Monday, September 23, 2013

Rico 100 2013 Ride Report

Rico 100 start. 

Welcome to the hardest hundy you will ever pedal!

It was another epic endurance ride for the cyclist who showed up on Saturday morning for the 4th annual Rico 50/100. I added a 50 mile option for riders wanting to experience an endurance ride without the pressure and stress of riding a full 100 with 14k of climbing. The San Juan's are mean and unforgiving. Make no mistakes about this ride, it is the real deal in terms of a 100 miler ride. We don't use the word race in these endurance events but we all know it's a race within ourselves to do the best we can. And that means beating some others ass.  Every ride is a race in my head. Some days you feel good and some days you don't feel so good. You just keep on keeping on.

Saturday morning came and 9 brave riders that "showed up to blow up"! Of these riders we had 3 Colorado Trail Race finishers, including myself. 4 Vapor Trail finishers including myself. These were some real riders. We had 2 fellows from Durango fairly new to the endurance scene. I love seeing new faces interested in our events.

We had a neutral roll-out with Laura in the Freako van leading us out to the turn at Barlow Creek Road where it was game on for all. I wasn't feeling 100% with the head cold I have been fighting since the day after the Imogene Pass Run but was hoping to shake it out on this ride. I was riding my Salsa Selma Ti 29er single speed with a 32x22 gearing. It is my go to high country endurance gearing. It was good, at times. LOL. The weather was looking to be super ideal as we had to postpone the ride from the previous weekend due to the deluge of rains in our area. I don't fucking live in Oregon (Willamette Valley) anymore for a reason. It seemed like Oregon this past month. Damn. I rode with Dan Holmes (Rico) for most of the first half bunching up with the other riders atop of Black Hawk. The trails were in great condition with the occasional mud puddle from the weeks rains. We descended down the south side of Blackhawk on the CT without any problems. pedde, walk and repeat. The approach to the Grindstone turn near Indian Ridge was brutal as usual. I was looking forward to some killer downhill on Grindstone and Bear Creek. It's not an easy 10 or so miles to the halfway point as Grindstone and Bear Creek take work and attention to navigate the rocks. This first half seemed a bit slower than the previous year. The trails were loamy at times, saturated from the rain and not rolling as fast. Dan Holmes and Robin had got ahead of me before the turn to Grindstone. I tried as hard as I could to catch them on the downhill but couldn't reel them in coming into the aid station a few minutes behind them. 50 miles down and nearly 50 to go! I refueled and left the Bear Creek TH with Dan and Robin. Dan promptly dropped us single speeders on the highway with his big ring gearing and Robin and I settled in riding down the highway looking for the turn to Taylor Creek Road: a 13 mile grind before we would turn onto the Priest Gulch trail. There wasn't much chatter with Robin and I grinding up the road. We paced ourselves putting in some hard work. We finally made it to the single track taking just over two hours to arrive. I was looking forward to some hike-a-bike after that road session. Well, hike-a-bike it was........and on and on. It's a mile of roots and rocks before it intersects with the Calico trail and than it's straight freaking up to the high point on the second half which is right around 12k. We spotted Dan up ahead and I shouted a few pleasantries. LOL. He took off like a squirrel and I was thinking I would see him again. It was not to be. That bastard took off. The views were stunning. Robin took some pictures and I usually do but kept on going. Robin isn't a particularly fast hiker so I eventually put a gap on him thinking he would catch me later on. I did spot him pretty far behind and I kept on moving. And I never saw him again until he finished. I knew Robin didn't have lights or a navigation device. I left some arrows for him to ensure he made the turn onto West Fall. As well I wasn't sure if he was going to bail down Horse Creek or Eagle Creek Road. Every dawg for themselves at this point. It's adventure time! I was on the hunt for Dan and I knew I wasn't that far behind him.

Time was moving quickly and I still had to descend West Fall trail to the Winter trail. I knew the Winter Trail would probably be in bad condition due to it's popularity with the moto bikes. It takes time to get through this section climbing back out of Winter Trail to get to Eagle Creek road. I was not disappointed at all.  It was tore up bad. It is the worst I have seen in in the seven years I have lived here. It used to be one of my favorite trails around but I avoid it these days except for race day. The thunder clouds were moving in and it was getting dark quickly. Winter Trail has dense forest and it tends to seem darker than it is. I went down a few times due to the ruts and mud but pushed hard to get out of there. I had one Fenix light mounted to the handle bar and decided to strap on my helmet light as well after going down a third time pretty hard. I cursed a few times for sure. I arrived at Eagle Creek road and now it was pitch black making the left turn knowing it was all down hill and road to Rico. I was going to finish but not faster than the previous year. The mud slowed me down in the last 10 miles. I arrived in Rico to finish at 8:22 pm. I was tanked. Beer and pizza please. Dan had finished at 8:06. I was only 14 minutes behind him. Close but not close enough. Dan takes the Rico 100 win!

Robin came in at 9:35 pm navigating the Winter trail and roads back to Rico without any lights. Damn, that is one tough dude. Not very smart to not bring a light but we all have to make those decisions and live with them. It could go awfully wrong out there at any time and I typically go out in the back country well prepared. Mommy isnt coming out to save you.

Jim, Ian and Danny rolled into the finish at the Enterprise Bar at 10:35 pm. Wow, what a long day for everyone. 6 finishers for the 100 and 3 finished the 50 miler version. Congrats to all riders!!!

2013 Results
100 mile course
Dan Holmes 13:26
Jeff Hemperley (single speed) 13:42
Robin Guillaume (single speed) 14:52 (navigated Winter trail to Rico with no lights)
Ian Altman 15:55
Danny Powers 15:55
Jim Crossland 15:55
50 mile course
Caleb Dean (single speed) 6:53
Creigh Dean 7:06
Rex Robichaux 8:15
Dan and I rolling up Barlow Creek Road.
Robin cruising up Taylor Creek Road.

Hermosa Peak.

The Selma got worked over.

Top finishers prize! I won it at the  Bear Creek Beat down. The original endurance event in our area.

Finish!!! Thanks Joe for the banner. Rico rocks!!!

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