X-posted in XC Racing Forum

Last weekend (8/4/07) was the inagural Butte 100. The 100 mile race is an out and back with two shorter distance options, a 100 km and a 50 km. I entered the 50 km. I was psyched because Montana has a serious lack of longer distance races. I was all over this brand new race and the turnout was around 40 racers. The field in the 50 km was 18 racers. My dad entered, too, and is kicking butt as a beginning racer at age 59! Everyone started together and rode the same course. All the distances were out-and-back.

Lining up at the start. I'm in yellow, Dad's in gray


Rolling out.


Waving to my adoring fans.


I felt great at the start, I managed to hang on to the back of lead group for the first 5-10 miles of gravel/forest service road. The route then hit some rocky forest service roads that actually made for some technical tough climbing. The route then had a bit of flat and downhill that was along the same rocky route. I continued to hang tough and was actually the first 50k entry to the turnaround! There was one other guy who got there right behind me and we took off together for the return trip. I was climbing stronger than him and opened a gap pretty quickly. After about 2 miles of the rough climbing he was no longer in sight behind me, but I was being caught quickly by someone else. He passed me and pulled away, but I kept him in sight (100 yards, maybe?). I had made it through what I thought was the worst of the climbing for the return trip and was starting in on what was now rocky technical downhill. I am not a screaming fast downhiller on trails like this, but I'm OK and when the route got back to open dirt roads I know I could go fast and hopefully catch back on to the leader.

A game plan has formed in my head and I felt like I just had to keep the leader from escaping on any climbs. I begin to notice that the nose of my seat feels like it has started to tip upward. I pay it no mind and just figure a bolt is loosening and I don't want to bother stopping to tighten it. As I'm bumping and flowing along the downhill I suddenly hear a "PING!" and my seat falls to side of the seatpost!! It is only hanging on by the attached saddle bag! I hit the brakes and to try to stop fast, going over the handlbars in the process. It is not a bad fall, but by the time I untangle myself and stand up the third place rider comes into view. I inspect my bike to find that the bolt that tightens down onto the saddle rails had completely sheared off. There is no way to reattach the seat. The third place guy catches me and checks on me and I wave him by.

I removed the seat and seatpost and stuff them in my rear jersey pockets. I try valiantly to ride out the race standing up with no seat, but with absolutely no resting because I'm standing full-time I begin to cramp terribly and have to dismount and suffer until they pass. This happens acouple times as I trudge onward. I make it to the aid station and inquire about any repairs but they are not equipped to deal with my problem. They say a course worker is driving up to pick up an injured and I can hitch a ride. I say I'll try to ride it out since I'm determined to finish. I have in the meantime been passed by about 5 other racers.

The cramping continues, even though I've resigned myself to only coast the downhills and ride easily on the flats and walk any uphills. Soon the injury wagon pulls up and I decide to abandon. I take the ride of shame back to the finish area and I am affectionately referred to as "broken seat guy" on the course radio.

So.... my first DNF. I'm typically not a high placing finisher. I race sport class and feel like a race was a success if I'm in the top half of the finishers. But in this case I was in a solid 2nd place and feel like I had a realistic chance to be 1st!! Next year I'll sign up for sure, I really like the longer distance and feel like these types of races are my calling. In the meantime, my legs are still sore and my new Thomson Elite seatpost upgrade has not yet arrived...... Here is the short newspaper article with brief results of the 100 mile leg. https://www.mtstandard.com/articles/...jbjejigdfi.txt

Thanks for reading.
Ed