So we heard about this mid state race called Bear Claw Epic. Let’s round up the team and go!
16 plus REMAX riders entered the race. Beginner 1 lap, intermediate 2 lap, sport 3 lap, and one wack job that entered elite 4 lap. I guess he wanted to see if he could beat the top riders in the state? “A” for effort Dan!
The course I would describe as friendly for any skill levels! Roughly 700ft of climb per lap in about 7 miles. 80% of the course is wide enough for 2 bikes, so plenty of passing space. One issue with single track races is passing, no issues here. Shortly after the start there is a nice climb to get the legs awake. In my case, this is where all the 80 lb Norte youth team passes me, LOL. Then there is a good mix of rolling areas and short punchy climbs. About 1/3 into the lap there is a tricky corner, but there are plenty of volunteers warning you it’s coming. About mid lap there is a 2 way traffic section, but once again great volunteers YELLING “STAY LEFT” Back to some rollers, couple fast downhills where Clydesdales, like myself, test the strength of their wheels. Near the end of the lap, there is some narrow single track and climbs. Not lots of passing here, so have your passing done before that. The last 1/4 mile is pavement parking lot high speed flying. There was a goofy set up with yellow caution tape to keep you on course in a S curve. First lap I blew right under it, not seeing it until the last minute. I would recommend orange cones or race fencing to the promoters. Then a short uphill followed by 100 yards to the finish sprint area! Which I took advantage of lap 3 with a fellow racer, good fun! Suggestion again, if guys are sprinting to the finish the finishing chute should be empty of spectators. Once again race fence and volunteers keeping it empty. I didn’t expect anyone in there and had to lock up, flip bike, got cut up, and almost hurt a young rider. I should have been a little more aware of my surroundings, but didn’t expect it after a give it all I have in a sprint. So that is what a lap looks like, do 1,2,3,or 4 of those! You pick!
My Strava data for the race. Took 3rd in my class.
Overall, very well organized race! Very polite, eager, hands on promoters! I have a feeling this race will grow and grow! We will be back!
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