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Sisna Series Riders Pedal Into the Twilight

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SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN- Thirty-three racers riding around and over the dirt-banked corners, tabletop and double jumps of Schweitzer’s Outback Mountain Board & Bike Slalom Course for two laps created a great spectacle and the crowd enjoyed the spectacular crashes just as much as the Pyramid Brewery beer specials.

     The real story, however, was the young against the restless at last week’s Sandpoint Sports’ Slammin the Dirt Slalom mountain bike race. This race, the last of the SISNA Twilight Mountain Bike Race Series, had upcoming junior expert mountain bike rider KC Deane, age 16 and trials phenomenon Chris Ginzton, age 15, spinning it out against local bike shop owner Toby Feuling for “raw time” bragging rights. Later, as the dust settled and riders relaxed in the Chimney Rock Grill, the times were adjusted by handicaps of .05 for age either under 18 or over 21. After a review by head scorekeeper Mary Weber-Quinn it was still Deane in first and Feuling in second, but now heavily handicapped riders, Joe Johnson (unattached) and Bruce Trejos of Sports Plus, nudged out the young wheelie specialist, Ginzton.

     In the three member team competition it was the consistent placing of the complimentary contingent of local riders on the Sports Plus-Three Moosekateers team, better known as Leah Lokan, her husband Chris Bier and their good friend Landy Hauck, taking home a bevy of prizes including Steve Myer’s Pend Orielle Wines and really nice camelback-type backpacks from The Source. Team’s Indisichill, Sports Plus and the Rastafarriders were strong contenders throughout the series but were out-paced by the smooth pedaling and good looking threesome after struggling with schedule conflicts.

     For those in attendance at the Thursday evening series, like SISNA owner George Houttekier, there were some pretty refreshing sights: Clark Fork native Jamie Yanik came to Jalapeno’s El Polo Loco Cross Country and Urgent Care’s Diagnosis? Downhill! to race with his friends after winning and placing in his first two national mountain bike races of his new professional mountain bike racer career and not only did he join his friends but he soundly beat them by such awesome margins to be assured he was the reigning “Schweitzer King of the Hill.” Speaking frankly with Jamie he spoke of holding back for his concern of being injured in a local race. (Now pick up the pace Jamie and best wishes for your professional racing future!)

     On the other side of the spectrum improving, local rider Deanne Gardner held fast slow enough to capture the coveted Dead Chicken award and for her efforts received a custom chicken chair from Misty Mountain Furniture. In the physical realm, Schweitzer, with the help of mountain bike outfitter and guide Ken Barrett constructed the Technical Terrain Garden. This ingenious series of training pods mimic the terrain found on mountain bike trails in the area and is used to develop mountain bike riding skills while never leaving the Schweitzer Village area.

     In the 3rd race, The Coldwell Banker Resort Realty at Schweitzer’s Technical Terrain Garden Party, the course was used in a trials- obstacle course type race. Sort of like last Thursday, riders flew over teeter-totters, blow-downs and rock piles, then some stepped shin deep into the Goo Hole. Sounds like a blast, eh? Just make sure your schedules are open for next July’s series!

     The hosts for this fun and family oriented bike race, All About Adventures: Guided Bicycle Tours and Schweitzer, the Mountain on the Lake extend their sincere thanks to the Internet Service Provider, SISNA for being the title sponsor, Wonderland Studio and Imaging for creating the posters that were taken home as soon as they were put up, KPND and Blue Sky Broadcasting for sharing the news over the local air waves and the good eggs at The River Journal for donating their valuable paper space and extending the coverage on the growing Sandpoint mountain bike scene to the mountain tops!

     Other valuable prize sponsors included The Hydra, Six Star Automotive, Misty Mountain Furniture, Thor’s Pizza at Schweitzer, Eichardt’s, Competition Sounds, Sports Plus, Vertical Earth, Two Wheel Transit, Wheelsport, Lou Lou’s, PowerAde, sports drink KMX , Bike Magazine and beer sponsors Full Sail Beers, FishTale Ales, Big Sky Brewing and Pyramid Brewers.

     Ken Barrett is the owner and outfitter of All About Adventures. You can find him most of the time careening around Schweitzer Mountain on a bicycle.

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Ken Barrett

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