Tag Archives: butte 100

Butte 100 Race Report Part 2

9 Aug

97 miles and 10:40 of ride time into the Butte 100 I was all by myself which was the case for most of the day. I had just finished an incredible downhill section and was on fire looking for the finish line just as the single track I was on hit a T into some ATV trail. No markings other than some cryptic arrows that made no sense at all, turns out they were for some other event. Tire tracks going both directions, what to do?

I went left and quickly ran into Pete, who I had been chasing all day. He validated my decision and I validated his decision so we kept going and going and going. Before long we had descended quite a bit of gravel road, so much so that I had competely abandoned any thought of backtracking with all the climbing it would require. I was done. My body was ready for it all to be over an hour ago and here we were obviously way off course and melting in the afternoon sun.

Pete decided turning around was our best option as who knew exactly what lay in front of us. Sometimes knowing is good even if you know its going to be difficult. I didn’t think it was possible for me to get back up the hill but followed reluctantly. We made our way back towards the T and ran into 3 other racers that had made the same bad decision as we had. We assured them we were not on course and we all limped our way back to the finish.

As the 5 of us limped it to the finish line I found myself way off the back walking up any grade steeper than flat. The other 4 were nowhere to be seen. When I came down the last little downhill section just yards from the finish I was surprised to find Pete Behrends and Ben Macht waiting for me so we could finish together. Very cool of them to do so, thanks guys.

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A few of the reasons you should plan on attending the Butte 100 in 2010:

  1. Best 100 mile course out there.
  2. Super friendly, helpful volunteers and race organizers.
  3. Aid stations every 10 miles, I didn’t think I’d need them and didn’t stop at all of them but it was nice to have people cheering me on a on a regular basis and something I looked forward to.
  4. Kettlehouse.
  5. It’s in its infancy, you can say you raced it way back when and were part of it before they had to have a lottery to get in.
  6. Nez Pearce and Continental Divide Trail make up a BIG portion of the course and it’s worth the drive just to experience those trails let alone race on them. Unbelievable.
  7. Really cool race jersey from Utah’s own Blackbottoms included in the inexpensive entry fee. See pic of Pete above.
  8. Did I mention the trails yet? Simply amazing mountain biking for a race or not.

See you all there next year.

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Butte 100 Race Report Part 1 of 2

4 Aug

I just got back last night and haven’t been able to sit down long enough to write up anything.  You see, my ass just stopped oozing pus late this afternoon and only now can I sit without worry of any seepage.

We, and by we I mean Tasha, the girls and myself,  arrived in Butte Friday evening and registered at the Outdoorsman.  That’s correct, I registered for a 100 mile mountain bike race the night before.  Where can you do that anymore?  Montana, duh.

We drove out to Basin Creek campground and set up shop, about 7 miles outside of town.  We were lucky enough to park next to Pete Behrens, last years 2nd place finisher, who I would end up riding a good portion of the race with.  I also finally met Bill Martin, super crazy enduro junkie, that just finished the 24 hour world championships in Canmore the weekend before and here he was about to do a 100 miler 6 days later.  They grow them a little crazy in Montana.

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When it comes to pomp and circumstance the Butte 100 is the polar opposite of the Leadville 100.  No day before racers meeting, no medical check-in, no before dinner, no red carpet at the finish line, no start canon, no fully stocked aide stations, no personalized hoodie with your name and time, no long drawn out day after race awards ceremony and no Ken Chlouber.

What does the Butte 100 offer?  None of the above but hands down the greatest mountain biking trails of any hundred miler out there.  I have never ridden such fantastic trails whether it was a 100 miler or not at a race venue in the last 18 years.  It’s that good.  I must have ridden 100 switchbacks both up and down the course.  Roots, rocks, swoopy downhills, technical treacherous downhills and lots of really buff single track.  If you want a mountain bike race on a mountain bike trail the Butte 100 can’t be beat.

The race started out kind of like Leadville with some gravel road that turned to climbing and then to a barely legible single track climb and eventually down to some pavement for a few miles.  We then hit some more trail and lots of climbing that eventually spit us out on some more pavement for about 5 miles.

At about mile 20 any similarity to Leadville ended abruptly.  For the next 80 miles it was non-stop climbing and descending some of the roughest and buffest trail I’ve ever ridden.  I started to get nervous every time there was a nice descent because I knew I would soon pay for it with an immediate uphill.  The climbs were frequent and relentless.  Switchback after switchback and mostly single track.

Pete and I rode together for the first 20 miles or so and then I wouldn’t see him again until mile 75 because he took off and I didn’t.  I don’t know what happened but I was bonking.  After just a couple hours I was hurting pretty bad and feeling like there was no way I could ride another 80 miles.  I wrestled with thoughts of dropping out but would always re-focus after realizing how far my family and I had come for this race and I couldn’t quit.

I took my time at the 40 mile aid station to eat and drink and think.  That was the turning point for me and while I suffered at times over the remainder of the race I never felt as bad as I did between miles 20 and 40.

The finest moment of the day came at mile 70.  As I passed mile 60 one of the volunteers mentioned there were a bunch of crazy people screaming and cheering all the racers on at mile 70.  As I approached mile 70 I could hear the screams and cheers and it got me pumped up.  Turns out the only people there were Tasha and my girls but it was like an entire schools pep squad.

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I got toweled off by Tasha and cheered on by the girls and all of a sudden I felt like super man.  Within a few minutes after leaving the family I caught and passed 6th 7th and 8th place riders to settle into what I thought was 5th place overall.  I flew by them on the climbs so fast that I felt like I needed to apologize.  I was on fire and could not be contained.  I just can’t understand how a person can go from almost completely bonked after a couple hours of racing to feeling invincible some 5 hours later, must be the CarboRocket.

That was all about to change as I ran across some Kryptonite at mile 97.  More about that tomorrow.

Leadville Shmeadville

28 Jul

I’m heading to the Butte 100 this year instead.  Leadville isn’t for another couple weeks but the Butte 100 happens this Saturday.  As a matter of fact it would be a good training ride 2 weeks out from Leadville if you are feeling a little unprepared.

Butte offers more single track, more climbing, less people, less hype and the entry fee is about half of what leadville is.  Thanks to crazy enduro Bill for pointing me in the Butte direction, I hope he recovers in time for this weekend.

I’m pretty excited about it but also a bit nervous.  Several years ago I did a hundie sight unseen, the Cascade Creampuff,  it took me about 14 hours and left me nearly unconscious after the race and unable to hold onto handle bars or chopsticks for the next couple weeks.

I will be prepared this time.  I have compiled a list of essentials that will be needed to complete the Butte 100 in total comfort and style.  Feel free to use this list in preparation for your Leadville or LRE adventures.

  1. 22t Surly cog,  15,000-16,000 feet of elevation will be a piece of cake with this pie plate.
  2. WTB Weriwolf LT 2.55, monster wide front suspension tire.
  3. Vassago Jabberwocky, plush plushness and stylie style all in one.
  4. 10-15 bottles of Carborocket.
  5. Salt Cycling Fly socks.  They match my flaming Vassago kit perfectly and are the bees knees on the toes.

That’s it.  That’ll do you.

Good luck to everyone at the ICUP final this Saturday at The Canyons. I won’t be there but look and listen for the Livestrong table of goodies, all the proceeds from sales on Saturday at the Canyons go to the Livestrong foundation, including the CarboRocket.  Be nice to Dorothy and buy lots of stuff.

If you haven’t already, and I know you haven’t, click on the pink Fatcyclist jersey in the side bar and donate to my Livestrong page.  Each $5 gets you a chance to win a years supply of CarboRocket.

My Death Confirmed

18 Jul

Even though I died with a bang it was completely devoid of drama.  As I hiked my bike all the way down from the very top of Solitude I told everyone that asked that I had double flatted.  That wasn’t really true it just seemed like the easiest thing to say without having to explain myself.  I mean who has time to listen to a story at race pace?

I got a big hole in my tire on the very first rocky section and the Stans didn’t seal until it hit 5 pounds of pressure.  Or, so I thought.  I wasted my only air cartridge getting it back up to about 40 pounds before it started blowing air again.  I went ahead and changed the flat thinking maybe I could bum some air off another racer while I hiked off the mountain.  The more I thought about it the more stupid it sounded, “hey, can I have your air because I only brought one?”

I said nothing and hiked it out.  I can’t complain too much, it’s the only flat I’ve had all year.  Too bad it had to be on my last ICUP race of the year.  Next up, Butte 100.  I guess I better start training.

Congrats to Sam for the W and everyone that hung in there just to finish, It looked like it hurt a lot.