Bust Your Butte Gravel Race

Monday duldrums am I right?  The 2018 Oregon Bike Racing season is in full effect, and spring has finally decided to grace us with her presence, so it is a grand time!  I won’t bore you with too many words, but I, Pam Power, had to do a quick recap of the inaugural Bust Your Butte Gravel race in south east Bend.  This race was put on by TFG Racing and Mathew Lasala of Lasala Images fame.

I was stoked about this race because being located in Bend, the elevation climbed during the race was minimal, only 2100′ give or take.  As someone who lives in the Portland area, my baseline for elevation is 0′ – 100′.  I can go and do endurance zone rides till the cows come home, but racing, with climbing against people who live at the base altitude of 4600′, that always makes things a little nerve racking.  So to only have to climb 2000′ or so, sweet!

When I checked the list of registrations on Wednesday there were only six women registered for the event period.  Wowsers, chances are good!  I had already decided I would do the short course option, 53 miles, versus the 81 miles, because well elevation.  It was super tempting to do the long course though because the winner in the open category would get a brand new Orbea gravel bike!  Also I had to drive back to Portland so I needed to not be completely shattered.  Did I mention that I did this as a day trip?

In the end there were 15 women who ended up competing in Bust Your Butte across all categories.  There was the Open Long Course, Masters 40+ Long Course, Open Short Course & Masters 40+ short course.  I heard Matt say he had about 100 people show up.  I think this is great for a first year event, the Gorge Gravel Grinder, part of the Oregon Gravel Grind Series only had 37 women and they had three course lengths.  Nice job TFG!

Oh and a big shout out to our coffee provider, Dapper & Wise.  I did this trip as a day trip.  So at 4:30am I powered down one cup of coffee while I ate some breakfast and took two travel mugs with me.  Going Highway 20 at that early morning, I wanted to ensure I was wide awake.  Did you know we sell Dapper & Wise coffee?  Well we do!  It is how we fund raise for our team to help cover gas expenditures, food and other costs that are incurred by the team.  Check out our store here and we can even deliver your coffee to you via bike.

The start of the race was out at Horse Tooth Trailhead, super cool spot I had never been to, which is odd considering how often we are in Central Oregon.  Driving up in our team van was so much fun, because well at least 1/3 of the people there had camping vans!  If you hadn’t gotten the memo that camping vans are the big thing with cyclists, now you know.  AND I met the woman who drove from Bend to Hillsboro to buy the EXACT SAME VAN that our family had bought a week before.  D’Angelo Auto Sales, you are now the Ford Transit broker to some awesome cyclists!  And Stephanie it was so great to meet you.  Next time I am in Bend we will have to hit up the trails.

The race was just like any other race, people rode their bikes, had a bunch of fun, got some flats and finished.  The course is better explained via pictures.  The gravel was seriously some of the best gravel I have ridden and made me so excited to ride and race more of it.  Here are some pictures so you can see what I mean.  And Poop Pillow Prem’s, awesome.  The deal was you grab one and have to carry it the whole rest of the way and you got $50, sweet!

All Images BelowProperty of Lasala Images

Bust Your Butte Long Course Women's Winner Ryan Leverling
Bust Your Butte Long Course Women’s Winner Ryan Leverling
Carrie Carney Winner Hutch's Bend
Carrie Carney Winner Bust Your Butte Master’s Short Course
Bust Your Butte Gravel Race Sister's Mountains View
Bust Your Butte Gravel Race Sister’s Mountains View

Bust Your Butte Gravel Race Bust Your Butte Gravel Race




Bust Your Butte Gravel Race Sand Finish











The end of the race was your typical hang out, commiserate about the red sand “gravel” from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks, smile about how great the rest of the course was and how you can’t wait to do it again.  Grilled sandwiches were provided, beer from Deschutes Brewery BUT I was definitely missing my Xylem Cider!  Nick, you are getting a full write up AND we need more for this coming weekend.  🙂  I am not a huge beer person so I wished I could have opened up my growler from my fav local cidery which wait for quite a long time for my podium.  Oh, did I forget to mention I won the Short Course Women’s Open Category???  I did!  I was able to bring home Bonk Collective’s first podium, though it definitely won’t be our last, for the year.

Best of Both RegistrationAfter I collected my pictures on the podium and the schwag I headed over to Project Bike for the Best of Both Race registration event.  Dominic and his team have done a kick A job with promoting this event and getting everyone excited for it.  I mean is it June yet?  I was able to meet Dom, who is all over social media.  I dare you to tag or hashtag #bestofbothrace and see how fast it takes him to like or respond, it is crazyness!?!?  Don’t you sleep Dom?  I also got to chat and share a drink with the nicest recovering triathalete, Matt Lieto.  Which I totally awkwardly fan girled, because well any pro athlete will do that to me.  The drive, ambition, talent, work ethic, what isn’t to just find amazing?  And hey you want to coach me now???  I seriously could have sat there and talked all night to those two and hope to chat with them more sometime.  Seriously Dom next time in Bend I want to take you to coffee.  And if you haven’t heard of the race yet, go over check it out and even register!  The more the merrier!

Bust Your Butte Short Course Open Winner

Now a significant amount of money in race registrations later, some cool winner schwag heavier and super tired, I started the drive home.  I wished I had more coffee, that I had packed more food for the drive home, but I knew that would make me drive that much faster.  I had left Portland just shy of 5:30am and I rolled into our driveway at 9:30pm.  My legs felt good, my head was exploding due to a migraine from just the length and efforts of the day, and I said hi to my husband and rolled into bed.  I was done…all done.

I never saw myself as a huge racer but after a super fun cross season last year and consistent training over the winter, this is fun.  Man this is fun.

Thanks again TFG Racing, Dom with Best of Both Races and all the racers for such an awesome day.  Totally worth the seven hour drive.


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