16-year-old Colin Joyce won the first Pebble Creek Hill Climb with a time of 32 minutes and 53.5 seconds. The event took place near Inkom on Saturday.
“It was hard, brutal. But fun,” said Joyce, who is a 4.0 student at Pocatello High School. “I’m not sure what I’ll win. But seeing my name by the No. 1, that’s really the best.”
Zooming over the finish line in first place for the Women’s Pro 1-2-3 Category was Nicole Evans, who trains and rides full-time. Evans came to Pocatello from Ogden, Utah, just for today’s event. “I saw all the men ahead of me, and it just motivated me to push harder,” Evans said.
Forty-four cyclists began the grueling ride near Inkom Elementary School. The climb, while relatively short at 6.5 miles, puts a strain on any cyclist’s strength and endurance with its elevation gain of 2,400 feet.
“It’s a 14 percent grade,” said Pocatello bike rider Justin Kline.
Kline is a member of the Idaho Cycling Enthusiasts, and has been cycling for 15 years. The race was his brainchild, but he declined to participate in it, as he concentrated on organizing the event instead.
Prizes of cash and merchandise were on offer for the winners in several different categories, divided into age, gender, and skill levels.
“There’s a six pack of beer waiting at the top for the fastest man and woman rider of age,” Kline informed the riders, just before they took off.
Also waiting at the top were friends and relatives of the riders. Deone Kawamura waited for her husband, Dennis, who was riding in the Masters 50+ age category. Cycling is a family affair for the Kawamuras.
“We all ride,” Kawamura said. “Dennis loves it. I love to ride too, but this is a little much for me.”