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CVBC - Sugarloaf Ski Area, Maine

Team Bikeman - Race Reports

I had concerns about this Endurance MTB race as it was scheduled hours after my return from vacation in Hawaii. Therefore, I decided to enter the 50K instead of the 100k. Going on vacation, I had no formal training plan. My only real plan was not to sit on the beach and overload on Maui Chips and Pina Coladas. Upon arrival at my friend's house in Manoa, he offered unlimited use of his Trek Madone. Happily, I fixed a front flat tire then spent time riding around the North Shore, Pupukea, Manoa and Tantalus Mountain behind Honolulu.

Hawaii is naturally very hilly and makes for a great place to ride. Specifically, Tantalus mountain is a 6-mile uphill grind. Several mornings were spent training here. Next visit, I will do what I noticed on Strava, people in one ride climb, go down, climb back up and go back down all in one ride. In the end, over 5000' ascent in one 12 mile ride.

Thank you to the Sato family for locating my driver's license which I lost on the first ride up. My buddy warned me of the long fast wet mossy descent. He knows someone who wrecked badly. I brought my ID so I could be ID'd if this happened to me. The scenery was so amazing I kept taking pictures, must have lost my license while taking out my cell phone. If you go, Strava is loaded with places to ride on Oahu.

It took 18 hours to return to Maine. I arrived home at 11 pm, then woke early the next morning, race day, and drove the 2 hours to Carrabassett Valley. Overnight, the rain drenched the start line then proceeded to drop buckets on us pre-race. The temperature was around 58 degrees, and I was frozen as I had acclimated to 80-90 degrees. I expected a soggy ride, however, the 50K race began at 10 am and at that same time, the rain abruptly ended for the day. The course was well laid out, about 4500' of climbing and mostly fast but damp. There were several grassy bogs to go through, but I did not think they were that bad. My new Kona Hei Hei Race Light was an absolute dream. I kept my heart rate constant and did not blow up my legs or lungs for the entire race. While being passed on the climbs, I was aware I could reel people back in on the descents. However, as the race went on, I found myself picking riders off more than being overtaken.

For half the race I was riding in the top five until after the Reddington descent, flat tire. I estimate this set me back about 10-15 minutes for undisclosed reasons. However, only about 20 riders of the nearly 60 passed me. Flat fixed and back on my bike, I stuck to my plan and again started to reel people in.

Heading to the Stratton climb, I was feeling great. I did stop at the second of the three feed stations to drink pickle juice as I could tell leg cramping was close. The Stratton climb is not nearly as terrible as some make it out to be and again I was overtaking people who had passed me. The Oak Know descent with its windy banked turns was another place the Kona Hei Hei was in its glory; more pick offs. I wound up in full on race mode from Rt. 126 up to the finish line with 3-4 riders and we sprinted to the end. So fun to have to earn your position at the finish line!

All told, I was pleased with my race coming in 11'th out of 58, spent 3:55 riding and climbed 4500'. Post race, I ate a burrito and drank a beer, washed off my bike then crashed for a couple of hours before driving home.

This race is the pride of Carrabassett Valley. The whole community pitches in, I am grateful for all the support provided and the work and effort everyone organizing this race contributes.

See you on the 100K start line in 2018!

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