This past Sunday, Lindsey and I packed up my car and left town at 4:30AM to race in the Michaux State Forest. This race, Michaux Maximus, is the first in the Volvo Michaux Endurance Series. The longest distance is 30miles, which we both competed in. It is probably one of the longest feeling, and most technical 30 miles I have ever ridden. If I were to guess, I would say probably 75-80% of this course was rocky, gnarly, and bumpy singletrack. It was AMAZING.
The course loops through many different eco-systems, making Michaux feel like a magical place where you're not sure what the terrain will turn into within the next few miles. From the start, it was 1.3 miles exactly down a fire road to bone-jarring single track. Lots of pine trees, roots, and baby heads. Around mile 8 was the big climb of the day - Dead Woman Hollow. This climb had some steep sections, but it mostly just felt like it went on forever. Luckily for me, I seem to be better at climbing than descending on a mountain bike, so I took advantage of that and put in a little more speed to get it over with as quickly as possible.
In the middle of the race, it turned into a more desert-like landscape; with sand and brush, and an entire section of clear-cut. The sun was just beating down on us in this section, and it was getting very hot. By the 2nd aid station I had run out of water and couldn't even stand the thought of putting solid food in my stomach. The couple of miles just before the 2nd aid station was probably my favorite. It was singletrack that looped around, over, and through beautiful, clear, full streams. At one point I got off my bike and walked through the water just to feel that beautiful cold water.
From the 2nd aid station it was only 3 miles up a gradual climb to the finish. Feeling newly rejuvenated with fresh water and electrolytes, I pedaled up that road as fast as I could (or at least that's what it felt like by that point).
At the finish, everyone was greeted by smiling, happy faces, and big cheers, making you feeling like a million bucks. Participating in this race renewed my love for mountain biking.
Lindsey had a great day, finishing 3rd! And I finished 7th. We cannot wait to go back in July for Curse of Dark Hollow!
I rode my 2014 Hardtail Stumpjumper Comp with Stan's Crest Wheels. Though the trails were very bumpy, it performed beautifully!
Click HERE for a link to the course on Strava