Los Alamos cyclist Caroline Spaeth was named women’s singlespeed champion for the 2013 New Mexico Off-Road Series racing season.
Now in its 14th year, the NMORS comprises 11 races staged throughout the state that challenge riders with a wide variety of competitors and terrain. Finishers receive points for their position at the end of each race, and total points are tallied at the end of the series to determine the winners of the series categories.
Competitors are required to enter seven races to qualify.
To win the yellow NMORS jersey, Spaeth won six of the seven races she entered. Racing on a singlespeed is no easy feat in this state’s race series. Unlike racers on regular bikes who have a range of gearing to use for climbs and descents, singlespeed riders must choose a single gear combination for each race.
With race terrain ranging from rocky and rolling desert hillsides in Las Cruces, to erratic, steep climbs and descents at Silver City’s Signal Peak Challenge, to venues with every type of terrain and topography in between, gear choice itself can be daunting for the singlespeed racer — too easy a gear and the rider is spinning and coasting on downhill and flat terrain, too hard a gear and the rider is trudging uphill pushing the bike.