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CBCC 50k Expert

by John Sumner • July 22, 2022

Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge 2022

This race has changed since I last participated in 2019, Kids race, 25K, 50K 1 lap or 100k 2 laps. This is due to the trail closures however the race course layout is great.

I chose the 50K Expert 1 lap, actually, Eric Olds chose it and I took his spot as he had a conflict. Thank you Eric!

The loop mostly goes around the Outdoor Center trails and across the road, up Oak Knoll, down from the Stratton hut and North up the Narrow Gage and back to Outdoor Center via some large muddy hell hill.

I know these trails well and despite not riding them in two years, remembered the lines.

This was mostly a fast flowing machine manufactured course with plenty of birms and smooth surface to ride, less Cinderella trail.

At the start, I was on the third row with 150 riders behind me. Due to the longer races I have been entering, 30 miles seemed less intimidating than in years past. I planned on a zero aid station day and my sacred water bottle mixture kept me energized and hydrated despite the high heat.

I knew I was likely in the second group out of the start and stayed there for the first 1/2 of the race. Working with this strong group, I saw many PR's shattered post race on Strava. When we got up to Stratton Brook Hut, those with downhill expertise or fear shined. People were flying, as was I but seeing many water bottles littering the course I wanted to make sure this did not happen to me and I did not want a puncture. Nonetheless, I took chances and went full throttle. Never lost my water bottle but did have a dual puncture right before the narrow gauge entry. Orange Seal spraying all over I knew the fix was coming, just hoping not to lose too much air. The front tire suffered the biggest loss but I hammered past the aid station and into the single track. After crossing the road I came across a guy who offered a CO2 and inflator, mine was damaged. I quickly re-inflated my tire and was off. Losing 5-6 positions, then on to the grinding muddy climb and during the last 5 flowing miles to the finish, less the rooted out Cinderella trail, somehow I kept momentum and rode it all fast, kudos to Schwable Racing Ray and Ralph! This allowed me to catch most who passed me during my mechanical. Over the line I nearly caught the last guy I had been chasing for a couple miles.

CBCC is a fun race, great trails, fun riding with good riders and one of my better results, considering my gap behind the Elite/Pros, 20+/- mins back. 3:06 and 11th place.

I want to thank Kona for the super awesome Hei Hei, Schwalbe for the best tires on the planet, Girodana for my new Super comfy kit, Bikeman for all the support and CBCC for the time and effort to make a special place to ride!

See you next year!

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