We’ve been praying for rain all summer but maybe it could have held off just one more day. It wasn’t exactly a downpour but that pitter patter of precipitation last Sunday turned the Huckin’ Eh’ downhill bike race into a different event.
The aftermath was quite different as well, especially the cleanup of clothing and equipment, which as well-covered with mud.
There were two races at the event held at the Ptarmigan Trail. First was the regular downhill race, somewhere between four to ten minutes of an exhilarating ride down what seemed like a straight drop through trees rocks and a tiny trail.
If that was not exciting enough, for the next race, chains were removed from the bikes and riders had to navigate without the use of pedals that would ordinarily drive them.
A shuttle took bikes and riders back up the hill following the runs.
Safety was of key importance. Riders left at one minute intervals so there was little passing on the narrow trail. Of course there were a few minor crashes on the way down, but there were no injuries. Riders were well covered with helmets, gloves and a variety of other protective equipment.
Halfway down the course here was a first aid station with experienced personnel.
One particular problem was the mud flying up into the riders faces. Most had goggles that would fit over the required helmets but visibility was soon almost nothing and there would be no wiping until the end of the race.
Using no goggles was not much better as tiny bits would go into the eyes. Fun stuff.
Heiko Krause had the fastest times overall and won both races in the 15-18 category. The experienced youngster simply flew down the hill.
Saturday’s event was a bit different as the bikers had to go up the hill on their bikes prior to riding back down again. This was definitely an event which challenged the riders’ fitness as winners took almost one hour to complete the course. Others took as long as 90 minutes.
Youngsters in the race did a revised course that took a similar amount of time. Fastest was Milo MacDougal at 49:13 in the 11-12 class.
Not to be deterred by the courses’ difficulty was Isabella Coupe who took 1:41.55, in winning the girls under 9 group.