The High Cascades 100 is in the books, I am sore, tired, cut/scraped up, walking slow, afraid to cough, and still kind of out of it. Despite all that, the race was a fantastic event, the challenge of racing 100 miles on my mountain bike was a great way to cap off the summer, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. We’ll start with 2 am Saturday morning which is a normal time for folks to be going to bed after a night of sucking down hooch. Instead I was up to make and eat the pre-race meal. Fill the belly, try to go back to sleep, wake up again to pack the rest of our shit in the van, and hit the road at 4:45. The neutral roll out leaves at 5:30ish with just enough sunlight and heat so that I do not want to kill myself. After a mile or two on the pavement, the race director honks his horn, and the race is officially underway.
After a couple more miles of pavement we hit the first dirt road, and anyone who isnt in the lead gets to suck in a lung full of dust. We get to the first singletrack, and I promptly take a digger due to going into a corner too hot. My knee gets gut up, my shin gets trail rash, and my left wrist is really sore. Continuing on, the singletrack out to Lava Lake is out of this world, and goes by quicker than I expected it would. Get a fresh bottle of go go juice, and start the 10 mile ride to Edison Park. The final five mile descent to Edison is make extra tricky because the sun is finally at the top of/above the trees, and the resulting shadows is making it difficult to pick a line on the trail. I was lucky enough only come really close to hitting a tree a couple of times, rather than hitting the actual tree. From Edison its another 12 miles to get back to the start finish area, and despite one minor hiccup of missing a turn I make it back there quick enough that my overall time is right around 4 hours at this point.
The second loop on the course is the most difficult, starting out with a long climb on a dusty dirt road where we all the racers get to suck in more dust. From there its a gradual singletrack climb, followed by a ripping singletrack descent down to the aid station at mile 60. We had been told that from this point to the next aid station at mile 78 is the toughest. After about five miles I am in a deep dark black hole known only as survival. I no longer have any functioning concept of time or distance. If I had any other memories other than hating my life and thinking that I am unwilling to ride a mountain bike I would share them with you, but trust me, that was all that was going through my head. Additionally my left wrist which I went down on in the beginning of the race is starting to feel worse and worse, to the point where I am questioning if I even need to use a front brake for the rest of the race. Finally make it to the aid station, drink some water, two cans of coke, and a Snickers bar which saved my life. Descent back on more dusty road/trail to the start finish area, where I pick up a fresh bottle for the final 12 miles.
The fine folks of the High Cascades were kind enough to save some of the best riding in Bend for the last section of the race. Sure my legs felt dead, and I was ready to cut my left wrist off because it hurt so much, but that descent down Tiddlywinks was fucking awesome. The climb up Funner trail went even better for me, somehow I had some residual power left in the legs, and managed to pass four or five people on the climb before making it to the finish. I was able to get my sub 10 hour time that I was hoping for, wound up 3rd in the SS class, and 20th overall. From there it was the standard eating, drinking, and bullshitting that goes on after a race. It took me all of a minute after crossing the line to crack the 24 oz can of Mickeys I had brought, and let me tell you malt liquor has never tasted better. Awards time comes around and the SS crew of self, Dejay, and Gerry stick it to the pros by simply sitting down in our respective spots on the podium. For the awards to start, the singlespeeders will be recognized first, and that is exactly what took place. Big congrats to Cary Smith and Sue Bulter who both rocked the fucking course en route to the mens and womens overall wins. Finally a big thanks to Mike Ripley and his gang of workers/volunteers at Mudslinger Events for putting on a great event.by