An awful lot of riders have turned their attentions to August 20's X100 Race, and with good reason. The event enters a new era, with a new start venue just two miles from Einstein Cycles, and using even more of the famous unmarked trails that make mountain biking in Northern Michigan an incredible pleasure.
The new start/finish at Timber Ridge makes the race even more accessible for racers. It's the site of so many races and rides that it often feels like a second home to Northern Michigan racers, especially those familiar with the Short's Brewing Fat Bike Series, Iceman Cometh, as well as countless running, snowshoeing and other outdoor races. It also means there's no hiding from the off, with the race finding some breathing space over Madeleine's Trail before smashing straight into the singletrack, from which there is hardly a break for much of the rest of the day.
Jorden Wakeley has made the race his own over the years, but the addition of riders like Mike Simonson mean he's unlikely to have it all his way. The reality is that that majority of the 100 milers are just trying to make it the whole race, their efforts more focused on surviving than racing. For so many, it's uncharted territory. How will the legs and body react to a fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh hour in the saddle? More importantly, how will the mind?
From the shop, Jason Lowetz will take another run on the race. Boss Man takes on another X100, this time with fewer miles in the legs than usual, but a solid block of riding two weeks ago where he and Jon Throop rode over 200 miles a day for 3 days straight. It's been hit and miss since then, but no one is better at simply pushing through and staying steady. "It's more important to just think of it as going for a bike ride than a race. Break it up, 20 minutes at a time," he advises.
The course makes focus and consistency pretty tough. The route is famously flat, but the non-stop singletrack makes it tough to find the same sort of rhythm other endurance events allow for. There's no fire road, almost no two tracks, and long, winding sections of choppy and tough turning, bouncing and careful riding. More and more racers have turned to full suspension bikes for X100 and for general riding, and Lowetz is leaning toward racing a BMC FS01 or a Salsa Spearfish X01 for the day.
Give us a call with any questions, and the best of luck with your X100 preparations this week!