Only two weeks after the dust cleared from Voodoo Fire hundreds of Colorado endurance mountain bike racers returned to the start line of the Ridgeline Rampage, the second stop on the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series. The Ridgeline Rampage, even more than Voodoo Fire, is a dream for the Colorado front range bike racer. Located literally in the backyard of Castle Rock this race is easy to access. But don’t let the location deceive you because the course is as fun as a high mountain race in its own way.
Two racers, John and Jon, were found sipping Oskar Blue beer after the race. When asked about their race, one said he had rented a bike last weekend and bought his first nice mountain bike the week of the race. The two and some other friends had decided to race the night before and registered onsite. They raced Sport XC and from the dirt and smiles on their faces it was a riot.
All categories had action-packed races. The early start went to the Marathoners who cranked out 6 laps for a 60 miles. It was noted by many riders that the numerous short steeps made the overall effort quite challenging. The top Marathon Pro Men, Luis Mejia of Columbia, Kalan Beisel (Orbea-Tuff Shed), and Brady Kappius (Clif Bar) were said to be outrageously fast on the unpredictable turns and their top three finish spoke for itself.
The Pro Women finishers were Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycles), Sonya Looney (Topeak Ergon) and Tracy Thelen (Ascent Cycling) who also put on a great show for women’s racing.Another, first time mountain bike racer, although not new to endurance sports, but new to the dirty knobby wheeled kind, Nicole Drummer (WMBA of Colorado Springs), beamed after her race. She humbly admitted how much she had to learn yet how the other racers were inspiring to her. What she didn’t realize was how she was actually the inspiration because first times as an adult are to be celebrated – always.
1:00pm found a huge group of Half Marathon and XC racers lined up on the hot tarmac of the Bison Park entrance for what would prove a sweltering, fast race. The Half Marathon Pro Men top three were Chris Baddick (Gear Movement), Bryan Alders (Marin Bikes), and Kelly Magelky (Honey Stinger) with a very tight race and no big time gaps on the shorter distance. The Pro Women were: Erin Huck (Tokyo Joe’s), Meredith Miller, and Rebecca Gross (Tough Girl) with a good group of chasers coming in right behind them.
The Ridgeline Rampage venue proved to be family fun central. Dozens of kids spent hours mesmerized by the modern playground, face painting and several participated in the Warriors Kids Race while their pain-loving parents raced in the boiling heat. It was a great family-friendly day! And satisfied smiles were all around.