Lutsen Report

Posted by Lutsen 69/99er on Jul 5th 2021

Lutsen Report

Wondering how the Gear West bikes and their riders did? Each Gear West Employee gives an update on their Lutsen event!

This was my first year of getting the chance to race the Lutsen 99er (cancelled in 2020). The event itself was a great time, thanks to everybody who supported the race; whether that be volunteers at the aid stations or fans cheering on the trail. Now onto the race! The beginning of the race was something new to me. Normally I race XC where there are less people, so the mass start with the neutral roll out was something new. Not much happened at the beginning, so I'll talk more about the middle and the challenging end. From mile fifteen to mile fifty-five I was with a group of eight and we worked together with each one of us taking a turn in the front. After mile fifty-five, a rider from the group and I created a gap from the other riders. We worked together for the latter part of the race, taking turns in the front, but at mile eight-five I started to fade slightly. Luckily, I found another rider to work with up until mile ninety-six. At ninety-six I created a gap from the rider I was working with and I kept the gap all the way to the finish. Wow, that finish was a challenging, yet fun way to end the race! To put it in words, at mile ninety-eight the race goes into singletrack (which is the fun part), then there is a good climb with a max gradient of 18%! My finishing time was 6 hours 10 minutes and 44 seconds which put me in 26 place overall. Can't wait for next year!

- Micheal Dalheimer

Lutsen was a ton of fun, definitely hooked. Started at the back of the pack and worked my way thru the field on the first climb to a group containing a few riders from my old stomping grounds of Mankato. Was excited to ride with some familiar faces but flatted on the first section of double track... my own fault for not avoiding a sizable rock. After I sorted the flat out it was smooth sailing to the finish line. On the drive home I was already contemplating the ideal bike setup for next time... Lutsen is coming!

- Tanner Westmoreland

My normal strategy for racing is to go out hard, die in the middle, and then barely finish. My first Lutsen 99er was no different and I executed that to perfection! Went out WAY to hard, and started cramping at mile 30. At mile 60 wolves literally ran across the road in front of me, and I thought I might actually die. By the end my cramps had gone away (thank you pickle juice!) but the course got extremely tough. Had a few people go down on the singletrack section right in front of me and I thought I was going to crash out but finally made it to the last uphill. I am already looking forward to the 2022 edition and maybe going out a little bit more intelligently.

- Corey Towle

Lutsen 99er was SO FUN and my bike was operationally terrific and my body was not! SO many obstacles including bringing home poison ivy when I fell because my eyes collected ALL the dust and created a blanket clouding my vision. I apologize to all those who wondered if I was tipsy when I swerved back and forth on the trail during last 10 miles. Can’t wait to sign up again!!!

- Jan Guenther

The 99er was great fun and pushed my physical and mental limits. I really enjoyed the great on course comradery with all my fellow shredders.

Next year I need to work on keeping my legs from cramping and carrying less food.

The on-course supply of food and drink was amazing! It's a very well-run event!

- Jeff Perry

I have been heading up to Lutsen for this race for the last several years. It is by far my favorite race of the year. I always choose to do the 69r race as I usually finish thinking “I am really glad I don’t have to be out there another 3 hours,” and this year was no different. I rode my Surly Krampus this year and it was super fun to ride. Between the double-track, gravel roads, and logging roads, the race course is absolutely beautiful, challenging, and fun! I rode the struggle bus for the last 15ish miles, but seeing everyone at the finish line revitalized me and affirmed that this is the best race in Minnesota. Then after (the race) grabbing a few beers, getting pizza, and then hanging out with my wife and our friends, it made for a wonderful weekend.

- Lucas Pedersen

Flatted around the 15-mile mark, worked to try and catch back up to the group I was working with, I found the flat was not properly fixed (my own fault). With a slow leak around mile 25 I found a friend who was dropping out due to a knee injury and with little convincing on how beer sounded better than trying to figure out this flat. I dropped out and found a couple beers to help get over this year's Lutsen. Wasn’t my first and won’t be my last. No gears and all the beers.

- Tim Shea

“The race was today?”

- Brodie Rau

-Posted by Lutsen 69/99er on Jul 5th 2021