Since this was the first year for a 100 mile race option on this course and because I didn't have too much information about it, I used the 100K GPS course data from the 2011 version of the race to learn what I should expect. The course did not seem to be very fast from what I saw and I figured my finishing time would be around 8 hours and 30 minutes after doing a little math. For this reason, I decided on using an easier gear than I usually do, a 30x18. I thought this would give me an advantage to climb the steeper climbs that others might need to walk/run.
While my gear choice was nice in the single track, it was torture on the fast stuff. I was completely spun out and not able to keep any meaningful speed on the very long flat stretches on this course. Additionally, the long steeper climbs I thought my gear would give me an advantage on were too steep to ride with any single speed gear choice, so I ended up doing a lot more walking than I expected. As a result, my easier gear choice was probably not the best one to use during this race and cost me a lot of valuable time.
Other than all the long fast stuff at the beginning of the race, about 20 miles of it in total, I really enjoyed the course. It had a good mix of everything and really kept things interesting for the entire race. If I would have been racing with the geared guys, I think that even the long rail-to-trail section would have been alright. I thought the course markings were good, the aid stations were abundant, and the overall organization of the event was run very well.
|I'm not sure if this is the end of lap 1, or the finish, but I do know I rode in this position a lot.|
|Ron Harding (aka Skinny) and me sharing our race experiences when it was all done.|