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Really good race/ride they got over there in Spearfish.  An event that, I predict, is about to take off & really become a big time event in the region (aka, fill up immediately with registrants from here on out).  With the Laramie & Leadville races filling up in a matter of minutes this year, there were several from Colorado in Spearfish this weekend trying to get their enduro fix… 

The above stated, I did sorta start out racin’ it & pretty much ended things just ridin’ it.  About 90 minutes into really pushing things at the start, my lower back got super tight on me.  In hindsight, after the long drive over the day before, I shoulda stretched out more &, perhaps, even ridden around a bit the night before to loosen things up.  Oh, well…miserable experiences are the best educators in this matters so live and learn I guess.  The back spasms put me in the “Hurt Box” big time for about an hour or so as I feebly plugged along, getting passed by many of the folks that I’d worked hard to drop at the beginning.  I stopped a couple times to try & get it stretched out.  By the 2nd aid station was feeling better & was able to get going again, but was pretty timid for the remainder of the day. 

Great course…the whole way along.  Very scenic & lots of singletrack (maybe only 3-4 miles of road ridin’).  Great crowds at all the aid stations cheerin’ you on.  Has a bit of everything to challenge, encourage, reward & humble any rider.  Much more difficult than the York 38.  Yet, not over the top crazy like the Butte 50 or Laramie Enduro.  Unlike these two endurance beasts that I’ve suffered through in the past, it was nice to actually finish the Dak50 (in ~5 hours 10 minutes) and still have enough left in the tank to enjoy the post-race festivities…which are awesome (free food, beer, live music & tons of giveaways). 

The overall winner banged it out in around 3:45 (I think)…and there were some out there 10+ hours.  There’s no time cut-off, so there are plenty of folks that treat the thing as a tour with friends & just enjoy the long day in the saddle.  I was the 21st finisher of the 93 riders in the male 40-49 category.  It would have been ideal to try and work with Joe Hamilton (~4:35) for as long as possible, but I just couldn’t hang with him this day & got dropped quickly when my back started actin’ up.  He looked very strong when I did ride with him…

The Spearfish City campground (located right next to the start/finish) is the way to go for accommodations.  I slept pretty well, both nights, in the back of the Tacoma.  Quiet, pretty, plenty of showers.  Well maintained.  Maybe a bit pricey…$20 night/per tent.  However, from this location, you can bike anywhere you need to be or want to see of Spearfish.

The drive to & from is long (~8 hours from Helena), but mainly I-90 so the road is a good one.  I woke up yesterday @ 5:00.  Quick shower & on the road by 5:30.  Fast pits stops in Buffalo (WY) & Columbus (MT).  Home @ 2:30.  Unload the truck. Visit with family. Cleanup.  Dinner.  In front of the tube for the BSU v. VaTech game…which was a great game!

I’ve gone back & forth about whether or not Chris would like it.  I’d love to ride it with her.  However, I’m afraid she’d end up hating it if she road it with me (…“you make me nervous on the technical stuff”), but would/could finish & would find it very rewarding when she did.  She’d definitely need a dual-suspension bike.  Yes, I’d do it again.  In a heartbeat.  Love the Labor Day weekend date for the race…travel day on Monday is ideal.  If I lived in Billings, I’d be there every year for sure. 

My only real regret from this year, in hindsight, is that I should’ve man’d up & stopped for some bacon & PBR at that 4th aid station.  Next time for sure!



One Comment

  1. Another adventure to add to your biking history! Sounds like you had a great time even if your back was speaking to you. It was probably just telling you that it is time to climb into the recliner for a season of the “Cowboys.”
    I’m glad your home safe and sound.

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