Saturday’s Quick and Chainless downhill race celebrates seasonal close of Bike Park
Steamboat Springs — A couple years ago, they were shoveling snow off the course before they could race. But Saturday’s Fourth annual Quick and Chainless downhill mountain bike race at the Steamboat Bike Park came on a day that seemed as though summer was just getting started.
“It was snowy and wet before. It’s dry and dusty now. So it’s nice to do it,” Steamboat Springs resident James Koch said. “It’s like summer right now. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be over that quick. Hopefully we are riding for at least another month, even if we have to pedal to the top.”
Saturday’s race, which required riders to remove the chains from their bike to compete, was the final hoorah of the summer for the downhillers. The Steamboat Bike Park will officially close for the season at 4 p.m. Sunday.
But this was far from everyone’s mind Saturday, when more than 40 riders got together to take one more crack at Mt. Werner. Koch, who works for the Ski Haus bike shop, won the men’s open division with a time of 12 minutes, 42.53 seconds. What made his win so special was not the fact he’s now won it twice in the fours years of the event, but that he did it on a pair of fat tires.
“I wanted to have the most fun I possibly could this year,” Koch said about deciding to compete on fat tires. “It turns out they are huge wheels, and they roll really fast, and there is a ton of tire on the ground, so there is a ton of traction. It really worked out. In some of those corners, it was nice to have a little extra traction.”
Taking second in the men’s open division was Ryan Yeats in 12:45.14, followed by third place finisher Matt Hightower in 12:48.41. Mike Mignone beat out four other competitors to win the master’s 40-plus division in 13:24.49, and Patrick Dillon won the under-17 category in 13:07.48.
The open female division was won by Kimberly Holm, a Bike Park employee, in 13:38.93. Holm said this was the first time she has competed in the race, as she has worked the event in previous years.
“It’s been a really great season. And it’s especially gorgeous right now,” Holm said. “It’s a really fun crew of local ridership here, and that’s what this race is pretty much about. It’s just really fun being up with all my friends.”
Stephanie Kasun took second among the women in 13:51.44, followed by Casey LaRue in 14:04.42.
“Everybody had a really good race,” Holm said. “There is a whole lot of fall left, and there are some beautiful trails up on Buff and Emerald. Bike season is far from over.”
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A local resident since 1969 who worked in social services and real estate, Catherine Lykken has decided, at age 85, not to renew her professional real estate license next year.