The family and I decided to head out to Irvine Lake last Thursday, to check out the Over The Hump race series. We have been avid mountain bikers since college (I raced for the CU Cycling team, and Kristin and I rode a lot together.)
We weren’t sure what to expect from the event or the venue. I had been up to Irvine Lake for the Orange County Beer Fest several years ago, but couldn’t imagine what the race course would look like.
The course looked fast, dusty and only moderately technical. Definitely not epic single track. However, the race is close to home, cheap ($25 entry and $3 parking) and well attended. It was refreshing to see an event that’s about having fun and building the sport. There were tons of first time and rookie racers. If you’ve never raced before, this is a good series to check out. If you’re experienced, it’s a good series to get race fit and work on tactics.
The Pro/Expert classes showed up with their race faces on. The sprint for the hole shot was pretty intense and no one seemed to let off the gas the entire race. When the likes of Rahsaan Bahati is making excuses before the race, you know the pace is going to be turned way up. For what it’s worth, he turned in a respectable 7th place finish.
The action was equally intense all the way down the ranks to the “True Beginner” class. Everyone got after it, mixed it up and had some fun. The women racing were seriously fast as well. Good racing all around,
What I liked about the race was the number of local shops and teams present and representing. A lot of community and people who seem to be in it for the love of the sport. There is also a high school race series that makes these events part of the series, which is great. It’s a nice way to offer alternative sport options to high school kids.
What the kiddo liked most was free stickers and a Popsicle.