Ear to the ground

“I’m somewhere between 10,000 feet and sea level and finally have cell reception again.”

– An exasperated visitor shortly after stepping off the train at the Depot

In the stripes

A local legend pedaled back onto the podium last weekend. Veteran dowhiller Elke Brutsaert went to the Mountain Bike National Championships on a whim, but came home sporting the Stars and Stripes jersey as the new national Super D champion.

The 2009 National Championships rolled into SolVista Basin, located in Granby, on July 16-19. More than 1,200 professional and amateur off-road riders competed at the SolVista Bike Park for top national honors in cross-country, short track, super D, singlespeed, four cross and downhill contests.

Retired pro Brutsaert donned a Durango Devo jersey for the Super D race. A relatively new discipline, Super D is essentially a downhill cross-country race with all the competitors on course at the same time.  

“The start was super unbelievably hard,” Brutsaert told cyclingnews.com. “I’ve never done a Le Mans start. You’re trying to catch your breath the whole way. I managed to go into the singletrack first.”

From there, Brutsaert was able to hold off the younger professional en route to her first place finish. “I love old school racing,” she added. “It’s not about the bike, but about racing smart and being kind of fit.”

Brutsaert wasn’t the only Durango pro to enjoy some time on top. Despite breaking a crank arm in the cross-country competition, Specialized’s Todd Wells got a big consolation prize. He took second in the short-track competition, sandwiched between Adam Craig and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski. And Darian Harvey (Cannondale Factory Racing) finished fourth in the women’s four-cross just behind Jill Kintner, Melissa Buhl and Kathy Pruitt.

Budding in Breck

First there was Amsterdam and then Vancouver. Will Breckenridge be next? This November, voters in the nearby ski town could be asked whether or not to legalize personal consumption of marijuana.

The Breckenridge marijuana reform group, Sensible Breckenridge, turned in a petition last week with almost three times the required number of signatures to place a measure on the ballot. Marijuana possession is currently a misdemeanor in Breckenridge, punishable by a $100 fine and court costs. If it passes, the measure would remove any and all penalties for possession. Town officials have until July 27 to rule on the validity of the signatures.

It appears likely that the measure will make the ballot and become law in November. In 2006, Colorado voters rejected a similar measure, although 72 percent of Breckenridge voters supported it.




In this week's issue...

July 21, 2022
Wildlife success or deal with the devil?

Land swap approved in Southwest Colorado, but not without detractors

July 21, 2022
Tapping out

The latest strategy to save the San Luis Valley's shrinking aquifer: paying farmers not to farm

July 14, 2022
Hey, good environmental news

Despite SCOTUS ruling, San Juan Generating Station plans to shut down