Mark Alden: Today was a day to remember at Bear. When I was driving up the Palisades I was happy that it wasn’t raining. However, when I got off the exit and drove into the mountains a think blanket of fog was obscuring the countryside. When I pulled into the Lake Welch parking lot visibility was down to about 20’. At first there wasn’t a soul to be seen and I was half expecting that there would be someone sitting by registration telling me that the race was off. But when I got close to the building cars started to come into view. I walked over to registration thinking that the race might be cancelled. I was told it was game on so I suited up and tried to mentally prepare for battle.
The weather kept a few guys away but I still think the field was 70+ guys. The first time down the decent was insane as we hurtled down into a foggy abyss at 50mph. Roger Aspholm drilled it the 1st time up the climb and the race blew up into several groups. I dug REALLY deep and made it over the top in the 2nd group. Roger was away with 8-10 guys. I felt so crappy the 1st time up the climb that I contemplated pulling into the parking lot conveniently located at the top. Sure enough most of those guys got shelled trying to stay with Roger. As the race wore on I started to feel a little better but for the most part I was trying to be as conservative as possible because in reality I felt pretty close to my limit the entire time. Each time up the climb our group got smaller and by the last lap Roger was by himself and one masters and one 18yr. old cat 3 were between Roger and us. I think there was only 1 or 2 with us at the end. With a few miles to go Erin Korff attacked I thought he was reeled in but with the fog he got out of site and none of us seemed to realize that he was still away. Erin ended up taking 3rd and Troy finished just in front of me putting me in 5th. Overall I’m pretty happy, and I did exactly what I set out to do and as I get some more miles in my legs I should be more competitive as the season goes on.