David Trotter’s Battle of the Bear WIN REPORT!
Leading up to Battle The Bear, the majority of my training consisted of intervals, of various intensities and durations, taking place in my living room, on the trainer, most evenings after work for the past three months or so. I’ve had a few early morning rides, a few quick after work rides and some enjoyable weekend rides, but without much time on dirt I planned to treat this as a test of my current fitness rather than a race. Opting for the shortest distance, around 22 miles, my plan was to warm up thoroughly before the race and try to maintain a heart rate north of 160bpm for the entirety of the race.
Having that said, I know this course is tight and it can be difficult to find room to pass, so I did intentionally line up at the front of the starting line and put the pedal to the metal as we raced to the single track. I was out sprinted to the single track by two other racers; a junior who was likely all hopped up on mountain dew and the 2016 Women’s Fat Bike World Champion who showed no fear when she cut in front of me and proceeded to slowly pull away – bringing my ego with her. It’s worth noting that she was not on her fat bike at the time.
I have to thank fellow pedal racer, Dustin Kilness (30-39), for taking a slight lead over me and pushing the pace throughout the whole event. I was able to keep my heart rate above my target, I didn’t make any major mistakes and I had no mechanical issues to slow me down. Trying to chase down Dustin for an hour and a half was enough to get me across the finish line in 1st place for the 20-29 year old age category. The Bear Creek Campground trail system is one that I don’t particularly favor compared to others in the area, however in a race setting it is a blast and actually one of my favorite places to race. The course is very fast, exciting and generally less painful than many of the other Colorado races. I highly recommend Battle The Bear to racers of any ability level, but I also strongly encourage the use of sealant in your tires or tubes. I pulled five goat heads from my tires after the race, each resulting in a small hole that my sealant quickly closed.
Overall, racing Battle The Bear was a great time, pedal had a good presence, I was satisfied with my early season fitness and I look forward to the next race.