Pedals & Pellets

Tonight was my second mountain bike biathlon and my first one this year. It's part of the weekly race series at Soldier Hollow and Sundance. My first biathlon was at the end of the season last year and I really enjoyed it so I was looking forward to doing another one this year. And better yet, Jolene was going to give it a try - her first biathlon.

I zipped home from work and we loaded the bikes and family in the van and head up Provo Canyon. We arrived in time for a little pellet gun shooting practice and a lap on the short, 2 mile course. We got some last minute rifle range and racing instruction then lined up. In Sport I would be doing 4 laps, Jolene 3 laps. As usual, Sport was a large group.

I tried to go fast off the start, but it just doesn't work for me. I was in the back third. I passed a few racers up the pavement then funneled into the long line heading up the single-track and breathed in lots of that yummy, powdery dirt. It was slow, but I just sat in and waited for the top where I got by a few more racers. I passed a few more on the paved uphill section then settled in for the twist downhill single-track. Back on the pavement heading to the range I poured it on and got past 8-10 racers - I didn't want to be in a long line waiting to shoot.

My plan worked and I didn't have to wait long for a rifle to open up. I plopped down on the mat and methodically hit all 5 targets.

Four down, one last black dot target to hit.

Here's Jolene shooting:

I got back on my bike and looped around for lap #2. Our children were there to cheer us on - you can see our youngest waving at me.

And here's Jolene rolling through the start:

After the shakeout, I was feeling pretty good on lap #1 and I felt good on lap #2 as well. I pushed the pace and didn't feel like I went much slower than the first lap. But I did miss one target and had to do a penalty lap.

Lap #3 I was a little slower on the climb, but I hit all 5 targets and kept it pretty fast on the downhill.

Going out of the range I had a Mad Dog guy in front of me as my carrot. I worked hard to catch him, but although I made some small gains, in the end I don't think I advanced on him going into the range. I knew if I were to have a chance of catching him I'd have to hit all 5 targets. Well, that was a jinx. I didn't get the rifle I'd used the 3 times previous and I missed the first target. I hit the next one, but missed the 3rd, then after I cocked the rifle I accidentally touched the trigger and missed the 4th, but hit the 5th. Ug, 3 penalty laps and my chase was over. Oh well, I still had a good race - I had fun and felt like I pushed it pretty good.

Coming into the 4th lap I saw Jolene ahead and caught her and gave her a little pat as she headed out for her last lap. She felt like she could have gone harder, but she said she had a good time and enjoyed the extra twist of the target shooting.

After the race we talked with people, I ate some chicken tenders and I won an insulated water bottle in the raffle. Then we drove home. A nice evening out with my sweet wife and awesome kids.

Photos taken by my daughters Jamie and Kara.


KC said...

How did Jolene do? She looks like she had a lot of fun.

KanyonKris said...

She said she did OK and enjoyed it. Not sure where she placed (I'm not sure where I placed either). I added another paragraph toward the end with her report.

Good to see you there. It's nice to see so many friendly faces at these races.

Miles - Lindon, UT said...

Looks like a lot of fun. Keep writing--I enjoy reading about your different rides/events.


MOCougFan said...

I'm jealous. That looked like a lot of fun. Riding with your wife would be beyond cool.

You doing the Triathalon Sat?

KanyonKris said...

mocougfan - Yes, Jolene and I have had a lot of fun over the years mountain biking together. And we are planning to attend the Fat Cyclist TriathAlon.

mark said...

Nice that they let you shoot from the prone position. I can see a lot more penalty laps being taken if you had to shoot standing up while breathing hard from the riding.

MOCougFan said...


I'm coming in from Missouri. I'll look forward to meeting you. I'll be there a couple weeks. Hopefully I'll see you on the road. I enjoy reading your daily write ups.

KanyonKris said...

mocougfan - I'm glad you'll be able to make it out. Let's get together for a ride - how about the Alpine Loop? I can't remember if you ride mountain bikes too. Could I twist your arm to get you out on a trail?

MOCougFan said...


I'm bringing both of my bikes with me. Alpine loop ride would be great. I'll plan it out with you on Sat.

I would love to see some of the trails that you and others talk about. You'll kill me on the trails tho. I'm a flatlander and out of shape to boot. But I'll die trying to stay up with you.

Keith said...

Nice race Kris. I too made the mistake of going with an unfamiliar weapon and missed 4 on my 3rd shooting stage. I rode those penalty laps with "angry legs". Nevertheless, it's a fun interval effort to do.