It had been a couple years sense I raced in Bend OR at the High Cascade 100. This year I decided to make a big trip of it and head down the coast to race the Big Bear Grizzly the following weekend. The High Cascade is one of the best 100 mile mountain bike races in the country, not only are the trails amazingly fun but the race promoter Mike Ripley is one of the best in the biz.
The start of the high cascade is right out of bend up the pavement for about 6 miles to a dirt double track for another couple to thin things out. Once we hit the trail, its game on, the rest of the race is on single track until the last section of pavement to the finish. By the time we reached the first aid at mile 20 Barry Wicks and myself were in the lead with a couple guys not far behind. All of the trails in this race are so fun and to have a guy like Barry to rally around with made it even better!
By about mile 45 we had just exited a super fun downhill and started a 25 minute climb I was feeling a little sluggish and Barry moved around me and started to build a gap.
When I hit the 56 mile aid station, the 3rd place guy came around me and I stopped and got my drop bag and chased him down. I quickly moved back into second as he stopped to get some aid from his crew. This was the start of the loop around Mt Bachelor and to this point the dirt was hero to say the least. This part of the trail has lots of lava rock and is much looser. I kept attacking the corners like I had been and bang I was on the ground in a pile of dirt. I quickly picked myself up, dusted off and got going again. The crash must of woke me up because I started to feel better and pushed through the aid at mile 79 and could smell the finish.
I was looking back to see if I could see 3rd and there he was about 40 seconds back and grinding away. I started to rally and I felt great and wanted to push all the way to the finish. Then there was Barry right in front of me I quickly passed him and we proceeded to bomb down the last decent, Tidily Winks, to the final pavement section. I tried to lose Barry in this section hitting the doubles and going at breakneck speed, but these are his home trails and he’s a great rider so he was on me the entire way. We did end up having a great time just sending it though. We hit the pavement together and I knew it would be a sprint at the end and it was… Barry got me at the finish, but what a great time rallying around for almost 8 hours and then you sprint for the line, super fun! I wouldn’t change a thing.