Q: What is the date of the event?
A: The 2021 Vapor Trail 125 will take place on August 27-28, 2021.
Q: When and where does registration start?
A: Registration begins at Absolute Bikes, 330 W Sackett in Salida at 7 PM on the Saturday of the event weekend. At approximately 8 PM there will be a mandatory rider’s meeting, also at Absolute Bikes.
Q: When and where does the race start?
A: The race starts at 10 PM on the F Street bridge over the Arkansas River at 7,000 feet elevation.
Q: I have never ridden the Vapor Trail 125, but would like to ride. Why do you require riders to submit resumes in order to register for the event?
A: This event is somewhat unique. It takes more than skills on the bike. Read the Event Details page for some insight.
Q: How many Aid Stations will there be and how far between Aid Stations?
A: Please read this Course/Event Breakdown.
Q: What can I expect at Aid Stations?
A: Our nutrition sponsors for 2021 are Tailwind Nutrition, Honey Stinger, and Kate’s Real Food. Tailwind will be supplying endurance drink; both caffeinated and non-caffeinated. So at every aid station there will be Tailwind. Kate’s Real food are hearty energy bars. Also every aid station will have plain water. Other food is available, and it typically breaks down like this:
- Aid Station #1, which you’ll reach probably 3-4 hours from the start, has traditionally served breakfast burritos
- Aid Station #2, which you’ll reach in the morning (before light if you are hella fast) is staffed by a Gunnison Valley crew who typically serve up pancakes, coffee, and various breakfast-ish things.
- Aid Stations #3 and #4 tend to have sandwich fixins, chips, coke, cookies and that sort of thing. Expect the un-expected. We try to get creative and have what will sound good.
- Aid Station #4 will be a double visit. It’s about 90 minutes from Aid #3. But then you have a 1-2 hour excursion that will bring you back to Aid #4 for a second pass.
- Aid Station #5 is “The Dinty Moore Station”. Among other things, expect soup. It’s located at the Rainbow Trail trailhead, approximately 20 miles from the finish.
Q: When and where will I get access to my drop bag, and can I put stuff in or just take stuff out? When and where do I drop off my drop bag?
A: The drop bags will be at Monarch Pass, Aid Station #3. The very fastest riders reach Aid #3 at very close to dawn. Most people will be there between 8 AM and Noon. You can drop your lights, warm clothing only needed over night, etc. You can put a change of clothes, a lighter pack, a Thanksgiving Dinner, whatever you think you might need. Within reason… no kitchen sinks please. You will put your drop bags into a trailer that will be parked outside Absolute Bikes during registration. It will still be there minutes before the start, but don’t leave your drop bag to the last minute. Unless you’re into stuff like that.
Q: Will the course be marked?
A: Yes, the course is marked. There will be ribbons of a distinct color. You will see a sample of the ribbon at the rider’s meeting. It is our custom for course markings to always be on rider’s right. If ever you pass to the left of a ribbon it’s likely that you are going off course. At times there are also yellow signs, and sometimes we have glow sticks. But even with our best efforts to make the markings obvious, every year somebody goes off course at least for a while. It is a very good idea to familiarize yourself with the course at least at a rudimentary level. And please be aware when you pass any possible turns to watch for markings and think carefully about what you see.
Q: Are there any cut-offs?
A: Yes. Some are soft cut-offs or guidelines, some are hard and fast rules.
- From the start, if you don’t arrive at the beginning of the Colorado Trail Segment by midnight, it’s not a good sign. We send a sweep rider after the last event rider to start on the Colorado Trail. We can’t hold that sweeper for very long after midnight.
- If you aren’t ready to leave Aid Station #1 by about 2:45 AM, again, it’s not a good sign. We can only hold up the sweep for so long. As you leave Aid #1 and head up to Hancock Pass, you need to keep in mind that if you go over the divide and then poop out, gravity is not on your side. Make sense?
- At Aid #2 you are on the other side of the Continental Divide. We don’t really cut riders there because we don’t really have a set up to get you a ride back over to Salida. So we encourage you to be practical as you ride the first part of the event.
- At Aid #3, Monarch Pass, if you aren’t ready to leave by noon, it’s not a good sign. We won’t necessarily pull you from the event, but it’s going to be time to really think about the rest of your day.
- You pass Aid #4 twice. After you have visited your second time, if you aren’t leaving by 5 PM you’re done. The sweep rider will already be on his way, and we can’t send any of our motorized support out on that section, so we won’t let you continue.
- If you do not arrive at the Rainbow Trailhead in time to leave by 6:30, we will not let you continue onto the Rainbow Trail. By late August to early September there isn’t enough ambient light to ride after about 8 PM.
Q: Is this event as hard as you say?
A: Yes. Super hard. It will be a glorious moment in your life when you complete the course.