finds success on Butlers bike trails
(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.
On July 15, the La Grange, Ky., residents
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 didnt
work, Bodhaine decided to give in and accept his friends
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. Youre 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,
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
You cant do too much training on a mountain
bike because it beats your body up, he said. Thats
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
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
Weve 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
It always peaks peoples 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 hadnt 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 courses challenges.
Its very well set up and very well marked,
said Joey Ernst, a Madison, Ind., resident who has competed
Its 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.
Its a fairly fast course, said Bodhaine.
There arent 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 cant see
a lot of whats 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