The 2011 Frozen Hog is in the history books.
The turnout for this years race was, in a word, disappointing. Whether it was because of the deplorable conditions of the previous two years, or “Camp Lynda” dragging the leg shaver crowd to warmer climes, it was a hearty if meager crowd.
The conditions for this years race were, in a word, spectacular. After two years of deep, slushy snow. We were finally blessed with old, hard-packed snow, and a brisk 22 degree temperature at the start of the race. Although some of the trail was exposed the temperature kept it concrete hard for the entire race. To put this into perspective consider this. Last year a nearly identical course garnered average total race times of 75-90 minutes. This year, 45 minutes. Winning time on the expert loop? 29:55. This is resulting in changes to the race format next year to create more consistent race times (Hint: think Cyclocross).
Shortly after 9am racers staged their bikes and lined up for the LeMans style start. The horn sounded and pigeon-toed racers in stiff soled shoes sprinted around the upper meadow and through the snow. With the ridable conditions the major bottleneck at the bike racks was nearly eliminated this year.
Like I said before, it ended up being a short race. Soon the experts, and the lead dogs in the sport category were coming through on their first lap. There were noticeably more smiles this year than there were last year. Being able to actually ride your bike at a bike race will do that I suppose. Second laps were even faster with the racers having had a chance to strategize the course. The other highlight of the second lap was the fact the the sun finally crested the Wasatch and the violent shivering was reduced to the occasional involuntary tremor.
Here is some video of the course by one of the Pig Nose Crew.
Soon enough Greg Gibson was rolling across the finish line, one minute ahead of the first Sport distance racer. For his efforts Greg received two tickets to Outerbike this fall in Moab. Team Cutthroat (Steve “The Wizard of Was” Wasmund, and John Moreton) walked away with the traveling team trophy.
But they wouldn’t be the only ones who walked away with a major award. Raleigh America provided not one, but two bikes to be raffled off. All racers and volunteers were entered to win a sweet, XXIX 29″ Single Speed Belt Drive. And each of the under 12 racers were entered to win a 24″ Mountain Scout kids bike.
Eric Draney was the winner of the belt drive, and Elliot Boynton won the kids bike. Though I’m not sure Elliot quite understood what was going on, his older brother Milo was overheard asking, “Did me and Elliot win that bike?” We’ll let their parents sort that out.
Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the race. Especially those who volunteered. There is no way we could have pulled off this race without people who are willing to get up early, and go stand out in the cold so that other people can race their bikes.
As for next year, I’m thinking pretty seriously about hot tubs at the finish line. Just a thought.
Click here for the results.