Get Ready To Rumble At Butler

La Grange cross-trainer
finds success on Butler’s bike trails

Ben Fronczek
Staff Writer

(August 2001) Carrollton, Ky – Doug Bodhaine has always looked upon the bicycle trails at Gen. Butler State Park with high esteem. The first time he ever raced on them, he finished first in his age group. That was at the annual Mudfest race this past spring.

Doug Bodhaine

Doug Bodhaine

On July 15, the La Grange, Ky., resident’s streak of good luck on the Butler trails continued. He finished third in his age group in the 11th annual Mud, Sweat and Gears cross-country race. This race is broken down into two categories: a 10-mile race for beginners and a 25-mile race for more advanced riders.
Even though Bodhaine, 34, was tired as he pulled across the finish line, he stood strongly and proudly by his 2001 Trek 9.8 mountain bike. Any long distance rider needs this kind of endurance to be successful, and being a distance runner as well, Bodhaine is quite used to it. This year marks his first full year of mountain bike racing, but his distance running experience precedes that.
He first got involved in bike racing after trying to persuade a friend who biked to join him in running. When that didn’t work, Bodhaine decided to give in and accept his friend’s invitation to race on wheels. After all, he immediately recognized similarities in the two physical activities.
“The main similarity is your maximum heart rate in either running or riding is about 180 or 190,” he said. “You’re taking your body to the maximum depletion of oxygen.”
Bodhaine has learned the balance and limits of trying to do both. He recalled a weekend when he ran a 10K race on a Saturday and raced at Fort Duffy, Ky., on a bicycle the next day. “My legs were spent. I was so exhausted,” he recalled.
As a result, he has set up his weekly training to consist of one day of running, three days of riding two hours on a road bike and one day of a one-hour ride on a mountain bike.
“You can’t do too much training on a mountain bike because it beats your body up,” he said. “That’s why I do a lot of the extensive training on a road bike.”
In the midst of his weekly training, Bodhaine finds time for a job and family. He is a pilot for the United Parcel Service. He and his wife, Sharon, are raising two children, Joanne, 5, and Avery, 2. He races nearly every weekend during the summer months, being part of the Kentucky Championship Series.
Bike Butler is just one of the many courses ridden in this series. The course was established in 1989 by Owenton, Ky., resident Richard Matthews and has played host to four major competitions a year. It is used exclusively for competitive mountain biking events.
The first event is the April “Mudfest” followed by “Mud, Sweat and Gears,” which takes place in mid-July.
“We’ve had as young as 2-year-olds participate,” said Matthews. “Their course is a lot easier than that for advanced riders.
Another aspect of the July race is the International Clydesdale Competition, featuring cyclists who weigh more than 200 pounds.
“It always peaks people’s interest to see these big guys on bikes,” said Matthews. He added that a lot of the weight on many of these riders is muscle and not fat.
On Aug. 26, mountain bikers are invited to gear up for the eighth annual Off-Road Triathlon.
“In this area, there hadn’t been an off-road triathlon until the past few years,” said Matthews. He said the event is similar to the iron man bike races, “except it is mountain biking instead of road biking.”
The season ends Sept. 16 with the state competition biking championship known as the Kentucky Open.
Competitors seem to welcome the course’s challenges. “It’s very well set up and very well marked,” said Joey Ernst, a Madison, Ind., resident who has competed there.
“It’s a very technical course,” he continued, which means the land on the course is not wide and flat, but the trails are narrow with challenges like rocks. Ernst maintains it is challenging in comparison to many on which he has ridden.
“It’s a fairly fast course,” said Bodhaine. “There aren’t as many big climbs as a lot of other courses. In the back section there are a lot of overgrown trees and tight turns, and you can’t see a lot of what’s coming.”
Even though the Bike Butler course is used solely for competitive mountain biking, Matthews is working to apply other uses for the course.
“We are working with the state to add hiking trails,” he said. “On any other day (than competitions), hikers are encouraged to use the hiking trails.”
Bike Butler events at Gen. Butler State Resort Park, Carrollton

• Aug. 16: Gen. Butler Off-Road Triathlon (teams or solo)
• Sept. 16: Kentucky Open: 11th annual State Championships
• (502) 484-2998

Back to August 2001 Articles.



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