Awhile back, I was at Salvagetti’s in Denver talking Ergon with Joe. He said, “Hey… Sonya… what are you doing next month for racing? I have a hundred for you to do.” My ears perked up, “oh really??? Where? WHEN?” It took less than 30 seconds for my adrenaline to start pumping out of excitement for the BAILEY HUNDO.
This was the first year of this race. It was my first time riding at Buffalo Creek and the Colorado Trail in that area. I was definitely NOT disappointed.
This race is one of the most well organized races I have attended. They had three different packet pick-up/pre race meetings you could attend.
…and the one I went to at Wheatridge Cyclery, they were handing out beer as you stood in line. I was like, “WHHHAAAAT??!?!?!?!?!” I sheepishly drank my beer in line, but felt better when I saw JHK and Bryan Alders drinking beer too. Phew!
Pre-race meeting at Wheatridge Cyclery. Man, look at that wall of Ergon grips!!! Check back for more info in a week or so, I’ll be helping out with a couple women’s maintenance clinics at the end of July/beginning of August.
I personally decorated my “elite” gold star since my ninja wasn’t ziptied to my stem for this race (the end of the ziptie cut up my leg at the Growler!)
Friday night, there was a BBQ party at Romer Ranch, complete with tent city. It was very generous of the Romers to open their land to all of us dirty mountain bikers to pitch tents and invade the bathrooms. Thank you so much!
The time flew by from my belated bedtime (oops, didn’t get to sleep till 11 PM) followed by my 4 AM alarm. I enjoyed a piping hot cup of Copper Door in the dark. Time flew by, and I ended up eating my pancakes and eggs far too late (and later was half puking them up in the race. yummy?) Yuki and I loaded up in the FJ and headed to Bailey.
The best support guy and nicest guy EVER was there already waiting for us – Jim Fu, who drove from Fort Collins that MORNING. Wow.
Yuki and I quickly got our drop bags organized and tire pressure set up. I had a Continental Mountain King Supersonic in the front and a Continental Race King Protection in the rear with 20 PSI in both tires. Mountain King in the front and Race King in the rear is my ideal set up at almost every race.
They called up a few riders, and I actually almost missed mine because I wasn’t expecting to be called up next to Dave Wiens, Travis Brown, Bryan Alders, and Eszter Horanyi!
Eszter made my life tough in every race last year! I was glad to see that after a bit of a hiatus this spring, that she is back in action. I was surprised to see her on her singlespeed, and Eszter- I still think you’re a nut but that’s just part of why I like you 🙂 hehe It gave me extra motivation to stay on top of my race knowing she was behind me on a singlespeed because I knew she was fully capable of beating me on that thing!!!!
Senator Mark Scheffel initiated the race start with a shot gun. SWEEEEET!
Sadly, I don’t have much in the way of action race shots, but there are some videos Jim Fu took on facebook that I can’t embed on here if you want to check them out!
The race rolled out on the road, and the speed quickly picked up. I decided to do something out of character for me. I usually ride my own pace at the start, and if it’s too hard, I let everyone go. This time, I pushed, and drooled, and snarled, and tried my hardest to keep contact with the charging elite men. I was dropped and dangling off the back in just 15 minutes, I but I kept pushing. I looked down at my heart rate monitor and saw I was riding at threshold.. probably not the smartest thing to do a few miles into a 105 mile race, but I didn’t care. Like the Niner bikes saying goes -“Pedal, Dammit!”
I’m not going to lie, by the time I entered the singletrack, I was feeling pretty blown and I know my pace slowed up for about 45 minutes while I recovered(and re-tasted my breakfast). I think that racing short track actually helped me start faster, and helped me recover faster from that effort. The trouble with mass starts is if you start too slow, you get caught up in all sorts of traffic when it finally files into singletrack, and you waste an insurmountable amount of energy trying to get around people…. so I’m working on starting a little faster than I’d like. I knew the legs would come back, they usually do…and I found them starting to turn over a little easier and I jumped back on the throttle. The singletrack was RIPPING fast and fun. I had butterflies in my tummy and let out some loud, child like laughter. The hardtail was the RIGHT choice.
I spent most of the race riding by myself. It would have been lovely on the long, flat road section to have some company. Jim Fu came by me in the car, so I had at least a minute of someone there! The last 40 miles were challenging because there was no more singletrack. I kept my head down, the power to the pedals, and charged through the best I could. I cracked around mile 85 and watched my HR drop to zone 2 no matter how hard I pushed. I got to an aide station and they told me it was mile 89 so I tried to push harder. I got to the next and last aide station, and asked how many more miles and they said, “You’re at mile 89!” haha
And the last mile had a cruel joke… just when you thought you were home free, there was a 5 minute(or what felt like it) steep hill. I know some people rode it, but I was leaning and pushing my bike up the hill.
Every 100 mile race I have done has been over 10 hours. This one went by super quick!! My finishing time was 8 hours 19 minutes, 105 miles, 13,264′ of elevation gain according to my Suunto T6.
I was really excited to get a win under my chamois for the year, and to get to stand on top of the podium!!
yaaay Dave Wiens!
Real time results. Jason Bertolacci was on top of it. The bottom tag was taken off your jersey and stapled to the board in the order you came in, and the time back from the winner. I think I ended up 28th in the men. Woohoo!
Senator Chris Romer and Senator Greg Brophy – thank you for your constant support for cycling in the state of Colorado.
The slow decline of my HR over the course of the day.
The cheeseburger after the race may have been one of the most heavenly burgers I’ve ever had! My favorite thing about racing (aside from all the sweet trails), are all the amazing people you meet along the way.
Thank YOU VOLUNTEERS! and special thanks to Jim Fu for being at the aide stations. HUGE help!
I can’t wait to see what next year has in store for this event!
All my equipment worked very well, I am very lucky to have such great sponsors.
There is less than 2 weeks till my next race – marathon national championships. eeeeek! I better rest up!