Blessed are the Trail Crews …


by Phil von Hake

I was planning to race in Vail this past weekend, but just didn’t put it all together. Now that I had a Saturday morning “free,” I remembered at the last minute that September 26 was National Public Lands Day, with a trail work effort happening at Bear Creek Lake Park (which I affectionately call “my front yard”).

My first MtB race ever was the 2008 Battle the Bear … and I’ve ridden in, done the BtB, and ridden home every year since.

The 2014 BtB took place only seven  months after the hopefully-only-once-every-100-year floods that hit the Front Range (these photos are from that cleanup effort). I remember being VERY impressed on my first lap heading up Cottonwood Creek with how dry. clean, flowy, etc. the trail was … especially since it spent most of that fall/winter/spring under water! I’ve always called out & thanked the trail crew that made such sweet singletrack possible post-flood … and even though I’ve NEVER done trail work before, I promised I would “soon” …

The 2015 BtB was originally scheduled for May 2015, which turned out to be one of the wettest months in Colorado history. Bear Creek Lake Park was much more lake than park until just a month or two ago, so I look forward to Battling the Bear again this Sunday (Oct. 4 -> anybody else???). I thought this trail work was a great time to finally give back to the park where I originally got bit by the MtB-racing bug.

About 20 of us showed up at the boat launch at 8:00 (ish), grabbed some free breakfast, and then started alternating between shoveling dirt into wheelbarrows & dumping them out on the trail. I chose not to rake the dirt, as I know I’ll be doing plenty of raking in our yards over the next month or so ~>:-( We also spent a little time stretching the beaver-proof wire mesh around trees that had grown enough to become “girdled” by them, and then the free lunch showed up. I was the last volunteer to leave … partly because BCLP head ranger Drew Sprafke & I geeked out on race talk, and partly because I wanted to finish my second hunk o’ sandwich before leaving …

I now look forward to this year’s Battle the Bear more than usual: even though we worked almost on trails that are used mainly by fishermen & picnickers, we still might be racing on at least a few feet of dirt that I shoveled & dumped out :-)

I know GMSV has talked about doing trail work now & then, but don’t remember any specific efforts to do so. Between NPLD and the first-ever Golden Giddyup happening next year, I hope we do give back more to the sport & trails we love so much . . . PvH



GMSV rolls into the SOCO CX Series

Thanks to Jeff Martin (below, climbing), Chris Shamis (jumping), and Thom Lieurance (riding) for these reports . . . GMSV


A few weeks have gone by, with a few more races:

The SoCo Cyclocross Series kicked off on September 13th at Castle Rock’s Ryolite Park and I was the only racer to represent GMSV.  As I continue to get a feel for where my racing is at, I entered the 40+4 race and yet again was left without a call-up.  Looks like it is going to take a few more decent results to get called up outside of the Back 2 Basics Series.  However, as luck would have it, I was standing in the right place and landed an outside position in the 5th row.

The course was outstanding with plenty of beer and heckling for those who would have it.  I focused on the race, persevered and picked my way through some 15 to 20 racers to land a 6th place finish and an upgrade point.  Current upgrade total for this year:  6.  I am starting to think about moving up a bit… into faster classes.

On September 17th, The Back 2 Basics Series #3 was held in Golden.  Thom Lieurance [below] and Chris Shamis attended and raced SS and Mens B respectively.  The course was very fast and well suited to racers that could corner on rails at high speed.  Thom ran into some trouble when he got tangled up with an inexperienced racer, costing him about 5 -7 spots in the standings.  That’s cross… 16th place, out of 30!  Thom looked very strong throughout the race… I am sure there will be a reckoning come next Wednesday!


Chris Shamis [below], as usual, rode flawlessly in his “B” race.  Without a call-up, Chris finished a very respectable 36 out of 64 in a hotly contested race on an equally hot evening!


Me?  I had the benefit of a good call up as a result of my 2nd place finish in week #1, and was able to ride out front for the first lap.  On lap two, three racers slipped by, which was okay… I was going to learn and gain some valuable experience and race “my race”.  I decided that I would focus on holding 4th and not worry about chasing down the three leaders.  Fortunately for me, I was able to execute and hold on to 4th.  As a result, I accumulated 3 more upgrade points, bringing my total to 9.  15 points… and I am a Cat3.

Great job Thom and Chris!  Chris… I think we will be racing togther!

Franco Crushes the Vapor Trail 125!

Thanks and CONGRATS to Mike Franco for sending us the latest update from his spectacular 2015 racing season . . . GMSV

UPDATED Sep. 23, 2015


So this story starts back in August of 2013. I had just come off my first season of mountain bike endurance racing and I was hooked. At the end of the season, I decided I wanted to find the hardest races in Colorado and register for as many of them as possible in 2014.

The four “A” races I decided on were the Bailey Hundo, the Breck 100, the Breck Epic, and the Vapor Trail 125. I had heard that there was a vetting process to get into Vapor, so in January of 2014 I emailed Tom Purvis with Absolute Bikes to start the process. After getting razzed for emailing him so early in the year, I submitted my race resume from the previous year and waited anxiously for a response. Tom got back to me with bad news: I didn’t have a long-enough history of endurance racing and night racing. The only hope he gave me was that based upon my results at the Breck 100 and Breck Epic, he may let me in.

After the Breck 100 (where I had a great race and placed 6th in my age group), I emailed my results to Tom. After some deliberation, he got back to me and told me I was in. Unfortunately, I had already committed to riding The LoToJa Classic the same weekend, so I got a rain check for 2015.

Fast-forward more than a year and the weekend had finally come. Friday afternoon, I headed down to Salida with my wife and daughter so I would have a full 24 hours to get situated and mentally ready. Saturday evening at 7 PM, I headed to registration at Absolute Bikes with my buddy Ernie Johnson, who completed the race in 2012 and was here to suffer again.

At 8 PM, the race staff went through the racer meeting and then sent us off to sweat for an hour and a half. 9:45 PM came before I knew it and we were all lined up on the F Street Bridge, ready to start what could be the hardest single day mountain bike race in North America.

At 10PM, we headed out, led by a vehicle that we would follow for several miles out of town. We climbed in a mass group until the pavement turned to dirt, then the lead car pulled off and the race truly began. I fell into a very steady, if not slow, pace as I knew this was going to be a long night and an even longer day to follow.

I reached Blanks Cabin at 11:47 PM, after 14 miles and nearly 3,000 feet of climbing. This was the first checkpoint and the start of the first singletrack section on the Colorado Trail. I was about 10 minutes behind my goal for this checkpoint, but I wasn’t going to worry about it this early into the race.

This segment of the Colorado Trail is burley. A tough trail in the daylight = downright crazy in the middle of the night. I love technical riding and typically do pretty well on these types of trails, so I wasn’t concerned. Within the first 15 minutes that mentality almost cost me the race. I came into a really gnarly, rocky section that was clearly marked with lots of pink tape and decided to ride it after a slight hesitation. That slight hesitation scrubbed just enough speed, causing me to flip over my bars in slow motion.

I landed hard in a pile of rocks, banging up my left knee, left thumb and right palm. I hopped up quickly and assessed the damage to both my bike and my body. The bike was fine and my body would just have to deal with it. I got lucky. I would need to make better decisions the rest of the race if I wanted to finish this.

I made it through the rest of this technical 12 mile section without further difficulty and came to the first aid station of the race at 1:37 AM. I was back on my time target, so I had made up ground on the Colorado Trail.

Now let me tell you about this aid station and frankly all of the aid stations…just freaking awesome. They had exactly what you needed at whatever point in the race they were located and the volunteers were absolutely incredible. As soon as I rolled in, someone grabbed my bike and another person asked me if I wanted a hot breakfast burrito. They had a fire burning and hot coffee, both of which were a welcome sight at 2 in the morning in the mountains. I sat down next to the fire, put in toe warmers, slipped on my booties, and switched to warmer gloves. I then filled up my 100 oz bladder, my water bottle, and my extra liter platypus bladder, as it would be around 6 hours before I would see another aid station. I slammed down half a burrito and took off.

The next section was a 17 mile climb up a narrow-guage railroad grade, during which we would ascend another 3,400 vertical feet. This was the first mentally challenging point in the race. We literally climbed for two hours in the pitch black at the same pace with almost no variation. Every once in a while I would encounter another rider and make a failed attempt at small talk.

I felt at times that my mind was playing tricks on me. I had never ridden for this long at night and it was starting to mess with my head. I can’t say for certain if it was on this section, but there was a surprise mini aid station somewhere between Aid 1 and Aid 2. This was a sight for sore eyes. They had a fire burning and had cooked up a pile of bacon. I also took this opportunity to put on my thermal jacket, as the cold was starting to get to me.

After continuing the slog, I finally reached some singletrack that led me to the Alpine Tunnel, which would be my first summit of the Continental Divide. At this point, the course had taken us to nearly 12,000 feet and it was about 4 in the morning.

The next section was brutal. After a really sketchy descent, we climbed up to Tomichi Pass, during which I’m sure I hiked my bike more than a little. After summiting Tomichi, there is a short descent and then the infamous Vapor Trail hike-a-bike. This hiking segment was like climbing a 14’er with your bike. It was a steep, rocky, loose, technical trail that took nearly an hour to get through.

I finished pushing my bike to the top of Granite Mountain around 6:25 AM, just as the sky was beginning to get light. Other than the finish line, this was my favorite point in the race. I was sitting on top of the world at 12,600 feet watching the sun start to rise over some of the tallest mountains in the US. Absolutely mind-blowing.


After leaving this gorgeous summit, I started what I feel is the best descent of the race on the Canyon Creek Trail. What a blast! This was a full hour of amazing downhill singletrack. I was having so much fun, I almost didn’t even notice my fingers going numb from the continuous descending in the wee hours of the morning.

After a short punchy climb, I reached Aid 2, the famous Dave Wiens pancake station, around 7:45 AM. I grabbed a plate of food and coffee and sat next to the fire to warm up. This is where I came to the unsettling realization that I had not eaten enough during the hours of riding in the night.

I was starting to feel low on fuel and my body was letting me know. I knew that food was my only way out of this, but of course when you need it most is when food sounds the least appealing. I ate as much as I could stomach, which was one pancake and a couple pieces of sausage, and set out.

After a couple really cold miles, I started the fun grind up Old Monarch Pass Road, which is about 2,500 vertical feet in 9 miles. This is mostly a railroad grade climb, but it is another gift that keeps on giving, as it took me almost an hour and a half to reach old Monarch Pass. This was the second summit of the Continental Divide and from this point, the race would keep us on the Divide for two or three hours straight.

After a short fun section of singletrack, I reached (new) Monarch Pass at 10:20 AM (only 20 minutes off my time target), where I was greeted with Aid 3 and my drop bag.

So here was some good news/bad news. Good news: drop all the extra heavy weight including lights, batteries, warm clothing, heavy pack, etc. Bad news: I felt awful and was starting to have sleep deprivation catch up to me. I felt like I was in a dream and it almost felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. This was a major milestone in the race for me. I felt like my training and fitness got me to this point, but from here on out, it would be a mental game to be able to keep pushing and finish the Vapor Trail 125.

As I was sitting down and eating some food, Derek and Lisa Strong, fellow racers I had met at the Gunnison Growler, came over to say hello. They were shuttling the Monarch Crest that day on a casual ride and gave me some words of encouragement.

After I left Aid 3 to start the beautiful Monarch Crest, I was lucky enough to see Derek and Lisa a few times and their cheering and support was exactly what I needed. I’m sure they had their doubts as I know I had to look pretty terrible, but I can’t thank them enough for giving me the push that I needed.

The Monarch Crest was extremely hard for me. I was running out of gas. After 10 miles, I descended into the Marshall Pass Aid Station (our first of two times though this aid), which is where I reached the low point in my race.

I felt absolutely horrible. I honestly thought I might need medical attention. I laid down in the dirt in the shadow cast by the tent. I thought that maybe a quick power nap would help. I asked a volunteer to wake me up in 15 minutes and attempted to sleep. I quickly realized that sleep was impossible, so I got up and sat next to another volunteer. He could tell I was hurting, so he gave me a pep talk about the next section that I was dreading the most.

The Starvation Creek loop takes you off the East side of the Continental Divide, drops over 2,000 feet, and then drags you back up those 2,000 feet to the same aid station at Marshall Pass. From what the volunteer told me, it should take 2-2.5 hours. I would be happy to make it in 3.

The pep talk worked. I decided to keep on pushing and headed out on the Starvation Creek loop. I ran into my friend Ernie right at the beginning as he was just completing the loop. During my brief conversation with him, he told me how horrible the climb was, which is not what I wanted to hear at the point. I left him and started an incredible singletrack decent which ends at Poncha Creek Road.

I then turned and began the brutal climb Ernie just finished telling me about. I actually went into this with such dread that it ended up not being as bad as I was expecting. Before I knew it, I was back at the Marshall Pass aid station right around 3 PM, completing the loop in about 2 hours! I was fired up! This was one of my highest points in the race. I know felt that I could finish this thing.

As I rode up to the aid station, Tom Purvis really made my day by coming up to me, shaking my hand, and saying “you’re doing this to prove I was wrong for not letting you in last year.” I don’t know about all that, but I was definitely doing this to prove to myself that I could push my body and mind to limits I hadn’t yet discovered.

As I was leaving Marshall Pass, it was 3:10 PM and Tom told me I had 3 hours left. Now that I felt confident I would finish, my secondary goal of finishing under 20 hours kicked in. I would need to finish this last section in less than 2 hours and 50 minutes to meet this goal. I was going to have to push to achieve it.

I was back on the Colorado Trail and Continental Divide (3rd time hitting the Divide), climbing and rolling along until I finally descended to the amazing Silver Creek Trail. Around 4:30 PM, with an ear-to-ear grin after a badass downhill, I hit the final aid station. I grabbed a delicious rice, bacon, and egg roll and booked it for the last dirt/singletrack segment of the Vapor.

The Rainbow Trail is 11 miles of goodness that would be SO much more fun when you are fresh. I still had a blast though. I pushed hard throughout this section knowing I had little time to spare. The flowy, buffed-out descents put an even bigger smile on my face than Silver Creek.

As I spit out onto Highway 285, it was 5:30 PM and I had about 10 miles of pavement to Absolute Bikes, the finish line. I dropped the hammer…or what was left of it.

Between pedaling, tucking, and a little bit of hoping, I rolled into Absolute Bikes at 5:54 PM, 6 minutes ahead of my goal. I was greeted by Tom Purvis (again shaking my hand and reiterating that I did this to prove him wrong), my incredibly supportive wife and daughter, and the cheers/cow bells of other racers, volunteers, and friends.

I had done it! I raced all through the night and the next day, for 19 hours and 54 minutes, over 125 challenging miles, with nearly 20,000 feet of climbing.

Thanks to Tom Purvis for giving me a chance this year, Earl Walker and all the volunteers for supporting us all night and all day, Corky Grimm and Jeff O’Brien with Green Mountain Sports for always taking care of me and my bikes, and especially my wife Kelsey for being there for me all year and supporting this crazy habit I have.

Cheers to everyone and the Vapor Trail 125, a truly epic adventure.


GMSV at Week 2 of Wednesday Night CX

Thanks to Thom Lieurance (close-up photo below) for this race report and photos . . . GMSV


Week 2 of the Back to Basics Wednesday night CX series is in the bag. GMSV have a relatively small turnout due to other family and work commitments.


Matt Morgan [above, wearing GREEN] – 36th

Thom Lieurance – 14th

This week’s course was surprisingly tough. It was really fast with short periods is tight turns. This made for very little recovery time. The racers were either on the rivet pounding the pedals or powering out of a speed killing tight turn.

I personally had a tough result due to a not so terrific start. I had to really hammer to get to ninth place by the third lap. I then started to feel the effects of going to hard and lost some positions at the end of the fourth and going into the last lap. After losing 2 position within sight of the finish line, I finished 14th. Not a bad finish but could have been better. This proves that the call up in CX is everything. Bad starts result in tough races.

So get out there and get those call up points.



GMSV’ers dive back into Cyclocross season!


Thanks to Thom Lieurance (above) and Jeff Martin for these early CX season race reports . . . GMSV


From Thom:

It has begun. After a 2014 season shortened by injury, I have been looking forward to the 2015 CX season. I have spent the entire year prepping for the upcoming races. I have been training hard and doing my best to get into great physical shape to acquire the best results I can. I look forward to being competitive in the SSCX category and hope for good finishes.

Finishing the first race [Back to Basics CX Series Race #1, Sep. 2 @ Lookout Mtn. Youth Services Center in Golden] in 9th is a good start. I actually had guys in my crosshairs at the end of the race that would have walked away from me in the first lap last year.
2015 should be great racing and awesome times with the GMSV cross guys.



From Jeff:

Fall, mud, beer, Twizzlers, extreme heat (apparently this year), cowbells, snow, mount/dismount, dust, run, wreck, drool, rain, obstacles, re-purposed road bikes, wait… re-purposed mountain bikes (heck, any bike will do), snow, on the rivet, jump, sand, cold, leaves, steeplechase, sprint, (puke?…), stairs, beer (oh, I said beer)… wait, FREE beer! Cyclocross; 60 minutes of hell on a bike!  FUN!!!  …and, oh yeah, bacon!  CX is here!!!

I will be keeping everyone updated on the GMSV Cyclocross season!

The J-Pow Fascat Cyclocross Season Kick off opened our “unofficial” Front Range Season on August 30th!  It was an unsanctioned event, and I was the only GMSV racer to participate.  The race featured a technical short loop featuring heat, heat and more heat (all the other features paled in comparison… so much so… I didn’t even notice them)!  I had a ton of fun.. it was worth doing if nothing more than to get on the Cross bike and ride it like I stole it!  My finish, Top 10… 9th/87 racers.

The Back to Basics Cyclocross Series kicked off a few days later.  Race one featured the typical 10 minute loop and the classes were packed!  This race is the “official” start of the season… finishes matter, points awarded.  GMSV had 4 racers participate… and made the most of it!

GMSV results were as follows:
  • Jeff Martin:  On the podium, 2nd place / 72 racers, Mens C
  • Thom Lieurance:  Top 10, 9th place / 20 racers, TOUGH mens Single Speed
  • Matt Morgan (no sand bagging here)… 23rd place / 38 racers, Mens A
  • Scott Engers… this first race is always full of glitches… his result (Mens C) are not official yet.  He was on the rivet… as I am witness!  Will update when his result is official.

The race was full of energy!  The most fun you can have on two wheels… racing… is upon us!  GMSV seems poised for a very very good season… for me; my goal is a strong finish at the State Championships (Mens CAT 4)… and it will be a work in progress… so far so good!  More to come and congratulations to my teammates… good work and great results!!!

Recap of GMSV Results for 2015 Epic Singletrack Series (and CONGRATS to Paul Moreau!)

Thanks to Jeff Martin for compiling these results . . . <GMSV>


GMSV has a very good year in the Epic Singletrack series at Winter Park! We didn’t have a lot of racers, but we did consistently show up in the top 10! Congratulations to all the GMSV racers who gave it there all on some of the best single track in the state!

A special congratulations to Paul Moreau who won twice on his way to the Overall Mens Sport 45-49 title (photo above)!
We still hope to get a full blog entry about it from Paul, but ’til then here’s what he has written about it:
“Third on the day [at the “King of the Rockies” race on Aug. 22] and First over the six race mountain bike series.”

Excel Roofing Hill Climb (June 13):
Paul Moreau:  1st (Sport, 45-49)
Jeff Martin:  4th (Single Speed)

Super Loop (June 27):
Karen Cannon:  1st (Sport, 50+)
Paul Moreau: 2nd (Sport, 45-49)
Jeff O’Brian: 6th (Sport, 30-34)
Matt Morgan: 11th (Expert, 50+)

Race Rendezvous (July 11):
Paul Moreau: 1st (Sport, 45-49)
Todd Reisinger: 10th (Sport, 50-59)

Colorado Epic XC – Freeride Festival (July 25):
Paul Moreau: 2nd (Sport, 45-49)
Scott De Mers:  7th (Sport, 40-44)
Jeff Martin: 10th (Single Speed)
Jim Lawler:  12th (Single Speed)

Epic Point-to-Point (August 8):
Paul Moreau: 3rd (Sport, 45-49)
Scott De Mers:  5th (Sport, 40-44)
Jeff Martin: 5th (Sport, 45-49)

Excel Roofing King Of The Rockies (August 22):
Paul Moreau:  3rd (Cat 2, 45-49)
Jeff Martin: 5th (Cat 2, 45-49)


von Hake makes The Mountain’s Revenge his first-ever 24-hour race, and survives


Ever since I nearly blacked out from sprinting so hard in the last mile of the 2012 Winter Park Rendezvous (12-mile race), I’ve gravitated almost exclusively toward more-forgiving and much-more-satisfying MtB marathons. And ever since my wife & I bought a condo in Keystone (check it out sometime!) last year, I’ve been looking for any chance to ride in Summit County. So I took a chance on The Mountains Revenge, August 1-2 in & around Keystone.

Not only would TMR be “Baby’s First 24-Hour Race,” but it’s also considered by many to be the world’s toughest 1-day cycling event. I’m sure that’s debatable, but I’m even more sure that this would be a far greater challenge for me than the Bailey Hundo or any RME marathon … ! Throw in the fact that the only “aid station” I’d have is my own car at the end of each loop (TMR is part of the informal and very UN-supported Colorado Endurance Series), and I’m feeling more nervous before this race than usual.

I couldn’t get any GMSV teammates to join the fun(?!), but I was looking forward to racing with (much more “with” than “against” in an event like this one!) my CDPHE colleague Eric Brown. I’d never actually ridden with Eric … but I know he rides a singlespeed once in a while, which almost instantly earns him my respect.

I drove from my condo late Saturday morning to the start/finish campsite between Keystone and Montezuma. I rolled my window down, and then it wouldn’t roll back up. I gave thanks for this not happening in the winter, and did what I could to put it out-of-mind ’til long after the race. I got a call from Eric about an hour before post time, saying he was still stuck on I-70(!). Another thing that I couldn’t let affect my race …

About a dozen people signed up for TMR, but 3-4 of them didn’t start for various reasons. Ken Boyer couldn’t stick around ’til Sunday, so he rode his own Revenge as an ITT Friday-Saturday (5 loops, 115 miles, and nearly 20,000 feet of climbing in just under 24 hours -> Bravo!).

Four of us toed the line just outside River Run Village in “Downtown Keystone.” The air was thick with Bluegrass & Brews, and we were probably the only sober people in the area. Race organizer Adam Shaw (great guy) buttered us up so much with talk of “more climbing than Everest” & etc. that I started to feel like a spoiled-brat millennial(!). The clock struck 2:00 and off we went as a few wives and families cheered us on.

We stayed together for most of the start of Loop 1, which climbs up Keystone Gulch (along the bottom of Keystone’s North Peak and Outback ski areas) to the West Ridge. GMSVers might remember the WR from the back end of Loop 2 of the Breck 32/68/100, except we rode it much later in the day. I heeded advice from Adam, Kevin “24-Hour” Kaucher, and other 24-hour racing vets, though, and took it nice & slow for starters. I made it up, down, around, and back to the campsite (27 miles) in about 3.5 hours. Two other races rolled out as I took a quick dinner break, and I was ready to roll in about 20 minutes.

Then Eric appeared, finishing his Loop 1 just as I was about to start my Loop 2. He started a little later than the rest of us, but seemed to be doing fine and ready for lots more. He wanted to knock out Loops 2 and 3 before getting some sleep, while I was only focused on 2. I rolled out “knowing” he’d catch me soon enough …

I only had a slight idea of what I’d be getting into on Loop 2. I rode through the town of Montezuma for the first time I ever remember (“Where’s Corky’s place?”), and then the fairly-steep dirt road turned into a steeper jeep road. I saw some signs pointing to a wedding, and people in a packed SUV coming down the other way yelled out “we just got married!” I high-fived the driver, who I remember wearing a white gown … ?!

The road/trail kicked up even steeper at Radical Hill. It was indeed “radical,” but I’ve never heard something that tops out around 12,500 feet be called a “hill” … ?! I rode what I could, but probably pushed the bike at least 3-4 miles up that monster. I topped out just before dusk, where Adam was waiting to snap the picture at the top of this post. He said “Smile!” but I could barely muster a grunt.

Adam gave me some more directions on top of his decent cue sheet, but I still needed some “direction correction” when we met further down the hill. The route lurched back up, and I found myself pushing Sparky around most of Glacier Ridge for the next 2+ hours. The full moon finally came up over the horizon & clouds, but it didn’t provide any real “light.” Luckily I had enough of my own lights, a jacket, food & water (Thanks to Scotty D for suggesting Pop Tarts!) for what would be the weirdest few hours of my bike-racing life.

I (think I) stayed true to the cue sheet as I started heading back down, but I was plenty nervous that I’d bottom out in the wrong valley or =. When I rolled back down through Montezuma, though, I was extremely relieved and got back to the campsite around 11:30. Adam said that Eric had DNF’d soon after starting Loop 2 and getting “lost in the woods.” I felt pretty bad about that, and will always wonder if we’d have both fared better or worse if I’d waited just a little longer to ride it with him. Of course, I was also exhausted, so it was definitely Sleepy Time.

I was clearly the tourist in this race field, as I packed up & headed back to our condo for some shut-eye. I got back up (kinda), got back to the campsite, and rolled out for Loop 3 around 9:00 AM.

Loop 3 was supposed to be the easiest loop yet, but I was still so wasted from my late-night adventure that I could never get into much of a rhythm. I lost my cue sheet early in that Loop, but luckily had a spare in my even-more-stuffed-than-usual backpack. I felt even luckier when I completed the lollipop and found the first cue sheet right where I’d dropped it on the way back … ! I made it back to the campsite around Noon-ish, and called it a day.

I heard multiple people call Loop 4 “brutal,” and knowing that it would follow some of Loop 2 (and then some!) pretty-much guaranteed that I would NOT be trying it in my current condition … ! I suppose 70 miles and 11,000+ feet of climbing is a respectable first 24-hour effort, and the results below suggest that I finished in a 3-way tie for 4th (out of 7). My fellow 4th-place finishers (1998 Revenge winner David Pickett-Heaps and previous Colorado Trail Race participant Scott Shirey) both DNF’d due to mechanical issues, though, and I’m sure they would’ve each kept going if their bikes had let them.


Congrats to Nick Woodland on winning the 2015 Mountain’s Revenge with a 116-mile effort. Congrats also to Bernie Romero, coming up just one mile short of Nick … but he did his 115 on a rigid singlespeed, and still had enough energy to break down his fairly large campsite right after the race … !

Adam switches up the order of the loops each year, so I’ll wait to see the ordering before deciding whether to do this again. Going up the Lenawee Loop (up & around A-Basin) would be very cool as its own Ain’t-Dead-Yet ride or =, but doing Loop 2 again (or Loop 4 ever) would definitely give me pause … !

I’m sure some people will eventually consider 100-milers or our other “annual” marathons to be somewhat ho-hum. So while I might not do it again myself, I do recommend The Mountain’s Revenge for anybody who wants a real MtB challenge . . . Thanks, PvH


GMSV has a BIG weekend in Breck!


GMSVers had a great time in Breckenridge this past weekend … with 3 podium spots & 2 more strong finishes in the Breck 32, and another notable result in the Breck 68. Thanks also to team wives and GMSV “Godfather” Corky Grimm for also making the trip … <GMSV>



Mike Franco (left, 2nd in Men’s Singlespeed)
A little bummed I had to drop down to the Breck 32 after training all year for the Breck 100, but we can’t control when illness or injuries will hit us. Still had a fun race on the singlespeed on some of the best singletrack in the state.

Thom Lieurance (right, 3rd in Mens Singlespeed)
Story coming soon …



Matt Morgan (right, 3rd in Mens 50-59)
I held-on to finish on the lower step of the podium in the Breck-32; another race finished with no cramps! Gotta be the Osmo Nutrition PreLoad Hydration mix! This has worked for me all season: last season I cramped in the last few miles of nearly every race! Also the new SRAM 1×11 setup rocks! No going back, life is simple with a single shifter! Big thanks to the GMSV crew at The Shop for their technical expertise and another flawless install!
BtW, You single-speeders are nuts!!!



Jeff Martin (11th in Mens 40-49)

Back in Breck for the second time in two weeks, this time for the RME Breckenridge 100/68/32.  To be consistent, I stuck with the ever-stressful 32 XC event.

There was an unusual mass start that included all of the XC classes.  It was nice to hang with my teammates, a welcome change from the usual classification starts.  My goal was Top 15 due to the strong field I expected to race against.  Another nice change was having a teammate in my age classification (Scott Demears)

The race started with a neutral rollout and a crash within minutes.  Yes, a crash during a neutral rollout (ouch, no comment).  As always, there was a 3 mile paved road climb to open the race.  Knowing this, I had planned to keep my HR rate low and push towards the latter half of the climb.  Unfortunately, I got sucked into Scotts plan and tried to keep pace with him.  To my dismay, his pace was faster than I could maintain and I blew up.  Scott was gone.  After 10 or 15 minutes, I was able to regulate my heart rate and get back on a steady and productive pace.

On a number of occasions my team mate Mike Franco would pass me on climbs and fall behind on the flats (he was geared for a long day of SS abuse) and I owe him a big “thank you” for his constant yelling and screaming at me to go, go, go.  Truth be told, it helped… A LOT!  In the middle of the race was the main climb, a 2500+ vertical foot 8-10 mile slog, on which I actually felt pretty good.  I was able to make some serious time back on the descent and saw Scott above me on some switchbacks leading to the final death march (climb) towards the single track finish.  Seeing Scott really picked up my spirits and gave me something to shoot for.  I picked up the pace and eventually caught him.

Having been tagged by Thom (after being caught in the 40 in the Fort) with the “hey bitch” moniker, I just had to pass it onto Scott (i couldn’t resist, haha)… giving him a firm pat or two on the back and the now customary “hey bitch” shout out!  (he had something to say too, I just can’t write it in a public blog).  It took a little while but he eventually passed me again.  I didn’t object and let him lead us up the final climb (and “death march” seemed somewhat appropriate at the time).  Purposefully lagging about 50 yards back, I let Scott set the pace and planned my last few miles knowing fast single track was ahead.

As the climb flattened, I gave it all I had and hit the single track first, with a ton of speed and didn’t look back.  The move was good enough to put Scott a minute back at the finish (first time for me to finish in front of Scott, who is an amazing racer and have a great deal of respect for).  Anyone racing against Scott, and out in front of him, best lookout… I am sure he’s gonna pass the “hey bitch” moniker on to you… so ride like the wind!  Won’t be me, I’m sticking w my SS for the rest of the summer (just so he can’t, haha, sorry Scott).

Really, it was a great day of racing.  Congratulations to Mike Franco, who finished 2nd in the SS class, Thom Lieurance, who finished 3rd in the SS class and Matt Morgan who finished 3rd in the 50-59 class.  It was a really good day for the GMSV Team.  Aside from the podiums, we had nothing but strong finishes around.  I have to give a shout-out to Scott De Mers for his 13th/39 finish in the super fast 40-49 class and to Phil Von Hake for a solid 6th in the 68 Endurance event (Wow!).  Me, I finished a 11th/39 in the 40-49 class with a time of 3:11 over the 32 miles.  I’ll take it!
My next stop could be the point-to-point in WP!  Perhaps I will see you there!!!



Scott DeMers (right, 13th in Mens 40-49)
Story coming soon …



Phil von Hake (6th in Mens 50-59 of the Breck 68)
I took a third stab at the 68-miler, hoping to finish it in under 9 hours for once. Despite a wrong turn and 1-2 extra miles on the first lap(!), I finished in 8:59:28 (6th out of 8 in Mens 50s)! I also nosed out my long-time (non-GMSV) friend Tony Prete: he’s in way better shape than me (Annapolis grad, submarine officer, MUCH more self-disciplined, etc.), but I passed him on the final descent (maybe the best descent of my life) and beat him by less than a second! Thanks to teammates & better-halves for the mid-race pick-me-up, to Matt Morgan for lubing my chain halfway through (BIG help!), to The Shop for keeping Sparky race-ready, to RME & all those great volunteers, to Tony for pushing me at the finish, to fans at the finish who made me realize Tony was breathing down my back(!), and (as ALWAYS) to my wife Shelli for the weekend hall pass :-) Time to get ready for The Mountain’s Revenge (my 1st-ever 24-hour race) in a few weeks … !




Dwyer finishes Top-15 at the Silver Rush 50 … and with no rear brake!


Thanks to Jim Dwyer for this dispatch from the Silver Rush 50 (July 11 in Leadville), and Nice Job! <GMSV>

I dropped my bike at the base of Dutch Henri Hill about 45 minutes before race time.  In case you’re not familiar with this race, it starts with a steep run/hike-a-bike up this hill along with 500+ other riders to reach the trail.  It’s a good idea to not be at the back of the pack so you don’t stand around too long after reaching the top of the hill.

When I returned to my bike, I squeezed my brakes and the right one quickly touched my hand grip.  Dang, no rear brake.  This took some wind out of my sails considering I had 7800 ft of ascent/descent to face.

I soon found out that it’s a pretty rocky course with some very steep hills, climbing over 12,000 ft 4 times.  Another problem for me: About 1000 ft of ascent while pushing the old bike.  I was not prepared for that (and I hate to get off my bike).  Anyway, a tough race for me.

However, I was able to place 14th out of 85 in the 50-60 age group.  157th out of 563 overall.  A bright spot before/after the race was to chat with Woody from our team who finished just a few minutes after me.  I also had some friends providing support at the halfway mark which was great!


Martin fights off cramps and still finishes 4th on The Fourth


Thanks to Jeff Martin for this post … and way to tough it out to the finish!

Congrats also to GMSVer Chris Juels, who finished 12th in Sport Men 50+ . . . <GMSV>

What a fantastic Fourth of July!  Headed up the hill to Breckenridge without knowing if I would get to race. the Firecracker 50  Did not preregister and the race was oversold (they told me upon arrival).

With 20 minutes left before the start, I got the call-up (thank you Maverick Sports Promotions, they always seem to find a way).  I may have received the very last spot in the race.  Because of the late call-up and my poor pre-race preparation, I elected to go Sport 45-49 which bought me 20 additional minutes to get myself and my gear in order.  Foregoing any type of warm up, I headed to Main Street to take my mark.

It seems like every year this race gets more popular, and based on the number of racers swirling around and the crowds lining the street, this year was no exception.  It was a perfect day to race and the crowd was huge!

The neutral roll-out is very unique.  The racers lead out a Parade down Main Street, high fives from all the kids and cheers from hundreds, maybe thousands of spectators.  Pretty cool stuff.  With all the festivities behind, the race begins with an 8 mile climb covering about 1500 vertical feet.

About halfway up, I found myself off the front with two other guys and riding away from the field and through the younger classes.  The three of us picked up the pace and by the time we reached to end of the first climb we were pretty close to the front of the Sport field and beginning to pick off racers at the back of the Expert class.

With a bit of a break, we introduced ourselves to one another… knowing we were going to spend the next several hours wheel-to-wheel.  I have to give a shout-out to Tim Bresnahan of Colorado Springs (who went onto win) and to Sean Riley of Crested Butte (who after a flat wound up 3rd)  Having dispatched most of the Sport racers, we hit the singletrack perfectly, not getting caught up in the usual bottlenecks.  It allowed the three of us to create distance between us and the field.

We covered the next big climb, a high-altitude 3-mile ascent covering another 1,200 to 1,500 vertical feet, screaming descents and curvy singletrack with no issues and in good time. We finished Lap 1 in just 2:27 minutes and still 1-2-3.

Together, we headed back up Climb 1.  It was clear one of my new friends was feeling a bit chippy and picked up the pace, covering the entire climb at an extremely uncomfortable pace.  All of us were feeling ‘the burn” and the chit-chat ended.  Game on; every man for himself.

We stayed together for the better part of 40 miles before adversity came calling.  I was hit with a severe cramp in my left leg, wished them well and was off the bike.

I knew (or thought) I had a formidable lead and felt that if, no matter what, I moved forward; riding, running, walking, limping, crawling or rolling… I had a chance to finish 3rd and on the podium.  Unfortunately, I could not shake the cramping and my final 10 miles were plagued by a series of off-the-bike stretching, walking, running and mumbling events (I won’t say what I was mumbling).  Might as well have been in a Cyclocross race gone terribly wrong, Argg.

For me, this was a good lesson in persevering through adversity no matter what.  Giving up my 3rd place was never an option while I was racing and as such, I left it all on the trail, giving it 110% for 100% of the time.  While I was on the side of the trail, one racer snuck in front of me (to my dismay)  and so, my finish was a respectable 4th place in a very difficult race.  Note to self: PRE-register, warm up and be prepared!

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better day of racing… so fun… and the course was just incredible.  I would say this is a must-do at least once for anyone interested in racing mountain bikes!

Back in Breckenridge July 18 for RME’s Breck 32/68/100.  See everyone there!


GMSVers riding strong in Winter Park


Thanks to Jeff Martin for passing on these results . . . <GMSV>

The Epic Singletrack series is back at Winter Park, and GMSVers have been on or near the podium in every race so far!

Excel Roofing Hill Climb (Sat., June 13)
  • Paul Moreau:  WON Sport Men 45-49 Class (Time:  43:20)
    Great job Paul!
  • Jeff Martin:  4th in Single Speed Men (Time:  47:17)
Super Loop (Sat., June 27)
  • Karen Cannon: WON Sport Women 50+!
  • Paul Moreau:  2nd in Sport Men 45-49
    Great job again Paul… Looking for an overall podium!!!  Keep it going!
  • Jeff O’Brien (of Shop fame): 6th in Sport Men 30-34

This series continues with the Race Rendezvous on July 11 …
Go Green!


Martin and Lieurance take their single speeds to Fort C, then finish 1-2!

Thanks to Jeff Martin for this post, and Thanks & CONGRATS to him & Thom Lieurance for these outstanding results!

With I-70 west / east an unpredictable traffic situation and a wet spring (snow in the mountains), Thom and I (at the recommendation of Scotty D) headed north to Fort Collins for the 40 in the Fort race.

Both Thom and I would like to give a special thanks to Bill Heistermann, Race Director at Overland Mountain Bike Club for making an exception and allowing us to pick up our race packets the day of, versus Friday eve (a real difficult trip for us Denver folk).  Thom and I signed up for the shorter 20 mile race, single speed class.  Knowing that there was over 4,500 vertical feet of climbing in just 20 miles, it was more than enough for just one gear (well two… sitting or standing).

When we arrived, Scotty D was already out for some serious punishment as a 40-miler (we saw him briefly for a fleeting moment during the race).  The vibe was extraordinarily laid back, zero stress, a great change of pace for us!  The venue (or should I say park) was very scenic and made both of us anxious to get on our SS’s.  We recognized immediately that we struck singletrack gold!  We were right but… in hindsight, didn’t realize it was a careful-what-you-ask-for deal.  The plan was to race together and finish together, have fun and enjoy the absolutely perfect summer Colorado day.

Thom and I rolled down the fire-road start and headed towards the singletrack.  We enter the singletrack and proceed to make good work of the first 800-foot climb.  Really, we were chatty and motivated.  The singletrack was sweet too!  We made easy work of about 75% of the Open class that started a few minutes before.  During our climb we had illusions (delusions?!) of an overall 1-2 finish for all racers in the 20.  So far so good.  A flowing descent and some rolling flats led to nothing short of hell in northern Colorado.

The trail turned up… dramatically…  game on.

Thom and I debated gearing and considered this race a good experiment.   I chose 32×22, Thom 32×20 (macho haha)… when the trail turned dramatically up, separation.  Honestly, we did such a good job of dispatching most of the Open class, I thought we had a “chance.”  In my mind, I said to myself… go!  I hit the gas and headed up and didn’t look back.  In just a short period of time Thom was in my rear view.  Note to self: table your ego when selecting gearing.

I knew my 22 cog was a game changer for this event.  This climb was a ball-buster: 2500 vertical feet of climbing in 7ish miles.  Some of it, well, it was more efficient to walk/run.  A true test.  For anyone interested in a lung-busting, balls-out climbing race, this is your ticket!
Back to the race.  I didn’t look back and did the best work I could, knowing I was in contention to win the 20 all-out.  As the mountain turned down, the fun began.

The 12-plus mile descent was a blast … A FLAT-OUT BLAST!  Technical as hell, and commanding all of my attention.  At a few points, my index finger was so jacked from working the brakes I went to a two-finger and middle-finger technique (I wanted to flip the mountain the bird for sure… as I digress)… No Bueno and no touch.  Just a skidding front wheel and that is nothing but trouble.  I survived.

If ripping technical descents  on a carbon hard-tail is your thing… then this is your race!  With a few white-knuckle close calls, I finished the descent and had only a few miles of rollers left.  Home free, Thom not in sight.  Fast pedaling for a while and headed for the finish I hear from the back “hey bitch”… yup… Thom.

This is all I can assume… Thom, being one of the best technical descenders I know, made easy work of the last 10-plus miles of down, not without significant risk for sure.  Very impressive!  On my wheel and mission accomplished!  Thom and I got to start together, enjoy some amazing singletrack together… and finish together!  What a great day… perhaps one of my favorite racing days I have had and wouldn’t change a thing!

Anyone looking for a great race with sick climbing, this is your poison.  We will be back next year.

Oh, our finishes… 1-2 in SS, and 7-8 out of 73 in the overall 20-mile event, all classes!

Next time Thom grabs my wheel late… I will let him roll on by.  Thanks Thom, what comes around goes around!.  It was really good to have a beer with Thom and Scotty D [6h 21m, 9th in Men’s Sport 40s] after the race… a perfect ending to a perfect race day.  See you in Breck!

Knutson makes Golden Gran Fondo his “Father’s Day Tootskie,” finishing 4th!


Dave  “DaveMeister” Knutson doesn’t toot his own horn all that often … but he’s a GMSV fixture and year-round champion of our Saturday morning shop rides (aka “Tootskies”). Dave not only finished his first-ever Golden Gran Fondo on June 21, but finished strong -> Thanks and Nice Job, Dave! <GMSV>

Hey I got Fourth place at the golden gran Fondue on Sun…Alexi Grewal Got 2nd Damn Olympic gold medalists git’n in my way….. it’s a tough event 15,000 feet of climbing in… Tony land… Golden Gate canyon area—-later “DaveMeister”—Hope every body’s having a great summer and dodging the rain clouds.

While we’re on the subject, here’s an additional shout-out to Steve Stevens. Steve is a long-time Golden resident who runs The Sustainable Museum of Sustainable Transportation, and he & a friend led out the Fondo field on their Victorian-era bikes … !



PV Derby: GMSV’ers snag a podium spot, a solid result, a DFL, and a lesson in “being prepared” … !

4 GMSV’ers (that we know of) raced in the PV Derby on May 30 at the Peaceful Valley Boy Scout Camp in Elbert. Here’s what each of them had to say about it . . . GMSV



Jeff Martin
“Amazing day of racing at the PV Derby.  The single track was buff and there was enough mud to keep your attention on task!   As always, the atmosphere was festive and everyone had a great time!!!   For me, my pre-race goal of top half finish in the always competitive men’s XC 40-49, finishing 17/50.  For the next race I will up my personal goal and gun for a top 10 finish.”



Mike Franco
After having a terrible start due to the race organizers deciding to start the single speed class with the 30’s class 15 seconds before the gunshot, I settled into fourth place. I was able to catch third place within the first couple miles and by about 2/3 of the way through the first lap, I managed to fight my way to first. That was short lived as Travis from Thin Air Frameworks seemed to put a different gear on his bike, losing me before the end of the first lap. I rode as hard as I could for the next 2 laps and managed to hold off Mark Mills with Team Body Sync and take 2nd place in the XC single speed class. Mark beat me at Ridgeline this year, so it felt good to battle him again and come out on top. I’m sure he and I will be at it again soon. This was a great course this year with the route change, but definitely tough conditions with the mud and loamy soil. I would say that I am hooked on this crazy single speed madness…just have to figure out how to train and be able to ride 100 milers with one gear.



Thom Lieurance
With only 6 racers in the SS cat and a terrible start I finished DFL. There is a little bit of irony in there somewhere. If I would have started with Jeff I would have been 19 of 50. Blah.



Phil von Hake
I’m glad the above picture proves that I at least rode some of the Endurance (55 mile) race. I had 2 flats within the first 5 miles, only had one tube, broke both tire levers, couldn’t find any other tools, had numerous trailside tantrums that would’ve scared Bobby Knight, walked 6-8 miles back to the start, gave the front tire to the neutral tech so I could walk the rest of the bike across the line and finish Lap 1 in just under 3 hours, and went back out for another 2 laps before finally DNF’ing. “Be Prepared,” right?


Franco Growls His Way onto the Podium in Gunnison


Thanks and Congrats to Mike Franco for this dispatch from the 2015 Gunnison Growler . . . GMSV

This was my first time racing the Gunnison Growler and all the hype about this race is true. Incredible single track, tough technical sections, amazing race support and volunteers, and plenty of good beer to greet you at the finish.

I had to deal with some cramping issues at a couple points during the race, but managed to achieve my goal of sub-7 hours with a final time of 6:44:26 for the 67 mile race. As everyone warned me, this race definitely feels like a 100 miler when you are done.

The biggest surprise for me came during the awards ceremony when I went to cheer on a buddy who placed 3rd in single speed. When they came to my age group, they announced me as taking 4th place and getting on the podium, which I never expected in this monster of a race.


Extremely happy with the results and will most likely make this a yearly staple with the spectacular race and fun camping with the family.


Poley cranks out the Triple C Century


Thanks to Brent Poley for sharing this . . . GMSV

I rode in the third annual Broomfield Triple C Century on Sat., May 16. If you’re looking for an early-season century, I highly recommend this ride. It was well organized and marked, and had many volunteers. Free pizza and beer at the end. 5 rest/food zones. The ascending/descending is basically the same, so you’re pretty much peddling the whole time.

The century route starts in Broomfield, goes north to this small town called Johnstown, and then turns around and comes back. Slight head wind on the way back. Mostly newly paved country roads. This year’s ride was its most successful thus far with over 200 riders.

Anyhow, keep it in mind next year if you’re interested. Might be a good team ride as the roads are long without a lot of traffic, good opportunities for pacing and drafting.


Franco returns from the desert as a “King of the RATS”


My family and I arrived in Fruita on Friday afternoon (May 8), with the Desert RATS Classic 100K mountain bike race scheduled to start on Saturday morning. After setting up camp less than a mile from the starting line and starting to cook dinner, a storm moved in on us and with the gusty winds and rain, our tent collapsed, broke a pole, and tore the rain fly. We tried to remain positive, but had a rough night with the collapsed tent taking on water as it rained for half of the night.

Due to the conditions, the race coordinator decided to postpone the race to Sunday. I was ok with this as it allowed me to head into town and replace our damaged tent. After re-situating our camp, I went for a great ride on the West Rim, which parallels the Kokopelli Trail and overlooks the Colorado River. This is an absolutely gorgeous part of our State. Later that evening, we went into Grand Junction and joined the race staff for a cold beer and wings, which was supposed to be the post-race party.

As luck would have it, it rained again Saturday night. It didn’t rain quite as hard, so they decided to run the race on Sunday morning. The field was very small, with about 25 total racers. I started off down the Kokopelli Trail in the lead pack with three strong racers, including Kelly Magelky. Within a couple miles of the start, a rock flew off of Kelly’s tire and smashed into my front brake rotor. After that it was making a lot of noise and I would find out after the race that it was so bent and dragging the pads so badly, it would need to be replaced. After a few miles on the Kokopelli, we started some fairly decent climbs and the three riders I was with began to pull away from me. I had a couple racers behind me that were pushing me as well.

After a fast 10 miles, we hit the incredible Zion Curtain singletrack, which is where the muddy conditions became prevalent. I pulled away from the racers behind me, but had lost the lead pack. The 13ish miles of the Zion Curtain are really fun and have some pretty technical sections. With the mud, it was slow going in spots with several hike-a-bikes and my bike started loading up with mud and drivetrain noises. I reached the Kokopelli again, and within a few more miles (and a brutal climb) I hit the halfway point where I would switch out my hydration bladder and food from my drop bag. This is where I was once again thrown a curve ball. The race staff forgot my drop bag at the start line. Through my rough experiences last year, I have developed a strategy to survive my nutritional challenges by self-supporting in the sense that I only use my food and I have a replacement hydration bladder at the drop point that already has my sodium tablets inside. Without the proper amount of sodium, I ALWAYS cramp in long races. Needless to say, I was pretty upset about this major blunder on the part of the race staff. I filled up with water and grabbed a banana and went back on the course.

Now I was faced with not only the physical challenges that I would surely encounter soon, but the mental challenge of worrying about cramping up and struggling to finish the race. I made it back through the Zion Curtain singletrack in reverse with no issues, but once I entered the last 10 miles of the race on the Kokopelli, the problems started to surface. First my right hamstring started to cramp and then, due to the upper body beating we took on the muddy, technical Zion Curtain, my arms started to cramp. For the next 10 miles, I alternated sitting and standing to try to fight through the cramping. With a few miles to go, I knew it was going to be really tough to beat my goal of sub-6 hours, which would earn the Gonzo Award.

As I hammered through the finish line, I was told I finished in 5:58 and won the 30-39 age group. My wife and daughter were waiting for me with big hugs and kisses, the best part of the race. It was a tough day dealing with the mud, bent brake rotor, and cramping, but the end result put a huge smile on my face. The race course was beautiful and the race staff was very friendly. I obviously have some heartburn about the drop bag situation, but it ended up working out, so water under the bridge. First long one of the year complete…many more fun races on the horizon!




Franco Gives Singlespeed a Try & Finishes 5th at Ridgeline Rampage


Thanks to Mike Franco for this race report (between the ~s below), and Congrats on such a great result!

GMSV Results @ Ridgeline Rampage (Sat., Apr. 25 in Castle Rock):

  • Endurance (50 miles):
    • Mens 40-49: Bill Marcoux – 4:29 (30th)
    • Mens 50+:
      • Jim Dwyer – 4:28 (13th)
      • Phil von Hake – 4:57 (22nd)
  • XC (30 miles):
    • Mens 40-49: Jeff Martin – 2:39 (38th)
    • Mens 50+: Matt Morgan – 2:31 (5th)
    • Mens Singlespeed:
      • Mike Franco – 2:20 (5th)
      • Thom Lieurance – 2:40 (9th)


For my first race of the year I decided to race the XC Single Speed class. I was really amped up and nervous, since this was not only my first race of the year, but also my first race on a single speed.

The race start drops you onto a bike path climb where you have maybe 1/3 of a mile to get position before you enter the tight singletrack. As we hit the singletrack, the lead pack was stacked tight and I was sitting in 6th place. We pushed along together for the next mile or two when the racer in front of me lost control of his front wheel and went down hard. I ran into his bike and had to jump off, getting tangled up with him. I was able to quickly pick up the bike and jump back on, moving into 5th place, but unfortunately losing the lead pack. They were now about 100 yards ahead and moving at a fast pace.

I pushed as hard as I could and was only able to keep them in sight for about 2/3 of a lap. The racer who crashed was also slowly gaining ground on me. During the second lap, he finally overtook me and as I watched him pull away on the flat sections, I realized he must be pushing a harder gear ratio. I kept hammering as hard as I could and halfway through the third lap, I overtook Dave with Funk Cycles.

On the last big hill, I started to feel a cramp in my inner left thigh, but was able to push through it and finish the race strong with 5th place result and a time of 2:20:57. I never saw the 4th place racer, but learned later I was only 12 seconds behind him and 1:15 behind 3rd place. I was able to shave almost 10 minutes off my time from last year and compete with some awesome riders in the single speed class. All in all, a great race to knock the cobwebs off.



Judson WINS the Fed Center Crit!


GMSV’s Kathy Judson started her 2015 race season in much the same way she finished last season … atop the podium! Judson won the MW 50+ race at the Denver Federal Center Classic on April 19.

“What a fun day to ride with these women… Carla and I got to race together like in times of old… Wine was the best prime…. Thankfully 2 primes going into the final lap and the sprint was a great effort by all.  Carla and I were together in a photo finish…. So fun!!!”

GMSV’s Doug Hill also finished 10th in the MM 60+ race.



Sponsor(s) Spotlight: Bellwether Clothing and Profile Design


GMSV is proud to be sponsored by both Bellwether Clothing and Profile Design in 2015!

The Bellwether Clothing mission has remained the same for over 30 years — to develop high performance, affordable, technical apparel for riders just like you. “Real clothes for the real world.”

Since 1988, Profile Design has been setting the standard in innovation, creating cycling components designed for speed.

Bellwether and Profile Design were both so impressed with GMSV that they joined the team.  “The Green Mountain team is one of the most visible and friendliest on the Front Range scene. It seems like every day we’re out training we’re waving to another GMSV racer grinding out some miles.  GMSV is by far the friendliest team at any race. It’s common knowledge that, no matter what kit you wear, you’ll be welcome at the GMSV tent. We are excited to share the shade with you this season!”

For more information on Bellwether visit:

For more information on Profile Design visit:



Sponsor Spotlight: The FAST Lab


GMSV is proud to now be sponsored by The FAST Lab, the premier sports performance testing, training, coaching and integrated sports performance center focused on endurance athletes.

The FAST Lab offers Electro-Myography (EMG) evaluations, Run Form Analysis, Dry Needling, Sports Massage, Nutritional consulting, Lactate Threshold determination, and Individual and Small Group Functional Strength Training in our state of the art facility.

GMSV Mountain Biker Mike Franco shared his experience with The FAST Lab and the impact it had on his training program.
“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.”

Discounts for GMSV members:

  • 10% off Nutritional consultations and Coaching Plans 
  • 15% off initial Sports Performance Evaluation and Threshold Testing 
  • 15% off all Personal Training and Skills Clinics



Sponsor Spotlight: Osmo Nutrition


GMSV is proud to welcome Osmo Nutrition as a new sponsor for 2015!

“Once I started using Osmo products for ultra endurance races, my cramping issues no longer hindered my performance,” says GMSV’er Mike Franco. “Osmo provides solid products for the endurance athlete.”

When asked about why they sponsor GMSV, Osmo’s Lisa Hunt says “We’re proud to support such an awesome team!”

Osmo’s revolutionary hydration and recovery products are based on peer-reviewed science, athlete input and the pioneering work of exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist Dr. Stacy Sims, An athlete herself, Dr. Sims first tested the products on herself and her teammates. After more than a decade of lab research and beta testing with professional cyclists, triathletes and racecar drivers, Osmo was created.

The science is simple. Hydration, which refers to the maintenance of water in your blood, is critical to maximizing power, endurance and reducing fatigue. When you’re thirsty, you’ve already lost two percent of your body water—and 11 percent of your power. There are no artificial ingredients or added fillers in Osmo’s products. Just like the science of hydration, we’ve kept it simple, using only what the body needs.

Osmo has products specifically made for men, women, and kids -> Check ’em out!



Sponsor Spotlight: Prana Fitness … AND Yoga for Cyclists!


This will be the first in a series about the companies that make GMSV possible.

Green Mountain Sports Velo is proud to welcome Prana Fitness to its 2015 team of sponsors! Prana fitness is a local Colorado 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Prana is the Sanskrit word for “vital life.” We can learn to challenge the excuses and obstacles we create to reveal the happiest versions of ourselves: fit, confident, and overflowing with contagious energy. Prana Fitness believes fitness support should be free and accessible to everyone.

“Prana Fitness thinks that bringing educational yoga workshops to cyclists is a great way to complement their sport’s rigorous training, introduce to them a new way to cross/strength train, and add a way to increase the body’s blood flow for speedy recovery post-ride,” says Prana founder Sarah Tinkler. “We really believe that yoga can benefit every body! Prana Fitness has chosen GMSV in particular because of its team’s great positive energy, laid back atmosphere, and fun personality.”

Sarah is once again offering her “Yoga for the Cyclist’s Body” classes to GMSV members & friends, 6:00 – 7:00 PM every other Tuesday night through March 24 (specific dates below) at The Shop:


In case you can’t read the image:

  • Practice cross-training yoga movements specific to the cyclist’s body to enhance athleticism, prevent injury, and speed recovery. Strengthen your core and low back, stretch your hip flexors and legs, open your chest and lungs.
  • Open to the public / $5 suggested donation
  • No previous yoga experience necessary!
  • Bring yoga mat (or we’ll have a few extras)
  • All classes at Green Mountain Sports (12364 Alameda Pkwy., Lakewood):
    – Tue., February 10, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
    – Tue., February 24, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
    – Tue., March 10, 6:00 – 7:00 PM
    – Tue., March 24, 6:00 – 7:00 PM

Even if you can’t join us, check out this 9-minute video of stretches that every cyclist should learn:


Thanks, Sarah! We look forward to seeing you on the mat.



Getting FAT in the mountains!

by Phil von Hake


For the winter of 2014-15, I have more than my usual list of excuses for not riding much (or at all!) since last summer: take a break, I don’t do CX, my 15yo MtB now seems to need work after every ride(?!), holidays, honey-do’s, etc.

When my Mom suffered a fall in mid-December, though, I spent most of the next few weeks at the hospital & rest home, and then had a cold for 2-3 weeks after that. Mom’s doing a little better now … but she is 86, so my list of excuses is sure to grow soon …

Randy-Snow-Suit-A-Christmas-Story-2-255x400Not riding was starting to make me borderline-psychotic (KnowWhatIMean?). I got the hall pass to head for the mountains last weekend for some intriguing winter races. Temps would be in the 20s & 30s all weekend, so “even I” could handle that kind of cold!

I got to Copper Mountain Saturday afternoon for their 4th annual WinterBike event. Most of the demo fatbikes were already spoken for, but Twenty2 Cycles from Glenwood Springs still had 2-3 left.

For reasons ranging from the practical to the comical, I grabbed their utility fatbike prototype (above) and lined up with a few hundred others. I probably could’ve managed this race on my old MtB (pictured belly-up above so I could cannibalize its already-cannibalized pedals), and one genius even used his cross bike in the snow(!). I’ve been mesmerized by the 4-inch-wide tires of fatbikes for years now, but this monster had 5-inch-wide tires -> I (or at least the bike) could’ve lugged a microwave on that rack!

We were sent off with fireworks and a much more festive air than I’m used to. Sure there were some pros & =, but “the rest of us” enjoyed the ride and pushed where we had to (e.g., straight up & down some of the slopes … !). I liked how they ran the course down off the base and right through Copper’s main village so we could ride through a hail of cowbells, remaining holiday lights, and bewildered après skiers.

I finished the 2 laps of the 7ish-mile course in 1:45 .. over an hour behind the podium, “but I probably won the utility bike division!” Yes, I had overdressed(!), but the base area’s fire pits prevented pneumonia.

After a night at our new condo in Keystone (more on that later), I headed to Winter Park on Sunday for their FREE Stagecoach Classic fatbike race. I didn’t know which fatbikes (if any) were available. But my heroes from the previous night were there again, with bikes still available less than an hour before the start! They didn’t have the utility bike, but I gladly grabbed their Bully demo with the John Deere paint job, which also went well with GMSV kit.

Probably less than 100 racers this time … and while it was much more low-key than Copper’s race (“OK, set your Stravas!”), there seemed to be more people there to actually race. The first mile or two were nice & easy, then steady climbing, then onto a few(?) miles of ungroomed singletrack through the trees. The real racers were long gone, so we pushed (and pushed!) through the trees on a gorgeous winter afternoon. The gaiters I wore were no match for the endless powder-up-to-my-ass every time I dabbed, but I was relieved to finally get back on something rideable. I was a little miffed at the “5K to go” sign, but at least that was all very rideable … I even passed 5-10 others.

I finished that 8-mile course in “about” 2:10 (although my Strava never “set”), and I had to get home right after that. I’ve never seen traffic backed up from I-70 past the first switchback up the south side of Berthoud Pass before(!) … but a free bike, free race, and even the 3.5-hour ride home made it all very worthwhile :-)

The next race in that series is on the night of my birthday, although I’m not sure I want to push a fatbike through that much powder again … ? I do want to do the Mineral Belt Mayhem (in Leadville on the night of March 7), though, and might even take one of Corky’s new (to me, at least) Surly fatbikes for that one …

Muchas Thank-You’s to Shelli for the hall pass, to Twenty2 Cycles for their loaner bikes and tremendous pre-race support (TWICE!), and to y’all for reading.

I look forward to getting FAT again soon!


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>


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

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




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>



Kathy Judson WINS the Shenandoah 100!


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!



Mike Franco finishes the Breck Epic -> WOW!


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!



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


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!)
  • Paul Moreau – 3rd in Mens Sport 45-49 (missing out on 2nd place by only 10 seconds)
  • Brent Poley – 5th in Mens Sport 35-39
  • Ross Serven – 6th in Mens Singlespeed

Look for plenty of GMSV riders on-course (and hopefully also on-podium!) at the Excel Roofing King of Rockies race on August 23.



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


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.

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


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.”



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>

Bannock Crit 2014 IMG_1609 (2)
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 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!


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!



Franco tweaks nutrition plan for MUCH better results in Breck

by Mike Franco
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Until next time, keep it on two wheels.
Mike Franco


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

by Kevin “24-hour” Kaucher

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.


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!

(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.


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:
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



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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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!


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!


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!



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


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 rides strong up Guanella Pass

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



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


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



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>


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)



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


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;
  • and Paul Moreau finished 3rd in Men’s Sport 45-49.

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