82 degrees at 6am this morning – great morning to head over to Franklin and check out the Crystal Ridge trails.
Once again this year the Alterra team will host the Crystal Ridge WORS race and their crew along with the Metro Mountain Bikers have made the once “fun to ride but crappy to race” course into a legit WORS course. It’s still one of the most technical races in the series, but over the past 2 years they’ve opened a lot more passing lanes and made the course a lot more “race ready” – especially for those of us with only one gear. The biggest change this year is the elimination of the snaky switchback climb. It has been replaced with a “straight up the backside” climb that is longer than you think. The Team & MMB crew will be doing some more trail grooming tomorrow too if anyone’s available to help out.
Todd Somers from the Alterra team put together this summary of the 2011 course layout:
“No prolog lap. Up the hill and around the cap. There is a drag strip on top that will suck but should help to separate the milk from the cream. Then in the woods over to Alpha then back to CR up the west side of the hill and around to O’Malley’s on the south end (open spots again) out and back to the hill. Comp will go up the hill a bit but not to the top. Pave plunge is gone, then let it rip down the hill in the small intestine and back up the starting hill.”
Unfortunately, every year I forget how much fun this course is, and how close to home it is too. I spent the second lap this morning picking bugs out of my teeth because I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. There are still about 7 million trees that seem to jump out at you around every corner, and the rain and (finally) sun have kicked the brush growth into turbo mode. It’s hard to see what’s around every corner, and trust me there are more corners than you can count. This morning I saw enough wildlife to load an ark, in fact I stopped and had a staring contest with a doe who was only about 10 feet away from me.
Do yourself a favor and get over to Crystal Ridge and ride it – or better yet, race it. You are guaranteed to have a blast!