Tatanka 100 Mtn Bike Race PDF Print E-mail
Written by Amy Chiuchiolo   
Friday, 01 August 2014 09:57

Sturgis, South Dakota, June 28, 2014

The belated Tatanka 100 Race report! Now that I (and my bike) have ALMOST fully recovered from the Tatanka 100, here is the race report! The Tatanka 100 surely was an experience! More like an adventure race actually!

It poured the day before…and was pouring at 5 am for the race start! The trail was a muddy mess, and the mud was so slick…….it made holding onto my water bottle a challenge (it slipped right out of my muddy gloves!); it made my seatpost tool kit so muddy the velcro wouldn't hold and it fell off; it made it extra exciting climbing back out of the thigh deep flooded stream crossings, holding onto a rope so you wouldn't get washed away; it flung up and made my prescription sunglasses so muddy I could barely see, (nor could I look over the tops of them because of my very bad eyesight!); it made the "mandatory hike-a-bike" section quite the challenge, straight up a hill with a muddy river running down it; and it wreaked all sorts of havoc on everyone's bikes (Bike carnage everywhere! Derailleurs hanging off, broken chains, broken cranks, brakes unable to stop people, chain suck, etc etc!).

After the mud it was straight into the wind, uphill, for 17 miles at about 10 mph. Then came the missing trail signs, probably washed away in the rain or something, a large tree fall that made me think I had gone the wrong way, and then the thunderstorm brewing above my head at the top of the last climb. Oh, and the exciting finish through the city drainage ditch where I almost ate it slipping on the moss, probably swerving to avoid the waterfalls pouring in from the streets above my head!

In the end 8 women signed up for the race, 3 started, and 2 finished, with me in second by 18 minutes. While the race recovery really only took a few days, the poison ivy I ended up with took weeks to clear up, and was not beat without a visit to the doctor and some seriously strong steroid cream.

As for my bike, I needed new brake pads, a new brake rotor, a new bottom bracket, and a new tire since I had a blow out during the race and ended up with a huge slice in the side wall. But at least my bike was still working at the end of the race, which was better than a lot of people could say, including Tinker, who's brakes quit working, causing him to drop out!

I think this would be a fun race (lots of fun singletrack!) if the conditions were drier. It was well organized, cheap camping was provided, and the aid stations were great. It is part of the NUE series, and from my experience those races are always well supported and well organized. So, I do recommend giving it a try!! Just hope for drier weather!!