Last night some friends and I attended the special showing of the "Race Across the Sky". This is the second one of these that documents the Leadville 100 race held in Colorado every year. There is cap on entrants at 1500. There is also a lottery for many of those spots as well. It starts off with a live interview with some of the top competitors and the promoter.
This race is alot more than a race. It touches so many people and I was actually surprised at how many of the riders interviewed poured out their heart to the camera about their lives with no concern that many movie-goers would see it. Many were overcoming things within, from cancer, to the death of family member and even their own demons within themselves. It's a very entertaining, emotional and at times heart breaking journey throughout the course reaching elevations of up to 12,500 feet above sea level. I could semi-relate to some of the exhaustion stories because of the times that I had raced/ridden the ORAMM (Off Road Assault on Mount Mitchel). I can remember the way my legs felt going up that last climb of Kitsuma acquiring the last of the 11,000 ft of climbing that that race issues upon you the rider.
Levi Leipheimer won with JHK (Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski ) getting second. I was pulling for JHK in the end because of his collegiate roots in mountain bike racing (even though I already knew the outcome). He was right there with Levi until the powerline climb near the end. The whole thing was so cool because it seemed like Levi was just another rider, no hoop-lah (well not nearly as much) like when Lance raced this race. In my honest opinion I really think the famous pro "roadies" should stay home and not compete. Why? Well this is just my opinion and I would hope you would respect it as I would respect yours if you disagree with it. Cyclists are for the most part 99.9% great people. It's nice to come together under a common thread. The we have our different disciplines...road, mtn, cx, fixies, commuters, dj, bmx and the list goes on but the main two being roadies and mountain bikers.
For some reason there is animosity between the two groups basically. Just in my dealings over the past 10 yrs or so I continue to enter-twine/mingle with both (I consider myself a "cyclist" not a roadie or mtb'er specifically just a cyclist, each of you may hold your own definition of cyclist though) anywho, I see distinct differences in both groups. I think most roadies are competitive ALL the time for the most part and MTBers aren't. Although while racing both groups are fierce. Roadies are always pushing wanting to go faster, challenging their buddies but be warned if you ride with a group of strangers and exhibit any skills of strength or have a flagrant smell of any testosterone pheromones you will evoke a feeding frenzy unlike any piranha frenzy in the Nile! MTBers on the other hand could hammer all day or are just as happy to climb a mountain and sit there most of the day sharing a brew with ANYONE. Most MTBers can ride without having to display their "twins" to the other riders as a status symbol as to evoke a hierarchy. I'm not out to make any group mad but these are just the things that I have witnessed over my many years of cycling.
I LIKE ROADIES!~I LOVE MTBers~ do not take this as a slam....... I regress back to the movie. The roadies should just stay home (or volunteer) instead of competing in the Leadville 100 is what my point is. Especially if you are a famous roadie ie; Lance. I like seeing the competition now mind you but I more enjoy the tales and the stories of the "real" competitors that come to conquer something inside instead of every rider.
PS: The belt buckle is cool though!