The Cache Creek Mountain Bike Race isn’t new, but there were some new folds to the 2019 edition.
Chiefly there was the addition of a long course, in which Bart Flynn claimed the title in 1 hour, 23 minutes, 47 seconds in the men’s race and Caedran Harvey came away with the women’s title in 1:38:08.
The other was the pay-what-you-can entry fee, which JHCycling introduced for all of its races this year in an effort to allow people to pay what they think the races are worth. Executive Director Forest Dramis described it as a “social experiment.”
“We realized there’s a contingent in Jackson of super rich and the entry fee doesn’t matter, and also the everyday workers where the price does matter,” he said. “We wanted to let people basically tell us what the event was worth to them.”
The results were disappointing. The entry fee a year ago was $35 per athlete, but Dramis said the average person paid less than 30% of that this year.
“It is disappointing, but it’s what we honestly expected,” he said. “A lot of people only paid $1. A small handful paid more than their fair share.”
For the race itself, the 18-mile long course was added only because the U.S. Forest Service allowed the club to try it on a temporary basis, Dramis said. Judging by entries alone, the longer course was a big hit. Between the men’s and women’s races, the long course drew 32 adults; the 10.5-mile short course drew only 15.
“Surprisingly, most of the people did the long course instead of the short course,” Dramis said. “A pretty clear majority of participants liked the longer course better, for sure.”
Harvey is the de facto record holder for the long course by taking the inaugural victory, but she’s also the record holder in the short course race. She set that in the 2017 race with a 52:17 finish.
For this year’s short course, Brent Peacock claimed the men’s race in 51:31, more than six minutes ahead of second place. Diana Welch took the women’s race in 1:08:40.
Those who missed out on the Cache Creek race, or those who would like a chance to bolster revenue via the new “social experiment” payment model, will get their chance again later this month.
The Teton Pass Hill Climb runs July 28 on Old Pass Road in Wilson. Harvey has the women’s course record there, with a 31:15 finish at last year’s race. Gabe Klamer owns the men’s course record of 26:05, set in 2016.
Following that race, the Palisades Pie Ride takes place Aug. 17 with both a short course and a long course. That race is free, though the organization suggests a donation.