Butte 100 draws record number of riders

2011-07-31T00:00:00Z Butte 100 draws record number of ridersBy George Plaven of The Montana Standard Montana Standard

Storm clouds rolled over Homestake Pass Saturday afternoon and let loose a cooling burst of rain for mountain bikers still out riding the Butte 100 course.

Race director Gina Evans had just finished saying how the temperature could stand to drop 15 degrees. The heat only makes it that much tougher out there, she said.

A record 226 racers came from 14 states and Canada to test their endurance at the fifth annual event, with 50- and 100-mile routes looping through the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

Of those, 38 riders challenged the full 100 miles. Sunshine had crept back into the sky by the time renowned cyclist Tinker Juarez, 50, finished in first place with an unofficial time of nine hours, 

36 minutes.

Juarez, who placed third in the race last year, said the Butte 100 is one of the most difficult 100-mile rides in the land.

“It’s a great feeling when you accomplish something like this, and I feel very lucky I can still do it at my age,” Juarez said.

Evans is pleased to see the Butte 100 grow to the point where it is attracting riders the caliber of Juarez, she said. 

Turnout has increased every year since the race began with 86 riders leaving from Montana Tech. Riders came this year from as far as New Hampshire.

“This is going to keep spreading,” Evans said. “It’s a party on two wheels.”

Communications director Jon Wick said they recommitted to improving the race this year, revamping their website and bringing in Montana Timing from Billings to record quicker results.

Wick is most excited to showcase the beauty of Montana through the race, he said.

“We’re so lucky to live where we live,” he said.

Local biker John Coulthard, 53, rode the 50-mile race for the first time and said he thought it was well-run with more than enough support on the course.

The terrain from Burton Park to Pipestone is “relentless,” Coulthard said.

“It was a real good climb,” he said. “By the time I hit Pipestone, I was really cramping in my quadriceps.” 

The Butte 100 will have meetings over the next year to figure out possible improvements they can make for the 2012 race, Wick said. 

People already love to mountain bike, Wick said, and endurance mountain biking is the next big challenge. So far, the Butte 100 is keeping with the trend. 

“Our turnout shows what we’re doing here is good,” he said. “We’re far ahead of the game.”


— Reporter George Plaven may be reached via email at george.plaven@lee.net.  

Copyright 2015 Montana Standard. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. MadeInMT
    Report Abuse
    MadeInMT - August 01, 2011 1:10 pm
    The Butte 100 hosted 226 Mountain Bikers from accross North America, racing on trails through the mountains surrounding Butte. They rode 50 or 100 mile races, and were on established roads for approximately 2 miles for the 50's and 7 for 100's. Not alot of miles of miles "to get run over and killed" as "br549" would like to suggest.

    They race on bikes averaging from $2500 to $6000, so they have disposable income to spend on a really nice bike. Which means they have jobs and pay taxes. They help pay for the roads to get them to the trail, and the trails.

    Br549 is indicative of the mentality that must be changed. Those bikes shouldn't be on the road....they're going to get run over....if it's me or the bike I'm running over the bike. This nonsense needs to stop.

    Why not just slow down and give the cyclist some room on the road? Wait til it's safe, and pass them. Yeah, you might lose 15 seconds and .001 cents of gas, but you may just save a life.
  2. Mountainman
    Report Abuse
    Mountainman - August 01, 2011 12:41 pm
    This is a big event, as was stated in the story and the only picture of the mountain bike race is a bunch of people toodling down a paved road? Come on……
  3. br549
    Report Abuse
    br549 - August 01, 2011 7:01 am
    What an excellent way to get run over and killed.

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