Thursday Night Race League

This year, there will be many riders in front of me.

July sneaked up on me. Of all the years that I should have been ready for Thursday Night Race League, that I should have been prepared, this was the year. The snow was gone in April, I planted my garden in May, and June was as hot as July has ever been.

There have been years that I’ve trained during winter with spin classes, and bike up Big Mountain Road all spring, when my bike is tuned and I’m ready to test myself against the best racers in the valley.

This won’t be one of those years. I’ve only saddled up on my mountain bike four times, my road bike is a bit dusty, and I canceled those 6 a.m. spin classes at The Wave months ago.

So what’s the excuse? What’s the reason for falling out of pace?

It’s no excuse and it’s no reason to be less fit, but the birth of a second child sure does make scheduling time for a long mountain bike ride a challenge. In the cold, dark mornings of winter, those spin classes just seemed like a bad idea.

Yet, that’s the beauty of Thursday Night Race League. Despite the total lack of training, I’m still going to race my bike this summer and I’m still going to have fun.

I may finish minutes behind my pace of previous years and get smoked by a few teenagers, but I’m not too worried.

Resort events manager Josh Knight and his team will still offer high fives, an otter pop at the finish, and maybe a ribbon if I pull off a podium result. Even if I come in last, I still stand as good of a chance at a raffle prize because the raffle is based on participation, not results.

And the Bierstube bartenders will still pour me a cold post-race PBR and grill up one fine burger.

Local’s tip: If you can, come up to Whitefish Mountain Resort a day or two before the race and preride the course.  Maps are posted online or stop in to the events office in the upper village for info.  You’ll be much more comfortable on race day knowing what’s ahead.  If you are a bike riding lady, search out Jessica Downing on Facebook.  She organizes a ladies only preride of the course most weeks.”

Thursday Night Race League is every Thursday at Whitefish Mountain Resort from July 9 to Aug. 20. Adult races start at 6:30 p.m. in the upper village, with a free kids race at about 6:20 p.m.

Register online to save money and time, or register at the event before 6 p.m. The cost is $60 for the season or $20 per race. The awards and raffle typically take place at 8 p.m. or 30 minutes after the last racer finishes. Maps of each week’s course are available online at

— Jason Forrest / This Week Whitefish