Bear Valley Crusher Cup Race Report
Bear Valley Crusher Cup
This was the first round of the Crusher Cup and so while most of the racers had experience with events set up by this group of people, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. The race had us meet at the bottom of Olema hill at 10 AM to be ready for a couple miles of neutral start before the race would actually start.
We rolled out to Inverness and to the bottom of Mt. Vision where the race would officially start. We began, in a very casual manner, so I quickly went to the front of the group and set a solid pace and the group strung out pretty quickly. After the 15 minute climb up Mt. Vision, the group had been whittled down to the key players; Jim Hewett, Phil Mooney, Skyler Taylor, Sean Middleton, Dylan Anderson, Finn Melton, Toby Coughlan, myself, and a couple other riders.
We flew down the road back to Hwy 1 hitting speeds upwards of 40 MPH on our way down but regrouped as we hit the coast and settled into a solid pace line for the next 15 minutes or so. We soon turned off of the highway and began the second trail portion of the race, led by Jim.
As we hit the climb, it started to get sloppy and steep and Phil and I rode around Jim and put some distance between ourselves and the rest of the group. We rode hard through the swampy singletrack, sometimes in water up to 18 inches deep, but Jim caught back up nevertheless and rode by both of us. I passed Phil to stay on Jim’s wheel as I knew that he was familiar with the trails and terrain and would choose good lines that I could follow.
We sloshed around for another good 20 minutes before exiting onto the road in Dogtown with about a 20 second lead on the rest of the front group. That gap stayed about the same as we headed into the long and final climb of the race up Bolinas-Fairfax Road.
The Bo-Fax climb was anticipated to talk about 25 minutes on mountain bikes and gain a lot of elevation in the process. As we hit the bottom, Jim slowed up a bit to pace himself into the climb and I continued to ride hard trying to take this opportunity to ride away from the rest of the riders.
I managed to drop everyone except Sean Middleton, who made up the initial 20 second gap on the climb through a massive effort, which would prove to be too much as not long after getting on my wheel, when my pace didn’t slow, he dropped right off the back again.
I turned onto Bolinas Ridge which was about 10 miles to go in the race and put everything I could into making sure I stayed as far ahead of the rest of the group as I had no idea what was going on behind me.
It turns out I put almost 3 minutes into the group on the climb but managed to lose almost all of that on the descent to the finish. I simply couldn’t compete with the power Phil could put down on the flats and my exhaustion almost proved to be my demise as I saw him drawing closer with another mile to go.
I managed to stay ahead and finish about 15 seconds ahead of Phil, a pretty short margin over a two and a half hour race.
I had a great experience and I was glad I could race with such an enthusiastic group of riders.