Another Leadville 100 is History

, , | UltraRob | Sunday, August 13th, 2006 at 8:56 pm

Saturday was the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race. Julie and I were crewing for Pat Taylor for the 2nd year in a row. After last year’s disaster, I’m surprised he wanted us there again. Last year Julie and I never saw him at Pipeline outbound. We finally figured that out but that meant we also missed him outbound at Twin Lakes. This year we weren’t making that mistake and I told him we’d leave Pipeline after 2:30 whether we’d seen him or not.

As always there were hundreds of bikes lying on the street in the early morning darkness. The only difference was this year they had the top 100 returning riders from last year line up at the front. This meant anyone with number 176 or lower. The Fat Cyclist had his bike laid out complete with a rigid carbon fiber front fork. I really want to hear how that worked for him. I also spotted one other bike laid out in the front section with the same fork.

The start is always scary with a big pack of mountains bikers that for the most part don’t know how to ride in a pack. I’ve always done my best to stay in the front 50 or so riders at the start. Until I crewed last year, I had no idea how far the pack strung out at the start.

Since we had over 2 hours before Pat would be to the outbound Pipeline aid station, Julie and I went to the Columbine Cafe for breakfast. It is always a great place for a good breakfast. We ended up sitting with Lee Duncan who has done Leadville several times, his wife, Phil Yearsley that organizes a lot of trail work with Medicine Wheel, Gloria who always a big part organizing volunteers for the race, and a lady that was with Gloria.

By the outbound Pipeline aid station, Dave Weins(#1) and Jake Rubelt(#3) had opened up a sizeable gap. We saw several riders I know go through. We started getting nervous when we didn’t see Pat come through when we expected him to. Finally we decided we’d better leave so we wouldn’t miss him at Twin Lakes. We stayed a little longer than I said we would because he had an infected bug bite a month ago and was in the hospital for a few days so he wasn’t feeling in top shape. It was actually 2:35 when we left and we were only at Pipeline in case he had a mechanical.

Once we got to the Twin Lakes aid station, we spent quite a bit of time on edge trying to decide whether we’d missed Pat or if he was having trouble. We watched dozens of riders go through and I recognized several of them from waiting at Pipeline. Finally I was pretty sure the riders that had gone through Pipeline just before we left went through. It wasn’t long until I recognized Pat coming toward us. We must have left just before he went through Pipeline. He said he wasn’t feeling too good and wasn’t sure he could climb up Columbine. I told him he was doing fine and we sent him on his way.

While we were waiting for Pat to come back, I wandered around and found the wife of Robert “Piglet” (his 508 totem) that crewed for me during RAAM. I hadn’t meet her before although I’ve ridden with him on some of the RMCC brevets and see him at some of the races. Also with her was another 508 veteran, Gary “Kudu”, that I rode with some during the 2002 Furnace Creek Spring Tour and have also seen him a couple times before at Leadville.

Dave Wiens came back through long before the outbound riders were through and by then he had a big gap over Jake Rubelt in 2nd place. The next rider I saw go through was Joel Mischke that have raced for years with in the Expert class although he moved up to Semi-Pro a couple years ago. We once again saw several riders I know and were able to cheer them on. Even before Pat had come through, it had looked like rain and we got a few sprinkles but nothing more. It was looking like it could get ugly later in the afternoon.

Finally Ricky, who has finished the mountain bike race every year it’s been held, came through which meant Pat should be there soon. He showed up soon and we got him his drinks and encouraged him on. I also made sure he took some extra Endurolytes because I didn’t think he was taking enough. He had trouble with cramping and other symptoms of not getting enough electrolytes last year so I wanted to make sure he didn’t again.

Pat rode well to Pipeline inbound although he was definitely looking tired. He gave him everything he needed to make it to the finish and I also gave him some more Endurolytes. I didn’t have any Endurolytes powder with me so I had been also opening 3 capsules and putting them in his drinks. I don’t think he ever realized I was doing that but he never had any problems with cramps.

While we were standing around talking to Robert’s wife and “Kudu”, it started really raining. I figured most of the riders were still either on Sugar Loaf or climbing back up St. Kevins. I was glad I was able to run and get in a warm vehicle instead of freeze out there. I was lucky that in the 4 years that I did it I only got rained on the last couple miles one year. My co-worker, Bob, said he was pretty hypothermic by the time he finished. He finished just under 9 hours. Pat
said he was weak the last part which could have been partly because he was cold. He finished in 10:56 which isn’t bad considering he was in the hospital not long ago.

I took over 200 pictures during the race. They were only with a point and shoot camera that has an unpredictable delay between pushing the button and the picture actually being taken. I got quite a few rear tires or riders not as close as I liked but I also got some reasonably good ones. I’ve uploaded all of them to the web server and plan to get a gallery set up for them soon. If you were racing and want to try finding yourself in one of the pictures, check back in the next couple days to see them.

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5 responses to “Another Leadville 100 is History”

  1. JB says:

    NIce report! I’ve often heard of Leadville, but now know a good bit more about it.

    Interesting that Wiens appears to be riding a 29er. Lots of folks (not me) think the big wheels don’t climb well.

    They DEFINATELY descend better.

  2. HEATH says:

    Rob, cool. This year was my first LT100. I traveled from MN to do it. I placed well and may do it again next year after sub 9. My number was 576, looking for pictures so I can put on my blog.

  3. […] Lance wimped out of racing the Leadville 100.See all my posts on the Leadville 100. Related Posts:Another Leadville 100 is History | Views from the Top of Columbine Climb | Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race Pictures Technorati […]

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