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Monday, June 18, 2012

Fun and Suffering at the Bailey Hundo

How do you know fun is coming?  Plan a mountain biking ride on the singletrack at Buffalo Creek.

How do you know that suffering is coming?  Take a whiff of Sportslick.

Macy, Tietzel, and Pearce, from left to right.


For me, at least, the smell of Sportslick is a tell-tale reminder that pain is on the way.  More pain, of course, would be present without Sportslick, which prevents chaffing on the feet and everywhere the sun don't shine, but the early morning application of my favorite product has become a certain signal of suffering to come.

Such was the case at the 2012 Bailey Hundo, which has quickly become one of my favorite mtb races.  I finished fourth at the Hundo last year in 7:07, and I was hoping to improve on my time and place this time around.

Supported by my dad and sister in the crew truck, I pedaled out with 250 others from Bailey at 6:00 a.m. on a beautiful morning.  We rode steady for seven miles on the road to spread the field before the singletrack, and six of us his the Colorado Trail with a gap to the others.

A few minutes later, I hit my pedal on a root and lost contact with Scott Tietzel and Colby Pearce.  So began my 90-mile time trial, which involved solo riding except for about 10 minutes with friend and competitor Stig Somme.

Tietzel and Pearce were just a touch faster than me on the singletrack--or maybe I lost time with too much focus pretending I was in a sweet mountain biking film as I cruised the best (literally) singletrack in the world--and they had two minutes on me when we hit the river road to Deckers.

The leaders, both excellent road riders, worked together on the flats, extending their lead.  I hammered it in as the climbs began, and I was happy to finish third in 6:44.  Somme hung tough through a completely useless front fork and finished a few minutes behind me.

The Bailey Hundo continues to be an awesome race and an incredible boost to important causes.  The event and its riders raised over $100,000 this year, which will be used to support causes like high school mountain biking.

Long live the Hundo!

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