Just some thoughts and experiences from a mountain bike endurance racer who likes to ride and race his single speed mountain bike a long long way on remote single track in the mountains and desert.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Epic 2012 Bailey Hundo race!

It was another epic race at the 2012 Bailey Hundo with some tough competition in the singlespeed category.  I beat my previous years’ time at 100 miles in 7:47.  After starting back in fifth, then moving to 2nd with 1st in my sites for quite some time I ended up finished 4th.  This year I chose to use a front suspension fork which made the awesome singletrack exponentially more enjoyable.  I ran 32x19 gearing on a 29r with Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires front and rear.  This course is awesome!  Epic singletrack!

Bailey Hundo website: http://www.bailey100.com/

Race day started with a 4:45 alarm, quick breakfast, suiting up then riding about 15 minutes to the race staging area in downtown Bailey from the new riverside camping area by the finish line.  Everyone lined up, talked a little about past races and then with the sound of a shotgun blast we all took off immediately climbing up pavement.   The start has some pretty good climbs with a few descents and overall is not too bad on the singlespeed. 

When I got on the Colorado Trail singletrack I thought I was probably in 4th place after trying to keep track of all my competitors during the road section.  I felt good and the singletrack was really fast and fun.  I caught up and passed 3rd and 2nd about 20 miles into the race.  Shortly after I got a glimpse of Jeffrey Carter who was in 1st.  Last year I passed him which started a dueling match for the following 80 miles so this time I thought I would just hang back and keep him in my sites.  I was feeling really good at that point and thought I could have passed him but I ended up stalking him for the next 30 miles.  On a few climbs he started to pull away but I could still see glimpses of him by the time we got to road section at about 60 miles.
The road section is brutal on a singlespeed.  When racers with gears passed me they were flying and out of site in no time.

On the road section I must have slowed down, or everyone around me sped up.  At the start of the Stony Pass climb Jeffrey was nowhere in sight and another singlepeeder Jason Hilgers passed me toward the bottom of the climb which moved me to 3rd.  My stomach started bothering me around the bottom of the climb as well and progressively got worse as I climbed.  I suspected that I might be slowing down a bit. 

Stony pass is kind of a weird climb.  After two years riding it now I’m still not sure of where the actual top of the official pass is.  The first climb resembles more like what I’m used to seeing where you obviously top out then start descending but that is just a small portion of the climb.  It’s a little deceiving because there are no trees as a result of the fire but it gives a feel like your above timberline and you definitely go over what feels like a pass and not a false summit.  But after dropping I made a turn on another road where there was an aid station and started another significant climb.  When looking ahead on this climb there is nothing but a big mountain in front of me.  After climbing for quite a while I turned right on another road and shortly after started descending again but it was not an obvious pass I had gone over.  At this point it still looked like there was a mountain in front of me and another climb started but it was a much easier grade.  At this point it’s like slowly having your teeth pulled.  After climbing for a significant amount of time the road topped out and there was an aid station there.  Finally there was a big downhill and it felt great.
I could see the clouds moving in and was hoping to miss a storm since it was less than 10 miles to the finish.  It kept getting darker and darker and after passing Wellington Lake with less than 5 miles left it started to sprinkle.  Then is started to dump rain.  Then I was getting soaked by the dumping rain and the water all over the road.

Suddenly Jody Elovitz showed up on a singlespeed and passed me.  I kept him in my sites but just could catch him.  I was soaked, cold and riding as fast as I could suspecting Jody had just bumped me off the podium.  I rolled into the finish about a minute behind Jody to end up 4th place.  Great race!
I congratulated Jeffrey and Jody on their ride at the finish and we swapped some race stories then I went and got a full dish of free food and a beer.  It’s a great setup at the finish with a band right next to the scenic river adjacent to the designated camping area.
Great job on the win Jeffrey Carter 1st, Jason Hilgers 2nd, Jody Elovitz 3rd and Andrew Carney 5th!