Afton is Back! Afton is Back!

7:25 AM

…and with that announcement the mountain bike racers of Minnesota let out either a “Whoop!” of glee or a “Grrr-Argh!” of frustration.

Me?  I’m definitely in the “Whoop!” category – apparently my desire to ride my mountain bike is temporarily dampening any memories of huffing and puffing up Shady Lane.

Over the winter the local MTB community learned that the Afton Alps ski and golf area was purchased by Vail Resorts, and worries of closed trails quickly followed.  Optimists pointed out that all Vail Resorts have great dirt trails, so a new owner might actually revitalize the already established trails.  But when the MN MTB Series announced a reduced nine-race schedule that didn't include Afton, pessimistic thinking took over.

No worries, though, because this week the Afton Avalanche was added to the series.  Last year it was the season opener, something I loudly complained about at the time.  This year our, however, our legs will be ready for all the climbing as the race is smack in the middle of the season in the closing days of July.

I love the Afton course because it is one of the most difficult courses around – technical climbs, technical descents, and enough features that keep your eyes up at all times.  It is one of the only courses that I can ride for three hours without going completely crazy of boredom (the other is Red Wing).  Now I’m just waiting to see if the trail opens like normal after the freeze/thaw/melt phase – my legs are definitely going to need some working into shape with the current…um…delay in my spring training…

But hey, it is going to be 48 degrees out today - time to get out on the roads!

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