Tag mountain bike race

This Should Be Fun…

Dirty Dozen 12hr MTB RaceI’ve raced for 7 days on my mountain bike. I’ve ridden in so much mud that the only “not brown” part of my body was the whites of my eyes. I’ve sat in the saddle for 9.5 hours straight as I pedaled 111 miles, but I’ve never raced a 12hour mountain bike race before. Well, on February 2nd, in Warda, TX I’ll have that opportunity. I just signed up for the Dirty Dozen 12hr Mountain Bike Race. I’ll be riding solo because that seems like a fun idea ūüėČ

Dirty Dozen 12hr MTB RaceI’ve been checking out the videos online (see Featured Video on the homepage) and reading blogs about it and it sounds like it’s gonna be cold, wet, muddy, tight fast curvy single track, and one hell of a good time!

It’s exciting to do a type of race that I’ve never done before because I have to figure out all the small stuff to get it right. What should I wear? Change of clothes? Mechanicals? How/when to clean the bike? Lube? What to eat? When to eat? These are all things I get to try and figure out in the next month and I’m sure I’ll figure out a few more come race day. That’s all part of the adventure!




This was an absolute whirlwind of a trip. I received the call asking if I’d want to go to Brazil to do a couple of races and less than 9 days later, I had my visa and was on a plane to Brazil. Not that it was easy to get all that together (in fact it was quite the opposite).

With over 30 hours of travel time to get there (and back) in only 4 days, my form was not quite up to par. But hey, I was in Brazil! The trip was originally planned to be a day longer, but the visa processing agency screwed things up royally and I didn’t have my visa and passport until 9:30am Thursday morning (an hour and a half after my flight left). I hopped on another flight to Miami just a few hours later. If the visa agency had processed my visa in the same manner that the taxi driver took me from the airport to my hotel in Brazil, I would have had it in the blink of an eye. That guy had all four tires squealing on our SUV and we careened down narrow two lane roads to Santa Barbara.

If you are looking to do a superbly organized race in an exotic location, then I have to recommend XTERRA Brazil. Bernardo, the man with the plan in Brazil, had everything sorted out perfectly. I was incredibly impressed with the whole set up. They had a duathlon Saturday morning, a night run Saturday evening, and a mountain bike race Sunday. It was an entire weekend of off-road fun.

As soon as I arrived, I put the bike together and was off to the pre race meeting/dinner. Along the way, I got a glimpse of why big trucks shouldn’t go down steep roads. There was a pretty big scene surrounding all of it. What a hoot!

The morning of the race I got a real treat as I walked into the breakfast hall. CAKES! SWEETS! YUMMY DESSERTS! If you know me, then you know I have a sweet tooth. The giant buffet of colorful cakes and sugary goodness had me salivating at 7am. But I mustn’t forget, I have a race!

The duathlon was 3k run, 35k mountain bike, 9k run. There were some really interesting parts of the course, but to my disappointment, there was no single track on the bike or run. Some beautiful double track through gorgeous country side, but no single track. I’ve written about my strengths and weaknesses before and I know this is not my ideal type course. That, along with the injury I had developed from sitting in a car for 14 hours on the drive back from North Dakota, did not bode well for me as the gun went off and the racers took off.

I was so concerned with my leg and the injury, I was hardly paying attention to where I was overall in the first run and coming into T1. Had I been paying better attention, I would have seen that I was just off pace from the lead pack of 3. Ideally I would have been with them coming out of T1 and onto the bike, but alas, I was just 10 seconds back. I couldn’t bridge the gap and after passing just one of the guys, I consequently ended up riding the majority of the bike by myself in 3rd. I had lost over 2 minutes to the 2 leaders, and knew that I would have to run like hell to hold off my pursuers.

Hobbling most of the second run, I couldn’t keep from getting caught by one guy. I kept on pushing worried that I was moving slow enough to get caught by more runners, but luckily I was able to keep them away and hold on for 4th.

Suzie Snyder, the other American to travel down for the weekend, had a much better race and took the win. That made 2 for 2 for Team Luna Chix as Suzie’s teammate and former XTERRA World Champion Shonny Vanlandingham took the win at the XTERRA Brazil Championship in Manaus the week before.

Suzie and I were a bit smoked and sore from the race that morning that we didn’t take part in the 6k night run that evening. We instead cheered the athletes on as they navigated a similar run course to what we did that morning, but using headlamps and a more cautious step.

The next morning it was back to the start line for a 65 km mountain bike race. In the rush that I left the house earlier that week, I forgot my heart rate monitor strap. And I don’t have power on my mountain bike either, so it was a bit more of a “play it by feel” type race. Here is the GPS file that I have from my Timex Global Trainer. If I had had power and heart rate, it would be easier for you to see that the race involved a lot of attacks uphill (led by the smaller guys) and attacks downhill (led by yours truly). In the end, there were more uphills than downhills and I crossed the line in 5th for the pros. A bit disappointing, but again, I knew going into it that I wasn’t the best dirt road rider out there.

Sticking with that whirlwind theme, as soon as we finished, Suzie and I had to clean up, eat, pack the bikes, stop by for the awards, and then jet off to the airport to fly home. The trip left me wanting more and I really, really hope I get the invite back again for another one of the amazing Brazilian races. Now it’s time to prep for the XTERRA Mountain Championship in Beaver Creek, CO on the 14th.



Better the 2nd Time Around

After a rather dissapointing first race up in Winter Park, I was ready to have another go at it. The race this week was the Valley Point to Point. Excited for a bit less climbing, a bit more technical riding, and getting in a proper warm up, I was ready to rock! Bring on the mud!

I have come to realize that I really stink at starts right now, but I’m improving. The start of a mountain bike race involves going as hard as you possibly can, feeling like your lungs and legs are going to explode, then settling into a resonable pace and see where everyone is at. As usual, I popped off the back of the main pack almost instantly. No worries though because I had a plan!

Check out the file from my GPS Global Trainer and you will see that I started rather conservatively and then as I neared the end of the race, I really picked it up. I had been working on that with my coach a bit over the last few weeks and it really paid off. I kept thinking to myself “In the first 1/2 of the race, don’t be stupid. In the second 1/2 of the race, don’t be a wuss!” And it worked!

Just a few miles into the race I was around 20th or so, and as I crossed the line, I had worked my way up to 10th! I was stoked to have executed my plan nicely and rode like I knew I was capable of riding on the day. Noticing after the race that I was only 3:30 down from 3rd place, really got me fired up too! I wish I could make it back to more of these races and work my way up to the podium, but with my “Triple 6” races coming up, I’ll miss the rest of the Winter Park Series. I can’t wait to go back next year!



Winter Park Mountain Bike Race

This past weekend, I went up to Winter Park to race one of the mountain bike races in the Epic Single Track Series. This week was the Cross Country Super Loop. Lots of climbing, wicked fast descending, a bit of mud, several fast dirt road sections, and one hell of a good time.

The race would have been a bit more fun had I not got a slight bought of food poisoning the night before. It wasn’t much, but the Thai food I ate for dinner had me running to the toilet until 1:30am. Not the best race prep, but I was there to have fun, and I wasn’t gonna let a little Montezuma’s¬†revenge keep me down.

As you can see from the data from my Timex GPS Global Trainer, it was rough start to the race. Straight uphill! Stomach cramps left me easing back on the throttle pretty much from the get go. I held things together for the most part, but finished a rather disappointing 21st out of 33.

The Valley Point to Point and Super D are on July 9th and 10th and I’m thinking I might wear the GoPro camera for one or both of those. Get ready to have some fun!



The ULTIMATE TransRockies Experience (1of4)

This year I attempted to do something no one has ever done before – finish both of the TransRockies events in the same year. Doesn’t sound like to difficult of a feat, but when you start adding the numbers its rather brutal.¬† In the next few blogs (4 to be exact), I’ll give you the down¬†& dirty details of my 13 days of racing this past August.

 The mountain bike race had over 39,000 ft of climbing across 240 miles in 7 days. We started in Fernie, British Columbia and finished in Canmore, Alberta. My Timex teammate, Matt Boobar, and I represented Sugoi and Timex as we battled our way to several podium finishes and a 5th place overall in the GC in the rainy Canadian Rockies.



The running race, though it may sound a short in comparison, was just as hard if not harder! My partner, Amber Monforte, and I had originally planned to podium  every day and in the overall GC, but as we started the 6 day, 125 mile race that would eventually lead us over 21,000 ft of climbing, we quickly realized that was a lofty goal.



The TransRockies Mountain Bike Race – Stage 1

Stage 1 was slightly different from the upcoming stages because it was a time trial start. After acquiring UCI licenses the day before (it took us nearly 5 hours to get all of our registration sorted), we were seated to start at 2:08pm. As we sat in our hotel room on day 1, we watched the rain dump down on the athletes out on the course. We fully expected to be riding the whole time in the mud and end up coming back looking like the bikes in this pic (see my clean pre-race bike). Luckily for us, the rain stopped just as we rolled to the start line. The ride was a rough one with Matt riding strong the first half and pulling me, and then me taking the lead and pulling the 2nd half. It was only 29k, but it took us 2 hours, 27 minutes to end up crossing the line in 7th. I made the comment to Matt that this was the first race that I had ever worn Chamois Butter for and it felt like I had diarrhea in my shorts the whole ride. Fun stuff!

All and all it wasn’t a bad first day. We finished¬†7th overall and 5th for the UCI teams. This is important to¬†note because even though we were concerned with our overall placing each day, the prize money was only distributed to the UCI teams. ¬†

The pic below is all the data from stage 1 that I gathered with my Timex GPS Global Trainer. If you haven’t seen the Global Trainer, you are missing out! This thing is freaking awesome. It is super customizable and incredibly easy to use. I set mine up for the race so that on one screen I could see distance, overall time, elevation, and heart rate. The only thing I think it is missing is a¬†windsheildwiper. Matt and I covered ours in mud from the get go!

Day 1 data from my Timex GPS Global Trainer

The TransRockies Mountain Bike Race – Stage 2

After spending hours packing, figuring out what to wear on what day, and getting all our nutrition sorted out for 6 days, we were ready to head off to the start line. As you can see from our lists below we favored the custom Timex cycling kits by Sugoi. It was really fun to look so sharp.


What better way to start the day, then to do a little breaking & entering in your own hotel. I accidentally locked the keys in the room and there was absolutely no one around. I¬†mean no one! We looked everywhere and tried calling for help, but¬†to no avail. So¬†I figured I’d put my swimmer shoulders to use and “lightly” pushed them against the hotel room door. That thing shattered like a squirrel under a semi. Bam! Problem solved.

Stage 2 was the first “real” start we had for the race. The entire field lined up and launched into action to the tune of Highway to Hell by ACDC. We hammered up a long dirt road to start things off with our performances being the opposite of yesterday. I was working to keep Matt with the pack and not blow up myself at the same time. We reached the top of the climb and got to do one of the funnest, steepest, brake heating descents I have ever done! I blasted down the entire thing only having to get off during the final 100 meters because it was absolutely unrideable! And they said that couldn’t be done! Ha!

At the bottom, we have our first minor set back. Matt got a massive chunk of weeds stuck in his cassette during our insane descent. Just a few minutes to dig it all out and we were back on track. As I mentioned earlier, our day shaped up to be somewhat the opposite of the previous day. As we sped along the single track and dirt roads towards the finish, I was hurting. Matt pulled almost the whole time and we crossed the line the exact same as yesterday – 7th overall and 5th for the UCI teams.


 The TransRockies Mountain Bike Race РStage 3

Our first podium finish! 2nd overall on the day! Holy cow!¬†It didn’t come without a few set backs, but we were quick on our feet and even quicker on our bikes!

Stage 3 started with a long road section (nearly 40k) that was a bit hairier than I would have thought. With over 300 mountain bikers packed together on our parade around town and then quickly funneled onto a short single track, there were several crashes. Matt and I stayed clear of those and worked our way up to the front pack til check point one. The lead pack of ~60 turned into two smaller packs of around 20 and 40. We were in that 2nd pack of 40. As we approached check point two, the group thinned out and we were psyched to hit some single track. That’s when we hit our first problem.

Just minutes after check point two, I snapped my derailleur clean off. Luckily it was just the derailleur hanger that broke, so Matt jumped in and quickly converted my bike to a single speed. We had to lock out the rear suspension so as not to snap the chain (when the rear suspension activates, it changes the chain stay length and can put enormous load on the chain causing it to break), and that left me with a leg burning, rough ride for the rest of the day. Check out the spot right in the middle of the data below where the red line drops. That was us stopping to fix my broken bike.

We used our triathlete legs to fly up the long climb to the Continental Divide (nearly 5k of hike-a-bike), and work our way to 4th place overal. As we ripped down the descent on the other side, team positions went nuts! We leapfrogged from 2nd to 5th. Back and forth, back and forth. Everyone was having mechanicals and flats, and it was a game of who could fix them the fastest and the most efficiently.

The last few miles into the finish would have been quite comical to watch because up to this point the grade had been steep enough up or down that I could either run, or ride without peddling. Those last few miles were¬†just flat enough I couldn’t do that. I was doing my best to hang onto Matt’s casual pace as I pedaled over 110 rpm. My legs were spinning as fast as I could, but when you’re in the wrong gear there is only so much you can do. I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to see the fully geared teams come up on us, but we had put enough of a gap on them coming down from the Continental Divide, that we held on for 2nd overall (and 2nd in the UCI teams)! Woohoo!!!

 To hear all the rest of the details from TransRockies Mountain Bike Race, check back for the next installment of

The ULTIMATE TransRockies Experience