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Local bikers compete in downhill race
MARYSVILLE — Heidi Klippert and husband Gary Holboy are self-proclaimed mountain biking hackers. But they still pad up and attack the rugged forest trails throughout the Pacific Northwest nearly each weekend.
“We got addicted to riding and that’s how we spend our extra time,” Klippert said. “There is something special about riding. It has become my stress release. Riding has also helped us build new relationships with other people.”
Although they’ve limited their riding to recreational, Klippert and Holboy decided to expand their experience by entering the Fifth Annual Capitol Forest Classic Sunday, Aug. 15, at the Capitol Forest Park in Olympia.
“We are obviously not professionals,” Klippert said. “Let’s face it, we are hacks, but we love to ride and this race will definitely be new to us. Or at least it will be for me.”
The couple has nearly 15 years of combined recreational mountain biking experience, but only Holboy has experience riding competitively and it’s limited at that. In 2005, Holboy participated in a five-mile downhill race. Other than that Holboy and Klippert are novices when it comes to racing.
“We are very excited for the race,” Holboy said. “Just participating will be a great experience. We aren’t too worried about winning. It’s all about going out there and having a good time and enjoying what is sure to be a great ride.”
Klippert and Holboy will compete in the super downhill event. They chose not to compete in the cross country event. In the downhill race, participants will ride on a single track that descends 2,100 feet over six miles through deep forest and dry clear-cut areas.
“I hope I don’t back out at the last minute,” Klipper said laughing. “If we were going to do the cross country event we’d be training and not sitting here drinking coffee. But overall I am nervous, but I am really looking forward to the race.”
Their passion for the sport has even played a part at their wedding. The two were married at Whistler Mountain’s Garbanzo Zone, a bike park at an elevation of 2,200 feet. After the nuptials, the wedding party rode down the mountain to their reception at Whistler Village.
“It was a magnificent day,” Holboy said. “We’ll never forget it. It was rainy and windy, but it was fantastic.”
Last spring Klippert and Holboy helped launch the Lakewood High School Mountain Bike Club. The seven-member team was made up of students from Lakewood, Marysville-Pilchuck and Arlington High School. The team finished third in the inaugural Washington State High School Mountain Bike Championships in Tacoma.
“Riding is a big part of our life,” Holboy said. “So we are very happy to be involved with the high school team. This race in August is just an extension of our passion for the sport.”