I have heard a lot off good things about the Whiskey Off Road for a long time, it’s not the best distance for me at 50 miles but I wanted to check the event out, so I made the trip this year to Prescott, AZ for a weekend of racing.
The race consisted of a road crit in town on Friday night for the pros, the amateur race on Saturday and the pro XC on Sunday. The town of Prescott was basically taken over by the bike industry with all the race sponsors set up on whiskey row in town, lots of things to see and do and made for a fun weekend.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on Friday for the road crit but it was going to be 20 minutes plus 3 laps on a very hilly course. I knew it was going to be really hard but I wanted to make it to the finish without getting pulled. I felt good and went really deep into the red, something I’m not used to doing, I think this came back to bite me in the ass in the xc on Sunday. I made it to the second to last lap, but got pulled.
Saturday we woke up to cold rain at our campsite, which quickly turned to snow so we headed to town and a nice warm coffee shop. The amateur race started in the rain but now it had turned into a full on blizzard. Sitting drinking coffee watching it snow in Arizona I was glad to not be racing my bike and felt bad for all the amateur racers who had to endure the harsh elements, props to all the racers who finished that day.
Sunday’s weather was looking to be perfect for the pro XC and all the moisture from Saturday made for some seriously great dirt. The pro men’s field was huge at 95 racers and things were looking to be fast and furious. The start was a long roll out on pavement and then to a double track were things got spread out before we headed into the single track. The trails in the race are fun and fast with short technical sections. Unfortunately, I was feeling really flat and sitting somewhere in the middle of the field I was getting slowed by some guys in front of me that were not riding the downhills like I wanted to.
A huge part of this race is a dirt road that you descend for about 9 miles then turn around and climb back up with an added 2 miles of climbing after that for good measure. The final section of single track was super fun and rocky and was great to ride after all of the road sections. The weekend of racing was great however I didn’t do as well as I wanted with a 39th place but it’s definitely out of my comfort zone and it’s good to do things your not used to. The promoters for the race do a great job and they realize what is fun about mountain biking I would recommend this race to anyone and I’ll be back.