Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Toughest Endurance MTB Race There Is?

The race director for the Tahoe Sierra 100, a 100-mile (actually 92.7 miles this year) mountain bike race has officially freaked me and my crew out.

Coachubby, a friend from LA (A-ron) and a friend from Stanford (Holly) and I were all revved up to do the race this Saturday. We signed up months ago. We dreamed of the scenery, of the single-track, and in A-Ron's case, of the Pop-Tarts. It was going to be an epic day of awesome. Then the race updates started flowing in.

Here are tidbits from updates received on September 3, 4, 5, and 7:
Sept 3:
For all of you that may try to go out and try out the course this weekend. May be a few motos out there, hunters and crazy beer drinking 4 wheel drive people...There was a bit of Eco Terrorist action on the logging operation that was going on up there yesterday.

OK. Not bad. Nothing that's not usually on a mtb course. This is going to rock. It didn't hurt that the email closed with: 

Don't forget that your here to have fun!! We all will be partying after the event at Ice Lakes Lodge so please come by and enjoy the full bar and food here at the lodge as it looks out over Serene lakes.

Party on.

Sept 4:
Saw a Nice big bear out on the trail today. Never saw one person or bike all day.

OK. Bear. Bears live in the forest. Chances are slim the bear will care about me when there will be several other meal options on the trail. 

Great weather. 82 in the high country at 6700 ft.

Rock on. Warm weather is my best friend. Yogi can hibernate while we ride.

Sept 5: 
Just to clear the air about this being a fast race course.
Mohican 100 fast times: 7:33 under 9,000ft of climbing
Lumberjack 100. Fast times 6:33 9,000ft of climbimg
Cream Puff 100 fast times 9:44.00 about 17,500 ft of climbing
High Cascades 100. Fast times about 8:37. 13,000ft of climbing 11,000ft of climbing ( single track)
Leadville 100 ( almost all fire road and out and back) 12,000ft of climbing ( record set by Levi this year 6:15.00)   Roadie course
Break Epic. Fast times 8:31.00
I would say that the 
Tahoe Sierra 100 is a fast course with the fast time of 7:24.00 and about 13,800 ft of climbing depending on your GPS and the course only being 92.7 miles.

Cool. Good riders will finish fast. The climbing surely qualifies this ride for DA status. (Disappearing a**.)

Sept 7:
This is your last chance. 

To what? To bail?

This is a hard 100 mile race. This is not a roadie course. There is rock, dirt, lots of dust in some places, bears, cows, hunters, mt. lions, Big trees, small trees, white torn, buck brush, loggers, miners and a few things I may have forgotten. Oh ya, Mary Jane growers!!

Praying I will not be shot by Elmer Fudd, eaten by Yogi Bear or Simba, or stomped on by Cow. At least if it gets really bad, we can all zen out with the help of the local farmers.

Combine this update with the one from Aug. 16:
Just another heads up there are some cattle in the high country free grazing in the forest. Some of them are very big bulls!! If you run across any of them just yell and they will move. I have seen a few bear moving around in the last two weeks. They're just black bear and will run before you get too close.

And now we have full-on bearanoia. Seriously? They'll run away? As a wise friend once said, you don't have to be fast, just faster than your group. The bear will eat the slacker. There's some motivation.

I never said that this was a easy MTB 100. I just said it was a fast one.

And with that, Coachubby and I will fly out to Tahoe tomorrow to embark on a bear-hunter-mtn. lion-miner-logger riddled race. I slapped a red rear tire on my bike to up the rad factor. Or mask the blood.

This should be epic.


  1. Thank you! I didn't see any bears. Just pain. And kitty paw prints in the sand!