Ode to Pikes Peak: Katie Compton's Boone design for Nationals
This week Katie Compton begins her annual pilgrimage to the U.S. Cyclocross National Championships.
The 2019 competition is her 16th year racing in the elite women’s category at Nationals. She won it on her first try in 2004. Then, she won it again in 2005. 2006. 2007. 2008. And every single year after that. Compton’s legacy as a 15x U.S. Cyclocross National Champion means that her journey to Nationals every year has taken on great meaning.
“It’s a really special event for me now,” Compton said. “I try not to think of years past. I just focus on the one in front of me. I’ve always come in prepared and had a little bit of luck on my side to pull it out.”
Such a special event calls for a special bike.
Compton chose to adorn her Boone bike for Nationals with a topographical map of Pikes Peak, an iconic mountain in the Rockies and the backdrop to her home in Colorado Springs.
“The bike is even better than what I envisioned,” Compton said.
The red line on the map traces Pikes Peak Highway, the route for the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb auto race, also known as The Race to the Clouds.
“I’ve also ridden that route up Pikes Peak a handful of times.” Compton said. “It’s probably one of the hardest climbs in the U.S. The average incline is 7-8%. It starts at 7000 feet altitude and climbs to 14,100 feet.”
Hopefully the bike also takes Compton to the top of the podium at Nationals again this year.
The topographical map design was added to the bike through a painting technique called masking.
Masking is a method where a frame artist paints a base color, in this case light blue, and then applies temporary custom stickers.
Wherever a sticker is applied, the base color will shine through in the final design. In this case, the custom stickers were a complicated set of squiggly lines that represent the steep elevation change of Pikes Peak topography.
The top color, darker blue on Compton’s bike, goes on when the stickers are in place. After the top paint coat dries, the stickers are removed to reveal the two-tone design.
As she battles through the course on Sunday in Washington, Compton has another custom graphic staring up at her from the Boone’s top tube to keep her motivated: the face of a Rottweiler.
“I’ve had Rottweiler dogs since college,” Compton explained. “They’re my favorite breed because they are strong, stubborn and persistent. If I am suffering during a race, I tend to look down, and the Rottweiler provides inspiration.” Compton’s last Rottweiler named Pixie was a three-legged rescue who she describes as “super athletic, stubborn, and sweet.” Pixie passed away in April and Compton recently adopted on a new rescue Rottweiler puppy named Mollie.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see a 15x national champion race for her 16th title on Sunday at the U.S. Cyclocross National Championships.
Watch the race here–we can’t wait.