Carson City Off Road is part of the "Epic Rides" series of events; 50mile mountain bike races where 1000+ competitors and a bunch of the best pro's in the world ride some of the country's best trails as part of an overall bike racing experience like no other. These guys put on bands, food, beer, an expo, the works. Last year a few of the team did the Whiskey 50 round in Arizona and we were keen for more, so Rob and I (Nick) chose to race the Carson City round this year.
Carson City is a small town to the east of the mountains around Lake Tahoe and the race makes good use of them - it heads west out of town with a sustained 20miles of climbing, then hits the world famous Flume Trail with unparalleled views of Lake Tahoe and the descends some fantastic singletrack back into town. If you haven't ridden the trails around Tahoe they are among the best in the world, go check them out, highly recommended.
The race started off fast from the gun with a 3mile road sprint out of town to the start of the climbing proper. After a nasty steep road section, an even steeper, nastier dirt road section followed, meaning the group was well split up by the time the first single track appeared. Rob got a clean run but I got caught behind a single speeder who couldn't get round the tight hairpin corners. Not that it mattered as I was gassed anyway and started going backward through the field over the next 15miles or so of climbing. I regrouped with Rob at the aid station by Spooner Lake but quickly got dropped again before the Flume Trail section - this is arguably the most scenic mountain bike trail in the world - just amazing. I resisted the urge to stop and take a selfie the view though and so managed to catch back up to Rob again before the next aid station. Unfortunately I then got dropped again on the next climb - there was definitely a bad theme developing!
After the climb though it was predominantly flat to downhill and we rode in to the finish together in a little over 4hrs for 21 & 22 in Category (45+ masters) and 93 & 94 overall. All there was left to do was drink a free beer (from one of the race sponsors no less) to celebrate, grab some food, recover and talk smack about such an awesome ride.