Ride Report: Idaho City 100 ISDE Qualifier

June 2015 Racing, Travel Stephen W. Clark
This past weekend marked our annual trip West to race the Idaho City 100. This year was my third year competing in the event and after two years of struggling to the finish I was determined to come home with a better result. I started preparing in February riding as much as possible and constantly working to improve the set up of my KTM 300. Brock Buttars from Brockstar Suspension was super helpful mentoring me and for re-valving the suspension on the bike. Training and preparation for the race was all on-track until about three weeks before the race when the wet weather arrived leaving many of our local trails basically un-rideable and really limiting the amount of seat time prior to the race. After two years of being late to almost every checkpoint and struggling to finish in the A class I decided to enter the B class on the Long Course, this would allow for a few extra minutes to get to each checkpoint. 
We had a great group of about 15 guys mostly from the snowmobile industry all head over to Idaho City with 8 riders competing for the first time. It was really fun to introduce those guys to ISDE style racing.
I started on the 85th minute with Justin Stevens, almost immediately after leaving Idaho City the course turned off into single track and through a pretty technical rock section. Technical enough to get hung up and have to push the bike through, if this was a sign of what was about to come then we were in for a really long 114 mile day. I struggled through the first segment trying to fight of the nerves and get used to the terrain. Due to previous years performance I rode really conservatively in the first special test as I thought I would need the energy just to finish. I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at the first check point about 5 minutes early. Keeping a similar pace we got to the next checkpoint about 10 minutes early, this was a huge morale boost as I knew we had the pace to make the checkpoints while still having some energy left to push it in the special tests. For the rest of the race we continued to zero the checkpoints and get faster in the test, the highlight of the race was getting the 3rd best time of the class on the grass track. We finished the 114 mile course on time and really relieved that it went as well as it did. I ended up placing 6th in B4 Vet 30+ scoring a silver medal and 43rd overall in B. Had I known at the first special test that I would have had the energy to push to the end the results could have been different, but thats racing. 
Idaho City always leaves you feeling like you could have done better and I guess thats what keeps us coming back every year. Overall Im really stoked on how the race went and honored to have been able to compete in the event with what I feel is the absolute best bike and gear available. I really appreciate everyone who has helped out in the months prior to Idaho City and above all thank you for making such great products.
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