Tuesday, November 20, 2018
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CB Classic course promises to punish all who dare to enter

Set your STRAVA for suffer

by Than Acuff

“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” 

—Eddy Merckx

CB Classic group ride organizer Dave Ochs invites mountain bike enthusiasts to show up at the Four-way Stop parking lot in Crested Butte at 5 a.m. on Saturday, September 19 and head out at 5:30 a.m. to take part in the 12th annual CB Classic group ride.

Back in July, when I heard about the proposed CB Classic route this year, I shared the news with a friend, to which they responded, “How many days?”

I then mentioned it to someone else, again back in July, and told them they had two months to prepare. They mentioned they couldn’t even ride that much over the course of two months.

I know that if I were to STRAVA the CB Classic, the time display would include days, hours and minutes, if that were even possible. I don’t STRAVA.

For the past 11 years, locals and a handful of visitors have gathered for the annual CB Classic group ride. It’s not a race, sort of. There’s no sanctioning body, no waivers, no online registration and certainly no drug testing. Basically, it’s just a bunch of people getting together early in the morning on a particular day to ride their mountain bikes for 100 miles, give or take.

In the past the course has been a series of three loops, all starting and ending in town. This year, group ride organizer Dave Ochs has upped the ante, as he often does, to design a course that starts in town and takes participants on a tour of some of the finest trails in the north end of the valley before finishing back in town.

The course this year is…

Start at the Four-way in town

403

401

Deer Creek

Teocalli Ridge

Up 400 to 405 (aka Double Top)

Down Hunter Creek

Cement Creek Trail

Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadman’s

Walrod

418 (aka Caves Loop)

409

Strand

Brush Creek

Rec Path

Bunny Hop the Vinotok fire (optional)

Brick Oven finish

“Prediction? Pain.”

—Clubber Lang

The Google Earth stats come in at 99.94 miles and 18,253 vertical feet of climbing. While the mileage is somewhat similar to years past, the new course adds on 7,000 feet of climbing. It’s basically a long, self-inflicted game of knockout.

“It’s strictly based on pain and determination,” says Ochs. “You gotta be able to take on both.”

While the usual three-loop format offered riders an opportunity to refuel back in town before heading back out, Ochs felt the new course was necessary during the typically busy weekend.

“It’s just too busy in town and it’s easier to spread it out over one gigantic loop and then just look for riders coming back to town 12 to 15 hours later,” says Ochs.

Feedback on the new course has been fairly positive and Ochs expects around 35 riders to line up for the challenge. This year, Ochs will add an educational aspect to the race, letting the participants know proper etiquette when riding on local trails.

“We’re going to celebrate our ranching heritage,” says Ochs. “Remind participants about shared use of our open spaces. Ranchers were here first. We need to close gates and be nice to the cows. It’s not going to be a bunch of riders charging up on cows.”

There will be an opportunity for participants to get supplies into the field. Ochs hopes to have rider support at the end of Deer Creek, the end of Cement Creek Trail and at the start of Walrod. Bring whatever you may need on the course to the start location at 5 a.m. and Ochs will rely on volunteers with trucks to transport your supplies to the rider support stations. He does recommend lights somewhere along the course because the race will be a beast and some riders could very well start and finish in the dark. That said, Ochs would like to remind any potential group ride participants to be prepared and not to bite off more than you can chew.

“You’re out on your own, bring emergency everything. It’s not for newbies for sure,” warns Ochs.

“Thank you sir may I have another… Thank you sir may I have another… Thank you sir may I have another…”

—Chip

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