Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bailey Hundo Recap

A few weeks back I raced the Bailey Hundo, which is a hundred mile mountain bike race to raise funds for Trips for Kids, COMBA, and Bailey Trails.  The race starts off with about 60 miles of trails in the Buffalo Creek area and features a lot of riding on the Colorado Trail and finishes with stretches of pavement and forrest service roads. 

The race starts at 6AM and my alarm clock woke me up at 4:30 AM for breakfast and coffee in my sleeping bag.  I prepped my bike for the long day and was off for the "warm up" ride to the start, which was 15 minutes away.  My fingers were frozen due to temps in the mid 30s by the time I got to the start line on this cold Saturday moring.  Most people were wearing arm warmers, knee warmers, and vests.  I chose not to as it was one more thing I didn't want to worry about. 

RMR teammates at the start line!
400 riders start at the sound of the shotgun blast.  The race starts off on road and then goes into some double track.  Both 50 mile racers and 100 mile racers started at the same time, so it was fairly difficult to gauge who to try to pace with.  I settled into my rhythm and focused on my race strategy.  I know the effort I can maintain for 100 miles and how often I need to eat. 
The first section of singletrack is on Segment 3 of the Colorado Trail, and I knew if I positioned myself fairly well, my race would be off to a good start as I am quite familar with the upcoming trails, which is a huge advantage.  I was on pace through aid station 3.  I stopped quickly to grab two fresh water bottles and was off.  I felt the Green Mountain climb and a fairly long section of the Colorado trail before 126 were the toughest parts of the race.  I rode great through these two points and made another quick stop at aid station 5.  My fast transition put me ahead of a bunch of racers who made less efficient stops.
I crossed 126 into an area devasted by past fires and was riding solo as the miles ticked off and the temperature rose.  Around mile 50 there was a short but very steep climb.  This is where I started to feel the efforts of the race.  I was conservative the next few miles and descended to the next aid station quickly where I drank four cups of water and a cup of coke. 
At mile 58 or so the race hits the open road for about 12 miles.  I was able to take pulls with one racer for a few miles, but our pace was different, so I decided to go off on my own into the stiff headwind that was fighting me.  Other than the elevation profile, from here until mile 90 I did not know what was in front of me. The scenery, lakes, and canyons kept my interest piqued.  Then the road pointed up and changed to dirt roads.  22 miles of climbing and sun were in lay ahead.  The miles in the mid 70s hurt.  After what turned out to be the steepest section, I needed to stop for a moment.  Once back on the bike, I realized I was right around the corner from aid station 8.  It was about a minute bike ride there and I was greeted with an ice cold Coke.  Shortly after, the engine started to rev back up and I felt better. 
At Wellington lake I passed a sign that told me the mileage to Bailey and my effort picked up as I knew approximately how far I had to go.  A rider passed me a few moments before I saw this sign and I gave what I could to try to pass him.  I chased uphill and downhill as hard as I could.  This rider continued to be just out of sight.  I made up significant ground on the last downhill with speeds approaching mid 30s on the wet dirt road.  A quick uphill and a right hand 120 degree turn were all that were left in the race. I sprinted as hard as I could after 94 miles of racing and finished strong. 
It felt great to have the energy to race 95 miles after a tough spring of training.  Conditions and support during the race were great.  Its always fun to compete on trails I know well.  I finished 10th in my age category out of 34 finishers and 68th overall.  Garmin track here.  I finished in 8:55:51 with only about 7 minutes of non moving time.  Results here.
I'd like to thank everyone who donated to my race and more importantly to the causes that this race supports.  I was able to reach my fund raising goal and my race goals! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


A few weeks back I crashed in the Growler and bounced my knee off a rock.  At first I thought it was only a cut as blood poured down my leg.  After a while my knee started to tighten up.  I finished the lap did not feel up for another.  Turns out this was a good idea.  I ended up being off the bike for the next 9 days.  Walking hurt.  Anytime I put pressure on my knee, it was to much. This past week I slowly got back on the bike, but the effort has been pretty low.
Towards the end of my downtime I picked up a bike I've been thinking about for quite a while.  During the last year or so I've strayed away from the "road" bike.  Mountain bikes are more fun to ride and they are far more versatile.  Plus canyon roads can be quite sketchy early and late in the year with debris from the weather on the roads. 

The Santa Cruz Highball Al with full Shimano SLX is exactly what I was looking for.  I solid aluminum frame, SLX components which I am sure will prove functional and durable, plus a rigid fork.  I plan to use tires that are beyond their trail life so I will never really have to buy new tires for it.  I am sure the Highball will be a great new "road bike."

Summer and drier weather has finally arrived in Colorado.  The last few weekends I've ventured to Twin Lakes for some camping, mountain biking the Colorado Trail, and a little bit of altitude training.  Twin lakes is a nice, quiet, underrated, and beautiful place to be.

Its also one of the nicer segments on the Colorado Trail!

Unlike some of the resort towns, I hardly ever run into others out here.

Pre fire ban fire

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ridgeline Rampage

Its been a little over a week since my first solo race of the year.  I think the race went fairly decent.  It was more of a training race as opposed to a high priority race.  I finished 14/38 in my age category.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Two weekends of riding, two complete opposite environements.  Last weekend 70s and sun in Moab, the weekend before temps in the teens at best and 4-8 inches of snow.
2013 Twin Six Metal Kit!
Buffalo Burn, Buffalo Creek
Fatbike set up for a couple long rides

 Miles of open gravel roads!
 More wintery singletrack, somewhere...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

24 Hours of Old Pueblo 4 man-2nd Place

Last Wednesday morning I departed for Tucson to participate in 24 Hours of Old Pueblo mountain bike race. The last time I raced in a 24 hour race was 2006.  Ever since then, I've wanted to compete in more of these events.  4 person seems to be a lot of fun as you get to race hard, recover, and go again.  Jeremy Young, Ben Jones, Adam Haid, and I made up team Trek RMR Velon Hangar. 

Our group met up early Wednesday to caravan down.  Jonathan Davis (solo race winner!) was driving down his RV, which was great to have so we could ride down in style, cook warm meals, and have a solid roof over our heads while at the race.  Jonathan's family, Jeremy, Adam, and I were in the RV on the way down.  Curt Wilhelm, Brian Sells (also solo racers) and their support rolled down in Brian's Sprinter van. 

Inside the RV on the way down

Thursday morning we set up camp, which was right on the course-both sides of the trail to be exact.  This is really helpful for solo racers so that they don't have to go off course to resupply as they lap through.  For the rest of us, it gave us a great location to see the race unfold.  Thursday afternoon the group went out for a quick lap.  It was fun to ride with the group to see their lines and get a feel for the course.  I felt pretty good throughout the ride, which included a few solid efforts.  The course is very fast and flowy.  From someone from Colorado's perspective, there aren't any sustained climbs.  The most challenging aspect of the course is carving in and out of the various cacti, which are relentless in sourthern Arizona, and the constant pedaling (no rest on long dowhills).  Course data here.

 24hr camp, Brian's Sprinter left, Jonathan's RV right

Friday it was much of the same.  Wake up, hang out, get some good breakfast in, and slowly get ready to do another lap.  The group took off fairly fast.  I had in mind what kind of effort I wanted to put in the day before the race, and quickly was dropped.  This allowed me to see the course on my own and get a better feel for it though.  I got to choose my line as opposed to following someone's wheel.  By the end of the lap, i was glad I had the opportunity to follow the group and ride by myself in consecutive days.

Gameday came and the weather was nice, sunny and 60s, but there was a bit of wind.  Jeremy volunteered to take the first lap, which included a La Mans style start (hundreds of cyclists running in cycling shoes-not fun).  I handed him his bike as he approached to save him some time.  He was  probably in the top 20 overall.  On the first lap Jeremy had a great time of 1:00:21.  Ben was up next, and followed suit with a 1:00:25.  Adam was out on the course (turned a 1:05 on his first lap), so I started to warm up.  I was a bit nervous and hoped I could turn out a solid lap.  Most of all, I wanted to be consistent from start to finish.  I went out hard, but held back a little bit on the first lap to keep from blowing up.  I rode smooth and put in a lap time of 1:06 per my GPS (1:07 with the time it took to get to my bike).  I was very excited about this, especially since I knew I had a lot left in the tank.




Laps two, three, and four were all night laps.  Over the last few years, I've done a ton of night riding in the front range.  I've always felt that darkness is not a reason to stop riding my bike.  I actually feel it brings a new sense of excitement and fun to the trails I ride all the time.  I pulled off all three night laps and was only a couple minutes slower than my day lap. 

As the race was unfolding, we were aware of our placing, which was pretty much 2nd in the 4 person mens open the whole day.  Sho-Air/Cannondale had us by 10-15 minutes, and third place was 20 or so minutes behind us.  We had to keep racing hard to maintain our place.  One mistake by the leaders and we could have been first or we could have fallen out of contention if we made a mistake. 

Lap 5 was at about 9AM.  It felt great to make it through the night without any hiccups and to still feel strong and get one final lap in the sun.  I knew this would be my last, so I wanted to leave it all on the course.  I cooked one turn a bit to much and went off course about 9 or so miles in.  Miles 12-14 seemed to hurt the most everytime through.  This time, I looked down, and even though I was working as hard as I could, I struggled to get my heart rate into the 150s.  I rolled through to the transition tent and the result was a 1:09! 

I was so excited upon getting back to the transition area.  I put down 5 laps with my fastest time being 1:07 and my slowest lap 1:11.  Consistent.  I knew that would be the case, but to have so little variance in time was amazing.  I also knew I had done my part, and with only two more laps for the team, things were looking good.  Jeremy and Ben cranked out a lap each, and we secured 2nd place.  Lap times here.  Category results here

It was amazing how the team came together.  We didn't really talk much stategy, but it all played out well.  Everyone did what they needed to do.  We didn't have any missed transitions, burnt out lights, or mechanicals.  We had great support and an unreal camp/setup. 

The rest of our group had great results as well.  Jonathan Davis battled the field and finished 1st solo male!  Curt rode to 2nd, and Brian Sells finished 4th in his first ever 24 solo.  Tanner, Jonathan's son, cranked out 8 laps in his solo effort for a new distance record.

Podium shot, Adam Haid, Ben Jones, me, Jeremy Young

Video produced by Adam Haid here.