The Leadville 100 MTB is right around the corner. For many, this is the biggest race of the season – or even racing careers. Years of work are put to the test at the highest of elevations in an attempt to earn "The Buckle". Some will have a good day, strong legs, and big lungs. Many won't.

SoCal's Erin Machan is one rider that has stepped up for the challenge.
he comes from an endurance and multi-sport background and has put her focus into endurance mountain biking. She'll put all her experience to use to make it to Leadville's downtown finish line red carpet. And she'll need it. It's estimated that only 65% of the field will finish under the 12 hour cutoff time. 

In the week leading up to Leadville, Erin will check in and share her Leadville experience.  


Driving into Leadville is a kind of a magical experience. Actually, the entire drive from Southern California to Leadville is “magical”. First you have to survive the crazy traffic out of SoCal, then you have to survive the crazy dessert traffic to Las Vegas, and then it’s just a beautiful open road that goes from the desert mountains of Utah and into the beautiful Colorado landscape. When I finally drove into Leadville I could hardly feel the 16 hours of driving behind me. The mountains in the distance still have snow and the views are spectacular 360 degrees around you and in the middle of it all is this tiny mountain town. It literally takes your breath away. I mean I could hardly breath! 

It’s hard to put the feeling in words; there is excitement from all the racers and mountain bikes, there are nerves from the big race ahead and the unknown, there’s anxiety from traveling alone in a new place, there’s an overwhelming amount of gratitude for every single step that brought me to right where I am, and a million other thoughts and emotions occurring all at once. 

Once I got settled in to my FOURTH floor apartment with no elevator, I set out on a ride just to spin out the legs after the long drive. I heard about the Mineral Belt Trail so I set out to find it. It’s about an hour ride on a paved trail that circles through and above the town. It was absolutely beautiful and a perfect way to really take in the mood of the town. Leadville is such an active place. The whole town just emanates adventure of all kinds and for anyone. Not even a few hours in town and I was absolutely in love! 

By : Erin Machan