Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Butte 50 MTB Race

Official photo at Registration for Race
Last year I did the Butte 50 with a race time of 8:20. This year I improved my time by an hour!
Everyone is curious how I improved an hole hour of last year, there are few factors different this year.

1. My new bike (Specialized Rumor). Having a light weight full suspension 29er was sweet. My bike was smooth and super fast.
2. I trained on hills. Yup, all I have been riding is hills, hills, hills.
3. The weather was perfect. Not hot, little bit a rain for track and cloud cover. Ahhhhh, so nice.

What is the Butte 50?

The 50 mile version of the Butte 100 includes epic amounts of single track (75%) on the Continental Divide Trail in the Highland mountains. 

 50 Mile Course at a glance

  • 52.4 total miles
  • 8,500 ft. elevation gain
  • 4 Total Aid Stations- Numbered #7-10 (according to 100-mile course)
  • More detailed course descriptions will be included in the Race Bible

 I was stoked to have my team Mt Alpha there at the race.
50-Mile Course
The 50-mile racers must be at the start area at Homestake Pass at 7:45 a.m for USA Cycling roll call; the race began at 8:00a.m.


Starting loop

4.8 miles; 551 ft. elevation gain; 4.8 mi. cumulative
  • start loop on sandy double track meant to spread racers out for safety reasons
For me, I decided to not start racing until after the first aid station. I used the starting loop as a nice warm up and let racers pass me by. I didn't go slow, but I wasn't at "race pace"

Start area  to Aid Station (Thompson Park )

7.7 miles; 1,563 ft. elevation gain; 12.5 mi. cumulative
  • Black Tail descent immediately follows start loop; single and double track, quite technical,with a bottle neck
  • Short ride on an asphalt connection, through a housing division to Black Tail Trailhead; 3 mi. climb and 3 mile descent to Hwy 2 crossing and Thompson Park area

T-Park aid station and course layout

Aid Station (Basin Creek)

8.8 miles; +1,192ft.; 21.4 mi.

After this Aid Station I turned on my "race mind" and started to work harder. The temps were cool and still with nice cloud cover, so I worked to stay with Kellie Carim down through this section.

I have been racing Kelly for years, and I really enjoy being on the trail with her. I knew she would beat me in this race. She is an amazing climber and has deep cardio fitness with Skate-Ski racing in the winter. I am super excited for her improving her time from last year by a half hour!

  • Climb to “The Chimney” on singletrack and some RR bed
  • Descent on dry singletrack (watch for wash-outs)graduating to dual track, established double track, then gravel road into Basin Creek Aid station #

 10.7 miles; +2,593 ft.; 32.1 mi. cumulative

  • The Basin Creek climb consists of a very dry double track
  • 4 mile climb to CDT left turn (King/Queen of the Mountain checkpoint) 2-mile climb remaining on buff single track
  • Beautiful single track to Highlands aid station

This is the hardest part of the race I think. Such a long hard climb, and a lot of it is too steep to climb. I talked with  Tinker Juarez (Legendary Pro MTBiker) after he won the Butte 100, and he said that he finally cleaned the Basin Creek Climb. Wow, I pushed my bike up so many steep sections with a bunch of dudes.
Jen and Tinker after the race. Tinker beat his time from last year for a new Butte 100 record!

Aid Station (Highway 2)

 11.3 miles; +1,266 ft. elevation gain; 43.4 mi. cumulative


This is my most suffering. I was having shoot pain under my left knee cap when I would climb hills. I simply could not ride my bike up hills. I took 3 Ibuprofen and 6 arnica tablets under my tongue and waited for the pain to stop. In the mean time, I had to push my bike up all the hills until the pain-relievers kicked in. After a half hour the pain was gone and I started hammering again. I felt great because I had slowed down to walk, so I caught 2 more girls ahead of me and pushed my lead to be in 3rd place for podium.

  • “8 Miles of Hell” right out of aid station along CDT buffed/slight dry single track
  • Continue on CDT through the Limekiln intersection (a beautiful portion of course)
  • Nice downhill to Aid Station #10 at Hwy 2
  • Note: a USA Cycling official will be enforcing racer cut-offs at Hwy 2 aid station #10. Those pulling in after 7:00 p.m. will not be allowed to continue, no exceptions.

Aid Station to Finish

Now I love this section. I have ridden this area of CDT maybe 20 times, so I know it better than any other single track. I knew exactly when I could attack the Mountain, and when I could get a few seconds of rest.
After hammering up the final climb, the 2 girls that I dropped caught up to me and passed me. I knew that I had to push it hard to pass them again on the downhill.
I caught them on the downhill and dropped the descent as fast as I could. I did not see them for the rest of the race to the finish. However, the girl behind me was only a 1 minute back! After over 7 hours of racing, that is pretty close.

I was super happy to take 3rd. Sharing podium with a Pro (Ivy Pederson) and Kellie Carim was awesome

9.0 miles; +1,344 ft.; 52.4 mi. cumulative.

  • Final significant climb (after Beaver Ponds trail junct.) Stay on CDT
  • Buff single track through boulders and woods
  • Descent to I-90 intersection-should start hearing car noise
  • Right turn on concrete, over the overpass and into the finish line


Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Jr Girls Bike Film!

Check out our new film featuring Jr Girls rocking the CDT!
What is the CDT you say?

The Famous Continental Divide Trail!

14k or 9 miles
1,400 elevation gain

Sweet Single trail in between Pipestone Pass and Homestake Pass near Butte Montana.
This is the final desent for the Butte 100 race.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Montana Girl Mountain Bike Camp - High School Sesh

It is all about the High School Girls this week of Camp!
Camp starts at 11am to 4-5pm on Tuesday- Friday

Dress Up Theme Days

* Tall Socks Tuesdays
*80's Wednesdays
*Tank Top Thursdays
*PJ Friday

Bike in the mornings | Lunch | Art in the afternoons

1. Helmet
2. Water bottle
3. Rain gear
4. Bike (with good brakes and gears working)
5. Big Lunch & Snacks
6. Backpack with extra tube for flats


Tuesday  - Blue Mountain. Big ride up to the top! Amazing dow
Wednesday -  Lake Como (travel down past Hamilton to ride trail around lake)
Thursday - CDT (continental divide trail!)
We drive to Butte, ride part of the Butte 100 course, then swim and stay at Fairmont Hot Springs!

1. Sleeping bag
2. Overnight Bag

More info on website: Montana Girl Mountain Bike Camp
Call Jen with any questions.

I Am Specialized

Friday, July 5, 2013

Mountain Bike Tips from Teenage Girls - New Film!

The Jr Girls that I have been coaching all summer decieded to make an edit with advice about how to mountain bike.
Honestly, I think these girls know whas-up, take some advice and how to shred dude.

Monday, July 1, 2013

RATPOD - R.ide A.round T.he P.ioneer's in D.ay

My first RATPOD was awesome!

RATPOD is a 130-Mile, one-day bicycle ride to benefit Camp Mak-A-Dream, a cost-free, medical camp in Western Montana for children, teens & young adults with cancer. Riders are encouraged to raise donations for the camp and bring them to the event Prizes will be awarded to the top donation-earning riders.

The ride takes place in the remarkably scenic Big Hole Valley of southwestern Montana. Riders will encounter three wilderness mountain ranges. Pristine rivers are followed. The valley is sparsely populated and therefore lightly traveled by automobile. This is bicycle nirvana!

RATPOD starts and ends each year in Dillon, Montana. Registration for RATPOD is open to individual riders who are welcome to ride as much or as little of the route as desired. Riders who choose to ride only part of the 130-mile route are responsible for their own logistics and transportation between Dillon and their alterate start/finish location(s).

 There are five food/water stops along the route, as well as pre-ride pasta dinner (Friday evening) and post-ride barbecue and music (Saturday night) following the ride at the start/finish on the University of Montana-Western campus in Dillon.

For me, the first 35 miles to breakfast was the hardest. I did not eat enough at 5am to have the fuel to feel strong over the pass.

The second section of was 40 miles to lunch with the toughest mountain pass. I felt the strongest riding up the mountain and it was gorgeous. We had perfect weather, cool temps and the forest smelled so good.

At mile 70 we stopped to stretch. My lowerback & neck and sit bones were hurting and uncomfortable - with another 50 miles to go, we tried to make every pedal stroke intentional.

After lunch we road into a nasty storm, this was around 2pm. (7 hours into ride) Rain, strong side winds, and lightning made for an interesting experience during miles 80-100. Then in "Montana fashion" the sun came out and we were rewarded with a sweet tail-wind after the watermelon stop. We cruised quickly to the last stop (PIE!) and were told that there was an awful storm ahead and the organizers were sending out a bus to get us.

We decided to leave and ride anyway into the storm. It started out icky, but then the winds shifted and we motored up the last big hill climb to mile 120. The last 10 mile to finish in Dillon at mile 130 were easy. It was awesome to arrive to cowbells, clapping and cheers at the finish line.

  Pioneer Mnt Range.