The mountain bike trails in Penitente Canyon are intense, beautiful, unforgiving, joyous and full of pleasures and perils for riders who are intermediate level to off the scale crazy, skilled and phenomenal. High praises to all riders who take these trails on for serious fun and adventure. Oh, and for a good cause too.
So... Attention all mountain bikers who need a supreme riding challenge fix on Saturday October 8 in the very place to which I have just made reference!
Where the heck is Penitente you ask? Others, Native Americans, Spanish explorers and such, who stumbled upon this canyon have asked, 'where are we?' And how did these rock formations get here? Too long to go through the volcanic history here, but I am attempting to persuade you to either enter the race solo, or with one or two friends and ride laps to raise money for Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. Be a spectator, or, as I did last year, be a volunteer at an aid station. No medical or other specialty training required as there are professionals on site to handle those tasks. Reload water bottles, supply sunscreen, food, and encouragement. The aid stations are also a great place for conversation with other volunteers whom you have just met and compare notes on life stories. I had a lot of fun last year. Took a break to run part of the route and realized how technical, scenic and amazing this canyon actually is.
WHO - You, your mountain bike, and one or two of your mountain biking buddies, Bureau of Land Management, Race Directors, volunteers, product sponsors (prizes galore!), food vendors, (have something to sell to hungry riders and volunteers - fee is free! A small percentage of sales goes to BLM) - -
WHAT - Never considered myself a geek until the Internet - which now allows me to research events deep in my memory and see how well I remember them from my childhood. Amazing what gets locked in our brain cells! I have always been a fan of the old NFL days and my brother and I used to watch NFL Films. One of my favorites is watching coaches on the sideline spewing candid comments at their players - great quote now on YouTube - Vince Lombardi - coaching the Green Bay Packers - "WHAT the hell is going on out here?" Well, Vince, this is called a Mountain Bike Race, a 17.6 mile loop that is grueling and intense, not so much maybe on the first lap or two but when fatigue sets in, be careful!
WHEN - October 8, 2016. 7am to 7pm - NOTE: The time frame stretches all the daylight available for this time of year. Some racers last year opted to not do another lap because even with headlamps, the course is unforgiving.
WHERE - Penitente Canyon - 8 miles west off Highway 285 between Monte Vista and Saguache Colorado. The spectacularness (my computer does not like this word) of the canyon is unknown until you are actually in it.
WHY - A fundraiser for Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado yes, but... As my brother says about mountains and doing intense adventures, "Trails can be dangerous, but, if you are smart, and don't take stupid chances, then all is fine and memorable."
12hoursofpenitence.com - for spectacular photos - https://flic.kr/s/aHskj3v8MY