2012 Voodoo Fire (Pueblo)

Beautiful day in Pueblo Colorado yesterday has the Warriors of Cycling Series kicked off with the season opener, Voodoo Fire. This was my first time on the line for this event and first time attempting anything longer than a cross race in the last 5 years. SS marathon was my category which was 66 miles of nearly pure single track.

So what was it like? The course is relatively flat and by relative I mean compared to mountain trails like Betasso Walker Ranch, White Ranch, etc. but there will a few times even the die hard Single Speed rider was crying for gears. And while these trails provided the purist with miles upon miles of single track, that single track for many became a curse and left them praying for double track to start around the next corner as passing in the single track either involved lighting a few matches to powering through the sand and shale and also risking flatting on the many cactus that lined the trail. I witnessed a nasty crash as a rider took a precarious pass in the shale which left him lying face down in razor sharp shale. Ouch! Over all the race was one of good preparation with equipement selection and food/water. I was one who failed as I walked away (literally) with 2 flats but thanks to some extremely tattoo'd dude I got a ride back to registration. I will return next year but this time I will come with tubless tires, sealant and a camel back

Next race in the series Ridgeline Rampage

Results

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Racing: 

11 Comments

Great race

That was my first time doing the Voodoo also. Great volunteers especially the clown lady. Only downside was that they ran out of water at the finish for people that finished over 6 hours.
I hope the jerk in the m40-49 crashed out. Grabbing peoples brakes and yelling degrading comments at them to pass in unsafe areas is no way to ride a race.

Stories went both ways but...

I heard stories of people hogging the trains out on the impassable single track and not giving an inch to passing and then I heard tales like yours of a-hole riders nearly taking riders out in some of their short sighted passes but none as bad as yours with guys degrading other riders and worse, grabbing their brakes! Maybe it's time they start building some double track out there

Passing

I was on of the people who ended up cutting a bit of a corner to pass, I called out on your left and waited for a clear spot. I rang my bell and called out again and accelerated, as I did so the guy in front of me sped up as to keep me from passing him? I had to cut the corner or I was going to cause a BIG crash and likely some racers were going to be hurt. Luckily nobody was hurt and the .2 seconds were not going to make a difference.

Category / Ability

Category / Ability Staging.
More time between starts.
Limit the number of riders per the course.

The Pueblo trails are great because they are flowing single track but they are not be the best course for racing. Definitely don't screw up the trails just for one race a year. All "race courses" should have area for passing that doesn't require going off trail.

Reconsider Start Format

While I understand that putting on a race of this magnitude is a tall task, I'd strongly suggest the organizer move away from the age group waves and switch to an ability based system. Or at least incorporate more than 2 minutes between starts.

As it was, unless your field started first in a particular event (marathon, half marathon, or XC) faster riders were almost immediately catching slower riders from the field in front. On a course so wonderfully singletrack-laden, that creates a no-fun situation for all involved. And leads the toxic situations described by some of the other posters here.

If you do ability-based categories and have people self select, odds are better that the race will spread out more organically, creating less stress for all involved.

Overall thanks for a great event.

Passing

As many have mentioned, passing was an issue at Voodoo. I apologize to the guy I [nearly] cut off during the first lap. I was trying to pass and caught the edge of a rock and bounced back sooner than I expected. We did make contact and lucky nobody fell. I fully understand your swearing at me. Should we meet again, I'll be happy to offer the first cool beverage as a peace offering.

Agree on the start format.

Agree on the start format. At minimum the Pro 1/2 Marathon field should have been started in front or directly behind the Pro Marathon field. I know the guys at the front of that race passed over 100 riders in the first lap alone and caught the first riders that were at the back of the Marathon fields within 10 minutes of starting their race.

They put on a great race and it is hard to please everyone but starting Brian Alders and Ken Benesh 10 minutes behind age groupers is bad news.