I had no idea that the Crested Butte 100 has been going on for so long, 13 years to be exact! This season I’ve been looking for different races to do so I decided to give the CB 100 a go.
I came to CB leading up to the race to ride as much of the course as possible. There’s so much great riding in the area and the more of the course I rode I realized how big of an undertaking this thing really is.
The race started pre dawn at 5:30 in the morning to give everyone ample time to try and finish this beast in the daylight hours. The first part of the course heads up out on a long dirt road climb to trail 403 and then the iconic 401. At the start I was accompanied by Mike McCauley and John Todd Mallow, starting off with a bit slower pace was eventual second place finisher Jesse Jakomait who amazingly had done an 86 mile race the day before.
I really wanted to hit the course as hard as I could so I didn’t really hold much back at the start, and quickly found myself alone. By the time I reached the top of 401 the rising sun and the cloud cover made for a spectacular view of the valley bellow. After 401 we rode deer creek trail which was my least favorite trail of the day, it would be a good trail if it wasn’t getting trampled and shit on by cows. But in this area there needs to be coexistence between ranchers and recreation so you have to take the good with the bad.
After deer creek the real fun starts with a huge climb up brush creek starting on jeep road then turning into moto single track, most of the trail conditions for the day were spectacular hero dirt except for the higher sections of brush creek where it became very muddy and incredibly challenging to keep any forward momentum going. We rode trail 400 all the up to 12,600 feet where we turned on to Crystal trail which had just been finished and is a super fun mountain bike trail all the way down to cement creek road. After riding Cement Creek road for about 5 minutes we turned onto Cement Creek trail, which was another super fun and flowy decent all the way to the Reno climb. The next section Reno, Flag, Bear, Deadman’s starts with a long jeep road climb and then it’s up and down moto trail for about an hour and a half. Basically the theme of this race is do a super long hard climb and then ride sweet, sweet single track down.
After the finish of Deadman’s, I was at mile 75 and got to refuel and grab some much needed lube for my chain from the support truck. The last 25 miles were more of the same, a huge climb up warm springs, ending with a hike a bike called the wall and it is a wall, it was hard to even hike up it. After that it’s more steep moto trail but when you do get to the top it’s a great payoff. Point lookout and 409 are super fun! First it’s fast and flowy on point lookout then you hit 409 and it’s really technical rocky trail riding just how I like it.
The finish of the course was strand hill to strand bonus to canal trail, all great riding! Then out brush creek back to town. The whole course is exactly what I love to ride: hard climbing to high alpine trail with steep and fast downhill, just great mountain biking! The race took me 10 hours 30 minutes and I felt really good the entire time not to say it was a walk in the park “feeling good” means I was able to suffer at a high level all day.
This is probably as far as 100 mile races go the hardest I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot of hard ones. I’m really happy to win this thing but really it was just about doing the course I usually don’t look a course and get nervous but this was a really big one. Every person who finished this thing should be super proud of their accomplishment. Thanks Dave Ochs for putting on a great event and an all time course, the riding in Crested Butte is awesome!! I would urge anyone who loves riding trail to get there and check it out.