Saturday, June 18, 2011

2011 Bailey Hundo Recap

6:00 AM lineup with fellow teammates.  Both Bryan  and I took 2nd although Bryan did it in 7 hours and I did it in 8.

I took part in the 2nd annual Bailey HUNDO today which makes my attendance for this event 100%.  To hear how last year went for me check out my 2010 race report HERE.  I tried to follow the same approach this year as I did last year.  The plan was to ride slightly over my head in the lead group for the first 5 miles in order to get good placement in the singletrack.  Like the hole shot at the start of short track races I've been taking part in lately, the hole shot onto the Colorado Trail five miles into the Hundo is important.  There aren't a lot of places to pass in the first few miles of singletrack so it's a good idea to make sure to be with people that ride at or above your pace.  Once safely on singletrack ( unlike Jeff Kerkove ) my plan was to ride consistent, pushing on the flats and fast singletrack sections, and holding back on the many steep singletrack climbs.  I did punch it on a few of them but dialed it back if the climbs were more than 30-60 seconds long.  

On one of the countless punchy Colorado Trail climbs around mile 40-50.
This approach worked and paid dividends on the back half of the race (mile 70-100+) where we all had to face a relentless 40-mile climb from the river back up to the finish line.  This climb is relentless for many reasons.  It's steep in many places, there is dust from vehicle trafic, washboards galore making it hard to find a smooth line, water crossings, and endless rolling hills.  Mile 55-70 is dirt and paved road.  Although it is mild in terms of elevation gain, it was the worst part of the race for me.  I mean what's worse than riding a mountainbike on pavement with cars passing every few min after  having enjoyed 55 miles of riding some sweet Colorado Trail singletrack?  

My 2010 Elevation profile.  Mile 70-100 are pure Evil.

The crown jewel of this race are the sections of Colorado Trail and Buffalo Creek single track. The trail winds for miles eastward towards the South Platte river taking racers through dense forest, exposed slickrock, and vast open burnout areas along the way.  The predominant trail condition is loose kitty litter  (think extra-large sand) that can be 6 inches deep in places.  For many racers this made finding the right flow a little difficult.  It was hard to know what one would find around each corner and I had to catch myself on multiple occasions as my front tire dug a little too deep into the loose stuff.  The trail rode like a hiking trail rather than a pure mountainbike trail.  I found the natural line into some turns would lead me right into a log or a trail drainage forcing an adjustment mid-turn.  On the flip side when the trail was wide open it was lightning fast and smooth.  I rode a few of these sweet sections with  Andrew Carney who went on to take 1st in the Single-Speed class.  It was awesome riding Carney's wheel through this section as he was rippin' it up and  picking some sweet lines for me to follow.

Somewhere in the Buffalo Creek area.

The end of a 15-mile paved road section around mile 70 near Deckers.  You can see the disgust on my face.

Top of the first huge dirt road climb around mile 80.

The last big push of he race is more of a mental game than anything.  Gone are the swooping turns, punchy climbs, and bumpy decents leaving only dirt road and ones mental daemons.  This is where mental toughness will make or brake this race.  I was fortunate to break up the monotony of riding for miles alone as I caught up to my pal Ben Welnak.  He had been riding well ahead of me most of the race but was suffering from something that had him on the ropes.  We chatted for a few min and then I put the pedal down again and caught up to another friend, Curt Wilhelm for the 3rd time of the day.  Each time he managed to ride away from me again and this time was no exception.  I did keep him within eyesight through through the end.  Had I know I was just 2 min over my goal of beating 8 hours I may have turned myself inside out to stick with Curt and beat the 8 hour mark.  I'm completely happy with my race and ended 2nd place in my age group and 13 min faster than last year.

Chasing Curt on the last 1/4 mile climb to the finish.

Race Lineup. Photo Shawn Lortie


Roger Stones said...

Nice race report and stellar job on the Hundo this year! Wish I could have joined you. Keep it up!

Carney said...

Nice work out there!!

GrizzlyAdam said...

I gotta put the Bailey on my list. Nice job out there.

Keith said...

Well done. Riding very strong this year.

Curt said...

you had a great race. I thought I was done at the top of the climb. You helped motivate me. 13 min improvement is huge. nice work!

The Evil MGE! said...

Good Job Jeff! Way to rip it up!

Josh B. said...

Jeff you are a studd. I wish I had half the endurance it takes to even finsh a trek like this let alone place at the top of the list. Very Nice!