SRAM Open the Road w/ #eTap

This extended weekend has been action packed with the Tour of California rolling through town. As  part of the TOC in South Lake Tahoe and in Folsom, I was able to get out and help the SRAM posse with 2 of their Open The Road events. Both were highlighting their new eTap and Zipp NSW products. The South Lake ride was awesome, 51mi and 5k of climbing and covered some of the most scenic views in Tahoe. We climbed from lake level up and over Spooner Summit crossing over into Nevada. Then headed south through Genoa past the country’s oldest “Thirst Parlor”. All before climbing back up Kingsbury grade and into Tahoe. We motored through town as hard as we could to get to the finish line at Heavenly before the races finished and were able to enjoy some of the VIP amenities.

On Friday we had the same event but down in Folsom which was really cool because we covered roads I get to ride all the time. Showing people around and giving them a taste of the local scene. It’s awesome to see people come from around the country to see the tour and ride new products.

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The All American Flapjack Ride

After completing and surviving the 2016 edition of The Belgian Waffle I was so stoked on the route and how the whole thing went down that it inspired me to put together a ride that had a similar flare to it around my neck of the woods. After some careful planning and lots of time scouting on Strava I made it happen. 80mi and 9k feet of elevation. Roughly 55miles of pavement, 15 of dirt roads and 10 of single track.

To pay homage to the name of the ride but with a new spin I named it the All American Flapjack ride but there were no flapjacks to be had prior. I was pretty fired up to be able to put together an epic route that has never been done before (not totally sure on that fact but pretty positive).

It surprising took a bit longer than expected creeping close to 6.5hrs ride time, but all good, it was sunny degrees and smiles all around! We charged hard, refueled at the gas stations and kept charging. Only one flat tire and one cracked soul of a rider. As we rode along this one single track sector, we crossed paths with a fellow who looked bewilder and quickly blurted out “You guys are on the wrong bikes!”…yes mission accomplished!! It’s pretty awesome to adventure of the beaten path and get creative with your routes!

https://www.strava.com/activities/576200999

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Whiskey Off Road

The Whiskey Off Road weekend has always been on my list of races to do. This year I am super stoked to be able to get down there and make it happen. I had never been to Prescott but after the weekend, I really want to get back down there and explore more of the trails and ride the vast trail network in the national forrest. The town is kind of a flashback to the 1800’s but has some great little spots for coffee and food.

Friday Night is the Fat Tire Crit, which brings the entire town out to enjoy and watch. It’s mostly just an exhibition event to have some fun and create some hype. The streets are lined with people and it has a great atmosphere. You have to ride the same bike during both days of racing but you can swap tires to something smaller with one rule of the swapped tires needing to be at least 38mm wide. It’s a short but extremely fast race with only 20mins plus 3 laps of racing. I ended up getting spit out from the front group with about 8 mins to go and felt like I swallowed glass shards the rest of the night because of the thin air and me sucking wind.

Sunday morning brought looming clouds, cold temps and the threat of rain. Luckily it held off until right after we finished. Literally, 10 minutes after crossing the line it came dumping down. The race was super fun, covered some sweet trails, under perfect hero dirt with nice and cool temps making it a great day. Half way through the course we descend a 9mi fire road into Skull Valley and then once at the bottom we flip a u-turn and climb right back to our starting point plus another 2 miles to the highest point on track before descending all the way into town. making for an 11mi climb total. That was what ended up deciding the race for most of the groups. Felt great out there but wasn’t able to hang with Decker and Wicks as they were motoring up that climb…haha, oh well not quite the same training as CX stuff. Still had a blast and was able to cross the line in 31st.

Glad to finish off my 3 weekends of traveling and racing with a solid day down there. It’s pretty funny how I focus on racing for 1hr and yet the last 3 weekends have been a 62mi, a 146mi and a 50miler. Good to be home now and riding long rides at the local spots. Nothing planned race wise until Lost N Found!

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The Hell of The North (County)

So there’s a motorcycle hard enduro race called the Erzberg Rodeo. Every year the promoter makes it harder and harder and if more than just a few riders finish he says its too easy and makes it more brutal the following year. I’m going to go ahead and say the promoters of the Belgian Waffle Ride base their ride around a similar concept. If the finishing time is to short for the winner and he feels like it’s “too easy” the previous year, they make it harder. hahahaha. Well this year was the toughest one to date with 145miles, over 11,000 feet of elevation gain, 18 dirt sectors totaling just over 41 miles, and for me a finishing time just under 9hrs.

That was one hell of a day in the saddle and officially my longest ever. Coming into this my goal was just to finish. Obviously being focused on cross primarily we don’t really train for crazy long days, and especially not in April. I had always had it on the list of must do rides and I picked the year to finally do it.

The pace off the start was “wicked fast” and we covered the first 30 miles in no time. Once we hit the dirt things spread out pretty quickly and it became comical to watch everyone try to handle the dirt sections on everything from aero road bikes and 23c road tires to full blown gravel bikes with 38c files. A flat tire early on was a bit of a blow and I was really hoping that wouldn’t set the tone for the day. Luckily that was all. I was able to settle into a group for the majority of the day with the idea to conserve the most amount of energy possible. Taking a quick break at each aid station to refill bottles and consume calories, stretch and just get off the bike for a few minutes. I just wanted to stay consistent and have fun; knowing that I was in no position to win the thing, I took the time to look around and enjoy the ride.

As the day went on I kept passing more and more folks that went out to hard and were now in a position to not finish. The last 40 miles of the course were brutal, and only got harder as the miles ticked away. The last climb, Double Peak Park climb was a 1mi, 600ft ascent that progressively got steeper and steeper as it went up and the last thing i wanted to do just a few miles from the finish. Once to the top we just flipped a u-turn and headed all the way down just because… one last punch to the gut to finish the day off.

I had the dialed bike setup with the Tarmac Disc and Force 1. I ended up running a 50t ring with the XX1 10-42 cassette. I felt comfortable all on it all day and was;t ever feeling like I needed more gear. All in all a great day and I survived! Huge thanks to the promoters and all of those involved in putting it together. It truly is the most unique cycling event I have ever done.

Strava Upload – https://www.strava.com/activities/555973110

BWR1BWR3BWR4

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Barry Roubaix

So last year I flew out to Michigan for a gravel road race called Barry Roubaix after the guys at Greenware convinced me to come out. It was 10degrees for the entire day and I raced in a thermal base layer, LS jersey and a thermal jacket and didn’t overheat. I had so much fun that I had to put it on the calendar again for 2016. This year was the complete opposite and was 75 and sunny!

The race is now in its 8th year and still going strong. With 3 distance options and over 3500 participants, it’s the largest in the country! The race promoters do a great job and put on a top notch event.  I highly recommend making the trip up here. The country of Barry fully embraces the event and has every turn on the routes marked with permanent street signs. We need more embracing a big events like this around the country!!! 

The race this year was crazy fast; we raced 62mi in 2:50ish. The roads were recently grated so it was a workout just to keep the bike in a straight line, super sandy at times and generally a softer surface than the previous year. I made the selection as the front group was down to about 15 guys inside of 20 miles out. But the wheels came off with about 8mi to go and I couldn’t really push it much further. Had a blast and came across the line in 11th. Was definitely hoping for a better number next my name but am excited with how everything is progressing. It’s still early into spring time and there plenty of pedaling still to be had!

  

    
 

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To Europe for MTB

So I hopped on a small plane to SF to take a bigger plane to Chicago to take an even bigger plane to Munich. 

Just about missed my flight to Munich because as we were on approach there was a bird strike on the same runway a few planes ahead of us. We’re just about on the ground and all of the sudden we’re headed back up and making another loop for landing…. We landed at 5:55 and my connecting flight took off at 6:10

I sprinted though O’Hare like a total a**hole. (Sorry bout that, but had to get somewhere quick) and got to the gate right after the boarding door closed…. Luckily the dude in charge was cool and we did some finagling to get me on the plane. 

Flight across was solid. Landed in Munich and jammed down to South Tyrol, Italy in this SICK like Mercedes GLA AMG 45. Got to love German Engineering! 230kph on the AutoBahn!!!!!!!!

I was feeling pretty smoked when we got here but a little afternoon ride helped reawaken me from the fog! 

The crew here from Enduro Bike Mag is awesome! The riding is unbelievable and the Italian Food….ohh man is it tasty!! Going to be a blast of a weekend. Plenty More to Come.

    

    

  

    

  

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24 hrs in The Big Apple

We had a last minute trip down to NYC. We jammed down on Monday morning. Ended up being about 4.5 hr drive. Got there around noon and spent all day Monday and Tuesday there.

We hit up all tourist spots plus a few others I had to check out. 

Had lunch at Katz’s Deli, saw One World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty and Central Park. And had to go check out all the sneaker shops! Flight Club, Alife and 21Mercer.

It was National Coffee Day so we found this sick little underground coffee shop. Ninth St Espresso. Awesome Cold Brew!

Dope little 2 day weekend vacation on a Monday/Tuesday. 

Now back to the grind to get ready for Providence this weekend. Supposed to rain all week and be muddy!!!!!!

   
    
 

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Land of Lawbstah

Out here in Glouchester for the GP of Cyclocross weekend. Should be fun. The course reminds me a bit of a CCCX race back home. Lots of turns, different soil types and granite like dirt. The backdrop for this race is probably one of the most iconic on the U.S. Circuit. Right on the ocean, Stage Fort Park.  Gonna be awesome!

Had some Atomic Coffee on Nitro… Interesting. I dig it! Yeah, the coffee shops name was Atomic but the also some atomic effect after drinking that stuff. I was fired up all day!!!

I know I’ve been slacking on keeping this thing up to date but in gonna work on getting better. What do they say 21 days straight to form a habit…I’ll work on it.

I’ll keep it short and work on keeping you guys in tune! And some how we managed to fit all of this stuff into a SRAM NRS Volvo. Tetris champs right here!!

  
    
 

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The Blitz 2015

This year The Blitz mixed it up a bit by adding some new fun sections to the race course. We no longer finished at 10 Barrel Brewing so it gave us some more room to work with. We added some sweet jumps in the woods near the end of the trails in a zone called “The Lair”. Then straight to the classic jump on the driving range at Tetherow. From there we had the Top Speed competition and back onto the driving range for more of the energy zapping grass all the way to the finish line. Great event as always! Here’s a shortened version but full POV on the event.

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