• The Mendocino 100: Classic, Classy Endurance Racing Under the Redwoods

    by  • July 11, 2014 • mtb, norcal scene

    Whether you consider beer and whiskey handups during a bike race to be classy is an entirely different opinion set, but without a doubt, the race course, volunteer staff, competitors, and laid-back vibe at last weekend’s second annual Mendocino 100 shone to a high standard.

    “Everybody that’s here that I’ve talked to had a great time,” remarked SuperPro events fearless leader Murphy Mack. “The riding was awesome. The trails were in prime shape. Volunteers were happy to be out there. Aid stations were fully stocked and the weather cooperated. We didn’t have any serious crashes or injuries and everyone made it back in one piece, more or less.” While a few racers inevitably wandered off-course, derailing their results, the hundred miles was for the most part extremely well-marked, including plenty of “comfort flagging” to soothe the tired mind of continued status on-route. “I would say it was a success,” continued Mack. “Last year we had some difficulties with the route due to logging concerns trimming back the mileage. This year we didn’t have any issues with that. Taking what we’ve learned this year, next year’s route will be even better.”

    While many miles of fire road created a chance to make time fly fast, the course contained plenty of wildly entertaining technical downhill singletrack. “We added more of the fun single tracks as downhill,” elaborated the SuperPro Grand Poohbah,  “like Manly Gulch, the Big Tree trail, and Boiler, which are some of the local favorites. We tried to run people down the fun single tracks and have them take the less technical single tracks up, when possible, because we wanted it to be as much a giant luge run as possible. People say [the course] is a lot of radness and the climbs were fun. It was mostly entertaining even when they were buried in type II and type III fun.” Info on next year’s Mendocino 100 will eventually be found, closer to the 2015 date, at http://superproracing.com/.

    The involvement of local Mendocino county mountain bike advocates and riders proved of wonderful benefit to the event and the participants. Pending non-profit bike club Mendocino Coast Cyclists (MCC) staffed the aid stations and assisted in course setup and takedown. Besides helping outside events in the Jackson Demo Forest area, the group also puts on the Caspar Classic XC and the Mendocino Coast Fat Tire Festival, which may be of interest to those wanting to try the great trails the area has to offer, but for a few less miles than 100. Check the club’s website for further info at http://www.mendocc.org/Mendocino_Coast_Cyclists/Home.html.

    With the addition of so much good singletrack and more races over the past couple of years, Mendocino has become a not-so-secret-for-long mecca of great dirt riding. “Back in 2010 and 2011, we told City Council, County Supervisors, and the business community to keep their eyes on the MTB scene; that it would begin to grow and they would feel the positive effect,” said Amy Wynn of MCC. “It’s now 2014, they have been feeling the effect growing over the past 3 years, especially now that the Coast was written up in BIKE Magazine. We’re all pretty excited and proud and look forward to what happens next.”

    The end of the 100 mile race saw local Brian Astell take the men’s field win by a huge margin, followed by Aaron Glick and Eric Colton. The top woman finished with an equally impressive margin, with Ellen Sherrill next, and Julie Kanagy rounding out the podium. The 100k race men’s top 3 were Brian Neary, Richard Nielsen, and Chris DuBurg; top 3 women were Bailey Smith, Merideth Obendorfer, and Chava Kronenberg. Those crazy, wacky singlespeeders came out to play as well, their 100 mile top 3 seeing Kirk Fitzpatrick, Sasha Magee, and Michael Jordan finish within astoundingly close margins of each other (one second between Magee and Jordan!) Aron Yevuta won the 100k singlespeed race with a very respectable time compared to his geared competitors, in spite of no others in the field. There were no women singlespeeder starters.

     

     

     

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