100 Mile Mission in the Rattlensnake

June 21, 2012 at 16:19 | Posted in Mountain Biking | Leave a comment

Blake in training for some 100 mile races, challenged me a few weeks ago, after I said I could ride all day, to join him in the Rattlesnake to do just that. He was intent on riding 100 miles, my goal was to see as many of the ‘Snake’s smooth mountain biking trails in a day as possible. We met near campus at Blake’s place at 0430 and were riding by 0500,  dawn. We picked up Nick in the Rattlesnake and Ben as well and proceeded up to the Sheep Mountain Trail where Blake and I were left alone as the others had daytime obligations. We hit snow right before arriving at Blue Point and pushed through a few snowdrifts before turning around and riding down and out intent on staying focused on making miles. We returned to the fire road and headed north to pick up the three larch descent to Wood’s gulch where we veered right heading to the corridor trail and Wallman’s saddle. Unfortunately the corridor was closed due to carboryl spraying so we returned to the Spring Gulch Trail and then ascended to the divide trail with Sawmill Gulch and headed up to the intersection with the Drop Out trail. I turned left and made my way down to Sawmill while Blake continued straight and descended to meet up in the big meadow. We cruised down the Ewok trail and then joined the lower creek trail to pop out in the neighborhood and head back to the farm and refuel and water up.

After about a 45 minute break we headed back up to Sawmill Gulch and pedaled back up to the top of  drop out trail and then descended to Grant Creek via the ravine trail. Once in the valley we headed upcanyon until the no trespassing signs were too intimidating and reascended the ravine trail to the SnowBowl overlook. We descended to the Stuart Peak trail and then continued up to within a couple miles of the W boundary after crossing the creek up high. The rapid descent down Spring Gulch worked my tired hands and braking muscles and thought I was going to lose my grip a couple times. When we returned to the Farm, we were at 12 plus hours, 65+ miles and  11,500′ vertical. Blake was planning to join some other riders at Marshall Mountain and I called it a day and headed back to Beckwith to finish my ride right around 70 miles.

Blake did make it over to Marshall and rode a couple laps there, and then joined by Ben pedaled back up to make the final laps on three larch trail to end the 100 mile challenge at about 105 miles with probably about 16,000’ vertical uphill and 18 hours. What an amazing performance by this incredible young endurance athlete. I might be ready for the 100 mile challenge in a couple more weeks! Until then having ridden most of the trails in the Rattlesnake in a day surely feels great.

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