Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Rockin' Memorial Day Weekend in Vail!

All fun weekends involve riding dirt bikes, but this trip on Saturday was especially fun for several reasons. 1) Tony got to ride his new KTM 400 XCW that Bryce has been working hard to tune. 2) We both got to ride some epic (and very technical) trail where we made it home in one piece. 3) We met several of the RMEC clan at the trails for numerous good laughs!

After a delicious homemade Mamma Bingham parmesean chicken dinner, we got to bed early so we could do a big mountain bike ride on the newly built trail system in Eagle.

Before we set out, we routed a fun 3-4hr ride and couldn't believe how amazing the trail was for the first 2hrs. Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn at the top of one of the big climbs and got incredibly lost after that!

We searched and searched for the trail but only ended up finding small deer trails that led to nothing but wooded mountain sides. After about an hour of looking, Bryce said that our best bet was to just bushwhack the entire way down the mountain until we met up with a dirt road that he knew was there. I'm usually up for any kind of adventure but when I'm lost in the middle of the forest with absolutely nothing but trees and bushes in sight in the peak of bear season, I am NOT a happy camper.

We eventually made it out (after looking like we took a weed whacker to our arms and legs) and asked a fellow rider where we had gone wrong...apparently we took a left turn about 1/2 mile too early!!! There's nothing worse than climbing for 2hrs then not being able to ride the ''epic'' singletrack back down but at least we made it back safely! Next time we'll know where to go :)

It's very unusual that Bryce gets 3 days off in a row so we decided to head back to the Eagle trail system Monday morning to get our revenge :) We chose to ride a different grouping of trails that did not disappoint!

We did make one wrong turn that prevented us from riding a fun singletrack trail downhill but luckily it wasn't nearly as bad as Sunday. We quickly hopped back onto the correct route and enjoyed more incredible riding for the next few hours!

You know you're having a good weekend when your bike has platform pedals, wide handle bars, 6+ inches of travel, you're helmet has a visor, you've got baggy clothing and comfy shoes on, and your hydration pack has lots of tools, a map, a jacket and an mmmm good sandwich in it!!! Here's to another killer weekend :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

R.M. Stoudt Off Road Festival

Last year I participated in the XTERRA Pipestem Creek in Jamestown, ND before I got sick and cannot say anything but great things about the organization, hospitality and amazing people in that neck of the woods! Since my triathlon training isn't quite up to speed, I unfortunately will not be attending this year but wanted to let everyone know what a great event Steven puts on and why you should go check it out!

Along with the super fun full XTERRA course (1K swim, 13mi MTB, 5mi run), there will also be a short course option (500m swim, 5mi MTB, 3mi run) as well. To add to the festivities on Saturday, there will also be a 4+ mile trail run with river crossings, log barriers, and hill scrambles which is new for 2011. The festival wouldn't be complete without a 35mi MTB race called ''The Epic'' on Sunday! As you can see, there is an event for everyone so you should plan on heading to the R.M. Stoudt Off Road Festival on June 25th and 26th!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gowdy Course Preview & Pics

Here is a short clip of James riding behind Josh during our pre-ride. This is some of the less technical trail, but nonetheless, you can see how super fun it was :) Make sure to change the 360p setting to 720HD at the bottom to view the clips in better quality!

The race wouldn't be complete without Tony giving a valid reason for why he got chicked!!!

This was the start with Sara, myself and Mel - all Boulder chicks - leading the way!

Cool pic :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Gowdy Grinder MTB Race

Located between Cheyenne and Laramie in Wyoming, the Curt Gowdy State Park is a hidden gem of incredible and beautiful trail that every mountain biker should take the opportunity to check out!

After hearing how fun this $10 bare bones race was last year, Bryce and I didn't think twice about making the 2hr trek up there and giving it a whirl. We were also told how techie the terrain was so I cleaned up the Orbea OIZ and brought that bad boy along instead of the 29er! Melanie, James and Josh all joined us for a little pre-ride on Saturday and a fun overnight stay at the Ramada in Laramie before the big day on Sunday.

After pre-riding on Saturday, I was really excited to race. The course is a true mountain bike course with incredibly difficult and technical sections throughout the entire race. The only double track we hit was about 300m on the start and then it was 13.2 miles of slow, fun, hard and intense trail that had the most perfect dirt from several days of moisture :) Unfortunately I woke up with a sore throat which I immediately dismissed (I refused to think I was sick), until about 10min into the race. I had a decent start but quickly realized I had no top end and was hacking up phloem the entire day. Yuck.

Although I felt like total dog crap, I tried as hard as I could to enjoy the amazing trail and the fun people I was racing with. I couldn't have been happier about the bike choice and almost forgot how fun it is to ride a 26in dual suspension XC bike! I ended up finishing 6th with my good friend Mel getting me at the line then 4th less than 30sec ahead and 3rd less than 2 min in front. I have to keep telling myself that I am not fit and still feeling all the effects of the Chronic Fatigue and that it's okay not to be where I used to be. As much as I hate to say it, I was a little more relieved to know that I was getting sick and that a fever/cold completely exploded only an hour after the race. I'm sitting here writing this post with a massive headache, a pile of tissues by my side and only a few hours of sleep :(

On to the more exciting stories of the race...Our new Aussie friend Josh Carlson took the big win which was his first in the USA. Bryce and Zach rode together the entire day and had a total blast trying to catch our good friend Melissa Thomas who rode in the Men's Open race. As always, there is more trash talk the week leading into any MTB race than you could ever imagine and the boys' goals are simply not to get ''chicked''. Unfortunately for almost all the guys, they did not succeed this time!

Little Judy Freeman was another chica racing in the Men's race and beat almost every single one of our friends except for Tom. This picture is awesome for several reasons...A) James caught Tony getting passed by Judy and B) it gives a great visual of how cool the course really was!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A good laugh...

Click on the image to enlarge!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Product Review: 2011 Orbea Alma

Times have changed and the world of mountain biking has jumped on that bandwagon as well. The introduction of 29 inch wheels by Gary Fischer a few years ago has spawned a new beginning to the development of mountain bike frames and geometry. Although skeptical about making the switch to the “29er’’, I gave it a whirl and have learned a lot about my riding style and how a lot of people can benefit from it. Below is a fun review of the 2011 Orbea Alma which is now my new race machine!

The first words that come to mind when looking at this bike is SEXY! The definition and construction of the carbon frame is clean and sleek and the paint and color scheme are simple yet very rad at the same time. Let’s just say that this ride is definitely an eye turner.

Also new to the world of mountain biking is the 2×10 speed drivetrain. I am running the new Shimano XTR Trail 2×10 crankset with 170mm arms, 36T/26T chainrings and an 11T/36T cassette. I have to admit that I was terrified not to have a 22T/34T combo as my easiest gear but I have found that for certain terrain it is okay. I’m still trying to get back in shape and don’t have the legs of steel I used to so grinding up some of the tougher Colorado trail has definitely been a challenge, however, when not climbing super steep sections, this gear ratio is absolutely perfect. The shifting is so smooth and crisp that it makes riding that much more enjoyable. As with all my other bikes, I’m using the Shimano XTR pedal which is extremely light and durable. Its adjustability function allows every rider to easily customize how tight or loose you prefer your clipless set up to be.

Reiterating the coolness factor of the bike, I’d like to go into the detail that Orbea has gone through to make this flashy ride top of the line. The new GORE housing is popping up left and right in the MTB world because of its sleek design and protective qualities. Orbea integrated a perfect routing system for an easy build and a very clean look. The blingy red cable guides, seat post collar, and drailleur hanger are just other reasons this bike totally pops!

To compliment the Shimano Trail XTR drivetrain, I’m running the XTR Trail brakes that are also new for 2011. With more braking power and cooling fins to eliminate overheating, these are by far the best brakes you can find. The precision and feel you have when using them allows for such a smoother ride and the adjustability for personalization of lever placement is awesome. Since the front end geometry of the 29er for smaller frames is much different than a smaller wheel bike, it took a few tries to get the fit just right. I needed to get the handlebars lower but was having a tough time due to the bigger fork to accommodate the larger diameter wheels. I ended up using a 680mm flat bar with a big sweep in combination with a 70mm/8 degree stem flipped upside down. I was worried the turning would be a little funky but alas it is awesome!

And then there was suspension! I’ve never raced a hardtail bike before and not only is the bike much lighter, but by eliminating the rear suspension mechanisms, the bike becomes much more simple from a tuning and maintenance aspect. The Fox F29-32 fork with 100mm of travel and a thru-axel wheel lock is the bomb. The new and innovative tapered headset is incredible stiff and delivers an ultimate race feel. The setup was easy and so far, no complaints.

If your bum isn’t happy, you’re not going to be happy and your riding will definitely reflect it. I’m a specialized BG girl and the 130cm Phenom is my preferred saddle of choice for the cross country MTB. Not only does it look good, it feels fantastic!

For the rolling component, the Alma is equipped with the Mavic C29 Crossmax wheels. Since larger wheels have the tendency to flex, I was willing to sacrifice a bit of weight for a stiff and durable wheel that is perfect for a tubeless setup. As for the finishing touches on the new getup, I am running the new Maxxis Ikon 29 tires. At only 525g each, this is a super light but very versatile tire for lots of different terrain. I have been riding and racing them around 25psi and unless there are millions of sharp shale rocks around to rip through any tire’s sidewall, this pressure has been adequate for both technical sections and cornering.

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with my 2011 setup. It weighs in at 21lbs and has been a total blast to ride and race. Everything about it is new and exciting and every time I take it out, I come home with one more reason I love it more. There are a lot of different options out there for a 29 inch hardtail but if you’re in the market for bike that has a lot of thought behind the geometry, design and overall feel, the Orbea Alma is the way to go!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A fun and MADD weekend!!!

Friday morning I flew out to Los Angeles to meet up with one of my clients, MADD Gear, to discuss our fast growing business and meet several of our pro riders. The discussion was great and we ended the night ready to rock and roll our first Walmart event of the year.

We recently began selling our scooters in Walmart and have committed to doing some fun demos in front of the store to help promote the product being sold as well as the brand.

Our pro riders Tyler Bonner and Capron Funk put on a great show and got the kids super excited about scooter riding!

The logistics and planning behind the event were crazy but with JT's help, we pulled it off and both Walmart and all the spectators LOVED it!

Even after having his second ankle surgery on Thursday, Twan rallied like a rockstar and was the best MC ever. Click here to check out some rad photos from the event.

Lastly, the Walmart demo was only a few miles from my brother's house so he came out to see what it was all about as well. I haven't seen Jerry since Christmas so it was the perfect opportunity to catch up before I caught my flight home later that evening. Thanks for the ride to the airport JT :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Tattoo is FINISHED!!!

It's obviously very red and much darker than it will be once healed but at least you can see the last of the ink. Stay tuned for some professional photos soon!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Click on each of the images to be directly connected to the various sites...ENJOY!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A solid MTB race finish - NO FLATS!!!

Immediately following our clinic in Denver, Brian and I drove over to the Bear Creek State Park to get our mountain bike racing on. We met up with Bryce and Josh for three 10 mile laps of the fast singletrack around the state park.

This was the hottest day in Colorado for 2011 and since our race didn't begin until 2pm, it was in the mid-high 80s at the start. I was a little unprepared for the heat but rolled with it anyway!

As always, the starts of mountain bike races are excruciatingly hard and painful. This race was exceptionally difficult because they started all women directly behind the beginner men which meant screaming 'when you get a chance' and working extra hard to pass ALL DAY!

Since my fitness is still non-existent, I was able to hang with the lead 5 girls for the first few minutes then I was totally popped off the train. I then ended up riding the rest of the race without another girl in sight.

I worked as hard as my body would allow and ended up with a heart rate average of 180 bpm for 2hrs 15min! The winner was right at 2hrs and the other 4 girls less than 10min in front of me. Considering that all 5 of the ladies who finished in front of me are either Olympians, World Cup racers or full factory riders, I was pleased with my place and excited to see that I'm not THAT far behind without doing any sort of consistent training.

Bryce, Josh and Brian all had great races as well! We'll just pretend that the Pueblo race where I flatted 3 times didn't happen and call this a great start to the 2011 racing season!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Hipster Parties & Timex Clinics

Friday evening was another one of Allen's fun theme parties. This time it was a ''Hipster'' theme and everyone looked pretty sweet.

Best costume of the night goes to Joe who actually had Tingle put mascara on his mustache to make it look more full! Absolutely ridiculous.

After a fun night, Brian Schaning and I got up early to drive to the Chatfield State Park in Denver to do a clinic for the BikeSource Multiport Club. We began with a chill 30min jog (I rode my bike) to get to know the attendees, had some bananas and bagels, then got into the good stuff.

Trista gave some very kind introductions of Brian and I then we began each of our presentations. Brian chatted about open water swimming tips and tricks as well as everything and anything you need to know about wetsuits. I was up next and presented on pre-race, race day and post-race Nutrition using several of my preferred Powerbar products. Lastly, Trista wrapped up the talk with a lot of valuable information about hydration and the effects of diuretics, electrolytes, etc.

We received a lot of great questions on each topic and had a great turnout. Big thanks to Trista for organizing. Hope everyone came home with a little something new to try!