East Side Races Wrap Up Epic Winter Season
This time of year as the winter race season comes to a close, sights turn east for the last two Leadville competitions, both of which take place across historic trails.
This weekend will see year two for the Father Dyer Postal Route Ski Race, which mimics, in part, the route of famed Snow Shoe Itinerant Preacher Father Dyer. Next weekend on Saturday, Apr. 15 the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series closes out its 2017 season with the East Side Epic, traversing Leadville’s historic mining district.It’s nice to see past and present intersect and overlap in this regard. It’ll always be what sets Leadville apart! Enjoy and be sure to get involved in the fina lap of winter racing: race, volunteer and cheer!
Race Traces Tracks of Father Dyer Postal Route
“Can I get an Amen please?” Sounds just like the type of thing high-alpine racers will be saying as they take on the Father Dyer Postal Route Ski Race in Lake County on Saturday, Apr. 8. While the race takes place tomorrow, a weekend of activities is planend for the event.
Backcountry enthusiasts and event organizers, Alex Lee and Heather Glyde invite athletes to “test their mettle in this ski race in the Mosquito Range east of Leadville!” The course will include groomed mining roads, alpine skin tracks and the summit of Centennial 13’er Dyer Mountain at 13,855′. The event is dubbed as the highest ski race in North America!
The course is roughly 25 miles long and includes approximately 6,500 ft. of vertical gain (and loss). The route is subject to change as organizers finalize permission details. The present-day Father Dyer Postal Route takes racers up 3 peaks over 12,000′ including Centennial 13er Dyer Mountain (13,855’) and involves three demanding backcountry ski lines. And if spring snow storms continue to roll through, the same snow-laden high altitude basins once traveled by the one-and-only Father Dyer could present similar conditions for modern-day challengers.
The race’s namesake, Father Dyer was a Methodist preacher, and Leadville’s best “circuit rider.” More formally known as John Lewis Dyer, this Minnesota minister became the legendary “Snowshoe Itinerant” when he brought his message to Colorado. Carrying the word of God and cherished postal letters from home over the mountains, he crossed 13,000 foot Mosquito Pass several times per week in a variety weather conditions. This regular trek eventually prompted the invention of his unique footwear that carried him safely across the top of several feet of snow, without sinking.
This race is a non-profit event partnered with the Lake County High Riders Snow Trails Association, a 501c3 and supported by local businesses and volunteers. Proceeds from the race will go towards the development of Leadville’s winter trails network. Read More about Leadville’s Winter Trails, including a trail map: STORY.
The Father Dyer Postal Route includes a weekend of activities, however the 5 a.m. start time on Saturday, Apr. 8 will have mountaineering fanatics up and at it before the sunrise! Race organizers are also looking for volunteers to assist with course marshaling, check stations, timing and “morale” stations. Check their site for all the details.
Last Race in Series: Take an Epic Spin on The East Side!
The Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series will wrap up their race season next Saturday, April 15 with the popular East Side Epic, a tour of Leadville’s historic Mining District. Registration and check-in opens at 8 a.m. at Cycles of Life, 309 Harrison Ave. in downtown Leadville. Race start time is 10 a.m.
After registration, cyclists head up to the top of (700) East 8th Street for the race start at 10 a.m. The course is 14.58 miles long and covers amazing terrain, through Leadville’s historic mining ditrsict.
This time of year, course conditions can be a mix, but with the warmer spring temperatures and a fast-melting snow pack, racers are likely to encounter more mud than snow in two weeks time, making for another EPIC race! For a map of the East Side Epic race course: CLICK.
The races always end with plenty of tasty food and beverages, laughter and dang good times. Come on up and take on the East Side Epic!
The Cloud City Wheelers, who host the entire Winter Mountain Bike Race Series are a Leadville club dedicated to providing bicycle activities to promote individual health and recreation. The Wheelers also support education and advocacy to help promote a more bicycle friendly environment and a more livable community for members, bicyclists, and the community at-large.