Friday, June 24, 2011
A non-profit event that benefits the Colorado High School Mountain Biking League, local trail construction projects, and other important causes, the second-year Bailey Hundo presents competitors with 100 miles of superb mountain biking in the legendary Buffalo Creek area, just south of Bailey, Colorado. Competition was fierce, with 250 racers attending, including a few very competitive pros.
The day began when I met my dad and sister at 4:30 a.m. for a carpool to Bailey. Yes, getting up early (actually, that's a late wake-up time for my dad) may not be most dads' idea of a way to celebrate the special day, but we usually do things "differently" in the Macy family. Dad and Dona would serve as my support crew for the day, navigating little backroads in the truck en route to passing me bottles, food, a much-needed Coke at mile 85, and positive encouragement throughout the race.
Racing was touch-and-go for the first 15 minutes after the 6:00 a.m. gunshot in downtown Bailey. I tried to stay near the front to avoid danger, and was disappointed to find out that fellow competitor Jeff Kerkove went down in a nasty spill just a few minutes into the race when he was cutoff. Thankfully, a lead group of six of us made it to the singletrack unscathed to embark on almost fifty miles of incredible riding on the Colorado Trail and other tracks in the Buffalo Creek system.
The singletrack section was amazing! As we wound through burn areas, drainages, hills, and forests, I felt like the camera man in a sweet cycling film as I watched the wheels of Colby Pearce and Nate Bird, two competitors who's singletrack savvy paced me through the first half of the race.
At 55 miles, we hit the river road along the South Platte north of Deckers, and the race was on. Bird, Pearce, and I worked together in a paceline, hammering out a good pace before Pearce pulled away just before the real climbing began at Deckers. At this point, the course climbs steadily from miles 68 to 86. I knew this grinding section would be crucial to race, and I went hard. Pearce, however, climbed just as well and continued to maintain a gap of a few minutes.
With Dona and Dad urging me on, I finished fourth in 7:09.
The Bailey Hundo was a well-organized, fun, and important event, and I hope to return!
Amy, Wyatt, and I head to Europe on July 4th for a a couple of big mountain biking races (see post below for links). We're excited for the trip, and I can't wait to get on my new Chiru Pulse 29er hardtail (http://www.chirubikes.com/)!