GMSV at the Winter Park Hill Climb

Webmaster’s Note: Thanks to Jim Dwyer for this race report.

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There were quite a few GMSV riders at the Winter Park Hill Climb (Race #1 in the Epic Singletrack series), but I will report on those that I had a chance to talk to after the race.

First, my wife and I enjoyed having couple beers with Scott Wilkey and Jeff Martin while sitting around afterwards. Scott rode that thing in 45:04, putting him in the middle of the pack in the Men’s Sport 35-39 division. Jeff was in the Men’s Sport 45-49 division, and finished in 54:04 -> quite respectable since he only decided the night before to do the hill climb.

Kevin Barker took 1st in the Expert 50-59 division with a time of 41:03! I was 4th in that same division with a time of 44:26. We gave Kevin a hard time because he used a cross bike, but he beat us all by a good margin, so he probably would have still won with a slightly heavier bike!

And Congrats to Kathy Judson on taking 1st in the Women’s Sport 50+ division with a time of 52:39!

Additional GMSV Results for the Winter Park Hill Climb:

  • Bill Marcoux – 42 minutes, 26 seconds (11th out of 17 in Men’s Expert 45-49)
  • Daniel McKelvy – 1:13:28 (7th in Sport Men 18)
  • Brent Poley – 43:27 (7th/26 in Sport Men 35-39)
  • Stuart Proffit – 51:15 (18th/27 in Sport Men 45-49)

GMSV will return to Winter Park for the Super Loop on Saturday, June 29.

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Phil von Hake’s Bailey Hundo Race Report

Thanks to Scott DeMers for getting the Bailey Hundo ball rolling … both before and after the race! I also did the Bailey Hundo on June 15, and wanted to provide my own (and hopefully not too long or repetitive) race report.

As much riding as I’ve been doing, I’ve never done 100 miles all-at-once on a bike, road or mountain … ?! I know I should’ve at least done something easier like the Denver Century Ride by now, but that was happening on the exact same day. I also didn’t get into the Leadville 100 for a third straight year, so Hundo it is.

As Scott mentioned (and unlike Leadville), the Hundo is a fundraiser for some very worthy non-profit organizations:

  • Trips for Kids – building healthy confident kids, by connecting diverse youth to the joy of cycling.

I had no problem coughing up $250 for all of these worthy causes, although I held off on asking others for $ in case I’d DNF. The Hundo is also meant to showcase the spectacular MtB opportunities around the Bailey area: the Bailey Trails! group might one day help turn Bailey into a MtB destination a la Fruita.

I swung by Corky’s shop on Friday afternoon to make sure my 13-year-old Vail Cycle Works Ti Soft-tail was Hundo-ready. Thanks (as always!) to Sheldon for getting it ready for last weekend’s pre-ride (after closing time, no less!) and to James for adjusting the headset in mere minutes late on Friday afternoon!

I got to Bailey to set up camp, get my packet, attend the mandatory safety meeting, and shove as much spaghetti into my face as possible before bedtime. I would’ve otherwise just sat & stressed in my tent after dinner, but Scott suggested a 3-5-mile spin which ended up calming me down quite nicely.

Saturday marked the first time I ever remember getting up at 4:00 AM for anything. Breakfast consisted of the jerky in my packet, 3 PBJs, 2 protein shakes, and another gel or two for good measure. I’m sure I should’ve eaten more … but I still had plenty of spaghetti in me, I was nervous enough already, and I promised to make up for it at the aid stations(?!).

We rode 3 miles to the start, where 250 of us were lined up. Some VIP walked out into the middle of the street and fired a shotgun into the air at 6:00 AM sharp, and we were off. Any of you who’ve raced with me know how I usually drop off the back pretty quickly(!) … but I stayed with Scott for a mile or so before the first climb. He & I agreed, though, that staying well within ourselves for the first half of the race was essential to surviving the (MUCH harder) second half.

The Hundo starts off by climbing about 7 miles on paved & (mostly) dirt road south of Bailey up to the Colorado Trail. Then it’s on to the CT and other gorgeous singletrack trails for the next 40 or so miles … J I stayed well within myself all the way to Aid Station #5 (about 47 miles in), and made a concerted effort to do the following at every aid station:

  • Finish whatever sport drink I had in my bottle – I only had Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix (my new favorite) for the start, but luckily every aid station was fairly well stocked with Hammer Perpetuem (my former favorite for long events like this, but still pretty “milky”), Heed, gels, and other standard aid station fare;
  • Bike & Body Check – Thanks again to the shop for getting my bike (back!) into that kind of shape; while my butt, back, and knees usually suffer during & after marathons like these, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well I was doing;
  • Answer nature’s call (more often than usual, but a good sign that I was drinking enough);
  • Check the course map for the distance and (especially) profile before the next station.

I should mention at this point that the Hundo’s aid station volunteers were (by FAR!) the most enthusiastic of any I’ve ever seen at any race. Every racer was greeted with a chorus of cheers, and there was never a need to ask these folks for “more cowbell” … ! A couple at Aid Station #4 were wearing gorilla suits, even though it was cloudless & almost 80.

The folks at Aid 5 may have been the least enthusiastic, but they probably provided me with the most important aid I needed all race. I’ve come to take pride in always beating the cutoff times (even if it’s just by a few minutes). I knew there were several along the Hundo course, starting at Aid 5. So I asked, “how long ‘til this station closes?” to which several volunteers replied, “Soon. Very soon … like less than a half-hour from now.”

Uh-Oh.

I now realized that “staying well within myself” was quickly turning into “riding gently into a DNF.” My original plan was to not really “start racing” until I got the bottom of Stony Pass … but being so far behind schedule meant that I had to start racing NOW, 30+ miles before the start of the Stony Pass climb … ?! The profile between Aid 5 & 6 suggested flat-to-mostly-downhill, which made me channel my inner Scott Hackett and open up the throttle (“Later, B*tches”). There ended up being a MUCH-more-than-expected amount of climbing, which was making me more nervous than I’d even felt just before the start. Worst of all, nasty DNF thoughts started dancing around in my head(?!).

Another racer who was “just cruising” and very patient with my descending “skills” followed me down the rock pile to the South Platte River and Aid Station #6 around 1:00. I immediately asked the race official if I was “still in,” and she reassured me that I definitely was. This aid station was scheduled to close at 2:00 … so while I didn’t ride as cleanly as I wanted to on that segment, I was at least starting to pull away from the broom wagon … J

Going from Aid 6 to 7 was on SH 67, a very slight uphill on about 15 miles of dirt & paved road. There didn’t appear to be anybody going my speed, so it was time to put my near-non-existent time trialing skills to work. Either the wind was with me, or things just went very well for me on that segment. I pulled into Aid 7 at Deckers to find that I had put even more time between me & the cutoff.

I rolled out of Deckers feeling pretty darn good, but then the climbing kicked in: about 3 miles’ worth on (paved) Deckers Road, and another 3 miles on the very steep dirt of Wigwam Creek Road. I felt pretty good passing one guy in a Semper Fi jersey, but simply could not catch an unattached (to a team) woman who stayed about a ¼-mile ahead throughout this segment. I saluted her climbing prowess as I pulled in to Aid 8 about a minute behind her. This was “The Oktoberfest Station,” and the polka music & old guys in lederhosen helped restore levity to my afternoon … perfect timing as we were at the base of Stony Pass.

Stony Pass is nothing exceptional: it tops out at only 8400 feet, and didn’t even feel as steep as Wigwam Creek Rd. below it. But it shows up 80+ miles into the race, and just seems to grind on forever. I had at least pre-ridden the road from Bailey to Deckers back to Bailey the previous weekend … but again, I hadn’t already gone 80 miles on that ride(!). At least the hail that pelted last year’s racers on the pass was replaced by a very short/sweet rain shower, reminding me of just how lucky we were with the entire day’s weather.

Aid 9 was at the top of Stony Pass, where an entire girl’s high school team (I didn’t catch what sport) was there to cheer us on. I’m sure they had been there for hours, so I was once again impressed with their continuing enthusiasm. Fuel up & go, and it was “mostly downhill” to Aid 9 at the Windy Peak Outdoor Education Lab. The volunteers were less enthusiastic, but very informative. They said that it’s “only 1 more mile of climbing, then 7 miles all-downhill to the finish.” I took their word for it, and they were generally right.

I don’t think I’ve ever pedaled downhill harder than I did those last 7-8 miles … probably out of some combination of euphoria, fear of something going wrong, and confidence that I still had that much left in me. There was a last little bump-up to the finish area, where I blew past a male pro. He wasn’t bloody or anything … so I’m sure he had mechanicals, cramps, or some other issue(s) that will prevent me from bragging about it anymore than this.

I wanted to finish more than anything else, but then hoped to finish in under 11 hours. When I saw the clock reading 10:49:…, I let out a few rebel yells and fist-pumps as I crossed the line. My time was good enough for 189th out of the 250-strong field (i.e., NOT in the bottom 20%!), and 63rd out of 79 in Men’s 40s. A volunteer was waiting at the line to shake my hand and present me with that coveted piece of wood with a rusty piece of “Bailey Hundo” metal on it.

While it may have appeared to be a mostly solitary journey for me, I still need to thank so many people for helping to make this happen:

  • Everybody I mentioned above, again!
  • State Senators Brophy, Kopp, Romer (who I saw roll out at the start), and Scheffel for coming up with such a great idea in 2010;
  • Bailey Hundo organizers, sponsors, and volunteers, all of whom treated us like royalty;
  • My GMSV teammates – especially Scott DeMers – for keeping me up & going throughout our training;
  • My Lovely Bride Shelli, who has shown infinite patience throughout this spring (most of it for me on the bike). I know: now it’s time for me to mow the lawn … !

I felt better than I ever thought I would post-race -> I even rode into work today (3 days later)! I don’t know what race I’ll do next (other than the Breck 68), esp. since I need to get over the past weekend’s euphoria. At least I now know I can do “a” hundo – and even “THE” Hundo – fairly well … ~(8-D

I do feel confident about crushing the 2014 Bailey Hundo, though, and hope to see lots more GMSVers there as well . . . PvH

 

Scott DeMers’s Bailey Hundo Race Report

Last Saturday, July 15, it was time to do a race that had been on my radar for 2 years – the Bailey Hundo. As the mission states, this is a not-for-profit mountain bike century that puts all proceeds towards youth cycling and trail building initiatives in Colorado. Starting and finishing in the town of Bailey, the course winds through a granite-hardened landscape, taking you on some of the best trails the state has to offer, including one of our crown jewels, the Colorado Trail.

I arrived late Friday afternoon and set up my tent near the finish line. The camping situation was pretty perfect, big enough to allow elbow room for both RVs and tents alike. A spaghetti dinner was served promptly at 6:30, and I found myself sitting with two of the young‘ens that the race was meant to benefit, recent members of the Colorado High School Cycling League. Also sitting at the table was their executive director, as well as other members of the board of directors. It was inspiring to meet this great group of folks, and I was impressed that many of them, on top of the work they had already put in to making this thing happen, were planning on doing the course with everyone else the next day. Also eventually joining us was my fellow GMSVer, the inimitable Phil Von Hake, who was doing his first 100 mile mountain bike race ever.

I had trouble sleeping that night, and popped awake around 3:00 AM from a dream in which I had been racing the course in the middle of a snow storm. Given that it was supposed to be in the high 70s and sunny that day, I laid awake chuckling to myself and waiting for the sun to come up.

I felt a little like I was dreaming again when the gun went off at 6:00 AM and 250 racers started hammering up the road towards the first section of the Colorado Trail. On the way, I rode past Roman Urbina, Mr. La Ruta De Los Conquistadores, and shook his hand. In no time, the pack hit the first stretch of single-track, and away we went. It was immediately obvious that trail conditions were less than ideal, that is to say drier than a popcorn fart. That’s OK, because unless it’s on fire, the riding in the Buffalo Creek trail system is awesome even on its worst day. The next 40ish miles were single-track bliss.

Up and over Chair Rock, down through the Hayman Burn to the Platte River, I found myself at aid station 6 where I had a drop bag filled with Scooby snacks waiting for me. The rest of the race was going to be on roads, including 4,700 feet of climbing up to Stony Pass. Yowza. I caught a pace line of mostly Optimum Nutrition guys and the odd Racer X, and we hammered off to Deckers where I grabbed a bottle at aid 7. I was feeling cocky and wanted to be the first back on the road, so I jumped on it and caught a 50+ fellow I had been yo-yoing with, Hunter. We chatted a little bit, and I headed off in front of him. But as the Stony Pass climb turned to dirt, so did my cocky attitude. Hunter passed me halfway up, and noticed what must have been obvious fatigue. He reached out and started pushing me as he shouted “C’mon Scott, let’s finish this thing together!” Wow, to have that kind of strength and enthusiasm in my next decade, one can only hope. But 2ish hours later the pass came and went, and I caught a second wind, and a few more racers. In the end, I finished at a time of 9:16, and 40th in my cat, 30 seconds behind Hunter. But that’s the thing about endurance racing – the results are almost irrelevant – it’s the journey that counts. I saw Phil at the finish, and we shared a congratulatory beer over his popping of the proverbial cherry. I cannot tell you how stoked and impressed I am with Mr. Von Hake.

To wrap it up, I would first like to say thank you to everyone who donated on my behalf. I really believe that good things come from supporting and encouraging kids to ride their bikes – God knows what I would have become without one ;-) I would also like to say to anyone that is thinking of doing their first hundo and wanting to stay local, this is your ticket. Unless you’re a freak of nature, the Breckenridge 100 is probably a bit too much for a starter, and the Leadville is, meh, Leadville. I also felt that the carbon hardtail Breezer fit this course like hand in glove. I did races last season that had me questioning the wisdom of my purchase, but it’s rides like this where everything just kinda comes together. What a great time.

 

Love — Scott D

Winter Park MTB Series

This Saturday kicks off the Winter Park race series. GMS will be hosting 3 teams in this years competition and hopes to get great results. Swing by our tent after each race to grab a beer, brat, and brag about your race.

1ST race is the Excel Roofing Hill Climb. See you there.
Important message from the promoter:
Reminder from the Race Director: “Please note that this series is a MOUNTAIN BIKE race series, so let’s have people racing on mountain bikes: Leave the road, the hybrid, the cross bike, the unicycle at home, and race the hill climb on your mountain bike. We are not the bike police but you guys know the difference. If it’s advertised as, sold as, and called a mountain bike, it probably is one. Bring the mountain bike!”
distance: 5.2 miles | Starting Elevation: 9080′ | Highest Point: 11,142′ | Total Climbing: 2062′

Race info: http://www.epicsingletrack.com/information.html

GMSVers at the GoPro Mountain Games

Several GMSVers (all of whom are hopefully mentioned here) got decent results – including one podium! – in their respective XC-MtB races at the GoPro Mountain Games, June 6-9 in Vail:

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Scott Wilkey had a solid finish at the GoPro Mountain Games
Photo Courtesy of Jeff O’Brien, Green Mountain Sports

Thomas Kirschling – 1 hour, 9 minutes (2nd out of 53 in Sport Men)

Scott Wilkey – 1:20 (11th/28 in Men’s Vet Sport 35+)

Bruce Whitesel – 1:22 (10th/18 in Men’s Masters 45+)

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GMSV Looms Large at the PV Cycle Derby

A solid contingent of GMSVers made the trip to the Peaceful Valley Boy Scout Ranch near Elbert for the PV Cycle Derby, the fourth race in the Rocky Mountain Endurance series.

 

MARATHON (66 miles)

  • Matt Miller – 5:26 (3rd out of 10 in Men’s Singlespeed)
    2013 PV Cycle Derby Marathon & Half Marathon Starts & Awards (91)-L
  • Scott DeMers – 5:55 (17th/30 in Men’s 40s)
  • Jeff Martin – 7:13 (25th … despite a very uncooperative flat tire!)
  • Phil  von Hake – 7:15 (26th … )

 

HALF-MARATHON (44 miles)

  • James Henkel – 3:50 (16th/24 in Men’s 30s)
  • Bill Marcoux – 3:45 (10th/24 in Men’s 40s)
  • Chris Shamis – 3:51 (5th/13 in Men’s 50s)
  • Bobby Tobin – 3:52 (6th/10 in Men’s Singlespeed)

 

XC (22 miles)

  • Erin Quinn – 2:12 (1st/2 in Jr. Women’s 17-18)
    2013 PV Cycle Derby Marathon & Half Marathon Starts & Awards (62)-L
  • Jim Lawler – 1:47 (10th/27 in Men’s 40s)
  • Daniel McKelvy – 1:40 (5th/6 in Jr. Men’s 15-16)

 

The RME series continues on the weekend of June 29-30, with the Snake River Mountain Challenge in Keystone.

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GMSV Makes it onto the Podium at the 24 Hours of ERock!

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Thomas Kirschling, [author of this post] Kevin Kaucher, and Jordan Anderson competed in the 24 hours of ERock this past weekend at the Greenland Open Space near Larkspur. We competed in the 4-5 person Co-Ed division. The race runs from 6:30pm Friday to 6:30pm Saturday on an 8.4mile loop course with ~500ft of elevation gain on mostly double track trails.

Thomas Kirschling started off the race for the team which included a quick Le Mans-style start. Tom got off the line quickly and pulled a hot lap in just over 28 mins and good for 4th place through the start/finish gates. The course was fast and hard-packed, but the corners could get a little sketchy without the right line. A few racers went down and suffered some serious road rash.

Through the evening and into the night the temperatures dropped but the 15mph winds luckily died down. Temps dropped into the 30’s with a layer of frost developing by 4am. By morning we had maintained our 3rd-place ranking, 1 lap back from 2nd and 1 lap above 4th. We continued to ride strong pulling 30-35mins laps. By 4pm we had pulled ahead of 4th place by a significant margin, but still 1 lap behind 2nd. We finished with 39 laps, 25 mins back of 2nd place but a strong podium finish (3rd).

A solid day overall for GMSV!
Next up is the 24 hours of Enchanted Forest which will also serve as the US 24 hour National Championships (June 15-16 in Gallup, NM).

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