Team JH Rider Mike Piker Places First at Pierre’s Hole 50 Mountain Bike Race
Race Summary by Mike Piker
With the Breck Epic starting the following week after Pierre’s Hole, I decided to use the 50 mile race as a final tune up. Pierre’s offered great high altitude riding with plenty of climbing and lots of fast single track.
It was “T” minus 15 minutes to the start and I felt like something was missing. Water bottles, check; spare tube & co2, check; Gu’s & Endurolytes, check; timing chip…oh sh*t!
So, I quickly jumped out of the staging area and rode down to the truck, found the ankle chip and made it back to the starting line with less than 5 minutes to spare. Whew!
When the race started I watched in amazement as a drag race ensued up the first climb. I was starting to wonder if I had entered a short track race instead of a 50-mile marathon by the way everyone was attacking the first hill. It seemed many racers were into the “Red” zone and we were not 100 yards into the race. However, I stuck to my plan to manage my heart rate and knew I would see almost all of those same riders before the end of the first of two laps.
The new course is a gem with moderate climbs and and flowing single track. One of the new single track descents is named 38 special and includes 38 well designed switchbacks merging into the existing improved Millcreek trail. This course section drops approximately 2000’ to the valley floor and is a highlight of the race. Also, this year the dreaded Bustle Creek/Dry Creek section was removed and, to my knowledge, not one racer complained. In previous years it was this section that broke many racers (mentally and physically) and might have persuaded others not to return. Another great section of the course is the section through Rick’s Basin. Riding the moderate climbs and descents through the aspens is cross-country mountain biking at its very best.
The strategy of managing my heart rate paid dividends during the second lap and I never experienced the “low” points, which often occur during a marathon race. By the end of the two laps I had also managed to avoid any mechanical problems and was able to finish strongly. When I crossed the finish line I was the first 40+ racer and fourth overall. It was a good result to cap a great day of racing.
Congratulations go out to Andy Williams and the Targhee staff for putting on a fantastic event. The race was well organized, the course well marked and the venue nothing short of spectacular.
See the Full Pierre’s Hole Race Results here.