Last weekend I got the opportunity to shoot the Bailey Hundo for Mountain Flyer Magazine. This was a race that had started out as a group ride and exploded into a happening 100 mile endurance race with the racer limit set at 150 invitees. Dave Weins, Travis Brown, JHK, Sonya Looney, Ezster Horanyi, and a host of other super fast folks spent the first half of the day ripping the killer single track around between Bailey, Buffalo Creek, and Deckers, and the second half of the day climbing back up to Bailey on a brutal climb up Stoney Pass Road.
Jason Bertolacci of Colorado Mountain Bike Association dialed me in on following the race in my car which was crucial, as I needed to know when the leaders would be coming through certain sections of the course. I definitely felt like I needed to do some scouting too (read: ride single track) so I spent five hours on the clock the day before the race. It was good: really good. So Luckily, with a lot of hustling, I was able to catch the leaders in three or four places throughout the single track portion of the race.
After that, I drove to the long dirt road climb but the first four riders had already gone up the road and I wanted to shoot a bunch of stuff on the way up the climb. It was a pretty awesome sight to watch these guys and gals work their way up through the burned out wasteland and finally into the trees at the top of the pass. I ended up shooting racers in about 5th thru 30th places as I leapfrogged them up the pass for a couple hours. There were some epic battles going on as each rider struggled with the conditions in their own way.
I knew quite a few people in the race, and one of my oldest racing buddies, Jason Stubbe was sitting in 20th place or so though out the race. 40 miles into the single track section I had ridden my bike a few miles out onto the Colorado Trail to shoot. Stubbe came by and I was screaming and yelling at him telling him he was doing great. He stopped for a minute and I helped him refill his camelback and grab a bite to eat. He was off down the trail "I feel good."
A couple hours later I'm half way up Stoney Pass Road and I know he should be coming up soon. I should have a cooler full of food but I literally have 1 small bottle of water and a cinnamon roll in my car. Ill prepared for hand-ups and for shooting all day. I'm parked at the top of a particularly steep section that climbs and turns into a stiff headwind, mile 85 or so.
Here comes Stubbe, I know the way he rides his bike, I've ridden with him for hundreds if not thousands of hours. He's hurting, I can tell. But he's still holding the same place he was 40 miles ago, sick. I yell down the road to him, "Stubbe!! I've got stuff for you!!." Not really, that is besides the 12 ounces of water and most of a cinnamon roll. He pulls up and gets off the bike and grabs a bit of shade from a tree. After drinking the water he grabs the cinnamon roll and picks up his bike asking me were we are. I don't know, maybe near the top? He slowly pedals off eating the roll.
Turns out we aren't that close to the top. After the finish he told me the cinnamon roll saved his life; I believe it. Stubbe ended up finishing 23rd overall, pretty damn fast for a guy that works his ass off building houses during the week! Anyway, Good times and suffering were had by all. Definitely check out the trail system in the Bailey area, lots of excellent single track!