The singletrack course at Gray Head Ranch affords some of the best riding and most dramatic views the Telluride area has to offer. The seven-mile loop awards riders stunning Mt. Wilson views, up-close-and-personal jaunts along Willow Creek, cool sections through old-growth pine forests, and more. The loop begins and ends at the Gray Head Owner's Cabin; beginner riders will take just one tour of the course, while riders in the sport category will make two laps and the expert-pro group will make three laps.
Gray Head foreman Mike Young designed the course with local rider Daniel Murray and others, which made its debut at last year's inaugural race. This year's course is essentially the same. Riders travel a dirt road for the first mile, then descend a semi-technical three-mile section through a shady pine forest to Willow Creek. The trail then begins a beefy climb along the creek, past a waterfall, and eventually spills out at the Gray Head cabin.
Event organizer Lara Young says this year's race is a must-do for all levels of local and visiting riders.
"This was designed primarily to be a fun local ride, so whether you are a beginning rider who just wants to come out and do your first mountain bike race or an avid rider who is looking for some good local competition, this will be a great ride," she says.
Event sponsor Paragon Ski and Sport has donated raffle prizes to give away at the completion of the race, at the mid-day barbecue party at the Gray Head Owner's Cabin. The overall winner of the race will also receive dinner and a one-night stay at the Gray Head Cabin, courtesy of Gray Head.
The $25 entry fee includes access to the race, lunch, beer and beverages at the post-race barbecue, a commemorative T-shirt, and a shot at some of the raffle prizes. The race begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18. Participants can register on-line at www.active.com until tomorrow, and then on-site registration and race check-in will be available from 2-5 p.m. on Friday in Telluride at the Gray Head Office (135 W. Colorado), 5-7 p.m. at the Gray Head Cabin, and from 7-8:30 a.m. at the Gray Head Race start on Saturday.
Young reminds everyone that Saturday is also the beer tasting event at the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, "So come out to the race in the morning and get cleaned up before you go get messy at the festival!"
For questions or more information call 708-0308 or visit www.active.com.