Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Training for a 50 mile MTB race

The Butte 50!!!!!
So last year was my first ever big big big bike race.
I have been racing mountain bike since 1993, but I have never trained for such a bad ass event. Sure I have ridden 50 miles before on my bike and done races that are intense, but the Butte 50 is another breed. What makes it different is the elevation gain and loss within those 50 miles. It is literally like racing up and over 6 mountain peaks. The course consists 11,459ft of elevation GAIN in a single day. The single track consists of serious technical loose granite and dense wooded single track along the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). The 50 mile race is sometimes referred as the "South Loop" because the 100-mile Race begin on mile 53 north loop before heading south on the the south loop. It is all very beautiful, however I wont be viewing the sweeping views of the Highland mountains, I will instead have my head down and keeping my breathing consistent. My goal was to not blow up. Although my husband won this race a few years ago, I just want to finish strong, ride my best ride and have fun.

The last section of the race after the notorious Basin Creek Climb is going to be my "happy place" because I know that when I make it to that point with some reserved energy, then I can rock the last 20 miles of the race. I used to live and Butte, and my fave ride of all time in Montana is the Beaver Ponds which is the last section of the race. It is a cherry ride with flowy roller-coaster single track with enormous granite boulders that erupted about 60 to 70 million years ago. (The Boulder Batholith)

On top of the world - Jen on a training ride at 7651 feet (2332.02 meters) above Sea Level. Near Sheep Mountain outside of Missoula Montana in the Rattlesnake Wildrness .

Jen's Training!
Starting NOW
In June (my husband was in Finland for a month, so I had to be self motivated)
In July
  • 2 weekly rides with MT Alpha
  • Weekend 5 -6 hour rides with John. Examples for one long ride - Start from Missoula, ride up Overlook, down Ravine trail up to Snowbowl and up Beargrass highway then back down to Missoula - YUCK!
  • Do the Wednesday night Super D downhill series
  • Last week ride Sheep Mountain twice (26mile loop with 7mile uphill to peak).

Bears - it should be noted that I encountered 8 bears this past season while riding - all were "good bears and either just looked at me, kept eating huckleberries or ran away.
I only had one Mama Bear stand up and woof at me up near Snowbowl, Mt. She had two cubs and would not budge. Luckily a worker at Snowbowl was chopping wood and heard me making a racket banging metal on old snowmobiles in an effort make the bear leave........He rescued me and put my bike in his pickup so I could get by her and back down the Mountain. She barely moved an inch off the road when we drove past.

Fast Boy! My riding partner John Bardsley

Last years training ride with John - mile 14 in Rattlesnake Wilderness

My women's team - MT ALPHA - Photo by Tom Robertson

John and Jen *pre-riding Butte 50 course (beverpond area) - Cherry ride!

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