Just wondering why the Repack record still stands as it was set in 77, is it out of respect for Gary or just not something someone does any more?
I rode it just the other day on my FS, disc brake modern bike, and I don't think I can go any faster on it than BITD. I was riding in shorts and jersey, with no armour, so I rode at about 80% rather than race speed, but I can still get around five minutes.
In its heyday the course regulars were turning in times under 4:40 on a regular basis and consistently within a few seconds of their previous times. Under optimum conditions a few got under 4:30. I think the key was that we were racing a lot, and dialing in the course, which is essential to a top time.
The first 200 yards are slightly uphill with a soft surface, and there were as much as five seconds that could be taken there by fast riders over slow riders, which is why the top times were turned in by road racers. On the record setting day, Gary took off with a strong tailwind that probably earned him a couple more seconds.
The course changes from season to season, and it now has waterbars that didn't exist then. Because it has those waterbars, it no longer has the deep erosion ruts that followed the fall line.
Since so much of my life pivoted on that event, every time I ride it is an emotional as well as a thrilling experience, of a sort I share with perhaps half a dozen others. There is no way to put it into words.
My book, Fat Tire Flyer: Repack and the Birth of Mountain Biking
is at your bookseller and on Amazon