Bidwell Bump

In late August I suited up for Chico’s hometown race, the Bidwell Bump. Held in Upper Bidwell Park, the Bump covers 14 miles of brutally rocky, challenging technical terrain up through the Canyon along Bidwell Creek. They’ve been holding a mountain bike race here in Chico since 1976 so 2011 marked the 35th anniversary of the event and a great group of locals did an amazing job of putting together a world-class event.
I rolled over to the start on sat morning and was surprised by how warm it already was at 9am. en Cruz as well as tons of local fast guys. There were a handful of ladies too and I was stoked to hear that there would be two other women competing in the long course. I did a nice warm up on the road and was excited to try a race on the Marin Rift Zone full suspension bike I’ve been borrowing. I’d never raced a full suspension and was curious if it would feel any different. The race started with a short road sprint and then funneled onto the lava rocks of North Rim trail. I kept a steady pace up North Rim, pushing myself but trying not to blow up. The Rift Zone felt swift and comfortable on the climb. It was nice to be able to stay seated and crank a harder gear. The year before I was on my hardtail and north rim almost rattled my teeth out.
I got to the top of the 4 mile climb with a good group still by me and headed down B Trail. I passed a rider and another rider passed me. I was stoked and excited to clear a section I usually walk! Then we crossed over the road, trudged through the creek which was still up to my hips, and then started the steep climb up 10 mile house road. It was warm on the climb and I kept a steady pace, but would have liked to pass a couple more people.
Once at the top I was psyched for the descent down Guardians. Guardian trail is my favorite trail in the park and it felt flowy and fast. On Bloody Pin I was passed by one rider, but felt strong and confident. Once I got onto SouthRim, I rode that section faster than I ever had before. The Rift Zone was killing it! The hike a bike up tennis ball hill hurt, but before I knew it I was at the bottom of the park and big-ringing the road section back to the start. I finished the race at 1:44, a few minutes faster than last year on a longer course, and first for the ladies. It felt good to put out a hard effort and I was happy with my fitness considering my accident earlier in the year had me out of commission for so long.
Later in the afternoon we finished the day with a Super D race down Guardians trail. It was extremely hot at the start of the race (like 100 degrees!) and I was feeling faded from the XC. I held it together well though, and only got passed by two people. Sadly I was the only lady to race the SuperD, so I won the All Mountain, but I was happy with my time (31 mins). I definitely rode some sections of the trail faster than I thought was possible.
At the end of the day, it was an awesome event and I’m super stoked on my custom trophy made by Lowell. It now has a special case on top of my bookshelf in the living room and has gotten lots of compliments. Thanks again to the race organizers for a great event!