By Chris Eatough
Through all my years of mountain bike racing, the NUE is my favorite series. I have strapped a NUE number plate onto my bike many times, and every single one was filled with trepidation and excitement and took me to my physical and mental limits. Here are some of the memories that will remain forever:
The NUE series has grown tremendously from the early days of East Coast focus and grass roots events to a truly nationwide, diverse, organized and broad-reaching movement. The grass roots elements are still strong, however, since the same dedicated, passionate people are still running the series, and the original classic races such as Shenandoah 100 and Mohican 100 are still very much unchanged. Each event has been crafted with pride from a small group of local mountain bikers. I have no doubt that each race course was conceived from the concept of linking together all the best local mountain biking into one big, tough, epic ride. The question, “Can we even ride all of that in one day?” was inevitably part of the process as each race course was designed. This is what makes the NUE Series the best in the country. Races full of challenge, passion, and camaraderie.
Everyone who has ever participated in a NUE race understands this, and inevitably comes away with a strong desire to do it again. For those of you who have not experienced this, I strongly recommend it. You will come away with a new appreciation of the word “epic”.
To provide training support and tips, and to provide access to my NUE knowledge and experience, I have created several training plans for 100 mile races. They are available for purchase on my website here. You will find specific plans for the Cohutta, Mohican, Lumberjack, High Cascades, Wilderness and Shenandoah races. The general 100 miler plan works well for any 100 mile mountain bike race. These plans will help you prepare properly and arrive at the race with your best possible fitness.