Erin Quinn: Getting to the Bottom of Things

Former GMSV junior racer Erin Quinn was a regular fixture on the podium. Now she’s riding for the nationally-recognized varsity MtB team at Fort Lewis College in Durango. Erin has had to deal with a season-ending back injury, but she was kind enough to send us this blog post -> Thanks and Get Well, Erin! <GMSV>

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Hello Everybody!I have been coming off weeks of doing absolutely….nothing, and will be doing absolutely nothing for a few weeks after that. Yes, what you read is correct, I am not being “lazy” but rather I am “resting”, “recovering”, “healing” from a back injury. To be more specific a spine/disc injury. The official diagnosis is that I have a herniated disc between my L4 and L5 along with a lordosis arch in my lumbar which is reducing the space between discs of my L3, L4,L5 pinching my injured disc and the one above it. Whew, quite a mouthful but after dealing with strange back and leg issues for two years I am happy to know what has been troubling me both on the bike and occasionally in life outside of cycling.And sadly no, the cause of this nasty little problem isn’t from anything epic, but rather just the result of lots of time put in on the bike causing my pelvis to be pulled down and start that arch in my spine, then to take it a step even further to be consistently training with my spine in a bad mechanical position. Due to long seasons and a lot of training this injury has gone at least a step farther than most cases with this type of injury. So as you may have guessed the recovery process is going to be quite long, and challenging to get back in the saddle to go real fast.

About 6 weeks ago I was finally brought into the athletic training office to get an evaluation on it and from there started a very long process of more sports med professionals, chiropractors, functional movement screens, x-rays, and seeing chiropractors. After finally getting a diagnosis from the athletic trainer, chiropractor, and our coach Elke we all then came up with a plan of attack to start my recovery. Currently I go see the chiropractor twice a week for e-stem therapy, spine adjustment, and to get my back reset (sounds strange but it has really been beneficial to my progress). I also see the athletic training office twice a week where they monitor my rehab exercises. Along with that I have been spending time in the cycling office having one of our coaches help me on my rehab in a cycling perspective. Aside from doing lots of rehab (as my friends have come to start believing that is all I do at the moment) I have been doing very light road riding, some swimming, hiking, and yoga. However since this is a spine injury and it has progressed quite far I am having to take it very very VERY easy in the activity I am doing, and more often than not just not do anything aside from rehab, just heal.

Last week I was able to make a fairly big step and go out on an hour long easy road ride however with a step that big after what seemed like forever (okay six weeks) I have regressed a little bit back. But as many people have told me spine/disc injuries will have their fair share of ups and downs before they are overcome. I for one am happy though to be mostly out of the phase in these injuries where it is difficult just to walk and sit through a 50 minute class, so yay for little victories!

It is safe to say that I am pretty bummed to be sidelined with this injury, it has drastically changed my current goals for the moment. Coming into my freshman collegiate mountain bike season I was on the track to achieve my goal of going to collegiate nationals, but after a fairly devastating weekend of racing in Angel Fire my injury became exposed and ended my hopes of going to nationals. My season ended early and I was off my bike for six weeks after Angel Fire. I had hopes of racing cross this year however, as progress for this type of injury is very slow and taking it super easy for once is the best option for me I am now accepting the fact that it is highly unlikely that cross will happen this year. I am however hoping to be healthy enough to race the collegiate road season and race through the summer in road, mountain bike, and maybe a little bit of track.

Being injured, having to take things easy, and being patient on slow progress is very tough. But I am looking forward to getting healthy and dominating the 2015 season.

Also I am attempting to write a blog so if you are interested in that then feel free to check it out at http://erinquinn1.wordpress.com/

JOIN US for Green Mountain Sports Cross to Benefit Feeding Many – Sat., Sep. 27, 2014

EVENT FLYER (PDF)

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EVENT FLYER (PDF)

Green Mountain Sports Bike Shop and the Green Mountain Sports Velo team are proud to present the “Green Mountain Sports Cross” CX race at WaterStone Community Church (5890 S. Alkire St., just east of C-470 & Bowles Ave. in Littleton) on Saturday, September 27.

This event is a benefit for Feeding Many, a non-profit that provides sustainable, local production of fruits and vegetables through programs like Community Gardens, Education Programs, “Produce for the People,” and more. Feeding Many will also run a (donation-based) food stand with brats, burgers, etc.

NOTE: Due to a Juniors Camp taking place this same weekend, this event will have no Junior categories.

Bring your bikes and cowbells -> We look forward to seeing you on the 27th! <GMSV>

EVENT FLYER (PDF)

 

Kathy Judson WINS the Shenandoah 100!

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Here’s a quick report from Kathy Judson, who WON – but is still recovering from – the Shenandoah Mountain 100 (August 31 in Stokesville, VA):

It was killer but managed to get first in Master Women.

Met some incredible people
Tons of fun and tons of beer- ha
Great food, great aid stations.

14000 feet of climbing and I am still pooped!

I was 25th overall and now that I know what is up. Time to prepare for next year and wear deet!

<GMSV>

 

Mike Franco finishes the Breck Epic -> WOW!

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READ THIS POST about Mike Franco’s Breck Epic experience, proving that he cannot be killed with conventional weapons! <GMSV>

The 2014 season has been jam-packed for me, racing most of the RME events, the Firecracker 50, the Bailey Hundo, the Breck 100 (awesome!), the Laramie Enduro, and even a Winter Park race [Mike fails to mention that he WON that Winter Park race!].

The one thing all those races have in common is that they are single-day events. What I was about to embark on was a very different experience. The Breck Epic is a six-day stage race that covers nearly 240 miles and 37,000 vertical feet, crossing the Continental Divide four times and racing above 10,000 feet for nearly the entire race. After all the training and races, I felt I was as ready as I could be … but still, the idea of six straight days of intense mountain bike racing was daunting.

We arrived in Breckenridge on Saturday [August 9] for packet pickup, check-in, and the mandatory rider meeting. Immediately, I could tell this was going to be very different from my past races: there were 37 states and 19 countries represented at this event, including over 100 international riders. Coloradoans were definitely in the minority, which blew my mind. What kind of race had I signed up for?

That evening, we went out on the quest for what would be the common theme for the week: as many carbs as possible! Eating was going to be a critical aspect to my recovery every day. As I stuffed my face full of pasta, I couldn’t help but be anxious, nervous, and excited. It was nearly game time.

Sunday morning I woke up and began the routine that would be followed every subsequent day. Get up at 6:30, make a pot of coffee, go to the racer tent and drop off my aid bag, come back to the condo and eat breakfast, shower, prep the bike, and go! Out the door by 8:00 AM so I could warm up prior to the 8:30 start. After riding up Boreas Pass Rd a few times to warm up the legs, I settled in at the start line (neutral rollout) with a few hundred riders. The nerves were definitely cranked up, but that quickly dissipated as the gun went off and we started what would be the toughest race of my life.

Stage 1 started with some big climbs up Pennsylvania Creek and Boreas Pass. I fell into good position by pushing hard up Boreas Pass Rd on the first climb, so when I hit the single track, the train was moving pretty well. We climbed on a combination of single and double track and I was flying. All the adrenaline was pushing me up the hills and 15 miles into a 36 mile day, I was feeling great and my time was much better than I was expecting. I turned onto a steep, rocky, dirt road descent and that is when things went terribly wrong.

About a half-mile into the descent and at a speed near 40 mph, a large rock kicked up when I rolled over it and rattled around in my drivetrain and wheel. I heard a lot of banging, cracking and popping and I was skidding down the trail with my cranks locked up and a flat tire. I somehow managed to stay upright and slide to a halt. I got off the bike and did not like what I saw. My derailleur hanger had sheared off the frame, the derailleur was in pieces on the trail, and the chain was mangled into my wheel, which had several broken spokes and a popped tire. I was screwed! I quickly went into MacGyver mode and started taking out the bad chain links in an effort to turn the bike into a single speed.

A casual rider had stopped to help me and we also went to work on throwing a tube in. We ended up popping both of our tubes due to broken spokes poking through the wheel and we had to finally patch one of the tubes. After 5 attempts at breaking the chain to find the right combo to make it a single speed, I was off again (an hour later). Unfortunately, within a half mile, my chain snapped again. I now resorted to running and coasting with my bike for 3 miles to the next aid station. This is where I was saved by a volunteer named Dave. He lent me his bike and I was able to finish the last 16 miles of the stage and not DNF. That had been my biggest fear…if I DNF on the first day, my entire race is over. After losing an hour and 15 minutes or so, I was in 44th place out of 48 riders in my age group after Stage 1. But at least I was still in the race. I ran to 3 different shops that afternoon to buy parts and thanks to SRAM and Mike McCormick, the race coordinator, I had a loaner wheel and my bike was made race ready again that same day.

Starting Stage 2 (~40 miles up West Ridge and down Colorado Trail) the next morning, I felt very fortunate (and yes, still nervous) and I knew my day had to go better than the previous. I soon found out I shouldn’t tempt fate. After the first monster climb, we began a long, fast double track descent. I came around a rocky corner that was wet from the rain the night before and laid it down hard on my elbow (we had switched the rear wheel to tubed and increased the air pressure, so that is my excuse). I quickly jumped up, gushing blood out of my arm and hurting pretty bad, and jumped back on the bike so I wouldn’t lose but a few seconds. After about a mile more of steep descending and I realized I had lost my $300 Garmin in the crash…awesome. I rode for another half mile and then the unthinkable happened…a damn bee flies into my mouth (yes, my mouth) and stings me on the inside of my lip. At this point I had a bit of a meltdown. After calling out to the bike gods, I continued the race and at the last aid station, 8 miles from the finish, a volunteer pointed out to me that my tire had a slice in it and the tube was bulging out. I chanced it and kept riding to the finish, after which I was able to drop more money at the local bike shop for a new tire. The good news was that I moved up 10 spots to 34th place and also retrieved my Garmin thanks to a fellow racer.

The next 4 stages went considerably smoother. Stage 3 was a brutal climb and circumnavigation of Mt Guyot, through which I had no issues and was able to move up 4 spots to 30th place. Stage 4 was a long 44 mile day that took us all the way to Keystone Ski Resort and had a huge grind coming back over the mountains to Breck. I had one minor crash that gave me a Charlie horse on my right calf, so that was fun battling the near cramping of my calf muscle due to the injury. Ended up completing Stage 4 with no major problems and picked up 2 more spot…28th place.

Stage 5 was ridiculously hard. We literally had a one hour hike-a-bike up Wheeler Pass where everybody, except maybe the top couple pros, had to hike. It was a straight up grind. At the top of the pass (12,400’), we were greeted with bacon, skittles, and whiskey compliments of pro mountain biker Jonathan Davis. What an awesome break from brutal racing, even if it was only for 15 seconds. Again, I had a minor crash on this day, but had my best stage finish at 18th place and moved up one spot in the overall to 27th.

The final stage was similar to the last leg of the Breck 100…over Boreas Pass, down Gold Dust, and back over Boreas. About 32 miles and ~4,000 vertical. It was going to be a fast day. I was 12 seconds behind 26th place and 5 minutes behind 25th. I threw the hammer down right out of the gate and didn’t let up. We were again greeted by Jonathan Davis at the top of Boreas Pass with a beer, which I was obliged to slam.

Shortly after I passed through the roars and cheers at the finish line. I met my goal of picking up the last 2 spots and finishing 25th overall with a total race time of 25 hours and 47 minutes. It was a crazy feeling finishing this race. I was happy to be done, but sad I wouldn’t be racing with these awesome people again tomorrow. I finished it though. The hardest challenge for me yet.

I came away with the huge belt buckle even though there were times during the course of the week that it seemed impossible to finish this race. The Breck Epic race was insanely hard, but easily one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I can’t wait to try to top this one!

Cheers!
Mike

 

Somebody finally beats Saldivar, but there there is STILL Green on the WP Point-to-Point podium

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GMSV had another strong showing in Winter Park, with two podium finishes in the Epic Singletrack Point-to-Point race on August 9:

  • Antonio Saldivar – 2nd in Mens Sport 30-34 (somebody else other than AS finally won a race in this group!)
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  • Paul Moreau – 3rd in Mens Sport 45-49 (missing out on 2nd place by only 10 seconds)
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  • Brent Poley – 5th in Mens Sport 35-39
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  • Ross Serven – 6th in Mens Singlespeed
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Look for plenty of GMSV riders on-course (and hopefully also on-podium!) at the Excel Roofing King of Rockies race on August 23.

<GMSV>

 

Jardinico sacrifices a lot this summer, but finishes the Leadville 100 in style

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Thanks to Dave Jardinico for sending us this excellent race recap … and Thanks to his family for putting up with him all year! <GMSV>

Ah…The Leadville 100 MTB Race. I hatched the plan to do the renowned Leadville 100 MTB Race (“LT100”) about February 2014, right after my entry into the lottery was rejected. I decided to put the cash down and sign up for the Camp of Champions put on by the Leadville Race Series. My plan was fairly simple: commit to the LT100, ride my ass off all summer, and enter most of the RME races to check fitness along the way. Make no mistake my friends, training for the LT100 requires some sacrifices. As of this writing, I have an entire summer worth of “summer time only” chores that I am expected to catch up on in the waning weeks of this summer. My family definitely took a back seat to my training, and despite all of the training, I did manage an abbreviated vacation around the Fourth of July. No, I didn’t sell the family on a vacation where my ulterior motives involved two wheels. I spent many of Saturday and Sunday mornings in the winter and spring complaining about the crappy weather, snow, frigid temperatures, and boredom on the inside rides. I also missed an entire summer of fly-fishing, and I haven’t brewed a single batch of beer since 2013.

The RME series races went pretty well. In the 40-49 category, I managed 27/76 in the Ridgeline Rampage, 20/68 in the Battle the Bear, and 9/12 in the Indian Creek race. A couple Green team mates told me the Indian Creek race was a real bitch, and it was no joke. You might argue it was harder than the LT100. I posted 9/12 in that race, but I can tell you there were a lot more than 12 guys that toed the line in my category, but I’m not sure where everyone went. I can’t say I blame them. That race was a real pain in the ass, but it was great training for the LT100.

Make no mistake, the LT100 is full of fan fare. The days leading up to Leadville are something akin to the Circus coming to town. The town is definitely dependent upon the Leadville Race Series for a great portion of its summer economic success. I could not avoid the pomp and circumstance associated with the race, as much as I tried. I arrived on Thursday evening prior to the Race, put in my obligatory warm-up ride on Friday to make sure the steed was functioning properly. Saturday morning couldn’t come fast enough. I was relegated to one corral in front of the complete newbies, thanks to the Camp of Champions. In front of me, towards the start line, all I could see was spandex, carbon, and aluminum, and hear the din of pre-start nervousness. As the start approached, and the gun finally when off, we moved nowhere, as the mass of riders in front of us slowly revved into motion, much like a freight train loaded with coal. Finally, thoroughly chilled and several minutes later, off we went on up Sixth Avenue.

The climb up St. Kevins was everything people told me and worse. Kinda like I-70 West on a snowy morning in the winter – bumper to bumper, or, in my case, tire to tire. It didn’t break loose until we were over the top and out on to the road. My training served me well, but I really couldn’t let loose here. There were simply too many people on the trail at the same time.

Then the descent of the infamous Powerline. A cautious and conservative descent down Powerline with four guys directly in front of me successfully carried me down to the next paved section where the wind blows thoroughly in your face both directions. I managed to get into a group on the road to Pipeline, and we worked together very well to make the journey to Pipeline much shorter than I remember in practice runs.

Next up, the Pipeline aid station, where my son and daughter were waiting patiently for me, sending me off with replenished supplies to Twin Lakes, where my wife awaited to top off any supplies I needed for the long climb up Columbine. Columbine is a steady grind up, until you reach tree line. The Columbine approach is where one gets to see the eventual winners go whizzing past as they descend and you climb. I felt strong on the ascent, and once I reached tree line, I spotted the long train of bikers on foot, and I felt disappointed. The section definitely steepens quite a bit, and there are loose, rocky sections that require concentration. I had pre-ridden this section some 4-5 times, and not once did I ever have to walk it. But again, it was a lot like I-70 west – volume simply wouldn’t allow you to ride, and once someone bobbled and dabbed a foot, the entire “train” stopped. I found myself encouraging those in front of me to give the ole bike a try and jump back into the saddle. I must have been annoying the shit out of some of these guys and gals – Sorry folks.

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Photo courtesy Mountain Flyer

The top of Columbine was a circus just like in town. Drones with Go Pros attached flying overhead, vehicles parked, music playing, and an aid station packed with goodies. I partook in some hot soup, coke, and a couple gels before pulling up my sleeves and starting the descent. The loose stuff I had just ascended beat the crap out of me on the way down, but I attempted to move as fast as I could without crashing. The descent from tree line on down to Twin Lakes was uneventful, and I finally started believing this race was doable. I flew in to TL, re-supplied water bottles, gels, and chomps and took off towards Pipeline. I managed to find a guy with the Green Mountain kit, but I could tell it was an older vintage. I asked him about it, he said he knew Corky, but moved out of state a few years ago. We worked together on the draft back to Pipeline, joined by some tall, fast girl from Kansas City. Once we got to the top of the singletrack, I took off. I rolled into Pipeline to see my kids, and my wife who had just pulled in from Twin Lakes, re-supplied and lubed for the last leg of the race, and told them I would see them at the finish.

The road from pipeline to the base of Powerline sucked, or in this case blew, as a stiff 45 degree headwind worked me over the entire distance. Luckily, a group of four fellows came past and told me to join in their line. Once we passed the fishery, I took off, with some girl from Georgia close by. She pulled slightly ahead just before the left to Powerline, and she took the left a bit too hot because she slid and went down hard on her left side. It looked like it hurt, but she jumped up, I asked her if she was alright, and when she said yes, I took off. Up the preliminary part of Powerline I rode, until I came upon another string of people walking up. In practice, I had made it up about a quarter of the way until there was a steep pitch that I just decided was faster to walk. Not today. Traffic held me back again, and I had to walk from about the first right turn all the way up to my normal re-mount spot where it levels off slightly for a short stretch. Once I was able to re-mount, the clump of riders seemed to loosen up, and I could ride the rest of Powerline. My legs still had plenty left in the tank. The rest of Powerline was uneventful, I just kept grinding up. Over the top, up and over Sugar Loaf Pass, and back down the baby-headed descent of Hagerman Pass.

A right turn on to the gravel road, and a left back on to the asphalt road for a short descent at high speed. Once you round the corner at about Printer Boy, the road is up, up, up, until you hit Carter Summit, where a neutral aid station awaited. By this time my stomach was asking “what’s up with all the gels?” and I stopped at Carter Summit aid station to refill my water bottles with just plain water to counter the souring stomach. I ate a quarter PBJ form the aid, and took off. There were still a few steep pitches to get over, but they were short and sweet. Strangely, I still had some “umph” in my legs but I could see from my watch that I had missed the Sub-9 hour cutoff and I was still at Carter Summit. No big buckle for me – shit. However, I was going to finish, and the question was, could I get a sub-10 finish.

I descended St.Kevins in a big hurry, arriving on the flat, loose sandy section very quickly. I could smell the barn. I was cranking away when someone came up and started drafting off me. Really? This late in the race, and you’re drafting off me? Once we hit the road, the person came around and said “hey, let’s work together to the finish.” I could see it was the Georgia girl who had yard-saled right before Powerline. I thought, wow, she is resilient…..and fast. How in the hell did she catch me? Anyway, we had a tailwind, and on to the railroad service road we went. She took off like she was going for a new PR or something, turning left on to the “Boulevard” about 15 seconds ahead of me. I started reeling her back in, but once we hit the easier gravel, she pulled away again. She simply had a bit more speed left in her tank, and I, for some idiotic reason, didn’t see any reason to chase her down. I could see a few others up a ways on the Boulevard, and I did manage to pass a couple guys, but ratcheting up my speed seemed pointless at this late in the game. I was getting a 9:55+ or 10:05+ time-no question. What was the point in sprinting? Catch the guy 50 yards up the road? My mind was messing with me. Once off the gravel boulevard, left on to McWethy, and a right on Sixth, where you cannot see the finish until you get over this little pitch. Then it’s downhill to the finish. Once I hit that pitch, I was elated. I looked up the road, and could see the hoards of people at the finish, waiting for their racer to come down the road. As I approached what looked like a crowd straight from a mountain stage in the Tour De France, I couldn’t help but start high-fiving people as I rode past. It seemed like the right thing to do. The red carpet finally came, and I finally finished. I shook hands with Dave Wiens, who was a coach at the Camp of Champions, and who is probably the nicest and most personable guy I met during this journey. Leadville 100 finish in the bag!

This race was a journey for sure. A huge shout goes out to my wife, who endured supporting me during the races leading up to the LT100, and the increasing stress associated with the marquis race of the season. I’m not easy to get along with when I am focused on training, which is probably why I spend most of it solo. My wife kept telling me, “Enjoy the journey. Don’t get hung up on finishing the race because before you know it, it’ll be over.” It’s true. I had put so much in to preparing for this race, I almost have a hollow feeling now, almost like when your first kid leaves for college. I am already plotting how I can shave an hour off and get the sub-9 hour buckle. Simply put, and all you other Type “A” bike racers probably know what I’m talking about, I am sure I could do better. I did not feel exhausted one bit when I finished. Sure, I was tired of being on my bike, but that’s more of an attention thing. If I could have gotten further up the corral line, perhaps the “traffic jams” wouldn’t have been so severe, and I should have emptied the tank a bit more out on the course, arriving at the finish line more exhausted. So, those are my marching orders for next year. Who knows if I’ll get in the lottery, but I am hooked. The other issue is that my wife is pretty sick of my fussing over preparation for this race, and I am not so sure she has another year of tolerance in her. All things considered, I would definitely recommend this race. The organizers have their proverbial shit together, and any way you look at it, it’s no small feat to complete it.

Final time: 10 hours, 9 minutes, 44 seconds

Place: 622 out of 1285

 

Kathy Judson keeps riding strong on both the road and trail

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Kathy Judson just told us about some more strong results she’s had over the past few weeks -> Thanks and Congrats, Kathy!

She finished 3rd in the Women’s Masters (50-54) group at the USA Cycling Cross-Country MtB Nationals in Macungie, PA, on July 18.

Then she comes back home to finish 4th in the MW 45+ at the Mike Nields Memorial Bannock Street Criterium, August 3 in Englewood. “I missed 3rd by 6 inches, but I did get the Most Aggressive Rider.”

<GMSV>

 

A podium-packed weekend for GMSV 65+ roadies!

Thanks to Phil Coons for submitting both this photo and story …
and CONGRATS to Phil, Mike Raber, and all of GMSV’s incredible 65+ racers! <GMSV>

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Mike Raber (1st) and Phil Coons atop the Bannock Street Criterium podium

On a beautiful Saturday (August 2nd) morning, Bob Connelly, Charley Perez, Mike Raber and Phil Coons rode the ColoBikeLaw.com Lookout Mountain Hill Climb. We finished in that respective order, placing 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. Bob Connelly was very close to the 2nd-place rider with a time of 23:35. Phil Coons recorded his best time yet at 24:36. You must remember that we are in MM 65+ group (unlike some of the GMS Velo’s younger crowd, who could go faster).

The next day, Mike Raber and Phil Coons raced the Mike Nields Memorial Bannock Street Criterium. Phil Coons rode near the front to control attacks and hopefully save Mike Raber for the sprint. Mike won (but he probably would have won anyway), and Phil Coons was second. Best of all there were no accidents in our group, and the weather was perfect again.

The upshot of all this racing is that GMSV’s 65+ men once again lead the Rocky Mountain Road Cup team competition. Phil Coons leads the Road Cup’s individual competition, and Mike Raber is currently 3rd (although he’s likely to be 2nd by season’s end).

Mike and Phil will race the Steamboat Springs Stage Race again on Labor Day weekend, a beautiful race with a very tough 62-mile road race for the MM 65+. That Sunday race is sandwiched between the TT on Saturday and the criterium on Monday morning. This time Phil Coons hopes not to hit the wall on the road race like he did last year.

Bob Connelly has very clearly recovered from an early season injury and is climbing well, as he did last year. Charley Perez is especially good at the time trials and hill climbs. Mike Raber has been racing more criteriums successfully, along with good results in the other disciplines. Phil Coons is the participation leader with seventeen races so far and Steamboat Springs RR still to come. Dick Decker continues his training to be back with us.

 

More Green atop the podium in Winter Park!

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GMSV had another strong showing – including two podium finishes – at the Race Rendezvous on July 12.
This was the third of six races in Winter Park’s Epic Singletrack series:

Antonio Saldivar – 1st in Men’s Sport 30-34!

Brent Poley – 2nd in Men’s Sport 35-39

Ross Serven – 7th in Men’s Clydesdale

Jeff Martin – 10th in Men’s Sport 45-49

Bruce Whitesel – 11th in Men’s Expert 50+

Next race in this series will be the Colorado Epic XC (part of the Colorado Freeride Festival) on July 26 -> Go Green!

<GMSV>

 

Franco tweaks nutrition plan for MUCH better results in Breck

by Mike Franco
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My blog actually has to start a week prior to the Breck 100, when I raced the Firecracker 50. I managed to place 5th in Men’s Sport 30-34, but it was overall a terrible race for me. I lacked energy almost the entire race and started cramping at mile 17. I was barely able to finish the race due to the severity of my cramps. After the race, I decided I am done with the nutrition guessing game. So I went to the Internet and searched the Denver metro for a certified nutritionist who specializes in ultra endurance nutrition.
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I found Kathy Zawadski with The Fast Lab in Centennial. Kathy has trained the US Olympic Cycling and Triathlete Teams as well as individual athletes in events such as Trans Portugal and the Leadville 100. I had a consultation with Kathy the Tuesday before the Breck 100. We made several adjustments to my nutrition plan for pre-race and during the race. I was able to get out for a 3-hour training ride at Centennial Cone that afternoon to test parts of the plan and there was nothing that disagreed with me. So I now had a structured plan for race day that would hopefully solve some of my problems.
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I woke up at 4:15 am in Frisco and made my pre-race breakfast. I loaded  up my bike, gear, and food in the truck and my wife dropped me off at Carter Park in downtown Breckenridge. After stashing my gear and food in the pit zone and stretching out the legs, I was ready to go. We began the race in a neutral rollout led by the Breckenridge Police. The Police car led us through downtown Breck and peeled off at the base of the Peak 9 ski lifts, where the racing truly began. I started the huge climb up Breck ski resort and Wheeler Pass with my buddy Sean Malone and fellow Greenie Kevin Kaucher, but they slowly pulled away from me. I was happy to let them go, as I knew I had to ride my own race. This was going to be a long adventure and I didn’t need to make the mistake of blowing up on the first climb.
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After the long, difficult climb up to Wheeler Pass (12,400′), which included navigating through a couple snow fields, I was ready for the first descent into Copper Mountain. Within 200 yards of beginning the descent, I had my first crash of the day. The trail was rutted out and I crossed up my front wheel, pile driving myself into the ground. I quickly got back on the bike, but realized I had 2 distinct issues; my front derailleur and my left index finger were both not working properly. So 7 miles into a 100 mile mountain bike race, I now had no use of my primary front braking finger. I looked down at my derailleur trying to see if there was a visible issue and I immediately noticed that my cable housing had popped out of the frame, not allowing me to shift. I popped it back into the frame and had at least solved one of the problems. The finger was not so easy. I ultimately had to use my middle finger solely for braking for the next 11 hours, which led to other crashes later in the race.
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I made it down and around to Frisco and caught the Peaks trail back to Breck with no other issues on Loop 1. I finished the loop in 3:46:43, which I was happy with. I loaded up with food and fluids in Carter Park and set off for Loop 2, the most technical segment of the race. There are 2 big climbs and 2 huge climbs on Loop 2, and I made a distinct effort to pace myself so I would have something left in the tank for the grueling Loop 3. The second Loop was uneventful until the incredible singletrack descent on the Colorado Trail, I came up on one of the female pro ultra racers and was getting ready to pass, when I came into a corner too fast and crashed pretty hard. I popped up again and quickly evaluated the bike and body…no issues. I pressed on and before I knew it, I was back in Carter Park with a Loop 2 time of 4:06:31 … still in good shape.
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This time through Carter Park I was greeted with high fives from Greenies Phil von Hake, Matt Morgan, Jamie Henkel. My wife and daughter were also there, making this an awesome pit stop. I was feeling great for being 64 miles in. Matt, Jamie and my wife helped me get food, fluids, and the bike lubed up. With big smiles all around, I set off for the final loop, which covers 36 miles, over 4,000 vertical feet, and climbs up and over Boreas Pass (11,500′) twice! This is the point in the race where the thunderstorms were almost certain to hit, but they were still holding off. Were we going to get lucky?
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I had a big adrenaline rush climbing the North Side of Boreas Pass. As I reached the top, I began the descent with female pro, Loreen Coffelt. I teamed up with Loreen all the way to Como, as we hammered through the technical Gold Dust Trail. Right after Loreen warned me about the roots being slippery, I crashed on a slick root. Other than getting muddy, I was fine and jumped back on the bike. We cruised into Como and I stopped to relieve myself and load up on more water. Loreen had continued on, so I began the last major climb up the South Side of Boreas Pass solo.
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As I started the long ascent, I felt something I had never felt before in Colorado…a tailwind. And it was a good one. I was flying up the trail. Within a couple miles, Dan Owen with the Avout Racing team joined me for the climb. Dan was racing the B68, so we weren’t competing against each other. We decided to work together and pushed up Boreas Pass, making great time. As we crested the top, you could hear us both hooting and hollering at the top of our lungs, partly because we didn’t get stormed on, but mostly because we were done with the last big climb. We ripped down the North Side of Boreas and caught the final singletrack.
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The final descent is brutal. It is extremely rough and my hands were shot, especially the left hand with which I only had the use of 4 fingers. Just when I though I couldn’t hold onto my bars anymore, the trail ended and we caught the last bit of pavement to Carter Park.
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Rolling through the finish line an hour faster than I had ever hoped for was an amazing feeling. I finished 6th in my age group and 40th overall with a time of 12:03:23. I finally had nailed a huge endurance race. I never cramped, bonked, or had any stomach issues. I felt great the entire race, which I attribute equally to the 6 months of training and the revised nutrition plan. A huge thanks to Kathy Zawadski and the Fast Lab for helping me get the nutrition piece dialed in…without the new plan, it could have been a very different race. A big thanks to the Green Mountain boys Kevin Kaucher, Matt Morgan, Jamie Henkel, and Phil von Hake for the help, support, and inspiration. But of course, the biggest thanks goes to my beautiful wife and daughter for their support and understanding during this crazy year of training and racing.
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Until next time, keep it on two wheels.
Mike Franco
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<GMSV>

 

Kaucher crushes his first 100-miler … in Breck no less!

by Kevin “24-hour” Kaucher

KKaucher-Breck100-WheelerDescent
Photo courtesy Linda Guerrette Photography

Prologue: The Breckenridge 100 is considered to be one of the toughest 100-mile mountain biking events in the country. With nearly 13,000 feet of elevation gain, crossing the Continental Divide 3 times, and all the while being at altitude, surely makes it tough to argue otherwise.

The course is a clover design so you don’t ride any trail twice, and features include everything from the beautiful and lush Colorado Trail terrain, aspen-lined singletrack from Boreas Pass to Como, to high alpine jeep road accents up Breckenridge’s Peak 9 and crossing snow fields and scree fields on Wheeler trail. The base of the operation and central aid station is from Carter Park in downtown Breck, a location which provides easy access to most trails in and around Breck. Certainly a great spot to start any ride in and around Breck if you are there for a leisurely weekend ride.

KKaucher-Breck100-Map

Aside from 18- and 24-hour races, this will be my first true 100 mile race. Since the Pro finishers usually come in somewhere between 9 and 10 hours, I was hoping for something between 11 and 12. Although I have ridden all of the 2nd lap, not knowing what type of power I could crank out on lap 1 and 3 left me pretty uncertain about what my time would look like. Plan was to ride slow, almost 24hr-race slow, but settle into the pack around riders who appear to be at my ability. Planned to use the climb up to Wheeler Pass to figure this out.

Steed selection: As previously stated, this ride will encompass everything Breck and the High Country has to offer, from sustained 10-mile climbs over 12,000 ft to ripping descents down buttery singletrack … plus or minus lots of rocks, roots, creek crossings, etc. Therefore, the 1×10 carbon hardtail is staying home, Specialized Epic, 2×10, full suspension it is. Weight fully loaded with saddlepack, 1 water bottle, extra tube taped to top tube: 29lbs (not light!). Week before I set her up with some fresh rubber, Stans, tighten everything down, new brake pads and a fresh
bleed, good to go!

KKaucher-Breck100-PostRaceBike
(post race pic, but didn’t look much better before)

Nutrition Plan: I will refer to my prior RR’s, since I never have a nutrition plan. However, I did bring two water bottles, a box of Probar fuels, a Snickers bar, turkey jerky, and Fig Newtons. With 2 Aid stations stocked per lap I figured I could make something work. I would stock my pockets at the beginning of each lap and refill as needed at the aid stations. Best nutrition plan I’ve ever thought up. 2 beers and a jalapeno burger & fries the night before and I am ready. Buckle Up!

Race day: wake up at 4:45. Last time I saw 4:45 was 18hrs of Fruita, probably going out for another lap when it was 30 degrees. Remembered coffee, kit, bike, arrive at Carter Park at 5am. Warm morning so get dressed, arm warmers and leave the jacket for lap 2 when the thunderstorms usually roll in. Eat some yogurt, PB and tortilla. Meet up with fellow GMSV rider Mike Franco, who comments on how muddy my bike looks (I tell him I sprayed her down 2 weeks ago just for the race). I had hoped that helped ease his anxiety but I dont think it did. It was true, my bike was a mess, got caught in the rain the night before on my shake-down ride. It desperately needed a shower. Go time.

Loop 1: headed up to the top of the ski resort. If you have been to the top of Imperial Lift, that’s where we we’re headed, and even a bit higher to get up and over the pass. Was a long slog up. Chatted with a lot of guys, even the 14-year-old who was likely to beat me. I asked him for his autograph, as we’ll likely see him in the Portugal Olympics in 2016. Rode with a guy on a fat bike with front & rear derailleur shifters on the wrong sides because he rushed last-minute gear changes. There were some CRAZY people out there. Started climbing over snow fields at the top of Breck but had the most incredible sights of the mountain as the sun was rising. felt like I was on another planet. Then I fell just walking my bike because, well, we were at 13,000 feet and there was no oxygen. Descend into Frisco, very cold descent. HR was 50 at one point. think I had vagaled down and almost syncoped sending myself off the mountain. Take Peaks Trail back to Breck, temps warming up. can finally feel my feet again.
28 miles, Time: 3:20(45mins behind winner); 3 bottles of water in, handful of Endurolyte tabs, 2 mini Hammer bars and a Honey Stinger waffle.

Loop 2: grab some more Pro bars, rain jacket, water, relube chain. rolling. This loop you head out to Little French Flume to start, up to Sallie Barber Mine, out to West Ridge and then back through
Dredge Boat Trail … basically all classic Colorado Trail stuff. Tough, loose, rocky climb up Little French to start. Start to get passed by the 68- and 32-miler guys. Feels good to know I am still beating most up the climbs when I’ve already got 30 miles under my belt. They are very encouraging when they see 100-mile riders. I let them fly by me on the downhills, I catch them on the climbs. Garmin started to get cranky: randomly going dark, started scrolling, but woke up again after I flicked it a few times. I think it’s sick of being abused. Make mental note to buy a new one asap. Make it around to the West Ridge climb, brutal. seems like it is longer than I remember. I have to pee, great sign! I must be staying hydrated. go through my two bottles just as the next aid station comes up. about 15 Endurolytes and some more snacks and I’m off. Back is starting to hurt. Neck is starting to hurt. legs feel great. keep pedaling.
34 miles, Time 4:02 (1 hr slower than leader, yikes), 4 bottles of water, lots of Endurolytes, 4 waffles, 2 Pro bars, package shot blocks.

Loop 3: roll into Carter Park and see fellow GMSV riders Matt Morgan and Jamie Henkel who rode the 32. He is already 6 beers deep and I am jealous. They passed me somewhere on Loop 2 and all I saw was a blur, the dudes rip. Jamie helps me relube and refuel. and also reminds me to take my bike before I run out of the pits towards Boreas Pass(!). I may be getting a bit delirious at this point. Sun is cranking, I’m warm, still peeing though. Head up Indiana Creek/Boreas and start eating some jerky, it’s salty. down the Fig Newtons, drink a ton. Loose rocky climb up to the top of Boreas. Aid station girl is singing Ke$ha or something like that. I grab a Coke and some oranges. Ask her what on the table will make it feel like someone had not ripped out my spine, she hands me another Coke. down the singletrack towards Como. Have to pee again, wait is that a yeti! Seriously think I saw a Yeti running through the woods. Or maybe it was Marlow pre-brazillian wax? Chew a few more shot blocks. Rolling…that is until I crash hard on some loose wet roots after a stream crossing. I am covered in mud. Bike is OK, I’m…I’m back on my bike. Dump out into Como and some guy named Scott is there post-ride, I ask him for a beer and he hands me a Red Bull. OK, so maybe not the same thing but he is clearly thinking more clearly than I am. I down it, make the turn and head back up Boreas. Some thunderstorms start to roll in and lighting is close. I pedal faster. Start to catch a few people I had been trading places with on the ups and downs. Try to chat with a few riders on the way up but most ignore me and tell me they have just vomited, or are about to vomit. I keep pedaling. Finally make it to the top of Boreas and realize I am basically done. Just need to make it another 10 miles downhill to the finish. Hammer it down Boreas and then have to make a hard uphill turn on some singletrack. This riding was not what you would call elegant. I hesitate to even call it “biking” but I made it down the last short technical sections. 95 miles in and I am hurting. Enter Carter Park and hear Larry Grossman congratulate the finishers. Think to myself, that was a long 12 hours on the bike. ouch.
36 miles, time 4:26 (1:15 slower than winner). 4 bottles of water, 1 Red Bull, shot blocks, very salty jerky, 10ish Fig Newtons, Pro bar, Coke, oranges.

Overall Time: 11:49 -> 5th in Men’s 30s. total ride time 11:18.
A 11:22 or better would have gotten me a podium spot. Should certainly be able to make that time up next year but the way competition and race numbers are rising out here I will have to work hard. Josh Tostado finishes in 8:46 for his 7th B100 win. I am spent.

KKaucher-Breck100-Stats

Post race: Head straight to the beer. grab an Old Chub and down it. Post-race spread is delicious: pulled pork, chicken, pizza, ziti, cookies, beer, and more beer. Change clothes and cheer on some finishers. See fellow GMSV rider Phil von Hake finish his Breck 68 (Loops 2 & 3) and beat his previous time by over an hour. The dude is nutty.

Things to do better next year:
Cut down at time spent at aid stations.
I know I can push the climbs and what downhills I am comfortable with taking a few risks on now that I also know Loops 1 and 3.
Check shock pressure, my front was wayyyyy too stiff.

Big thanks to the usuals:
WB,
Sanky,
breyer,
byyny,
matty animal and the rest of the Strava crew.
Franco – #honeybadger;
Phil/Jamie/MM – ballers.

Up next:
Xterra Beaver Creek this Saturday, anyone else in?
Leadville 100 Aug 9th. ?
24hrs in the Sage?

Until next time….stay safe out there
k2

<GMSV>

 

Bland just misses podium at Vuelta a Keystone

Thanks and CONGRATS to Jonathan “vicblaze” Bland for this report back from the first-ever Vuelta a Keystone, the latest event staged by former GMSVers Rob Quinn … <GMSV>

A shortened version of the Vuelta a Keystone went off on Saturday, June 28. Due to bridge damage on Montezuma Road, the 90 and 60 mile fondos were actually 52 and 82 miles. It so happened that this also eliminated the final timed sections of both races. For the 60(52) mile race, the winners were based on the climb up to Ute Pass. The 90 mile race used the Ute pass climb and a timed section around Green Mountain Reservoir. There were 26 participants in the 60 miler and 33 in the 90 miler. I got 4th place in the 60 miler – and the top 3 got trophies. I was happy with the result considering that this was my first race(ish) in 10+ years.

Lessons learned:

  1. Keystone is ALWAYS strict about camping in the parking lot. Doesn’t matter what logic/reasons/excuses you give them – never expect them to let you camp there. The good news is that up Montezuma Road there was quite a bit of places to camp.
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  2. Keystone is basically not dog friendly. We didn’t stay for the results because they didn’t allow ANY dogs into the open-air town center.
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  3. At 10,000 ft, it’s always cold in the morning. Cold enough for full finger gloves, arm warmers, a jacket and knee warmers. At least I had a jacket.
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  4. If you don’t want to commit to a full-on race, a fondo is definitely the way to go. All the “tour ride” perks of getting to stop at aid stations and not stressing over a flat (as long as it doesn’t happen in a timed section) paired with significantly fewer riders that look like they really should not be doing this for fear of their health.
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  5. Pre-ride or drive the course to make sure you have some familiarity. I didn’t, so I had no idea how hard I could push it during the climb or that when it started to flatten out that I could just go 100% since there was only about 1k left and no more up ticks. I’m guessing that last mistake cost me at least 30 seconds…

My ride went pretty well. Other than it being pretty freakin’ chilly to start, the weather was beautiful. Light wind and almost no clouds. I think the temperature topped out in the mid 50’s. There was a little bit of weather (light hail and rain) overnight, biut that had almost all evaporated by race time. I got in the paceline of the lead group of 6 or 7 and we motored through the first 20 or so miles. Then I flatted. Again no big deal as we weren’t in the timed section – but I did lose out on hitting the climb with the leaders, which could have been good or bad.

I want to believe that had I started the climb with them I would have been motivated enough to make up the 1min 32secs that cost me 3rd. And 2nd place was just a few seconds faster than 3rd, so who knows. On the other hand, maybe the fact that I was able to do the climb at my pace kept me from a 5 min loss due to cracking. We’ll just have to see next time.

The rest of the ride wasn’t timed, so nothing much to mention there other than the fact that I latched onto a guy that was faster than me and got to draft significant portion of the way home without being dropped.

 

Franco WINS and Moreau gets 3rd at WP Super Loop!

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Mike Franco (in black above) WON the Men’s Sport 30-34 division of the Super Loop, the second race in the 2014 Epic Singletrack series at Winter Park!

Mike tells it best from here: “I took the lead just after the first mile when the downhill singletrack started and I never lost it. It was a battle holding off the Avout Racing team, though. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th place finishers were all Avout Racing (finished within seconds of each other) and surely they expected to steal the podium. I screwed that up for them. At one point they were drafting each other trying to catch me. One guy was on my ass for at least 8 miles. He was 5-10 yards behind me for a lot of the race, but I finally dropped him on the final climb. It was an intense race. Felt like a sprint to me, being my shortest race. But I truly feel that my endurance training prevailed as I dropped their team on the last big grind. It was a blast! I loved the WP vibe and the BBQ fun afterwords. My kind of race!”

This probably won’t be the last time we see Mike on a podium, and hopefully he’ll remember to wear something with a “GMSV” on it next time!

photo_2[1]

Paul Moreau (above, right) placed 3rd in the Men’s Sport 45-49 division.

Additional Results:

  • Brent Poley – 7th/20 in Men’s Sport 35-39
  • Jeff Martin – 17th/28 in Men’s Sport 45-49
  • Randy Cutler – 10th/18 in Men’s Sport 50s
  • Brian Milnick – 6th in Men’s Clydesdales
  • Thom Lieurance – 8th in Men’s Singlespeed

This makes FOUR GMSV podium finishes (two of them from Paul Moreau alone) in only two races at Winter Park this year …
-> Keep it Up!

<GMSV>

 

Dwyer doesn’t descend all that well, but he describes his HUNDO experience quite well!

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Thanks and Nice Job, Jim!

I had a pretty good night’s sleep on the air mattress in the back of my truck.  Woke up about 4:15 and was too excited and cold to get any more sleep, so started the truck to get the heater going.  I was still shivering as I ate my cold Safeway burrito and a big blueberry muffin.  The most important thing for me was to make sure to get that critical bowel movement before the race, so I made the journey to port-o-let row and selected a nice level unit suitable for the job.  I emerged victorious a few minutes later and was the envy of many spectators when they noticed I carried my own double ply baby-soft roll.  I was now hoping that this would NOT be the high point of the day.

I could not believe how fast the time was going.  It seemed like I hardly had enough time to load up the Camelbak and change into my Green Lantern costume before riding to the start line.   At about 40 degrees, I’m not sure of the benefits of that “warm up” ride as my toes were freezing.  I remember thinking that later in the day I will be wishing I was cool, so “suck it up, Jim”.   I met up with the other Greenies in the crowd and we waited for the start.  The shotgun sounded and nobody dropped – another victory for the day!  We started off at a pretty comfortable pace (compared to the Winter Park races where it seems everybody takes off like it’s a 100 meter dash).  Typically, for shorter races I force myself to stay above 160bpm on any climb so I don’t “loaf”.  However, today my plan was to keep my heart rate below 160bpm unless necessary for short steep stuff.   When I saw my HR getting above 160, I thought it best to let Scott Demers and Mike Franco drop me so I could stick to my plan (plus, they would smoke me on the down hills anyway).   If you’ve ridden with me before, you know that I descend like an 80 year old with one eye.

As advertised, the first 50 miles or so was mostly super fun single track.  Enjoying the climbs and feeling a bit uncomfortable on the down-hills as I usually do when racing because I hate to hold up those that want to fly down the winding trails.  My wife Brenda greeted me at aid station #5 and I enjoyed a couple PBJs that she had helped assemble.  It was nice to take in some real food.  I found the final descent from single track to aid station #6 to be particularly tricky with the tight switchbacks and loose soil.  I was surprised to pass a couple riders that were having more difficulty than me on this descent.

I was almost a bit relieved when I hit aid station #6 (about 60 miles) and knew that I would not have to focus on turning and braking – now it’s just pedaling and food intake.  I think this is the point where Mike Franco was relieving himself in a different (and most unfortunate) way.  We figure this is the place where I pulled ahead while he was hitting the head.  Only later did I learn of his heroic battle and triumphant victory over those physical issues and the associated mental challenges.

I teamed up with a female pro rider for the long paved road to Deckers and we seemed to have a good pace going as we took turns pulling to fight the headwind.  We both stopped at the Deckers aid station (me longer than she) but I caught up with her on the climb heading up toward Stony Pass.  She was slowing down, so I pulled ahead and faced the steep, dusty climb up Stony Pass alone.  My wife was there again to greet me right where the pavement turned to dirt, so I had some encouragement before (arguably) the most miserable part of the race.  Thinking I was in my element, I overtook quite a few riders on the steep climbs even though the sun was beating down and every passing vehicle seemed to intentionally throw more dust in my face.  I was happy to see the next aid station (mile 84?) signaling the end of this brutal phase.

Soon after the aid station I felt my first indication of leg cramps – every muscle.  This was a big concern.    I thought I had been drinking plenty of electrolyte fluids along with Endurolyte capsules, but apparently not.  I figured it’s time to stop, stretch and relax.  I stepped off the bike slowly; worried that simply dismounting would trigger a blast of debilitating pain.  Fortunately, that was not the case.  It was a successful stretch along with the realization that now my goal is just to finish; not going for time.  I got back on the bike and started peddling slowly just to see if the legs were going to keep functioning.  I started slamming Endurolyte capsules like they were M&Ms, swallowing about 3 capsules every 15 minutes (about 4 times the recommended dosage).   About this time, that female pro rider passed me.  I did not even try to keep up.  I just pedaled at a relaxed pace.

Now, the sun was behind the clouds and even a few rain drops were falling.  A huge relief as I passed the final aid station without stopping and felt like I had plenty of energy.  Now on track to beat my “under 10 hour” goal, I decided to just enjoy the final few miles and not do anything stupid or risky to ruin my first 100 miler and earn that Bailey Hundo chunk of lumber.

<GMSV>

 

GMSV rides strong up Guanella Pass

MarkLaserSnake-GuanellaPassHillClimb
Mark Laser-Snake tackles the Guanella Pass Hill Climb
Photo Courtesy Vivid Visions Photography

Thanks to Mark Laser-Snake for submitting these GMSV results from the Guanella Pass Hill Climb (starting in Georgetown on June 15).

  • Kathryn Judson – 18th in Masters Women’s 45+
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  • Bob Connelly – 5th in Masters Men’s 65+
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  • Philip Coons 6th in Masters Men’s 65+
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  • Michael Raber – 9th in Masters Men’s 65+
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  • Matt Morgan – 15th in Masters Men’s 35+/3
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  • Mark Bakewell – 16th in Sr. Men’s 4.

<GMSV>

 

Mike “Frankenbike” Franco literally guts it out to finish strong in his 1st Bailey HUNDO

baileylogo

You should read this -> it appears that Mike Franco cannot be killed with conventional weapons … !

This is my first attempt at a blog (not really sure what that means), so bear with me.

I certainly had an “interesting” first Bailey Hundo. The excitement truly began the day before the race, when I realized I had a crack in my titanium frame. At 6:45 pm the night before the race and while camping at the finish line in Bailey, I was convinced that riding the cracked bike was not an option. I proceeded to ask the Scott reps if they had any demo bikes with them. They did not, but they had some at their houses in Ken Caryl. So at 7 pm, I drove down the mountain. 2 hours later – after going to 2 different houses and disrupting one of the reps pregnant wives – I had a Scott Spark 29er.

So at 9 pm, with the help of the 2 Scott Reps and a couple mechanics from [Hundo sponsor] Bicycle Village, we started swapping wheels and other parts from my bike to the Spark. We encountered every obstacle imaginable (different size brake rotors, axles, seat posts, etc.), so I crawled into my tent at 11:15 pm with a “Frankenbike” that among other things, had one tubeless and one tubed wheel. I was wired and stressed, so to say I got 3 hours of sleep would be a stretch.

Now for the race day. I woke up at 4:30 am and broke down my camp. After getting my bike ready, I made my first mistake of the day. I ate a Santiago’s breakfast burrito purchased the prior day (hoping it would give me the energy to start strong). I know some of you may be shaking your head – and I am, too – but live and learn, I guess.

So at 6 am, the Bailey Sherriff fired his shotgun and we were off. I felt great in the beginning and had a strong start. I had a great group leading into the single track and didn’t run into any bottle necks. I periodically ran into Scott De Mers and we were essentially pacing each other for the first 43 miles. Right before the aid station at mile 43 was where everything started to unravel. My stomach started to hurt pretty bad and I felt my energy dropping. Up to this point, I had primarily just eaten energy chews and gels at a couple aid stations (maybe one PBJ). I was also drinking water with endurolyte fizz and using endurolyte caps.

At Aid 5 (mile 43) I also started to feel the twinges of cramping in my legs. Around mile 45, the inside of my right quad cramped up and I had to get off the bike. I stretched, raised my saddle a bit, popped a bunch of Endurolytes, and pressed on. I really had to dial it back as pushing at all was causing my cramps to come back. My stomach and energy issues continued to worsen.

By the time I rolled into Aid 6 (~60 miles), I was in pretty rough shape. I went straight to the Porto John and spent some time there (hence the name, “dirty” century). I then ate a PBJ out of my aid bag and left for the next leg, which should have been the easiest. It was not.

The fairly flat road section between Aid 6 and Aid 7 (Deckers) was the most difficult for me. I had nothing in the tank. I was sick, dehydrated, and essentially bonked. There was a point where I actually felt delirious and that my mind was playing tricks on me. I eventually made it to Deckers (~mile 70) and this was the lowest point in my day. I visited the Porto John again and contemplated my ability to complete the race. I loaded up with as much food as I could handle and set off for the final 30 miles and +/- 3,000 vertical.

Within about 2 miles, a guy by the name of Kelly Feagans rode up next to me seeing that I was hurting and he offered to ride with me. He had broken his thumb earlier in the race, had it taped up, and kept riding. Just after we hooked up, the clouds rolled in, which is probably what saved me. I felt a 2nd wind coming on and fell back into a rhythm on the long climb up Stony Pass. Kelly and I rode together for the remaining 25 miles and crossed the finish line 30 seconds apart. Definitely want to send a shot out to him for pushing me to overcome and finish the race.

My wife and daughter met me at the finish line with a huge hug. Needless to say, it was a very emotional moment. Crossing the finish line was one of he greatest feelings I have ever had. Having all the adversity that I faced made the victory that much sweeter.

I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do. First and foremost, I need to reevaluate my nutrition plan for an ultra endurance race. I also need to get better rest leading up to the race, but that was out of my control in this event. Huge thanks to the Scott reps (Wade and Brad) and the Bicycle Village crew. Without them, I would never have been able to even start the race. Also a special thanks to all my fellow Green Mountain Hundo racers. Phil, Jim, Scott, and Jamie are all a big inspiration to me. They all battled out there and had strong finishes. It feels good to be part of such an awesome group and team.

Until the next insane race,
Mike “dirty century” “frankenbike” Franco

<GMSV>

 

Judson makes the most of Hundito/Guanella Weekend

Thanks to Kathy Judson for sending this recap of her VERY busy weekend … and CONGRATS on crushing both the Bailey Hundito (50-mile MtB race -> she finished 2nd in Women’s 50s and 11th among all women) on Saturday and the Guanella Pass Hill Climb on Sunday! <GMSV>

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Thanks to all the supporting cast for a well done race!!!

Thanks for adding the EPIC Hundito!! Great fun course and still very, very challenging.

What a fabulous day for a mountain bike race! Cool morning and nice by the finish. Such a beautiful day to look at all the beauty on the course. The flowers were sooooo amazing. Yes, I wanted to stop and take pictures but SHOOT we are racing and no time for that silliness!!!

The racing was fast from the gun! Colorado is that way. Had a great start and crushing the stream crossing was soooooo fun! Yeah the toes were numb for a bit but sure beat waiting in line to cross a plank or two.

The rest of the course was epic Buff Creek riding. The descents were killer fun and the climbs were excruciatingly painful but what more could you ask for from a great course!!!!

As I drove rapidly to Vic Williams funeral I saw the poor Hundo riders. What a tough, tough course. Applause to all of you!!!! The services for Vic were an amazing gathering of people from all the walks of life he touched. It was packed and what a tribute to an AMAZING man, husband, and father! Forever we will remember what you added to our cycling community Vic. Kirsten you are a rock star – do it for your dad!!!

SO what an amazing race day and an amazing day to say good bye to a wonderful friend.

Life is too short to not have fun racing and giving it all you have like Vic did with a smile on your face the whole time!!!

Next day after Hundito – Riding up Gaunella Pass to help one Awesome 11 year old do something many men could not do – Climb to the top! Great Job Joshua!!!! (photo above)

<GMSV>

 

Winter Park MtB Season Kicks Off with a GMSV Win and Two More on the Podium!

Antonio-WPHillClimb

Winter Park Resort’s 2014 Epic Singletrack series kicked off on June 14 with the Excel Roofing Hill Climb, and GMSV grabbed three spots on the podium!

  • Antonio Saldivar joined GMSV just last week, and then won the Men’s Sport 30-34 wave by 2.5 minutes!
    .
  • Brent Poley placed 2nd in Men’s Sport 35-39;
    Brent-WPHillClimb
    .
  • and Paul Moreau finished 3rd in Men’s Sport 45-49.
    PaulM-WPHillClimb

Watch for lots more Green on podiums at Winter Park this summer!

<GMSV>

 

Kaucher Overcomes Numerous “Challenges” to Finish 3rd at PV Derby!

KKaucher-PVCycleDerby
No “chocolate” on his face in this shot!
Photo courtesy Mitch Kline

Congrats to Kevin Kaucher, and THANKS for submitting such a thorough & entertaining race report!

So its been a while since my last race report, the last was probably the RME Indian Creek marathon race about a year ago. Since then I’ve only done about 16 other races, so I figured I was due.

RME PV Derby, located on a Boy Scout camp just outside of Elbert, CO, called the Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch, this would be a  22 mile loop, done in either a single, double, or triple loop variety, based upon how stupid you are. This is obviously closed most of the year to all except the boy scouts. Somehow someone found out about this place and the miles upon miles of super flowy singletrack. What I had heard prior to the event was that the course was super fast, flowy, a few technical sections, and only a few short burst climbs scattered throughout. This seemed perfect, a nice early season long ride to really see where my fitness was after a long winter of slaying pow and drinking bloody marys.

Of note, multi-lap races are not my favorite, especially if its a short loop, as I tend to get real bored after a few laps. For this race, I was hoping it would be different, a long 22mi lap that should take about 2hrs would be ok as I would likely forget half of the course by the time I had to start my 2nd and 3rd loops. But we will see…

2 Days prior to race day: I figured I would bite the bullet and sign up, race registration closes at midnight so I waited to sign up at 23:49. Just in time! After the fiasco that was the Eagle Outside Fest Firebird 40k race course i did 2 weeks prior, i figured waiting until the last minute to ensure a rideable course was worth it. The only threats were a few afternoon thunderstorms each day that would only hopefully make a course that gets ridden one day per year even better.

1 day(ish) to Race/Race Day­: work to 23:30, race is at 8am, 1 hour drive to the venue, 30 minutes to get self and bike ready, which means I better get the hell out of work on time and fall asleep immediately once I get home….01:30a (6.5hrs till go time) and I am just polishing off my 2nd Genesee Cream ale hoping it will put me to sleep since I am still gathering bike gear and clothing.

Race day: 4 hours of sleep, not bad. Look outside to bright sunny skies….%^&#! If it was dark and gloomy or rainy I was going to fall back asleep, oh well. guess ill do this. out the door with coffee in hand. I basically felt like I had already won just accomplishing that much so far.

*Nutrition plan: ha. downed a banana and a tortilla with almond butter while getting dressed at the venue. Looked around my car for food to pack in my jersey, didnt find any. Good thing they have 3 aid stations throughout the 22 miles with plenty of oranges, bananas, and hammer nutrition products. 1 water bottle, ok. Typical nutrition plan for me though really, probably even more thought out than usual so I figured I was good.

Start of race: think of the usual things….
1. Why am I here?! My bed was so comfortable
2. I should have just called in sick to work yesterday, went to wolfs going away party, drank 20 Pabsts and slept until noon today.
3. What will break on my bike to make me not have to ride all 66 miles?
4. what will I eat when I’m finished, a whole pizza, chick fil a, a burrito the size of breyer (pre weight loss challenge), all of the above….
So many thoughts running through my head. Boom ­ go!

Lap 1: settle in, back of the pack, historically I usually place in the middle of the field so no sense in dropping the hammer and blowing up like Sankoff did on our run at North Table Mtn a few weeks ago. I set in behind some squirrels with $12k bikes who don’t really know how to ride them. Seems ok for now as I ride their rear wheel, HR still in the 60’s so I am right where I want to be. 1.5 miles in and we are cruising, hammering up a short little doubletrack climb and wham! cow patty and cow $hit all over my face from either my front wheel or the rider in front of me. I hadn’t thought of this being one of my excuses to drop out and not finish the race but I thought long and hard about it for the next 20 yards while wiping it off my face. Think to myself…ok so this is how this is going to be, I hate open range. Pass a few squirrels because they are riding better bikes than I am and they suck and settle in. Find aid station 1 and eye their nutrition but don’t grab  anything, the banana is still holding, or at least it would if you WB. About 10 miles in I get passed by 2 former pros from the 40­-49 AG, think that this is ok since they only started 2 mins back and  they are former pros. Try to stay with but start to feel the legs smoking, back off. Mile 20, the most technical part of the course, see a guy walking after he taco’d his tire. awesome. 1:42mins at the  Start/finish, about what I predicted.

Lap 2: grabbed  2 gels and an extra bottle at the transition point. Also down a handful of Endurolytes, about 10ish I’d say. I think the bottle says the normal dose is 4 caps.  that should hold me.  Figured I’d down a gel now and then another half way through. 2 bottles should get me through lap 2 although I had figured I was a bit down on hydration so I needed to pick that up. The one bottle idea was not good, glad they have bottles to take. as soon as I finish one gel I start to get hungry, the 2nd disappears as well.This isn’t good. Quickly find myself all alone too, typical of a course this long. Am glad to see a rider here and there even though they aren’t in my AG.

Come upon one guy after about 15 miles of seeing no one, looks like a solid rider but he is not riding hard. I ask him how his race is going and our conversation goes something like this:
Me: Hey man, hows it going, beautiful day out here huh?
Him: not good, crashed a while back
Me: damn, that sucks, you hurt?
Him: yep, think i broke my wrist
Me: awesome, way to ride it out, be safe

Find a few others in my AG and try to pass them quickly without them seeing my marked calf, don’t want them picking it up knowing they are losing a spot to me. Chat with a guy about Leadville 100 coming up, exchange training routes, discuss current Strava segments and KOMs we are after, etc. I leave him as he eventually fell off.   Mile 35 clicks by and im hitting one of the very techy sections and suddenly feel like my rear tire is hitting each rock and root with no give. Look behind at my tire and its still inflated, but feels squishy. Oh well, I packed 2 tubes so if my sealant doesn’t seal whatever it is ill change it quick. Love tubeless. Ride it out with no issues but definitely a little softer than I like it. Maybe I’ll check the psi at the transition, if I remember. Make it to aid station 2 and exchange bottles, grab some hammer chocolate protein bar thing. As I eat it its getting all over my face. Now I have a mixture of cow dung and chocolate on my face…can’t wait to see the photographer on course, definitely buying that one. 1:50 lap 2, feel OK

Lap 3: If you make it to lap 3, you’ve basically won, or at least that’s what I tell myself. I try to ride conservatively, not take too many risks, and just be around for the last lap. I often try to sabotage myself with my nutrition plans/life­/work­/training balance, but if you can make it to the last lap you are golden. I also know that by sitting back, just hanging around and riding MY race, I will be there in the end. No need to blow yourself up early. After All, a 20th place finish is the same as a 2nd place finish to me, all you get extra is another pair of socks, maybe a box of Hammer gels that I don’t like, so really I don’t care, just here to ride/race and enjoy the free beer at the end.

I take 1 bottle for the last lap, another handful of Endurolytes, another hammer chocolate thing. forget to check my tire. Off we go. Down the chalky chocolate bar, still hungry, starting to catch up on fluids. The Endurolytes are fake, likely just dried up weeds but figured I would take them for the hell of it. I need more veggies in my diet anyways. Catch 2 or 3 guys in my AG right away, haven’t seen them all race so they clearly busted out of the gate too fast or had mechanicals. From the looks on their faces they did not have mechanicals. One guy started screaming d/t cramps as soon as I passed him. Try to pass them quickly and get ahead before they catch a 16th wind and want to put me on the defensive at the very end. Hang on, ride the last few miles conservatively, no risks, but then Wham again! 2 cows standing in the middle of the trail. OK this is not good. I have 2­3 AGer’s right behind me and I have to stop and deal with these damn cows. So what do I do?

Scream SANKY at the top of my lungs….they run away but the earth was shaking, I almost had a marlow right there. I am clear to pass, for now.

Ride out the last few miles, back is killing me, legs are deciding whether or not to cramp up, I’m starving, weather starts to move it. Finish lap 3 in 1:56/5:30. Done!

Post race: limp to my car, pretty delirious at this point. need water bad. Find the beer tent, Ice cold Dales Pale Ale will do just fine. Stand there for a few minutes because I can’t muster the effort to walk yet. Watch a few others finish and they do the same, I think to myself damn…he looks rough! But then remember I look just as beat up.

Thunderstorms move in, really bad thunderstorms., I feel bad for the racers still out on course because there are A LOT of them. Having flashbacks to 24hrs of Enchanted forest, where WB ensured me it never rains in New Mexico, expect when I’m in town. It rained dumped for 10 straight hours. Figured I would just pack it up and head out, not worth staying to wait it out and wait for post race awards. Need to wash this chocolate/cow dung mess off my face before someone notices.

Final thoughts: solid race course, great event. Need to work on the nutrition plan a bit better for Breck 100 and Leadville 100. Still should have stayed in bed and drank 20 Pabsts the night before. Turns out I placed 3rd/21, 8 minutes from 2nd and 20 mins from 1st.  would have gotten a podium shot and some hardware but oh well, I don’t need any more apple/cinnamon gels that I think are gross anyways. The socks would have been cool though. *need nutrition plan: talk to byyny/breyer/sankoff, again. Next up: maybe a Vail Mountain Games trail run next weekend or Xterra Curt Gowdy in a few weeks. And that entire large pizza of course.

~K2

 

ALSO: Matt Morgan finished 7th out of 39 in the Men’s 40-49 AG of the PV Derby’s XC (44 miles) race;

 

<GMSV>

 

Kathy Judson Races through May 2014

KathyJudson-GunnisonGrowler
Kathy Judson showing the boys how it’s done at the Gunnison Growler.
Photo courtesy Kevin Frill, Crested Butte Photography

Kathy Judson had quite a month of May on her bike:

Go Kathy GO!

<GMSV>

 

Race report: The Desert RATS Classic

GA_DR_ClassicLogo_Color

by Scott DeMers

On May 9th I participated in The Desert RATS Classic, a 100K mountain bike race near Fruita, Co. The course runs the Kokopelli trail from the Rabbit Valley trailhead to Westwater and back, with a quick jaunt around the Zion Curtain in both directions.

After sleeping under cold desert skies, I crawled out of my tent at 5:00 AM to greet the rising sun. The camping out in Rabbit Valley isn’t as dispersed as it used to be, but I was able to find a campsite tucked away. After a hearty breakfast of Red Bull, Whole Milk and Frosted Flakes, I jumped into my car and drove to the start.

Upon arrival, the first thing that struck me was how small the field was. I’m not sure what final headcount was, but I’m guessing it was under 40. The start was wicked fast, and I fell in with a group that I continued to yo-yo with for the duration of the race. The best way I can describe the course is “bipolar”. One minute you’re hammering on roads/ trail so hard packed it’s almost pavement, and the next you’re negotiating a nasty cluster of slick rock.  My strategy was to open it up on the Kokopelli sections and simmer-down on the more technical Zion Curtain. It seems to me that this makes choice of bike a flip of the coin. I appreciated the HT when climbing, and was able to manage OK on the technical descents. If I could pull a bike out of a hat, however, I would have opted for a short travel full-suspension, maybe with a side of 650B wheels.

For completing the course in < 6 hours, you’re awarded the ”gonzo” dog tag. I reached the half-way point in 3 even, and surmised that with the upward trending return and accumulated fatigue, being crowned a gonzo was pretty much a chimera. With a nice tail-wind, I began my return journey. I lead a small pack of riders clockwise on the Zion curtain, and worked with a couple of 40+ guys to finish strong. I crossed the line at 6:02, amazed that I was on the 6 hour bubble. Had I known there was a chance, I would have dug a little deeper on the way back. Oh well, I guess I have a good goal for next year.

All-in-all, I would give this race a 9/10. It was pretty clear that this operation isn’t as big as some of the other mountain bike marathons around Colorado, but really that’s not such a bad thing. The staff and volunteers were on the ball, everything seemed well organized, and the participants were an eclectic mix of locals and folks from as far away as BC. The only thing I would suggest to the organizers is that they stock water bottles at the aid station – losing one on the ledgy trails with no hydration pack as a back-up would have really sucked. But perhaps the best thing of all was the surroundings. Racing in the Western Colorado Desert is really unparalleled. It beats Castle Rock anytime.

 

GMSV Battles the Bear

MattMorgan-BattleTheBearXC2014-
Matt Morgan (31) rolls out strong to another Top-20 finish at Battle the Bear,
AND supplied photos of his teammates for this post!
(photo courtesy In Motion Photography)

Several GMSV MtB’ers gathered at Bear Creek Lake Park in Lakewood (“our front yard”) for the Battle the Bear race on May 3.

NOTE: Bear Creek Lake was 60 feet above its normal levels for months after the September 2013 floods … even the start/finish area at Pelican Point was under water! Special Thanks to BCLP head ranger Drew Sprafke and his hearty group of rangers & volunteers for their incredible work in restoring this former lake bed to the fat-&-furious MtB course it’s always been!

Endurance (50 miles)
.

  • Mens 40s (68 total riders in this wave)
    .
    – Dave Jardinico – 20th
    .
    – Scott DeMers – 34th
    IMG_2492-XL[1]
    .
    .
  • Men’s 50s (27)
    .
    – Chris Shamis – 11th
    IMG_1905-XL[1]
    .
    – Phil von Hake – 20th
    IMG_2879-XL[1]
    .
    .

XC (30 miles)

  • Men’s 30s (36)
    .
    – Mike Franco – 9th
    IMG_4124-XL[1]
    .
    – Jamie Henkel – 16th
    IMG_4184-XL[1]
    .
    .
  • Men’s 40s (59)
    .
    – Matt Morgan – 19th
    IMG_4228-XL[1]
    .
    .

Appetizer (20 miles)
.

  • Men’s 40s (16)
    .
    – Jeff Martin – 7th
    IMG_4838-XL[1]
    .

<GMSV>

 

MtB Racing Season opens with the Ridgeline Rampage

2JimDwyer-RidgelineRampage
Jim Dwyer crossing the line at the Ridgeline Rampage
(photo courtesy hardscrabblephotography.com)

Several GMSVers (that we know of) headed to Castle Rock on April 19 for the Ridgeline Rampage, the first of five races in the Rocky Mountain Endurance series, and the unofficial start of 2014’s Mountain Bike racing season:

  • Marathon (50 miles)
    – Jim Dwyer – 8th in Men’s 50s
    – Dave Jardinico – 27th in Men’s 40s
    – Kathy Judson – 4th in Women’s 50s
  • XC (30 miles)
    – Jamie Henkel – 18th in Men’s 30s
    – Mike Franco – 21st in Men’s 30s
    – Matt Morgan – 8th in Men’s 40s
    – Scott DeMers – 28th in Men’s 40s
    – Jeff Martin – 47th in Men’s 40s

Thanks to Scott DeMers for submitting . . . <GMSV>

 

GMSV opens the Cherry Creek TT season in strong form

Thanks to Thom Lieurance for submitting these results . . . GMSV

The 2014 Karen Hornbostel Memorial Time Trial Series (presented in part by Green Mountain Sports) kicked off at Cherry Creek State Park on April 16. GMSVers were on numerous podiums, including the top of one of them … !

Construction at the park has forced a shortening of the course, so several riders took advantage of the series allowing you to race in two different categories:

  • Matt Morgan – 1st in Men’s 45-49;
  • Michael Raber – 2nd in Men’s 65-69, and 8th in Men’s 60-64;
  • Charles Perez – 3rd in Men’s 65-69, and 13th in Men’s B;
  • David Knutson – 3rd in Men’s 50-54, and 6th in Men’s 45-49;
  • Kathy Judson – 5th in Women’s 50-54;
  • Matt Lyons – 8th in Sr. Men’s 4-5;
  • Dick Decker – 11th in Men’s 65-69;
  • Corky Grimm – 20th in Men’s 50-54.

The series continues on Wednesday nights through May 21.

 

YOGA for the Cyclist’s Body

GMSV is excited to add yoga to its winter calendar!

PranaFitness-YogaForTheCyclistBody

Prana Fitness is offering a series of yoga classes
at Green Mountain Sports, 12364 West Alameda Parkway in Lakewood:

  • Thursday, February 13, 2014, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 13, 2014, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 27, 2014, 6:00 – 7:00 PM

No previous yoga experience is necessary.
Please wear comfortable clothes and bring your own yoga mat
(we will also have a few extra mats available).

All classes are open to the public
($5 suggested donation).

We will practice cross-training yoga movements specific to the cyclist’s body to
enhance athleticism,
prevent injury,
speed recovery,
strengthen your core & low back,
stretch your hip flexors & legs,
and open your chest & lungs.

Namaste and we look forward to seeing you at these classes . . . GMSV

 

Live from Lakewood, it’s Tuesday Night!

NighttimeMtB-GreenMtnPk3
L to R: Mike Franco (1st-year GMSVer and very strong rider), Phil von Hake (gassed, but hangin’ on), Pete ? (with Racer X, in back), Tony Martin (a Tuesday-night fixture), and Jeff Martin (back from multiple injuries and also riding strong) take a break next to the radio tower after climbing the Green Mountain Trail.
Photo Courtesy Randy Hodson (Racer X)

GMSV has started a pretty consistent Tuesday night MtB ride, leaving The Shop around 5:30. Most rides only last an hour or two, usually heading up & around Hayden Park on Green Mountain (although previous rides have also included Dinosaur Ridge and other nearby favorites).

The 8-10 riders that showed up on January 21 represented one of the larger groups we’ve had, but hopefully that’ll become a New Normal.

January has been relatively (and thankfully) mild so far, although the die-hards in this group will even ride in 20s & 30s. The winds (esp. at the top) on this night were noticeable but manageable. And trail conditions on Green Mountain are still surprisingly good: little or no snow, bone-dry dirt, and NO MUD!

The Jan. 21 ride ended with a great post-ride dinner & beers at the Ironworks Pub (right around the corner from The Shop), although Old Chicago, Wahoo’s Fish Taco, and other worthy post-ride gathering places are also nearby.

Seeya Tuesday night!
<GMSV>

 

A GOOD CAUSE

I was asked to forward this on to as many people as possible. Please read the message below. We have all ridden this canyon and would like to get up there again. Please help if you can.

Thom

When the historical rains and subsequent flooding happened in September the picturesque little mountain town of Jamestown was devastated. All of the thousands of cyclists who ride the road up to Jamestown for a great workout punctuated by a stop for a snack at the Merc or water from the coolers the town leaves out for us, and all of the mountain bikers who enjoy the trails around Jamestown were left without a destination that has become part of our culture. But beyond that, way beyond that, the folks who live in Jamestown were left without a way in or out of their town, a badly damaged infrastructure including municipal water, and in many cases, without a place to live. Some long time Boulder cyclists decided that they really wanted to help their neighbors in this town that defines community and has been part of our weekly riding experience for decades….and they created Cyclists 4 Jamestown (www.c4jtown.com) and put on a benefit festival to help raise money. The entire cycling community began to come together to help contribute to this worthy cause.

At Curve we have been riding in the Boulder area since the early 80’s and as such we really felt the impact of these events and wanted to help in whatever way we could. We reached out to some local artist friends at Bison Design Group and Chris Cain Art and asked them to donate some time to designing a jersey that was symbolic of the town and the goal at hand. Being avid riders themselves they jumped at the chance and created this special limited edition Jamestown jersey. For every jersey sold at $59.95, there will be a $30 donation (all proceeds) to the Cyclists 4 Jamestown fund. Our friends and fellow cyclists at Excel Sports immediately came to the front when asked if they would handle the sales and distribution of this special jersey and as such they are the only place to get these jerseys on a pre order basis at the following link:

http://www.excelsports.com/main.asp?page=8&description=Cyclist+for+Jamestown+Jersey&vendorCode=CURVE&major=4&minor=6

Our goal is to sell so many jerseys that we can hand the town a big fat check for the rebuilding effort. To that end please forward to any cycling friends and ask that they do the same. Spending $60 on a beautiful and unique jersey that results in $30 donation to a community in need is a win win for all. It is not often that as a population cyclists can come together in such a way to help out a town that we have enjoyed…let’s make the most of our opportunity to help. THANKS!

GMSV Shows its Road Rage!

Thanks to Scott “Dirt Coach” Hackett for this info from the Red Bull Road Rage down Guanella Pass on Oct. 5.

SHackett-RedBullRoadRage

“Best racing experience ever … Thanks, Red Bull! No license, no categories, no bitching, everyone rips, free food, free beer, zero wimps … Priceless.”

“Everyone loves a crash … unless you’re the one crashing. Watch his chain come off at 8sec, then he clips a foot and pedal and finds out his chain is gone. Should have tucked looks like a collarbone break. Derreck Bassett got up and raced 3 more runs, not like your average Road, XC, or CX pussy.”
VIDEO: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=417251611735298

“Round 2 at the Red Bull Road Rage knocked out by less than a tire width, just didn’t have the watts. Lower left corner see the tire in view we were rubbing shoulders pretty hard the last 40meters. Bummed the front GoPro battery died right after the start, the bail slam would have been sweet. Overall good result would have liked to transferred into the Big Main. Considering I was in a coma 8-9 weeks ago from the ruptured cerebral aneurysm was a good day just didn’t have the watts in my legs from lack of any real training for a while.”
VIDEO: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=417253641735095

<GMSV>

 

GMSV finishes strong at Cyclo X

Thanks to Thom Lieurance for this information . . . . GMSV

GMSV had several solid results at the Cyclo X cyclocross event in Broomfield on September 29:

2013 cyclox flatiron crossing (2122)
Matt Miller: 2nd in SM 45+
and 1st in the Colorado Cross Cup point standings!

2013 cyclox flatiron crossing (1189)
Kathy Judson: 8th in SW 35+

2013 cyclox flatiron crossing (1346)
Chris Shamis: 13th in SM 45+ 4

2013 cyclox flatiron crossing (1112)
Thom Lieurance: 15th in Single Speed,
and “learning an important lesson in tenacity and humility in my first season on a SS.”

2013 cyclox flatiron crossing (2105)
Bruce Whitesel: 32nd in SM 45+

Patrick Whitesel also raced in SM 4, but photos & results were unavailable at press time.

<GMSV>

 

Zero Gravel Cross is STILL On
-> See You Saturday!

Here’s the latest from Captain Thom & Crew:

We just (late Friday morning) checked the Zero Gravel CX course .
It’s drying out quickly, so the race is still ON for Saturday, Sep. 14.
Expect a typical cross race “with a little bit of everything” … !

The course is at 5980 S. Alkire St. in Littleton …
just south of the WaterStone Community Church,
and right across the street from Tipsy’s Liquor World.
PLEASE don’t drive through floodwaters or take any unnecessary risks to get here.

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you Saturday morning!
<GMSV>

ZeroGravelCrossCourse

 

ZERO GRAVEL CROSS IS ON!

As of Thursday at noon the race is still on. We have walked the course and with a little bit of re routing we can still run the race. Remember – it has rained for several days and this will NOT be a dust bowl cross race. Expect and prepare for wet and dirty conditions. CROSS SEASON HAS ARRIVED.
Look for another update sometime after noon on Friday.
See you in Littleton.

GMSV Races for Hope

Webmaster’s Note: Thanks to Carter Faber for this report from the Racing for Hope Criterium on Table Mountain . . . GMSV

RacingForHope

I didn’t see any other Greenies out there, but I was not at the morning races. Racing for Hope – fun easy going race. This race started a few years ago as the Raisin Hope, in honor of Saul Raisin, a local aspiring pro who crashed out in a Euro race, never made it back into the peloton. All net proceeds from today go to Craig Hospital. Sunny beautiful day on the Table Top. 45s was fast. Plenty of attacks off the front, but just enough wind that no one could get away. Pack finish for all.

GMSV at the Salida Classic

Webmaster’s Note: Thanks to “rimstrip” for submitting these GMSV results from the Salida Classic.

SalidaClassic

 

At Salida in the 65’s Mike Raber, Bob Connelly and Phil Coons raced. The results are on the BRAC site. Phil Coons only raced the Crit and RR. Mike Raber took first in the Crit and Phil Coons was fourth. In the State Masters Road Race Phil Coons was third and Mike was fourth. I do not remember Bob Connelly’s finishes accurately enough to report them. I know Mike and Bob were in the TT, and I believe Mike was second. Phil Coons will be in the Lookout and Bannock races. Mike Raber and Bob Connelly will be at Lookout. I believe Bob Connelly at least will be at Bannock. All again are in the 65’s.

Kathy Judson finished 4th in the TT, and 5th in the Road Race … “but the Mountain Bike stage killed me :) ”

 

GMSV Juniors Tear it Up at Winter Park!

Webmaster’s Note: Thanks again to Kathy Judson for these results from the Colorado Epic XC, the 4th race in the Epic Singletrack series, July 27 in Winter Park.

EpicSingletrackLogo-B&W

  • The GMSV Junior team is doing well:
    - Patrick Whitesel finished  3rd in Sport Men 18 & Under
    - Seth Tenneson finished 2nd in Novice Men 16-18
    - Peter Whitesel finished 5th in Novice Men 15 & under
    - Matthew Judson finished 5th in Sport Men 18 & Under
    - Daniel McKelvy is 6th in the series
    The kids are just barely in 2nd place
  • Bruce Whitesel finished 9th in Expert Men 50+
  • Kathy Judson won the Sport Women 50+ race. She admits to sand-bagging, but she did beat 90% of the Sport Men 50+!
<GMSV>

More GMSVer Dispatches from Atop Mt. Evans

JimDwyer-MtEvans

JIM DWYER (above): “I rode the Mount Evans Hill Climb on my mountain bike (I may have been the only MtB out there).  I really enjoyed the workout (and the views) and will probably do it again next year.  Obviously not going for the win, but I did place in the top half of the 50+ citizens category.”

KEVIN BARKER: I raced Mt Evans and placed 23rd in the SM45+. It was hard.

We bet it was -> Thanks and Go Green!
<GMSV>

 

A “Colorado La Alpe Deus” lands Kathy Judson on another Podium!

Webmaster’s Note: While many of us may have taken it relatively easy over the weekend (July 20-21), Kathy Judson raced up 2 of Colorado’s most iconic 14ers and earned a podium spot … all while flashing her trademark huge smile -> Thanks and CONGRATS, Kathy!!! (esp. for reminding us to smile when we shatter) 

Congrats also to GMSV’s 65+ contingent -> Hopefully we’ll also hear from you soon …

KathyJudson-PikesPeakHillClimbPodium

Mount Evans

bright and early on a Saturday morning – What a beautiful day – no wind nor clouds.  The tension is intense at the line as a few of the competitors size up one another.  We take off on the flats for a moderate pace and then at the first hill – SHATTER!!  I was shattered – smiles.  But it is a long race and the Switchbacks are coming.  Steady as day two of the Colorado tour de France is coming.  Great weather – great riding and Finished atop a favorite 14,100 foot mountain – YEAH!!!  The best was seeing all the wild flowers in full bloom and 2 mountain goat kids on the way down.  Beautiful day for a lovely ride in the mountains.  The 65+ team did great!!!  Then Dave and another GMSV were there to help each other along on day 1 of the Colorado Tour de France.

THEN day 2 up to the summit of Pikes Peak – what a spectacular climb!!!  The corners are so fun!!!  Oh I wish I were in a car sliding around each one BUT the bike was great too!   Great weather and No traffic at 7 am.  The 65+ plus guys were there and they are so helpful.  The climb was steeper and shorter and so fun!  A few rest spots and flying with everyone basically riding together.  There were 4 women who took the challenge to do both days and we all had a great time.  The views are so stupendous from atop Pikes Peak.

A weekend for the Brave or the crazy but we had our own little Colorado Alps experience.  Perfect timing!!! Back to back 14er’s.   What an awesome way to spend a weekend in Colorado.

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Neither Rain nor Chain nor 100 Miles Can Keep Mowbray from Crossing the Line in Breck!

Webmaster’s Note: Congrats to Todd Mowbray, who completed the Breckenridge 100 (the final event in the 2013 Rocky Mountain Endurance series) and sent us this report of his adventure.

2013 rme breck 100 little french gulch (2044)

I successfully completed the Breckenridge 100 on July 14 while proudly wearing Green Mountain Sports Velo kit at the finish. It was quite a long day (as a mater of fact, a 13-hour day), starting at 6:00am and finishing almost exactly at 7:00pm … a long day indeed!

I had a mechanical issue at the end of Loop #1 with a broken chain (note to self: carry a master link next time for self-repair). I ran about a mile on singletrack, then arrived at paved tarmac allowing me to coast into town and stopping at the first bike shop I spied. The folks at Lone Star Sports (Kim and Henry) fixed me up with a new chain and was off awaiting more misery. All said I lost about 45min. in time.

Loop #2 was uneventful other than a long slog, pain and suffering. I arrived at the last aid station where we were told only 8 more miles to Carter Park and begin Loop #3. 8 miles seems like a cake walk right? Not!! It was the longest 8 miles I have ever ridden with several hike-a-bike sections and numerous false summits. It was a play on the mind all the way to Carter Park.

We were also challenged by the weather on Loop #3. Prior to reaching the summit of Boreas Pass, it began to rain hard. Three or four riders and myself took shelter underneath a tree and donned rain gear. There was an Aid Station at the summit where we were told the descent into Como was going to be dicey due to the fact the singletrack descent is a natural Flume. Truer words have never been spoken: we descended into Como propelled by the river in the middle of the trail. No one told me to bring my Personal Flotation Device! I then hooked up with a fellow by the name of Jack who was riding a singlespeed (ouch), we climbed out of Como and descended into Carter Park to a jovial crowd, and I was never happier to be off the bike.

Thank you to Green Mountain Sports Velo for that social event at the Wynkoop earlier in the week. Thanks also for all the support I received from everyone that evening prior the race.

Take care and happy trails on the bicycletta,
Todd M.

 

GMSV Returns to Winter for the XC Super Loop

Thanks to Scott Hackett for this info . . . GMSV

EpicSingletrackLogo-B&W

Here are GMSV’s results from the XC Super Loop, Race #2 in the Epic Singletrack series at Winter Park:

Expert Men 45-49
Bill Marcoux – 1:50:01 (14th Place)

Expert Men 50+
Kevin Barker – 1:41:31 (10th)

Sport Men 18 & Under
Weston Mauz - 2:04:05 (10th)

Sport Men 35-39
Scott Wilkey – 1:41:19 (5th / Fastest GMSV Finisher)
Brent Poley – 1:50:04 (14th)

Sport Men 45-49
Jeff Martin – 1:51:50 (15th)
Stuart Proffit – 1:57:32 (20th)

Great Job Everyone!

 

GMSV at the Snake River Mountain Challenge

Thanks to Jamie Henkel (shown here screamin’ down Keystone Mountain) for this race report . . . GMSV

2013 rme snake river loc1 (1447)
Photo courtesy Mountain Moon Photography

Race #5 of the Rocky Mountain Endurance series rolled into Keystone with the Snake River Mountain Challenge on Saturday, June 29.  With a 19-mile course and 3,250 feet of climbing per lap, all three GMSV riders opted for the two-lap Half Marathon … and only one of us was crazy enough to do it on a single speed (not the author)!

The race started with a mass neutral rollout though the center of Keystone resort before turning sharply uphill on a fire road section.  The steepest sections of the mountain are at the bottom, so selections were made quickly as the climbing began towards the first section of singletrack.  Things settled down on the singletrack, and we settled in for the long climb with Chris Shamis, Bobby Tobin, and I within a couple riders of each other.We dropped down on to some great sweeping singletrack about halfway up the mountain (6 miles in).  In and out of the trees, this section was FAST!  Unfortunately, it was over too soon and we were back onto the fire road for the brutal climb up to 11,700 ft.  The weather was great with no rain, but I swear it was full sun every time I hit that fire road!  There was a quick singletrack loop at the top of the climb before pointing the wheels back downhill.

The descent took us down some of Keystone’s best downhill trails, including the black diamond rated TNT.  TNT was steep and loose in sections, but again with some great banked turns to just let it rip.  At the end of this, Chris and I had the same thought, which we shared at the end of the race, “Do I really want to climb up that thing again?”

On the long climb up, I found myself with three other riders in the 30-39 group, and we stuck together on the initial decent.  With the final climb up, I planned to find a pace and keep it.  There were several attempts by the others to split the group, and we slowly peeled off riders until one guy put in a huge effort at the bottom of a steep section.  I found him at the top of that section bent over the bike, totally out of gas!  I hit the singletrack and hoped to just hang on to position.  I made it most of the way down before a guy from the Groove team who dropped off on the climb came screaming up behind me and flying by like a crazy man.  I tried to hold his wheel but to no avail and I rolled into the finish just happy to hang on to the top ten.

Jamie Henkel – 4:25 (9th out of 19 in Men’s 30-39)

Chris Shamis – 4:48 (2nd/4 in Men’s 50-59)

Robert Tobin – 4:29 (7th among the bad-ass single speeders)

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GMSV at the Winter Park Hill Climb

Webmaster’s Note: Thanks to Jim Dwyer for this race report.

EpicSingletrackLogo-B&W

There were quite a few GMSV riders at the Winter Park Hill Climb (Race #1 in the Epic Singletrack series), but I will report on those that I had a chance to talk to after the race.

First, my wife and I enjoyed having couple beers with Scott Wilkey and Jeff Martin while sitting around afterwards. Scott rode that thing in 45:04, putting him in the middle of the pack in the Men’s Sport 35-39 division. Jeff was in the Men’s Sport 45-49 division, and finished in 54:04 -> quite respectable since he only decided the night before to do the hill climb.

Kevin Barker took 1st in the Expert 50-59 division with a time of 41:03! I was 4th in that same division with a time of 44:26. We gave Kevin a hard time because he used a cross bike, but he beat us all by a good margin, so he probably would have still won with a slightly heavier bike!

And Congrats to Kathy Judson on taking 1st in the Women’s Sport 50+ division with a time of 52:39!

Additional GMSV Results for the Winter Park Hill Climb:

  • Bill Marcoux – 42 minutes, 26 seconds (11th out of 17 in Men’s Expert 45-49)
  • Daniel McKelvy – 1:13:28 (7th in Sport Men 18)
  • Brent Poley – 43:27 (7th/26 in Sport Men 35-39)
  • Stuart Proffit – 51:15 (18th/27 in Sport Men 45-49)

GMSV will return to Winter Park for the Super Loop on Saturday, June 29.

<GMSV>

 

Phil von Hake’s Bailey Hundo Race Report

Thanks to Scott DeMers for getting the Bailey Hundo ball rolling … both before and after the race! I also did the Bailey Hundo on June 15, and wanted to provide my own (and hopefully not too long or repetitive) race report.

As much riding as I’ve been doing, I’ve never done 100 miles all-at-once on a bike, road or mountain … ?! I know I should’ve at least done something easier like the Denver Century Ride by now, but that was happening on the exact same day. I also didn’t get into the Leadville 100 for a third straight year, so Hundo it is.

As Scott mentioned (and unlike Leadville), the Hundo is a fundraiser for some very worthy non-profit organizations:

  • Trips for Kids – building healthy confident kids, by connecting diverse youth to the joy of cycling.

I had no problem coughing up $250 for all of these worthy causes, although I held off on asking others for $ in case I’d DNF. The Hundo is also meant to showcase the spectacular MtB opportunities around the Bailey area: the Bailey Trails! group might one day help turn Bailey into a MtB destination a la Fruita.

I swung by Corky’s shop on Friday afternoon to make sure my 13-year-old Vail Cycle Works Ti Soft-tail was Hundo-ready. Thanks (as always!) to Sheldon for getting it ready for last weekend’s pre-ride (after closing time, no less!) and to James for adjusting the headset in mere minutes late on Friday afternoon!

I got to Bailey to set up camp, get my packet, attend the mandatory safety meeting, and shove as much spaghetti into my face as possible before bedtime. I would’ve otherwise just sat & stressed in my tent after dinner, but Scott suggested a 3-5-mile spin which ended up calming me down quite nicely.

Saturday marked the first time I ever remember getting up at 4:00 AM for anything. Breakfast consisted of the jerky in my packet, 3 PBJs, 2 protein shakes, and another gel or two for good measure. I’m sure I should’ve eaten more … but I still had plenty of spaghetti in me, I was nervous enough already, and I promised to make up for it at the aid stations(?!).

We rode 3 miles to the start, where 250 of us were lined up. Some VIP walked out into the middle of the street and fired a shotgun into the air at 6:00 AM sharp, and we were off. Any of you who’ve raced with me know how I usually drop off the back pretty quickly(!) … but I stayed with Scott for a mile or so before the first climb. He & I agreed, though, that staying well within ourselves for the first half of the race was essential to surviving the (MUCH harder) second half.

The Hundo starts off by climbing about 7 miles on paved & (mostly) dirt road south of Bailey up to the Colorado Trail. Then it’s on to the CT and other gorgeous singletrack trails for the next 40 or so miles … J I stayed well within myself all the way to Aid Station #5 (about 47 miles in), and made a concerted effort to do the following at every aid station:

  • Finish whatever sport drink I had in my bottle – I only had Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix (my new favorite) for the start, but luckily every aid station was fairly well stocked with Hammer Perpetuem (my former favorite for long events like this, but still pretty “milky”), Heed, gels, and other standard aid station fare;
  • Bike & Body Check – Thanks again to the shop for getting my bike (back!) into that kind of shape; while my butt, back, and knees usually suffer during & after marathons like these, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well I was doing;
  • Answer nature’s call (more often than usual, but a good sign that I was drinking enough);
  • Check the course map for the distance and (especially) profile before the next station.

I should mention at this point that the Hundo’s aid station volunteers were (by FAR!) the most enthusiastic of any I’ve ever seen at any race. Every racer was greeted with a chorus of cheers, and there was never a need to ask these folks for “more cowbell” … ! A couple at Aid Station #4 were wearing gorilla suits, even though it was cloudless & almost 80.

The folks at Aid 5 may have been the least enthusiastic, but they probably provided me with the most important aid I needed all race. I’ve come to take pride in always beating the cutoff times (even if it’s just by a few minutes). I knew there were several along the Hundo course, starting at Aid 5. So I asked, “how long ‘til this station closes?” to which several volunteers replied, “Soon. Very soon … like less than a half-hour from now.”

Uh-Oh.

I now realized that “staying well within myself” was quickly turning into “riding gently into a DNF.” My original plan was to not really “start racing” until I got the bottom of Stony Pass … but being so far behind schedule meant that I had to start racing NOW, 30+ miles before the start of the Stony Pass climb … ?! The profile between Aid 5 & 6 suggested flat-to-mostly-downhill, which made me channel my inner Scott Hackett and open up the throttle (“Later, B*tches”). There ended up being a MUCH-more-than-expected amount of climbing, which was making me more nervous than I’d even felt just before the start. Worst of all, nasty DNF thoughts started dancing around in my head(?!).

Another racer who was “just cruising” and very patient with my descending “skills” followed me down the rock pile to the South Platte River and Aid Station #6 around 1:00. I immediately asked the race official if I was “still in,” and she reassured me that I definitely was. This aid station was scheduled to close at 2:00 … so while I didn’t ride as cleanly as I wanted to on that segment, I was at least starting to pull away from the broom wagon … J

Going from Aid 6 to 7 was on SH 67, a very slight uphill on about 15 miles of dirt & paved road. There didn’t appear to be anybody going my speed, so it was time to put my near-non-existent time trialing skills to work. Either the wind was with me, or things just went very well for me on that segment. I pulled into Aid 7 at Deckers to find that I had put even more time between me & the cutoff.

I rolled out of Deckers feeling pretty darn good, but then the climbing kicked in: about 3 miles’ worth on (paved) Deckers Road, and another 3 miles on the very steep dirt of Wigwam Creek Road. I felt pretty good passing one guy in a Semper Fi jersey, but simply could not catch an unattached (to a team) woman who stayed about a ¼-mile ahead throughout this segment. I saluted her climbing prowess as I pulled in to Aid 8 about a minute behind her. This was “The Oktoberfest Station,” and the polka music & old guys in lederhosen helped restore levity to my afternoon … perfect timing as we were at the base of Stony Pass.

Stony Pass is nothing exceptional: it tops out at only 8400 feet, and didn’t even feel as steep as Wigwam Creek Rd. below it. But it shows up 80+ miles into the race, and just seems to grind on forever. I had at least pre-ridden the road from Bailey to Deckers back to Bailey the previous weekend … but again, I hadn’t already gone 80 miles on that ride(!). At least the hail that pelted last year’s racers on the pass was replaced by a very short/sweet rain shower, reminding me of just how lucky we were with the entire day’s weather.

Aid 9 was at the top of Stony Pass, where an entire girl’s high school team (I didn’t catch what sport) was there to cheer us on. I’m sure they had been there for hours, so I was once again impressed with their continuing enthusiasm. Fuel up & go, and it was “mostly downhill” to Aid 9 at the Windy Peak Outdoor Education Lab. The volunteers were less enthusiastic, but very informative. They said that it’s “only 1 more mile of climbing, then 7 miles all-downhill to the finish.” I took their word for it, and they were generally right.

I don’t think I’ve ever pedaled downhill harder than I did those last 7-8 miles … probably out of some combination of euphoria, fear of something going wrong, and confidence that I still had that much left in me. There was a last little bump-up to the finish area, where I blew past a male pro. He wasn’t bloody or anything … so I’m sure he had mechanicals, cramps, or some other issue(s) that will prevent me from bragging about it anymore than this.

I wanted to finish more than anything else, but then hoped to finish in under 11 hours. When I saw the clock reading 10:49:…, I let out a few rebel yells and fist-pumps as I crossed the line. My time was good enough for 189th out of the 250-strong field (i.e., NOT in the bottom 20%!), and 63rd out of 79 in Men’s 40s. A volunteer was waiting at the line to shake my hand and present me with that coveted piece of wood with a rusty piece of “Bailey Hundo” metal on it.

While it may have appeared to be a mostly solitary journey for me, I still need to thank so many people for helping to make this happen:

  • Everybody I mentioned above, again!
  • State Senators Brophy, Kopp, Romer (who I saw roll out at the start), and Scheffel for coming up with such a great idea in 2010;
  • Bailey Hundo organizers, sponsors, and volunteers, all of whom treated us like royalty;
  • My GMSV teammates – especially Scott DeMers – for keeping me up & going throughout our training;
  • My Lovely Bride Shelli, who has shown infinite patience throughout this spring (most of it for me on the bike). I know: now it’s time for me to mow the lawn … !

I felt better than I ever thought I would post-race -> I even rode into work today (3 days later)! I don’t know what race I’ll do next (other than the Breck 68), esp. since I need to get over the past weekend’s euphoria. At least I now know I can do “a” hundo – and even “THE” Hundo – fairly well … ~(8-D

I do feel confident about crushing the 2014 Bailey Hundo, though, and hope to see lots more GMSVers there as well . . . PvH

 

Scott DeMers’s Bailey Hundo Race Report

Last Saturday, July 15, it was time to do a race that had been on my radar for 2 years – the Bailey Hundo. As the mission states, this is a not-for-profit mountain bike century that puts all proceeds towards youth cycling and trail building initiatives in Colorado. Starting and finishing in the town of Bailey, the course winds through a granite-hardened landscape, taking you on some of the best trails the state has to offer, including one of our crown jewels, the Colorado Trail.

I arrived late Friday afternoon and set up my tent near the finish line. The camping situation was pretty perfect, big enough to allow elbow room for both RVs and tents alike. A spaghetti dinner was served promptly at 6:30, and I found myself sitting with two of the young‘ens that the race was meant to benefit, recent members of the Colorado High School Cycling League. Also sitting at the table was their executive director, as well as other members of the board of directors. It was inspiring to meet this great group of folks, and I was impressed that many of them, on top of the work they had already put in to making this thing happen, were planning on doing the course with everyone else the next day. Also eventually joining us was my fellow GMSVer, the inimitable Phil Von Hake, who was doing his first 100 mile mountain bike race ever.

I had trouble sleeping that night, and popped awake around 3:00 AM from a dream in which I had been racing the course in the middle of a snow storm. Given that it was supposed to be in the high 70s and sunny that day, I laid awake chuckling to myself and waiting for the sun to come up.

I felt a little like I was dreaming again when the gun went off at 6:00 AM and 250 racers started hammering up the road towards the first section of the Colorado Trail. On the way, I rode past Roman Urbina, Mr. La Ruta De Los Conquistadores, and shook his hand. In no time, the pack hit the first stretch of single-track, and away we went. It was immediately obvious that trail conditions were less than ideal, that is to say drier than a popcorn fart. That’s OK, because unless it’s on fire, the riding in the Buffalo Creek trail system is awesome even on its worst day. The next 40ish miles were single-track bliss.

Up and over Chair Rock, down through the Hayman Burn to the Platte River, I found myself at aid station 6 where I had a drop bag filled with Scooby snacks waiting for me. The rest of the race was going to be on roads, including 4,700 feet of climbing up to Stony Pass. Yowza. I caught a pace line of mostly Optimum Nutrition guys and the odd Racer X, and we hammered off to Deckers where I grabbed a bottle at aid 7. I was feeling cocky and wanted to be the first back on the road, so I jumped on it and caught a 50+ fellow I had been yo-yoing with, Hunter. We chatted a little bit, and I headed off in front of him. But as the Stony Pass climb turned to dirt, so did my cocky attitude. Hunter passed me halfway up, and noticed what must have been obvious fatigue. He reached out and started pushing me as he shouted “C’mon Scott, let’s finish this thing together!” Wow, to have that kind of strength and enthusiasm in my next decade, one can only hope. But 2ish hours later the pass came and went, and I caught a second wind, and a few more racers. In the end, I finished at a time of 9:16, and 40th in my cat, 30 seconds behind Hunter. But that’s the thing about endurance racing – the results are almost irrelevant – it’s the journey that counts. I saw Phil at the finish, and we shared a congratulatory beer over his popping of the proverbial cherry. I cannot tell you how stoked and impressed I am with Mr. Von Hake.

To wrap it up, I would first like to say thank you to everyone who donated on my behalf. I really believe that good things come from supporting and encouraging kids to ride their bikes – God knows what I would have become without one ;-) I would also like to say to anyone that is thinking of doing their first hundo and wanting to stay local, this is your ticket. Unless you’re a freak of nature, the Breckenridge 100 is probably a bit too much for a starter, and the Leadville is, meh, Leadville. I also felt that the carbon hardtail Breezer fit this course like hand in glove. I did races last season that had me questioning the wisdom of my purchase, but it’s rides like this where everything just kinda comes together. What a great time.

 

Love — Scott D