Jon and I headed over to Winter Park late on Wednesday to ride the Mary Jane Circuit for Saturdays race. The race starts at the top of Winter Park on the same service road where the hill climb goes through, but at 10,800ft. The problem we had was that we arrived at Winter Park at 6;30pm, and the park was closed.
We start off on Tunnel Hill at the base and worked out way up the service road for four miles. It was a good climb, with a stead pace. It wasn’t the same pace we had when we raced it earlier this year, but we got a sweat going even as the sun was setting over the range.
Right off the service road is the first singletrack section which is a good descent about 2 miles long. It’s a rocky rutty track which keeps your attention all the way down. If you loose focus, you may go down.
After the singletrack we rode up the service road to the next singletrack section, which is mostly uphill also. the service road has a good pitch, about 12% grade. This is where I blew up last year. I planning to pace myself better before hitting this hill again.
The rest of the course up to the top of the first singletrack section is fun and challenging. Lot’s of rocks and ruts that will challenge your speed and power. It will be hard to keep momentum as you climb and work you way over the obstacles.
For the Expert class there are three loops of this course. Sport get two loops. Once the loops are complete, at the top of the loop, you make a right hand turn to ride another single track the zags up to the top of Mary Jane.
After reaching the top there is a super fun descent down another singletrack and service road. It’s about a 3 mile descent all the way to the Mary Jane parking lot. At this point the course goes into another even more technical section all the way to the finish.
By the time Jon and I finished the course it was 8:45 and dark. We were riding the most technical section by the shadows of the remaining light.