I rode the complete Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 course today and was thinking about the course times and “records”. I was kind of thinking about reading about Todd comparing his times to JHK, etc. after winning Leadville on Saturday.
My view on comparing times in MTB races is like trying to compare times in cyclo-x races year to year. It is totally irrelevant what the winning time is. It is just who wins. The course conditions and weather dictate the times immensely.
The Chequamegon course has changed dramatically year to year. I’ve won with a 2:18 and got 3rd with a 2:02 or so. The course mainly changes from the logging, thus resurfacing roads, etc. The route has changed too, with the Forest Service closing roads and Gary just changing the course. So, a course record is not really important.
Anyway, the course right now is pretty slow. The Birkie Trail is really eroded from all the rain. And most of the road have new thick gravel, making them much slower. I’d been really surprised if the time in a month is fast.
Catherine and I rode the course in about 2:45 today going pretty hard. I rode the Seeley Firetower Climb in my big ring and felt good at the top. I doubt that was the correct gear to go up the climb the quickest, but it was comfortable. Anyway, it was a super nice day to ride out in the North Woods. I went by to see Mr. Fat himself, Gary Cradell, but he was up in Duluth hanging this afternoon. So then went by the Rivery Eatery and had a beer on the way back to Dennis’ house. It was sooooo good. We’re just loading up to go back there right now for dinner. Pretty good day.