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Melinda and Debra decided it was time to come in off the pavement and get out on the dirt, so they stepped up to the start line at the third race of the Montana Off-Road Series held at Discovery Basin Ski Area last Sunday.  Their assignment:  Cat 2 (otherwise known as sport class) 16.5 mile course, which consisted of one long loop and one short loop.  And as neither Dexter nor Hamilton chose to show, the two women were on their own.

The weather was warm and sunny as the racers rolled out at their 11:00 a.m. start time.  The course was fast and fun, with only one scary-slick slip-and-slide mud obstacle (how fast do you dare?), 30 yards of flowing water, and one hub-deep creek crossing, all of which had to be repeated on the second loop.  There were twisty, root-strewn single-track descents and long, smooth dirt road and double track climbs.  All turns were well-marked and well-manned… no chance of getting lost on this course.

A little more than an hour into the race, thunder began to threaten and the sky turned black.  Thunder is a good motivator to pedal fast and arrive at one’s destination before being struck by lightning, as if safety would be found at the finish line.  Debra crossed the finish line at 1h 37m (1-1/2 minutes ahead of her rival), and Melinda at 1h 41m, wet, muddy, and just in time to beat the worst of the weather.

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One Comment

  1. I wanted to do that race. After doing the Blackfoot Meadows and riding two hours in the mud at lower elevation then that I decided it was not for me. Looks like you had a really good time though. Great write up.


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