This report is coming a little late not because I had a bad time at this race, it was quite the contrary. The High Cascade 100 the 6th stop on the NUE Series turned out to be one of the best races of the season.
The hardest part about this race was the 5:30AM start time, as that is really early and cold. Despite that, it was looking to be a beautiful day with mild temps, so things were looking good. The start of the race was about a mile climb up the highway to Bachelor Mountain, and then it was on to a jeep road climb to the base of the mountain. As we climbed the field started to thin out leaving a lead group of 4, Jeff Schalk, Chris Sheppard, Cary Smith, and myself. This brought us to the base of Bachelor and into the single track I jumped in behind Chris, since he is the local guy. We started to get into a groove and the trail was fun and flowy.
Sheppard was sending it and it was going well, but then disaster struck with a flat tire, I tried to hit it with co2 for a quick fix but 20 feet down the trail it was flat again. The next step was to throw a tube in and now I only had one co2 left, so the tube ended up being a little low and I had to take it easy through the upcoming technical sections. I also had to get through about 15 people and the trail was really tight so passing fell into the hands of the person I was passing so it took a lot of time, luckily everyone was really cool about letting me by so I started to make up some ground. I had got by almost everyone so I could really start chasing the leaders again when I got another flat, front tire this time! I was pretty bummed I didn’t have another tube so I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew there was an aid station coming up at some point so I slow rolled the smooth sections and walked the rock gardens, then up ahead like an oasis in the desert was the aid station. I came in and they hooked it up they had a tube and a floor pump so I filed my back tire and fixed my front and was off on the chase again.
Luckily the next section of trail had some passing room so I was able to work through the pack again. I really hammered the rest of the first loop and came into the transition in fourth. Heading out on the second loop I was really in a hurry to get going and forgot my GU flask, luckily I realized this before I got to far and circled back to get it, hey I figured what’s another minute or two when your already down. The second loop was the best of the race great single-track fun fast descents and a mega climb up to some incredible high alpine riding. As I was coming into the last mile of the loop I saw someone ahead and pushed hard to catch him and it was Jeff who was not doing well, with a flat of his own. He had come off of a win at the Wilderness 101 the weekend before, but this weekend he was not having a good race. We entered the final 13 miles of single track together then he let me by and I took of, he didn’t even try to stay with me as his day was over. I hammered the final miles just in case and finished up in 3rd a result I was not expecting given all the problems throughout the day. Overall great race and really well put on if you like riding single track come to the high cascade 100 it’s a good one.