Markley headed out to the wilds of West Virginia for the annual Wild 100. The Wild 100 is considered by some as the hardest mountain bike race in the east. It surely delivered on the pain and torture factor. This was truly a back-country race as the race director claims. The Wild 100 is set up in the format of an adventure race. You must go through 6 checkpoints in order, which culminates around 100 kilometers in distance. The race started off with a 6 mile climb straight up. Having local knowledge of the trails does make a difference as Markley soon found out. After checkpoint 1 there was a decision to make, either ride back out the way he entered or continue forward on a trail that even has a stamp of not recommended. Markley thought what the heck and determined even if he had to hike a bike for 2 miles it would be quicker, WRONG! After trodding over boulders and crossing multiple creeks he finally made it back to a decent trail. Oh, in the meantime roots, limbs, rocks, mud and stinging nettle tickled the forward progress as a bonus. Markley began riding again after his sideshow and soon found himself with a major malfunction. All of a sudden while riding with another rider his left leg lost stability on his crank arm. The crank arm had come off and this spun his brain into panic mode. He thought the race was over and here he is in the middle of no where with a broken crank. In order to calm down he got off the bike and walked for 5 minutes before even looking at the damage that had showed it’s ugly head. After stopping and looking at the crank he realized it had come loose. Still not able to think straight two other riders happened along. They brought calm to the situation and after 15 minutes or so all of them were able to get the crank arm back on and re-secured. A huge thanks to these guys for stopping there race and giving assistance. A great lesson learned for all of us that race, it is just a race and it is more important to help each other out and cherish the camaraderie. That’s what is all about in life, especially while living the dream. Back to the race and moving forward, Markley was cautious as to not punch too much torque out on the crank. For the rest of the race it nagged at him that the crank arm would fall off again, it never did. Markley continued to race on and met some wonderful riders with great talent. He rode with them back and forth. After checkpoint 5, Markley felt like the crank arm was actually going to hold up and he let the adrenaline rush through him and began an attack to the finish. He passed several riders in the process and ended up finishing the brutal yet super awesome course in 8 1/2 hours. This was a good time, especially considering the navigational mistakes of a Wild 100 rookie and the crank arm falling off. In the end an hour was lost due to these side adventures, but stilling pulling out 2nd in the FT Division was a great accomplishment. The elevation gain was 11,000 feet over nearly 60 miles. That will surely get your heart cranking. The after party was super and the riders along with race management were awesome people at this venue. The dinner after the race was DELICIOUS. Markley plans to return to this venue and highly recommends this one as rite of passage if you’re a serious mountain biker. The weak need not apply for this truly epic race. A couple of shout outs once again to our great sponsors at Price Point and Sette for kicking out bomber products. The Sette FX/2 OS Carbon Handlebar delivered the flex and give needed to survive this course. Due to the hike a bike sections on this course, the Sette New Epic shoes allowed Markley to traverse through creeks and over boulder fields while maintaining traction. He was able to jump back on the bike and stay locked in with the firmness needed to crank out the pedal strokes without give. Zym electrolyte tablets delivered as always, keeping Markley balanced as the demands of the course drained him. Kenda Nevegal tires allowed for solid traction over the demanding course and multiple terrain features. THANKS GUYS!