It’s that time of year again. Time for the leadville 100. And once again, I will be nowhere near there.

I actually have a confession to make. I pretty much wrote an entire post about leadville last night and then re-read it this morning because I wasn’t entirely happy with it, and ended up deleting it.

Why?

Because I was being a hater. I got off on a rant about how expensive leadville is, and how much of a media circus it’s turned into with all these pro road-racers toeing the line. I jumped on a soap box and it spiraled out of control. Yeah, it happens sometimes…..

When I re-read it this morning before posting, I realized that Leadville is what it is. It’s not for me, but that doesn’t mean I should hate on it for what it is or what it’s become. Sure, it’s a media circus; sure, it’s got an ungodly amount of road for a ‘mountain bike race’; and yes, you could buy 2 entries to old pueblo plus a tank of gas to get there for the cost of the entry fee.

But in the end, there are a lot of people out there who are totally stoked on training for it, riding it, and enjoying the scene that goes with it. And you know what? That’s cool by me. Those people may not be the same people who are going to come out for the Crazy 88. I may meet a few of them at some 24 hour races or NMES or AZES events, but certainly not the top-10. But they’re out there on a bike pushing themselves to see how far they can go, and that’s something I can get stoked on.

I wish everyone luck who’s gonna be up there this year racing, and I hope you all have a good time.

I will say this, though: You know what I would love to see this year? Jake the Snake get his time in the sun. I saw him at Late for the Train thursday morning before he was about to head north, and would love to see him on his way back through wearing yet another giant belt buckle and a 1st place finisher grin.

So, if I’m so down on leadville, what am I getting stoked for this year? I’ll tell you what: The Vapor Trail 125. Now THAT’s a mountain bike race that speaks to me. 125 miles, 20,000 feet of climbing, tops out over 12,500, starts at 10pm on saturday night. I’ll even forgive the $125 fee, because it’s gonna be so damn epic. It’s gonna hurt, and I may even cry at some point. I’m stoked.

I’ve been on and off the bike this summer, never really putting in huge miles, but still riding halfway decent. The last few weeks it’s been time to ramp that up. Now that my little race directing gig is out of the way, I’ve got even more time and I’m packin’ in the miles. I’ve got a lot of training to do, and not as much time as I would like to do it in, but I’m motivated again, and that’s what counts.

The carrot is sitting right in front of me, and I’ve got a few weeks left to go get it…..