This got a little crazy at Tsalteshi Trails on Saturday afternoon.
The Tsalteshi Trail Association teamed up with the Kenai Peninsula Cycle and Ski Club to host the first ever “PsychoCross” mountain bike race Saturday.
Mike Crawford and Adam Reimer, both members of the TTA, organized the race in conjunction with Angie Brennan, the chair person of the KPCSC.
“It was my understanding that we hadn’t had a race in a really long time, so I wanted to organize a mountain bike race,” Crawford said of planning the event
After talking to Reimer, they decided to invite the KPCSC, which is trying to organize more events as well. After scouting various locations and trails, they decided on a challenging course at Tsalteshi, just south of Skyview High School.
“It’s a very challenging course, but it’s fun. It’s more fun than puppies. More fun than a barrel of puppies, really cute puppies,” Crawford said of the nearly nine-mile course.
Race organizers made creative use of the trails at Tsalteshi, sometimes sending riders in the opposite direction of the way they’re usually traversed. The course also went “off piste” — or off the trails — making use of the terrain surrounding the Tsalteshi system.
Jamie Nelson, an experienced rider who came in fourth place, agreed with Crawford. “They picked a really fun route and it was really well marked. I have been all over Tsalteshi, but I saw some trails I had never seen before,” Nelson said. “It was actually pretty unexpected how rough some of the trails got, but still a lot of fun.”
The rough terrain got the best of a few competitors. Frank Bushman, who came up from California, wasn’t even finish the race after his chain broke, and one of the hills on the course proved too steep to ride down for Robyn Sullens and Regina Daniels, as well as some of the other competitors.
Brennan said the motto for the day was, “The dirt don’t hurt.”
Anthony Murray, who fell off his bike during the race, might have disagreed.
Every single rider, no matter how experienced, agreed that the course was challenging, but fun.
Tracy Pitts, the woman with the fastest time of the day said, “I think I used every single gear on my bike.”
Brennan says that the KPCSC has intentions of hosting more events in the future. They hope to get a series of bike races going in the summer where participants can earn points. At the end of the summer, the rider with the most points wins.
They also want to expand their races to include different age groups.
“This year we didn’t do kids, but I’m thinking next year the long course could include 16 and over. We may do a shorter course to include kids in the future as well,” Brennan said.
Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails
Women — 1. Tracy Pitts, 1 hour, 2 minutes, 32 seconds; 2. Sheryl Nelson, 1:04:11; 3. Regina Daniels, 1:14:36; 4. Robyn Sullens, 1:16:11.
Men — 1. Adam Reimer, 41 minutes, 6 seconds; 2. Anthony Murray, 51:40; 3. Wilbur Nelson, 52:24; 4. Jamie Nelson, 56:06; 5. Will Morrow, 1:03; DNF Frank Bushman.