A new addition to the NUE series for 2015 is the Bailey Hundo. Being just a little over an hour from my house, I thought I give this race a try. The Bailey Hundo is a fundraiser for the trails in Bailey and for the high school cycling league in Colorado so the race is for a good cause. I come to ride Bailey in the late winter and fall when the trails in Breckenridge are snowed in, so it’s a great way to give back.
This year because of flooding on the front range of CO, the road section of the course had to be cut out, instead the race promoters decided to do two laps of the single track section. While this shortened the course to 85 miles it made the race much more fun. Start time was 6am in downtown Bailey, and the weather was looking to be perfect, but maybe a little hot for the mountain folk at 85 degrees.
We had about 8 miles of dirt road to spread things out until we hit the Colorado Trail and the start of the single track, this section had three good climbs and by the second climb I found myself with one other guy at the front.
When we hit the single track there was one racer ahead and three guys one minute behind my position. I quickly took the lead and worked my way through the trail system of Buffalo Creek. Since I do come and ride these trails on a semi regular basis so I know most of them pretty well. I definitely enjoy the riding here since it has lots of fast flowing single track and cool rock formations thrown in to spice it up a bit. I was feeling really good and had built a lead of a couple minutes or so and came up to the 5th aid station, where my drop bag was supposed to be. Unfortunately my drop was not there, this was problem because I had a pack full of Infinit Nutrition, which was basically all my calories for the next 3 hours, and now I had nothing…
I fumbled with the pack I had, filling it with water and grabbing some Gu’s. While this was going on, Zach Guy passed me and by the time I got back underway he had a couple minutes on me. I was definitely not a happy camper but I had to just push on, stay steady and try to grab more fuel from the aid stations on the way.
Nearing the end of the trail section I caught back up with Zach, we rode together for about 15 minutes but when we hit the 4th aid I had to stop for food again. I needed something for the last big climb to the finish. Unfortunately they were all out of race specific nutrition so I had to grab a cookie and part of a PB&J sandwich, not the best fuel for a big climb.
Zach got a 30 second gap on me with this stop and I just couldn’t catch back up. He wasn’t pulling away from me but I had him in sight for the next 40 minutes to the finish. Zacg ended up in first and I came in a minute behind him despite my bag mix up I had a great day of racing! I felt strong, my bike ran perfectly and the riding was great. I’ll take second place any day of the week but could I have won? Maybe, but Zach was riding strong and I couldn’t stay with him at the end, congrats to him and my next race is right around the corner.