One of my priorities this season is to check out some new races, so for April I decided on the 12 Hours in the Wild West in Ruidoso NM, put on by Zia rides. I kind of had a picture in my head of how the both riding and the town would be. I was totally wrong about both, Ruidoso is about 2 hours south of Santa Fe and I was not expecting mountains or a ski town but it was both. The race venue is located about 30 minutes from town with great camping and cool high desert riding making this a great spot for a 12 hour race.
The course was 14 miles of almost all single track with mostly climbing for the first half and then fast flowing mostly downhill with a couple of rock gardens for the second half. Race day weather was perfect with a high of 71 and a bit of breeze to keep things cool. On the first lap I jumped out to the lead and rode with a duo team rider for the entire lap we had a good pace going and I felt great, after the first couple fast laps I settled in to a good pace and turned lap after lap. I really wasn’t sure how far ahead I was but I new Brian Sells was somewhere behind me, and he has been riding very strong so I just stayed on the gas all day.
Near the end of my 8th lap I saw Brian ahead of me and I was about to lap him with only 3 hours left in the race I knew I only needed one more lap and I would have enough for the win. On the last lap I felt great I definitely could have done a 10th lap but I got a great workout in and was very happy with the race.
I had a great time hanging out with all the locals from Ruidoso and vibe was very great all around. I guess that’s why I like mountain bikers because I haven’t meet to many that are not great people and fun to be around. 12 Hours in the Wild West was a great race and I highly recommend this event to anyone looking for a good time at a race..
The True Grit 100 has become one of my favorite races of the season. Even though it’s still the middle of winter at home and I usually only have a month of riding in at this point in the season. I really enjoy the location vibe and terrain of this race and it’s a great way to start things off.
The race is out of St George, UT where the riding is spectacular and the views are outstanding. You can even see into Zion National Park from several spots on the course. The course itself consists of really technical slick rock sections, fast as hell pump track sections and medium technical single track …all around great riding, it’s really a mountain biker’s course.
This year the course was two identical laps of about 45 miles, this allowed for more single track and less road. The start wasn’t super fast but fast enough for me. As we made our way to the first set of climbs I was just in behind the leaders and they were setting a good pace that was a bit faster than I wanted to go so I let them get away a bit and would catch them on the downhills. This worked great for the first 90 minutes then when we hit the really technical section of trail called “Zen” I picked everyone off through the tough riding. Out of Zen I was in second just behind Cary Smith and rolled into the fast flowy section of Bear Claw. I was set on setting a pace that I would be able to keep up for the remainder of the race. I knew if I went too hard with minimal training under my belt that I was going to blow and I just wanted to finish strong.
By the end of the first lap I was sitting in third and feeling good. It was getting hot and I kept the fluid intake high. As we rode through the second lap I kept a good pace and left a little reserve in the tank in case I had to turn it on at the end.
I finished up in third place and was very happy with the result for this time of year. For me this race has become more of fun, hard training and a great way to reconnect with friends from the race scene. This is now my season opener and it’s a great place to visit with Hurricane, UT just 30 minutes down the road the riding possibilities are endless.