Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tahoe Sierra 100- Another Epic Race!

Jim Northey and Global Biorhythms did it again!!! This time, Tahoe Sierra 100 (ok, so it was a little short for a century) was even more epic with more technical single track and fun riding than in the past! Jim has worked hard all year in order to get permits to ride on the famous Western States 100 trail and this year's edition of the event was a point to point race.

We started at Icelake lodge in Soda Springs just like previous few years. According to the newspaper, Truckee (10 miles away) has been the coldest place in the country for the past several days, so I was prepared with all my cold weather gear. After a slight case of hypothermia in Italy, I wasn't about to freeze again. Luckily, it had warmed up a fair amount; temps were in the low 40s at the 6 am start. A few days before the race, Eric decided he was going to race too. We were both pretty beat up from Ironbike, and hoping that 2 weeks was going to be enough recovery.

The race started off on some fun single track (cross country ski) trails and then did a long drop on a loose gravel road. I was taking it pretty easy, was not in the mood to slide out and crash in the first 10 miles. I skipped the first 2 checkpoints, I had plenty of sustained energy and a camelbak full of water. There was plenty of fun, rocky, and pretty technical single track, but Jim had said that the race didn't REALLY start until 65 miles, which is when we finally got to ride the Western States 100 trail. I stopped to refill my camelbak, mix some sustained energy and lube my chain at the 50 mile checkpoint, and then again at 65. It was getting quite warm, and I was drinking Nuun, eating Margarita flavored cliffblocks (4 times the sodium), and had to take several thermatabs to avoid cramping. I could feel my calves twitching and my hamstring was threatening to cramp at one point, but with my massive sodium intake I was able to avoid a full blown cramp.

The Western States 100 trail was AWESOME!! We went down a really fun descent followed by a 45 minute hike-a-bike section! I was glad to have done all that hiking in Italy, it felt so NORMAL to push my bike up a rocky, steep trail!! I passed a couple of guys on the way up. I was happy to get to the next checkpoint for more fluids. All the volunteers were super helpful and friendly as usual at this race!! We kept on following the WS100 trail, with more fun descending in to a canyon, and some more hiking mixed with a bit of riding back up again.

I was pretty happy to hear that we only had 6 miles to go at the last checkpoint. I had counted on 13!! There was a really steep climb on single track- glad to have my granny gear- and then we finished on a couple of miles on the pavement!! I ended up in 1st place in a time of 9:20, I think I was 12th overall.

I would highly recommend this race to anyone who is in for a bit of adventure and is not afraid of a little hiking. Rumor has it that there might be even more single track on a longer course next year. See you there!!

Thanks Jim and your hardworking family, friends, and volunteers for another EPIC EVENT!!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


7 days, 450 miles, 88,000 feet of climbing- IRONBIKE 2011

Many hours of steep hike-a-bike

Amazing views of the French/Italian Alps

Lots of long climbs and high altitudes....

Checkpoint at top of one of the high altitude climbs.

Traversing lots of shale and boulder fields, left-overs from avalanches