Mountain Biking

29” Wheels, Shaun Cassidy and Bike Mechanics I Love

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So, let me say that last night I was looking on line at pictures. Whoa. Hold your horses. Not those kinds of pictures. Better. Pictures of the new bike I want. The Superfly 100 AL Pro. If I had a locker, I would tape a picture of this bike on the inside. Just like in middle school when I had a crush on Shaun Cassidy. I demo’d the bike last week through my awesome Trek store here in Boulder. They shuttled me (and two other guys) up to the connector and we all rode what we hoped were our dream bikes. The mechanics at the store told me that it would probably take four or five times before I really felt comfortable on a 29er. They were wrong.

That bike felt more right than most of my boyfriends in high school. It was an extension of me. It moved with me and for me and not against me. It held me and carried me over rocks and roots and ruts. It completed me. No second, third or fourth date needed. I’m sold. So I’ve been looking at specs and pictures of my new obsession. But before you go all glassy eyed at my ramblings let me tell you about my favorite bike store and my favorite mechanic.

A Packed Colorado Mountain Biking Weekend

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It's unofficially THE mountain bike race weekend in Colorado. Racers have a tough decision in picking one from all the great venues. The Warriors Cycling Breckenridge 100/68/32 is Sunday in Breckenridge, while the Leadville Race Series Silver Rush 50 and the Winter Park Epic XC 3 go off on Saturday. Winter Park also hosts a short track race on Sunday as part of their weekend racing.

Breckenridge 100/68/32

The Warriors Cycling Breckenridge races are all fantastic. High mountain singletrack, serious amounts of climbing, fast descents, world-class scenery, and low key race atmosphere combine to make the 100, 68, and 32 premiere races in all of the west.

The 100 is the 5th race of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Race Series. Riders from around the country and world travel to Breckenridge to tackle challenging three loops. The first loop of the 100-miler, which starts at 6am, goes up and over the mountain range that is home to the Breckenridge ski resort. Racers are forced to hike several sections where steep grades and sometime snow makes it unrideable. After they drop down on the west side of the mountain near Copper Mountain they circle around back to town. After returning to the finish area near, racers head out on lap two east of town.

The 68 and 32-mile races utilize lap two. Both races begin at 10am on Sunday. The 32-miler ends after the one lap. The 68 continues on to finish off lap 3 of the 100. Laps 2 and 3 are a great combination of dirt road, fast Colorado Trail singletrack, grinding climbs, and even a downhill, bermed singletrack section.

The leading endurance mountain biking magazine, XXC Magazine, put together a quick review of the race:

Sunday’s Breck 100 has the notable reputation of being what may be the hardest 100 miler in the N.U.E. series. That’s not just a race hack like me talking either, take a look at what N.U.E. winning machine Gerry Pflug had to say about his 2011 Breck 100 race … “Out of all the NUE races I have done, the Breck 100 definitely ranks as the hardest in my mind. I felt completely beat after finishing my first two attempts at the Breckenridge 100. I did not want to feel this way for the start of my attempt at doing four NUE races in a row, so I tried to better prepare myself for the race this year and I thought I was ready. But, the thin air of Breckenridge once again left me feeling completely conquered after the race and actually worse than ever this year.”


Leadville Silver Rush 50

Olympic Mountain Biker, Todd Wells, Takes Altitude Training to New Heights

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The Denver Post recently featured a fascinating article about Olympic mountain biker Todd Wells of Durango, including some of his interesting training techniques.

If Olympic mountain biker Todd Wells had his way, he would train even higher than Durango is. Unfortunately for him, the trails are really lousy around Mount Everest.

Housewife on a Pink Bike: How Beer and a Creek Crossing got me through 15 Miles.

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I know you are probably wondering about my training regimen. How do I prepare for a 15 mile race at altitude? Well, it starts with me having a beer the night before in the Winterpark Village. The bartender asked what I was up to. I told him I was there for the Epic Singletrack race. With surprise on his face he said, “Wow. Cool.” I couldn’t tell if that was a “Wow. She’s so young and hot and she mountain bikes too?” or a “Wow. She’s older than my mom. She could break something.” Either way, I took it as a compliment. Someone else asked me if I had looked at the course ahead of time or read about it. Nah I said. This is going to be the like the three times I gave birth. No reading about it, no classes. Just show up and hope it all works out.

Somewhere between the start line and 20 feet up the trail I thought, "Why do I do this?” And then maybe around mile three I thought, “That’s it. This is my last race.” That happens sometimes. Negative Nelly shows up. I know you can’t believe that happens to this Pollyanna. But it’s true and rather than give you a bunch of bull crap about how every minute was amazing and beautiful and glorious, I will cut to the chase. It wasn’t. Some parts were really tough. And it wasn’t until about mile five or maybe it was the first creek crossing; I pulled my head out of my ass. Going through the creek with all my might was what Oprah calls my AHA moment.

It’s Not About the Bike. It’s About the Epic Singletrack Race: How a Housewife Plans to Survive 15 Miles of Racing.

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I have this thing. I sometimes complain. But one thing I won’t complain about is a long bike ride. Some of my best days on the bike have been 15+ mile days (hey, that’s a lot for mountain bikers). But it’s one thing to be on a ride with your best girl pals in the desert. It’s a whole other enchilada racing for 15 miles and at altitude to boot. And as the days creep closer to the Epic Singletrack race, I can’t help but think, “What was I thinking when I agreed to do this?”

Author, Cheri Felix rides Fruita
Cheri will be taking on race #2 at the Epic Singletrack race series this upcoming Saturday in Winter Park.

40 minutes, 8 miles and 20 minute short track races. This is it. This is my race experience. If I was creating a match dot com profile for mountain bike racing, it would read pretty poorly. All I might garner are guys who like girls on the margins. The peripheral girl. Not quite a virgin but definitely not experienced. That’s me. The girl who is much like the old Sesame Street skit where there is one thing that’s not like the other.

It’s not that I don’t belong on a mountain bike or even in a race. It’s that I never quite seem like I’m in the right place. It’s like I’m in middle school all over again and I can’t seem to find my group. I’m not super cool. I’m not techy. I don’t wear a kit. My bike is older. Gasp, it’s NOT a 29er. And my bike is pink. I know what you’re thinking. “Really? Pink?” When I bought it, my husband said, “This bike is all pink. Are you able to commit to that for the long term?” I guess I was.

Beti Bike Bash from the Inside

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Photo Credit: Jendz Photography

My Beti Bike Bash: Race, Don’t Podium, Repeat. Why I Love to Race Even Though I Never Win.

My friends are amazed I race. It’s not that I race expert or that I always win. It’s that I don’t win. And I’m no expert. I’ve never won or been on the podium. Except once. Last year I placed first in my category at a race held at the Valmont Bike Park. O.K. So I was the only woman in my category. Oh well. It’s still the podium I guess. I think people think you have to win or at least come close to winning to want to race. That’s sort of like only trying things (like marriage, having kids, a new job,) if you think you’ll be good at it or be the best. Wow. Our country would go to hell in a hand basket if everyone operated that way.


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