When: September 12, 2018
Where The gravel and logging roads amongst the north woods of Laona, WI
108 mile (100 preregistered) race:
Jeff Abitz backed out of his driveway at 4:00 am Saturday morning, eager to defend his 2017 Bear 100 overall winner title. He knew it would be difficult, but did not expect the high caliber of competition this year...
First, there was about one hundred riders at the 7:00 am start line. Then, about 20 miles later, there was about ten at the pointy end. With about 20 miles to go Jeff, found himself struggling to contribute to the three man group he found himself in.
Anyone who has ever tried to paceline on gravel and logging roads knows of the challenges that holes, sticks, ruts, and assorted carcasses can present (Thank you Lauf Grit suspension fork and custom Matt Fischer wheels).
He (okay I!) took what I thought would be my final effort up a gentle incline and a minute later found myself alone with (Category 1, 32 year old) Brian Kaker. We worked together another five miles, but eventually Brian would accelerate away from my 49 year old body, beating me by three minutes. Maintaining a fatigued, but steady pace, I held off a charging third place rider for second overall.
I'll take it.
Jeff Abitz - 2nd overall - 5 hours, 47 minutes
68 mile (78 pregistered) race:
Nick Niemi - 10th overall!