Whoop It Up

Colorado’s SolVista Bike Park at Granby Ranch got the best endorsement imaginable when it was chosen to host this summer’s USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships, featuring both the elite of international mountain biking, hundreds of them, and an equally rampant onslaught of amateurs in cross country, downhill, single speed, super d, 4X and short track races. Holy gear shift, Batman: That’s a lot of bikers. They’ll be roaring through the park, located off Highway 40, fifteen miles north of Winter Park, today through Sunday.

The terrain, of course, is what it’s all about: Showcase trails constructed just for the championship include the new Stranger, a well-crafted and incomparably challenging pro downhill course and the Upper Deck, a equally difficult 4-Cross track which drops steeply into a series of technically demanding jumps and berms. Chief trail designer Matt Thompson says the latter trail will ensure an exciting race for competitors and spectators alike, during the 4-Cross finals on Saturday evening, but that’s only a piece of the nonstop action that will rush the hills at SolVista all weekend long.

Another draw for onlookers will be live music on Friday and Saturday nights from 5 to 8 p.m.; spectating is free, as is the QuickDraw lift, which will transport observers to wherever the races go. Get details at www.solvistanationals.com or visit www.solvista.com.
July 16-19, 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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