Lyons, Colorado, a vibrant, beautiful little town north of Denver, close to Longmont and Boulder, has been growing their local event each year into something bigger and bigger. The core events for the Lyons Outdoor Games is the Freestyle Event at the downtown Whitewater Park and the Creek Race on the South St Vrain just about 4 miles from town center. This year there are lots of cool events with BMX, Mountain Biking, Running, and Road Biking as well. For after hours entertainment, the first ever “Burning Can” festival is happening here. It is a music and beer party sponsored by Colorado Micro Breweries that package their beers in cans instead of bottles (better for the environment). Oscar’s Brewery is the lead on that and their Dale’s Pale Ale is a magical beer that hits hard both on the palate and with its 7% content. If you love a beer with flavor, that one packs it in.
This year there is also a “Triple Crown” which is a combined event fashioned after the T’Ville Triple Crown that we went to in Connecticut in April. It will combine your scores in the creek race, the slalom race, and the freestyle event. Jackson Kayak is sponsoring that event with a kayak as a prize, so definitely worth getting your game on for all three events!
Scott Shipley lives in town and is a course designer and lives adjacent to the “October Hole” which is the feature on the creek at the top of the slalom course. He has organized to attempt to improve the October hole today as a possible competition site for the freestyle this weekend. The water has come up and the main hole is good to go, so we’ll see where it will be held, but either way Lyons might have a second good freestyle hole. Currently October hole offers up huge loops and most of the other moves take lots of skill to do there so it isn’t intermediate friendly and definitely not beginner friendly yet.
There is a ton of competition here already with Matthiew Domoulin from France here and training, as well as many USA Team members and a bunch of kids. Yesterday I was in the eddy with two Fun 1’s, 2 Shooting Stars, and some Rock Star S kids as well. The cadet and junior classes are going to be huge this year!
I am going out to do a freestyle session shortly- (it is 6:53am now and I am on my second cup of coffee and want to train before everyone wakes up) and then head up to do our second session on the South St. Vrain Creek “Narrows”. We already did some laps two days ago to try it at super low water and it was fine. Tons of pinning opportunities if you get off line, but if you stay online it is good to go. There is a “direct line” on one of the last drops, not sure the name, but where the race is usually through the “goal posts” but now you can drive left instead of right there and with a good enough line you can make it left of the defender rock and shoot straight through. It is not an easy move to make and if you miss it you can either pin on the defender rock or get pushed into the right eddy and have to ferry out, both will cost you the race. I like that move. The first move on the course is also a tough one where the water tries to push you onto a sharp rock which ruins your line into the tight crack on the right which is hard enough without a hard entry. Getting into the crack at the right angle prevents pinning, petoning, or just banging your way through, all of which are slow. I will try to get some GoPro footage of the race course today to share. I think it will look cool. What you can’t see are the hundred or so rocks you have to memorize and try to stay off of. This will be much like the Homestake Creek Race at Teva Games, just lower water and a little harder. Fired up to race my Zen again!!
Better hit the water before everyone wakes up!