"Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness"
- Fyodor Dostoevsky
|Sigman and I at the start... 5:45 am... our bodies have no idea they are steps away from Guantanamo|
I was looking forward to this ride, not only as this would be my first 100 mile mountain bike ride (my longest ride prior to this one was the metric century version of the Hard COEre with Ted and Bruce), but also I really haven't explored this amazing area of this state. The views were almost a distraction as this ride was so technical in many spots, but I've gotta go back and explore this area some more. I can't wait until we can take the boys rafting on the Middle and North Forks of the American.
The Western States Trail starts in Salt Lake City and ends in Sacramento. And this section from Tahoe down to Auburn has been made famous by the Tevis Cup, a 100 mile endurance horse ride; and the Western States Endurance Run, a 100 mile endurance run. The Tevis Cup started in 1955 and is widely recognized as the start of endurance horse riding. In 1974, Gordy Ainslegh first completed the Western States Run in 1974 after having completed the Tevis Cup (on horseback) in 1971 and 1972. The first official Western States Endurance Run started in 1977 with 16 runners starting, and one finisher under the allotted time (24 hours). But that was how the oldest 100 mile race in the world got its start. So these trails have a lot of history, as these trails are where endurance racing all began... and you could feel the hours of suffering omnipresent during the ride.
I had signed up for this race with Ted and Bruce, then later recruited Sigman to join. With one of Ted's buddies dropping out a few weeks before the ride, I got Barrett to sign up as well. Then with a cascading effect, Barrett got 3 or 4 of his Taco buddies to sign up. It was quite a party at the starting line at 6 am.
For comparison of the trails:
The Tahoe Sierra 100: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/3304430
The Western States 100: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/5899172
The Tevis Cup: http://www.teviscup.org/images/thetrail/tevistrail_lg.gif
|Lots of hike-n-bike'n|
|at the first aid staion (photo: Bruce Bundy)... I think my quads were already starting to cramp up at this point...|
|after that some more fire roads...|
|To the next aid station. Ted enjoying the Mtn Dew...|
|These aid stations were essential. I think in all but one of them I filled up my camel back (100 oz), and drank most of it.|
|the start of the death march. From here, it's 1500 ft of hike n bike in 2 miles... this was the last I saw of Sigman...|
|At the finish line with Ted|
|Barrett, the only fully rigid rider... talk about pain!|
|At around mile 80, Sigman flew off his bike and cut up both elbows and both legs. With a sidewall cut, he decided to call it quits. A smart idea.|
|The next day near Folsom Lake... we got some good relaxing time.|
|I don't know if other folks appreciate a sleeping child pic, but I love em... here's Kai taking advantage of his flexible neck...|
Upon doing a bit of reading and research about the TS100, I came across two other rides I wouldn't mind suffering through in the future:
- Cascade Cream Puff
- This sounds like a similar event with a comparable amount of suffering, judging from the comments, the elevation, and the finish time. And located in a the heart of Oregon, an area I'd like to explore more on two wheels.
- Vapor Trail 125
- 125 miles, 20K ft of climbing, and up in altitude for most of the ride (10K ft)... in Colorado...
- And a host of other longer, self supported bike-packing races that might be fun down the road... like in 5 years... if I get into this type of thing... but it's be a good excuse for another mtn bike (he he he...)
- Tour Divide - This is the mother of all self supported endurance mountain bike racing events. 2745 miles, from Banff to New Mexico. The longest off pavement cycling route.... folks spend 17 to 30 days.
- Colorado Trail Race - 500 miles, 70K ft vert, with approximately 300 miles of single track
- Arizona Trail Race - 300 or 750 mile options... the 750 is the longest single track bike race in the world... which includes a 24 mile portage across the Grand Canyon...
- Oregon Outback - 360 miles... not really a race...
- California Sierra Trail Race - never heard of this one... as it sounds pretty crazy... 425 miles, 80K of elevation...
- Stagecoach 400 - in SoCal!
- Tour de Los Padres -
- And plenty of others... turns out there are plenty of crazy folks in this world... or maybe there's just a few that do all of these rides?