marc Birdsill were champions in the Cyldesdale category, completing 16 laps with their team, Chicken Riders of the Red Sand.
In the smaller categories, the Wilderness Sports Barbies, consisting of Kate Chapman, Lea Taylor, Jessica Oberriter and Whitney Henceroth, took second of three teams in the Junior Women’s category. The team completed 11 strong laps, the times for which exceeded some of those in the adult expert categories.
“It was fun,” said Henceroth, who, at 13, was the youngest female competing in the race. “It got really cold at night, but it doesn’t seem that cold when you’re riding. The night ride was the hardest thing for me. My light went out. On the third lap, you could tell I was really tired. Before my second lap, I slept for about an hour. I fell asleep in about two minutes.”
Taylor’s older brother Dru, along with teammates Kyle Ahern, Hawk Wathen and John Ritchey, took eighth in the Junior Men’s category. Meanwhile, Scott Yule and John George of Breckenridge took second with their Men’s Masters team.
Ann James was the only Summit County woman to attempt to ride the race solo, and although she finished 10th of 10 riders with five completed laps, she said she will use the race as a stepping stone for next year.
“I realized it was too early to be back on my bike,” said James, who was recovering from an injury sustained during the 12 Hours of Keystone race in August. “At first, I was right on track. But I went out on my sixth loop, and my leg was in excruciating pain. I definitely want to try again next year. But I’m just not going to ride anymore this season.”
Although he’s organized several dirt camps in Keystone and Moab, David Nash of Breckenridge had never done a 24-hour race before competing in the 5-Person Open division last weekend.
“I’ve been involved with mountain biking for 20 years, and this is the best biking I’ve ever done,” he said. “Now, a lot of people will run to southern Arizona to bike for a couple weeks, but for the Four Corners area, (24 Hours of Moab) means the end of the bike season.”
Race results are available on http://www.grannygear.com.
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