Steamboaters fly at Frog Hollow
Steamboat Springs — Helen Beall was searching for the right phrase, the right way to describe what’s quickly become an annual trek for her to the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow mountain bike race in Hurricane, Utah.
Finally, she found it.
“It’s the spirit of mountain bike racing,” she said. “It’s everything you love about biking. It’s kids, dogs, dirt, beer and camp cities. It’s like a music festival, but for biking, and everyone’s so positive there.”
Her team of four Steamboat Springs riders, the Stingers of the Park Range, had plenty to celebrate after the event last weekend.
They won the women’s four-person team division by about 40 minutes, finishing 21 laps in the 25 hours. The extra hour tacked on to the usual 24-hour race comes thanks to Daylight Savings Time.
The team consisted of Beall, Liana Jones, Erin Early and Miranda Schrock, each taking turns riding 13-mile laps.
The plan was for the women to double up on their laps at night, leaving each rider on the bike for a little more than two hours at a time. It would slow things down some as riders tired on the second lap but also give teammates a real chance to snag some sleep.
The competition — the Saddle Sister Wives team — was still close when the sun set, however, and the Steamboat squad adjusted its plans, opting to keep it at one woman, one lap in order to crank out more consistent times.
Steamboat’s riders ended up securing their win during that night.
“I attribute that to the fact that we ride regularly at night,” Beall said. “Riding well at night is about being comfortable, and you get there by having that experience. It didn’t scare us, and our lap times didn’t drop as much as the other teams’ did.”
Both the top teams completed 21 laps, but the Stingers of the Park Range did so in about 40 fewer minutes. All the women rode five laps except Jones, who logged six, or 78 miles.
Steamboat’s Rob Peterson, also a regular at the event, had another strong finish this year, as well. He finished fourth in the men’s singlespeed solo category, finishing a whopping 11 laps or 143 miles.
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