We were able to get three team members all the way up to Carrabassett Valley, ME this year to have a crack at the Carrabassett BC Challenge. Myself and Shaun in Singlespeed and Jean racing in Sport. The BC Challenge is in its 3rd year, I believe they’ve been making tweaks and adding new trail to the course and I can’t speak to previous years but I think this years course was excellent.
Chatting with the promoters immediately after finishing the first thing that came to mind to describe the course when they asked me what I thought was that at times I wanted to kill them and at times I wanted to kiss them. In my world that is a perfect endurance course. It should be hard and there should be times where you just want to quit and you are cursing whose ever idea it was to incorporate whatever it is you are struggling with. On the other hand they should also incorporate the things they are most proud of in their area and the Carrabassett Chapter of NEMBA has done some amazing work up there over the last few years.
The purpose built singletrack that was a part of the course was classic New England style riding. Rooty, twisty, plenty of flow. Very hard to pace yourself because all you wanted to do was let it rip.
I think this is probably one of the more consistently technical 100K courses I have done. Much of what I believe they considered doubletrack was actually a lot more like singletrack with really only one established line within a wider track. It was a tough course to ride fully rigid. I took a beating on some of those high speed descents and had to stay very alert at all times to avoid getting a really close up view of the terrain.
Some river crossings came at some very opportune times to help manage the heat. Aid stations were well stocked and the volunteers were great.
All in all probably one of my best 100K experiences (click here for the full recap) and to have all the proceeds go directly back into trail building and maintenance in the area is an added bonus. I’m sure Dave and the rest of the Carrabassett Chapter have all kinds of great stuff in store for us in the years to come.
If you haven’t had a chance to get up that far North, add it to your to-do list. Its gorgeous and the riding is only getting better.