Around the same time I agreed to do RAAM, I also agreed to do Leadville MTB 100. Even though Danny Pate described it as the triathlon of MTB racing, I still wanted to go up and see what it was all about. Again, Ben Bostrom factored into my decision to say “yes.” I told the local race team Pedalers Fork/10 Speed Coffee that I would be into going with them as I knew one of them had qualified and was training hard for it. We all got pretty excited and selected our 4 man team that would depart Los Angeles on August 4 and drive to Leadville Colorado for my first MTB race/event. The team also supplied us all with Moots RSL bikes for the race.
After RAAM I fell pretty ill, and I thought it was just being really run down. However, after 10 days I finally went into an insta-care where I explained my symptoms and the doctor lady told me she had the same thing? I really didn’t believe she had the same thing but I could hear her stomach making funny noises and she would pause in mid sentence to get through her pain. She also said she was eating the crust on pizza to harden up her stool. All of this was lifting my spirits as I found it quite amusing. I still haven’t found a primary care physician in CA so this is where I found myself… So, I gave my first ever stool sample and started antibiotics.
Leadville was quickly approaching and with the inability to ride much I figured I should at least go to altitude so after a few days on antibiotics I told my wife and family to pack up we were going to Mammoth. I didn’t do too much riding up there but found some really good trails and it’s always nice to breathe some mountain air. I did have to turn around one day on a trail that was like quicksand and now I can’t stop thinking about getting back on that trail with a Fatbike. One morning I get a phone call from the instacare people saying negative for everything! Great news. Later almost bedtime later I get another call from the doctor who had said she had the same thing as I did. She had a serious tone and said she is calling to say I tested positive for cryptosporidiam! I was not that concerned as I had heard news of this when I lived in Utah about how easily the bug can travel – through swimming pools for instance. I started going through Raam in my head and there were so many opportunities where this could’ve happened. Anyways, she continues on in her serious voice and tells me it’s very rare…and then she says she has to do some more research! I hang up the phone a little bit confused, but I get on the internet and within minutes learn there is no way to treat it; it just runs it’s course – and I was already starting to feel a little better. So, I continued clawing my way out of crypto day by day. The Moots was pretty fun for playing around during this time. I put a Magura fork on the front and did some longer rides on it. The titanium was nice over the long haul as it seemed to have a little give in it. August 4 finally creeps up on me, and we are off to Leadville.
The PF/10speed coffee team for Leadville:
We packed up an entire truck with food and supplies to be consumed for the days leading into the event. There was chef Dan from Pedalers Fork who came along to do the cooking, and Mike would be doing the mechanic work. It was a long drive — about 1000 miles. We drove straight through and arrived in Leadville in the middle of the night and went to house #1. We named it the Dollhouse because that’s what it looked like — and it had some old spooky dolls inside. It was a little on the old side with a lot of carpet and an indoor hot tub. It did smell a bit funny. I decided to take my chances on house # 2 sight unseen. House #2 was a good choice and was promptly named Hollywood Hills. It was a more modern house with amazing views of the mountains and the small town of Leadville. The first few days we just got used to the altitude and found a fun singletrack nearby. It was cool to see the town fill up little bit by little bit as the race neared. Ben Bostrom finally arrived in town and came by to explain the course and how to go about it. We had our team doing some feeds and Mike from Magura helping out in another area as well. We didn’t do too much pre-riding of the course — the singletrack was too fun. We did go down powerline; it was a highspeed downhill — big and wide but a little loose in some sections.
Registration day came, and we stood in line to get our race numbers. I was 51 which meant I would be in the front corral. I was pretty happy about this; I hadn’t been too sure where they would put me. It was fascinating to meet all the people that came from all over the world to do the race. We then went to the highschool gymnasium to hear stories about the race and how to prepare, with a big pep talk and motivation speech from the founder of the race, Ken Chlouber. The gym was packed with people; I’d say more than a 1000. It was great to see how many people wanted to chat it up about DZNuts. Still trying to wrap my head around the crack-of-dawn start time of the race.
Departure day was upon us and I was not looking forward to that long drive back. We took our time getting out of town. Stopped in town and got jackets with our finishing time printed on the sleeve. Also picked up our belt buckles. We saw Rebbecca Rusch signing her new book “Rusch to Glory” and stopped by and bought some copies, got them signed, and talked a little shop. She was super nice and the book was a very entertaining read on the drive home. We were making super good time until we were a little outside of Vegas and then traffic stopped. We were cracked by the time we got to Vegas so we stopped for dinner and then we carried on, finally arriving back to LA around 3 am.