Friday, May 31, 2013

All In

Early in the race pushing the pace.
Today I went for it...on the first climb I attacked and got a 40 -45 second gap on Sam.  I went hard and now I am hurting.  Sam bridged up after I went off course ever so slightly and then Justin was just enough to get us back in sight. Sam and I throttled each other all day long.  It was 90 degrees with a feels like temp of 97.  By the end of 42 miles I was smoked and still trying to recover now.  I finished the stage 3rd after losing the leaders after swiping for the enduros again.  Time for some podium legs and bed.

Late in the race pushing the pace.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Sam Koerber and I are in a Transylvania Epic battle.   I flatted today and lost 5 minutes.  Now I am 2 minutes back on GC.  2 stages to go...should be hot.
I lost my just a short update tonight.  Amazing trails, amazing camaraderie.   Will be back fo sure!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

TSE Stage 4 = Enduro = More Fun

Yesterdays Stage 3 more like a cross race battling it out w/ Honey Badger Lindine
Anybody recognize this SS Tucson icon...he kept us entertained on the transfers today.

Watch more video of 2013 Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage Race on

So far I have been having a blast at Transylvania Epic...but today was off the charts.  It was still a long day in the saddle with 4000 feet of climbing, but what goes up must come down.  I busted out the Trek Fuel EX 9....and wow....Just like I remembered it from Tucson...the green machine can rip!  Besides a plush plush ride, the Reverb dropper post and the pure power of the Shimano XT brake give me a ton of confidence on the bike.

Spent the day with the Singlespeeders!  They know how to party!

Sector 4 was pretty crazy and I was really pumped to clear it with all the photogs looking for the classic OTB shot....not from this flat lander!

Tonight I am upgrading to a hotel room to get a good nights sleep now that we are half way thru the race.  Time to go do some laundry...back to the pain train tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

and on day 3 it rained

Yee haw...60 degrees, rain, mud, wet, slippery...just how I like it!  I don't really like the energy required for clean up afterwards, but the race conditions were pretty good!

It was more like a midwest style.  Long dirt road lead out, to some slippery single track, to another dirt road, to a gnarly singletrack hike a bike, to paved road in the middle, to more dirt road climbing, to a killer double track climb and one last downhill to the finished.

I started the day 3rd in GC, but first in the Enduro points competition.  Early in the race Sam Koerber apparently dropped his chain and never caught back on.  After a while it was just Justin and myself.  Justin had no reason to crush it during the first enduro segment so he waited as I swiped in and out....we then started to work together on the paved and dirt roads in the middle of the race.

3/4 of the way through there was a long never ending pave climb to dirt road climb that Justin was pushing forward on...the next killer 2 track climb I sensed some weakness and I pushed the pace, but couldn't shake him.  It's hard to really crush it when you don't know what is over the top of the hill...or even where the top of the hill is...

On the last descent I stopped for the Enduro segment and Justin rolled through and got a 10 second gap, but he was out of sight....I swapped out of the Enduro segment and proceeded to crush it, but with the final Enduro so close to the finish there was no way to close the gap.  I finished 2nd on the stage and hopefully had some solid enduro times.  More importantly I think I moved up to 2nd place in the GC.  Justin has a comfy lead.

So far the bikes have been dialed.  Superfly 100 with 29inch wheels is definitely the ticket in these parts.  Huge rock gardens along with super high speed sections...can't go wrong.  Rock Shox with dual hydraulic lockouts give me plenty of platform for the climbs.  A little ProGold after each race and the bikes are shining in no time.  Extreme lube for todays stage had the Shimano drive working flawlessly!  Stoked.

Tomorrow is the Enduro stage where all riders have to swipe in and out....can't wait!  FUEL EX Time!

Watch more video of 2013 Trans-Sylvania Epic Stage Race on

Monday, May 27, 2013

To enduro or not to enduro

Stage 2 of the Transylvania Epic is now in the books.  The race was good and hard!  38 miles of gnarly rocks roots and mud along with 5000 ft of climbing.  Ouch.  5 days to go...
Today started fast with Sam Koerber setting a blistering pace up the first ridiculous climb.  On the 2nd climb of the day Lindine and I started to chase.  15 miles in we came to the first enduro segment.  I stopped to swipe in and Justin had an instant 30 seconds.   I caught him by the end of the 1.5 mile segment only to stop again & swipe out...this time on a high speed section and the Honey Badger was out of site...I was questioning my tactics.
I finally bridged 15 minutes later on a birkie style rolling climb and the lead 3 were all together.
The next enduro swipe in was better and  I lost no time at all, but it got ugly on the swipe out...
My card wouldn't read for way to long...the race was going up the road.  Finally...beep and I was off.  Rallying with only 8 miles to go and in a tough rocky sectiion heard the dreaded hisssss.  Dang....5 minutes later and I was rolling again, but all by myself. 
So the big question?  Keep Enduro n'...this fresh leaders jersey says yup!  Tucson Fuel EX skills are paying off!!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Transylvania Epic - Old Schoool MTBN'

We pulled into Bedford PA yesterday and it was like a scene from the movie Back To The Future...I couldn't believe the old school gas pumps and just how old school it felt.  Then we pulled up to the TSE Epic and it felt just like pulling up to my first ever race at the Garland Hammer.  Camping, partying, good music...its all about the atmosphere and this place has far its a must do race.

Add on to the great atmosphere the fact that the trails rule!  We did a pre-ride of the TT last night and it was like the Rhinelander WORS race on steroids.  So much fun to try to find some flow when there is none to be found.

The Superfly 100 and the 29 inch wheels definitely made things a little nicer.  So much faster when you can float over the top...hopefully over the course of the 7 days the energy savings will be beneficial.

Today was the Prologue TT.  I've never done a 7 day MTB Stage race before so I didn't want to go too deep into the red on day one.  I started nice and smooth and as the race progressed I started to feel the flow of the course and go faster and faster...but never over my head.  Definitely a race where slower is a little faster, but too slow = extra energy spent!

I finished 2nd place to Justin EuroCross Camp room mate from a few years ago....Justin was flying.  We both battled some lapped traffic and are looking forward to a clean track tomorrow.  I also finished 2nd in the Enduro Competition!!!  The endure competition is a race within the race with timed segments throughout each day.  You have to stop and swipe a card to start and it hurts my overall time, but its for fun!  All that Tucson training on Bug Springs and Milagrosa paid off!

Thanks for reading...internet is a little sketchy out here...hopefully more tomorrow after day 2!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bumpin Elbows

WORS season is officially underway and the first race of the year is now in the record books.  Yesterday was the Iola Bump & Jump and I finished 2nd after a tight battle with Cole House.

I chose to ride the Superfly SL Pro hardtail. I think it was the perfect bike...super fast for all the punchy climbs at Iola.  My skills in the tight & twisty singletrack were definitely a little rusty.  After talking w/ Cole post race I think it was my tire selection and too much tire pressure that was making me a little shaky in the singletrack.  Cole was ripping on a big 2.35 knobby front tire and I was being a weight weenie and running a low rolling 2.0...great for the climbs, but maybe not the best combo of tire/hardtail for the bumpy singletrack.

Cole launched off of the start line and a solid group of contenders lead by Tristan chased the first lap.  Starting lap 2 Cole had a 20 second gap so I went to the front and hit the throttle a little.  I caused a separation and closed the gap down to only 5 seconds.  RACC team mate Corey Stelljes finished up the chase and the race was down to 4 of us.

I struggled a little on lap 2 w/ the slower pace, so I decided it was really time to shake things up in the middle of the race....on the gas and stayed on it for lap 3 and then it was just down to Cole and I.  In the middle of Lap 4 Cole got a 6-8 seconds gap after I got caught behind a lapped rider.  It took me about 1/2 lap to close the gap.  I was feeling the effort and instead of possibly being able to attack I was forced to rest.  Cole was crushing the open sections and then lapped traffic forced some major recovery in the singletrack.  With 5 or 6 minutes to go in the race Cole had the pressure on in the singletrack and lapped traffic got between the 2 of us again.  We stayed at 5-6 seconds for the remainder of the race.

I'm pretty happy with the fitness level...even more pumped for Andrea who landed a podium position!  Trek Top Fuels rounding out the podium in 1st and 5th!  Next up:  New adventures and looking forward to TSE!

Friday, May 17, 2013


Epic - It's a word that shouldn't be used lightly, but with a trip to Transylvania coming up I thought it might be appropriate.

Wisconsin!  After a week off  to recover from the Epic Events Whiskey 50 and epic drive home, it was time to start training again.  It is definitely different training in WI compared to AZ.  In Wisconsin you have to pedal the entire ride & sometimes that feels epic!  In AZ or CA there are some descents where you might not be able to pedal full speed ahead.  3 or 4 hours of pedaling hurt me that first week back, but now I'm back into the routine of cranking out the base miles.  I am really lucky to be able to go out for long road rides and see very few cars.  The scenery is awesome this time of year also.  Green grass, blue skies, blooming flowers and all sorts of babies...yesterdays ride I saw baby buffalo, baby geese, baby goats and baby cows!  Pretty cool.

So this year I have decided to mix things up a little more.  Have a little more fun which means doing some different races.  Arby's slogan from a few years back...Different Is Good!  I have always loved Arbyb's in fact I might have to get one today...its been a while!  Anyway...along with Whiskey 50 and possibly MTB Nationals I have decided to race the Transylvania Epic!  I am pumped at the new challenges it will bring.  Closest thing I've done to a mtb stage race would have to be Tour of the Gila...that was over 10 years ago.

I hear their are some rocks out their in PA and some mud so when it started raining and hailing last weekend I though it would be a good idea to go get some practice on some slippery rocks.  Andrea and I teamed up to do the first WEMS race of the year out in Greenbush.  We had a blast racing tag team and had an epic battle with Bill Street and Brian Schwaller.  They won, but we all had fun.  It was perfect training for TSE and the more time on the SF100 29er the better for me.  Can't wait for PA.  Stay tuned for lots of updates, but first WORS #1 this weekend at IOLA!
Last time in raced in PA!  Not too shabby.

It's been a while, but I still remember the pain of racing in PA!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Traveling Man - Whiskey doesn't help!

It just started raining...its sub 50 degrees.  Yep I'm home....not complaining though.  Actually a little happy I can sit back and relax a little.  It was a rough 3 days in the car directly after the finish line of Whiskey 50.  We did the standard I-40 East to I-44 through Tulsa and the great state of MO.  Then up 55 and 39 until we hit WI.  The first night we made it to Gallup, NM and the 2nd night we stayed in Miami, OK.  By night 3 I was surely hurting.  The drive itself was pretty relaxing after a few times through Los Angeles, with all the open land and awesome scenery but my legs were sore to the touch after cramping and it hurt even more not being able to stretch them out for 30 hours.  It's going to take a few days to get caught up and settle in, but again no real hurry.  I'm planning on a few days off of the bike.

Whiskey 50 - What a race!  Highly recommended, but be prepared.  The entire town of Prescott gets behind this started off with a meeting with the mayor and the head of the forest service!  Friday night was the Fat Tire Crit.  Saturday night there was a rocking party on Whiskey Row and Sunday was the XC race.

The Fat Tire crit is pretty painful.  6,000 feet of elevation.  That's enough to make 30 minutes all out hurt and then they go and add a wall of a climb followed by a right hand turn and a long 30-40 second grinder of a climb.  If one doesn't kill you the other will.  Then a 40+ MPH downhill back to the finish.  I started up front and immediately went to the back...I was not acclimated at all.  By the middle of the race I was slowly moving forward each lap and with 4 or 5 to go I was back up in the top 10.  With 3 to go I was on Todd Wells' wheel and he attacked a lead group of 15 riders.  I watched but let the others respond.  Next time up the climb I saw Todd sit up and I followed suit.  I didn't think there was much to go for in the crit.  A call up for Sundays XC race and some glory, but not as much as the penalty of going deep into the red at your first day at altitude.  I finished behind Todd in 18th place.

I spent the day Saturday in recovery mode and did a little research on the race course.  I did the first 20 minute paved climb and the first 1 mile singetrack and then took a shortcut and did the last 15 minute descent.  It was all I could do....I really wish I could have previewed more of the course...but I had a big race the next day and needed to save my legs.

Sunday....ouch!  It was an easy start, but things lit up quickly as the paved road headed up above 6,000 ft and turned to dirt.  It was chaos and I had no idea what position I filtered into the first singletrack.  I found myself really struggling on the first climb without a clue as to how long I had to keep going up.  I was climbing just behind Wicks and Troy Wells.  We finally topped out after countless water bars and started to descend!  Yee hah - One of the most fun descents I have done...kind of reminded me of Bugs Springs!  By the end of the descent I had made up a little ground and had caught Spencer Paxson, Ben Sonntag, and Alex Grant.  Wicks had flatted and then Troy imploded and we picked up Adam Craig on the following climb.  We had now made it to the Skull Valley out and back.

On the descent Adam flatted, we caught a rider from Columbia and Derek Zandstra.  At the turn around we were racing for 5th!  I couldn't believe it....What I didn't know though was how long the climb back out of Skull Valley was going to take.  Half way up Alex Grant and I were dropped along with Zandstra.  Almost there while in 8th and 9th position I had to ask Alex how much further till the top...I was starting to feel it and had no idea if I had 20 minutes to climb or 2.  I needed to know the course better.  Alex turned the screws and I was all alone.

I started the descent and was pretty happy to be done climbing, but the cramps were setting in and I was descending a section of trail that I was completely unfamiliar this point I didn't want to flat and was just in survival mode.  Sid Taberlay caught me, but then flatted.  Then 2 others caught me...I was we were 9, 10 and 11 and one of us wasn't going to make the top ten.  They both dropped me!  Luckily I caught site of them and bridged the gap on the final paved descent...only to turn around and see 2 others bridging back of which was Macky Franklin and the other was Zandstra who I thought was long gone.  After 50 miles of technical descending and brutal climbs...3 + hours into the race it came down to a 5 man sprint for 9th - 13th place.  I knew they only paid 12 deep!  I finished 12th and was completely spent and cramped.  I had nothing for the sprint...just enough to beat one guy who had had a mechanical and was stuck singlespeeding it!

Whiskey could possibly be the hardest race I have ever done.....but I will be back and ready to battle it out again.  Half way up the final climb I was riding with Ben Sonntag who finished 4th....On a good day I could hang with slightly better preparations.  Thanks so much to Epic Rides, the town of Prescott and all the sponsors who made this event possible.  Top notch racing....USACycling & the UCI need to take notes, not threaten us with the fact that we might not be able to compete at this race next year.