Sunday afternoon was the Firecracker 50 in the fine town of Breckenridge, Colorado, and served as marathon national championships for us MTB folk. I raced, and it was a fucking adventure to just get up to Breckenridge, so grab yourself a cold one, and enjoy. Everything started on Wednesday when I made the move from Missoula to Fort Collins, I drove the moving van, and some folks I knew from Montana were gonna drive my car down to Fort Collins on Thursday. Well I found out on Thursday that my car would not be making the trip down. This sucks because I was an idiot, and chose to leave all of my race equipment aside from bike, helmet, shoes, kit, and gloves in the back of my car. The situation was remedied by Dejay who offered to hook me up with some gear for the race, and a ride to Breckenridge on Friday. Friday comes, Dejay tells me he is on the road, and I begin to wait for him in Fort Collins. A few hours pass, when I get a call from Jake, informing me that Dejay has been taken to jail on a bullshit “vicious dog” warrant from six years ago in Crested Butte, when his dog Juda may have bitten a guy. For those of you who know Dejay, and therefore know Juda, you will agree with me that Juda can be described as, “loud/obnoxious/stick crazy/silly/adorable”, but not “vicious”. I scrounge together bail money, and believe that I am the first person to ever pick someone up from jail in a rented 10 foot Budget truck. A few hours pass, and Operation Free Dejay is completed, which finally allows up to leave Fort Collins.
A view from camp
All of the stresses of the day are erased once we get to the campsite outside of Breckenridge. We got good people with names like Dax, Timmy, Kramer, Greer, Sarai, Dejay, Michelle, Jake, we got a campfire, and in a cooler full of beer. In three shakes of a stick, everyone is enjoying each others company and laughing, basically the way that trips to bike races should be. Saturday morning comes, hangovers are remedied, chow is prepared and eaten, and everyone gets ready for a ride. Our campsite is about a three minute ride from the Colorado Trail, which we intend to ride for a bit. For those of you who have ridden the Colorado Trail, you know how fucking sweet that ribbon of singletrack is. For those of you who haven’t ridden the Colorado Trail, yes it is that great of a trail, and you need to go ride it, ‘nuf said. We stop to snap pictures, and enjoy the views, once again, this is the way trips to bike races should be. After the ride, we head into town to do all the pre-race stuff we need to do, then its back to camp for dinner, and pre-race prep. And by pre-race prep I’m talking about sitting around the campfire drinking Mickey’s that Jake was smart enough to pickup in town.
Yours truly on the Colorado Trail
Race morning comes, and we head on down to town for the start of the race. I did the race last year, and had some really bad issues with cramps, so this year I am trying to drink as much as possible leading up to the race. The gun goes off, and after the neutral rollout through town where we high five little kids and are cheered on like rock stars, the road turns up and the suffering begins. Six miles of climbing up towards 11,000 feet beat me down like a rented mule. I felt like I was riding well, not too hard, and drinking enough to keep the cramps at bay. Turns out I was wrong, because after getting to the top of Heart Attack Hill, I get my first cramp that forces me off a bike. I trade some dude CO2 for endurolytes, and after a couple of minutes get back on the bike. Over the course of the rest of the lap I have to stop another time with a bout of cramps, and I am starting to realize, that certain people just know how to race at high altitudes, and I am not one of the them. After coming through the start finish, I get the third bout of cramps, that takes me off the bike for a significant period of time. I have no endurolytes, and no one around me has any either, so I am fucked three ways to Sunday. I decide to pull the plug (my apologies to Snake, I guess I just dont have that killer instinct like he does), rather than deal with more cramping, while hoping people passing me by would be willing to spare supplement so I can keep going. It’s all good because, once again at the end of the race, stories are shared, drinks are tipped back, smiles and laughs are shared, it was the icing on the cake for the weekend. More pictures below….
Kramer and Dax climbing.
Jake and Dejay sucking in the thin air
A view from somewhere around 11,000 feet
Jake ripping it like only he knows howby