Monday, March 16, 2009

BLOGGERS CONTEST UPDATE & EXPLANATION

THE EXPLANATION:
Sorry for the delay - I’ve re-tabulating the results yet again. It’s time consuming because every time I download an update, I have to remove the illegitimate data by hand.

A lot of you are wondering why some contestants have moved down in the rankings. Here’s the quick explanation: for a vote to count it must list a “first,” “second,” and “third” choice. Sadly, the guilty party not only voted for themselves “first” hundreds of times, they also voted for other contestants dozens upon dozens upon dozens of times, (at times in big blocks) for their second and third choices. These ballots also had to be considered illegal and were subsequently removed.

My guess is that a script was set up on a handful of machines that cleared both the cookies and the cache of the machine and then automated the voting process, subsequently allowing each machine to vote again and again. Backing out all of the bad data has played hell with the rankings and completely upended some of your expectations. In some cases, folks who thought they were in good standing now find themselves somewhat behind. There are some ruffled feathers out there.

We’ve had a few thoughtful conversations over the weekend with some of the contestants, and there have been some unsurprisingly clipped emails directed at us as well. There’s also a bit of backlash going on by some folks online (and I’m sure in person.) Let me set the record straight – we are not cheating or skewing the results, we are merely rectifying a situation not of our making...and investing a lot of our time in doing so. I can understand some anger, but having it directed at us seems a little off base. With that said, that’s also sort of understandable as we haven’t released a detailed explanation until right now. Please feel free to pass this along to whomever may benefit from reading it.

My phone number and email are generally public domain. I would encourage ANYONE who has questions to pick up the phone and speak to me rather than allow those ambiguities to balloon into something else. I truly regret that things worked out this way, but again I must reiterate, our mistake was trusting in the integrity of the individual. Our experience here in Colorado has always proven this to be the proper course. Withe the Mountain States Cup, The Firecracker, Mountain Bike Little League and The Summit Mountain Challenge we’ve gone to great lengths over the past decade to cultivate, recognize and at times reward what we perceive as outstanding instances of sportsmanship. This philosophy has served us well. I believe that most people, and certainly the vast majority of all of you subscribe to this ethos. Unfortunately, there are some who do not and there is one in our midst.

Thanks for hanging in there –

Mike

Michael McCormack
Managing Director The GreenSpeed Project, Inc.
mikemac@breckepic.com 970.485.5847

UPDATED RESULTS:
Ok folks – these are the real results once the bogus votes have been removed. As you can see, there’s still a bit of shuffling going on and not much space separating some of the top vote-getters and those within striking distance.

You’ve got until midnight to get the vote out, so if you've got a horse in the race, get your pork-luvvin’, Tammany-hall style politician’s smile out and keep shaking those hands and kissing those babies.

…and please, please, PLEASE – impress upon your friends that importance of only voting once per computer. Now that our radar is up for suspicious activity I’ll be taking it upon myself to discard all shady-looking votes. There’s an acceptable limit to how many votes can come from one box – and we’re actually being pretty generous in that regard, but my advice? Don’t push it too far. Do not let your chances be marginalized.

MM

5358 Jen Hanks, Salt Lake City, UT, played by: Jennifer Garner from “Alias” and “Elektra”
5273 Team Dicky, aka Rich Dillen, Charlotte, NC, played by: Rick Moranis
5020 Tomi McMillar, Carlisle, PA, played by: the "I've fallen and can't get up" lady
4993 Heather Szabo and Mary Monroe, Lafayette and Durango, CO, played by Cameron Diaz (X2)
4890 Luke Wiens, HOMETOWN: Temecula, CA, played by: Robert Duval
4616 Matthew Juth, Evergreen, CO, played by: Edward Norton
4024 Brandon Dwight, played by Bill Murray (directed and produced by Wes Andreson)3967 Jeffrey Carter, Denver, CO, played by that guy from Breaking Away
3906 Wendy Skean, Mountain Center, CA, played by: Tinker. In drag.
3861 Neil Miner, Boulder, CO, played by Jon Heder
3728 Ryan Draper, Canmore, Alberta CAN, played by Owen Wilson (He hopes)
3238 Mary Wilcox, Ogden, UT, played by: The 5th Element. Or Angelina Jolie. Or Will Ferrell.
2934 Lynda Wallenfels, St George, UT, played by Claire Littleton
2751 Ben Thompson, Bend, OR, played by: Himself
2739 Anthony Maguire, Taos, NM, played by “Ant” Maguire
2661 Larry Grossman, Eagle, CO, played by: Robert DeNiro
2551 Keith Berkoben, Somerville, MA, played by Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones
2531 Sarah Uhl, played by....wait for it...SARAH UHL!
2150 Cory Wallace, played by Harrison Ford/Indy/the Blade Runner guy

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

- WE DELIVER

...your food that is, thanks to Subaru and Mountain Bike Magazine. Subaru is going to provide each racer/team with 2 reusable shopping bags made from recycled bottles (RPET). These are a lot like those $.99 plastic jobbies at Whole Foods. We're going to design them so that we can easily print your bib numbers on the side. You can load them up with extra gear, your own personal food...whatever, and we'll stage them for you at the aid station (or the stage finish) of your choosing each day of racing.

Why is this a big deal? Well, the Hammer folks are our energy gel and beverage sponsor and their stuff is great, but even they acknowledge that if you're on a particular nutrition or supplement regimen that in a race of this distance you might want to have the ability to stick to it as closely as possible. We're implementing a strategy (with their firm blessing I might add - they're so cool,) to help you do just that. Your bags will be lined up at the place of your choosing in numerical order, then we'll bring them all back to race HQ at the end of the day so you can reboot for the next day's stage.

...and you get to take those effin bags home. That means that in a sea of promotional reusable bag crap you'll have the swankest one in town. One that says, "I'm tougher than you. And you. And you." ...and so on and so forth.

Subaru's also underwriting the on-site shuttle system. What is it? Well, they're giving us 10 cars to use for the event. With the generous help of Yakima, they'll all be outiftted with bike racks. From 9am to 8pm each day Breck Epic staffers will use the cars to take you just about wherever you want to go. We're trying to make it as easy as possible to get around our little town, so much so that we can say with a straight face, 'once you get here you don't need a car'.

Wanna go to dinner? We'll take you. Wanna ride to the rec center? We'll take you. Wanna go back to your condo? We'll take you. Wanna take a hopped up 2009 Outback curb-jumping? We're still negotiating that one.

Wanna express your thanks? Consider Subaru when making your next auto purchase - this is just the sort of customer-centric philosophy that makes them a great fit with The BE and a good choice for your next car. It helps that they have the punk-rock 2.5 liter Boxxer turbo engine. My wife has it in her car and I kick the living shit out of it every chance I get (keep that on the DL, yo.) What does it say when I've got my foot rammed all the way to its floorboard? "IS THAT ALL YOU'VE GOT, YOU GUTLESS WORM?!?!? GIMME MOOORRREEE!!!!" All that and 20-something MPG. Made in a zero-waste facility. I love it.

Thanks Subaru. Thanks Mountain Bike. Your thoughtfulness just made the event a bit better.

MM

Saturday, February 28, 2009

- ALISON DUNLAP?

You may have heard of her. She's kind of a big deal. She'll be racing with Mr. Alison Dunlap, Greg Fro-zelli (former Breck denizen) in the Coed Duo class. Katie Compton will also be here, but won't be racing - she'll be supporting husband Mark Legg-Compton in a long overdue role reversal. All kidding aside, these are two of the nicest, most genuine pros on the circuit. In my long association with both they've always made time for fans, always epitomized the high-water mark of sportsmanship and best of all, they're the first to laugh at themselves. That's nice. Katie can also swear like a trucker. I call that added value.

I'm not sure how the rest of the pro field is going to shake out. With MTB NATS only a couple of weeks after our event a lot of them are opting to not burn all of their matches above 10,000 feet. There is a rumor that the Fisher/Subaru squad will be jumping in - we'll see. Evan Plews is signed up - he's been quietly making a name for himself on the marathon circuit over the past few years. Josh Tostado may sign up - we'll see. He's a local kid and a friend, so we're trying not to pressure him - if it works with hsi program, great. He'd certainly be a favorite.

Lance Armstrong, in a not surprising move, has spurned the 2009 Tour de France and announced his intention to throw his hat in the ring for the inaugural BE. In his words: "Those French guys are dicks. I'm going to Disneyland!....err, I mean Breckenridge!"

(And if you're Lance's attorney, I'll eviscerate my own clearly fabricated story about Lance in deference to your humorlessly hair-trigger litigation finger and state that the above paragraph is not true. It is, in fact 100% false. Funhaters.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

- A Word About Entry Fees

The total cost of ownership.

Thought you guys might like to see how we stack up against the competition in the pricing department. Interesting reading, especially once travel costs are added in.

SOLO CATEGORIES (w/o travel costs)
- BC Bike Race: the race, camping & meal plan: $1897
- Trans-Rockies: no solo category offered for full-distance
- The Breck Epic: the race, camping & meal plan: $1442


TEAM CATEGORIES (w/o travel costs):
- BC Bike Race: the race, camping & meal plan: $3795
- Trans-Rockies: the race, camping & meal plan: $3120
- The Breck Epic: the race, camping & meal plan: $2745

Other things to consider:
- Once you get to Breck, you don't need a car.
Our venue is in town. We've got an efficient shuttle/taxi system that is at no cost to participants.
- Travel costs to Colorado (with your bikes) are substantially lower than to Canadia.
- Our beer is better. Their bacon is. Their flannel is OK too. We're considering flying in some.
- The course, brothers and sisters. The course. It is holy-shitballs good. Very little road, almost no hike-a-bike.

Why are we pointing all of this out? Well, we're getting a bit of pushback on price from a handful of folks who feel that we should be significantly less expensive. Fact is, we are. And by a lot especially when considering the total cost of participation. We're not completely unfazed by criticism though, so we took the time to work through the math...again. Why? We thought if we squeezed a bit here and there that we might be able to offer a reduction in price. Here's what we came up with:

We're not subsidized by anyone. Not the state of Colorado. Not the town of Breckenridge. Not the local marketing chamber. And as most folks will tell you, this is a difficult sponsorship year. That means that the event needs to live on revenue that it generates from its participants. This is actually a good thing - we've seen far too many great races whose business models were predicated on the sponsorship model disappear over the past few months when their patrons had to back out. By following the honest and straight-forward model of not allowing our expenses to exceed the revenue that we generate from entry fees we guarantee that we'll be around in 2010. And 11. And 12. And so on and so forth.

So we crunched the numbers looking to trim a bit of fat. And there just isn't any. The big dollars in our event are tied up in labor, which is closely related to our medical and safety plans. I can't think of a worse way to try and save money. The next runners-up on the budget scale (other places to save money) are items that would negatively impact the event experience to a degree that I'm just not comfortable with. Here in Summit County it's always been more about substance over style, yet there are certain things that make a race good and in these areas we just don't want to compromise. You'll have to accept our word that our race costs what it costs and that in deference to these challenging economic times we're already as lean as we possibly can be...and we're still the cheapest in both the straight-up and expanded comparisons.

In other breaking news, the website went live last month: BreckEpic.com. It's effin awesome. Thanks Dave Rossi. Cheggidout. In "other"other breaking news, in a nod to Upton Sinclair I'm trying to not use exclamation points anymore.

MM

Friday, February 20, 2009

Course Maps. Elevation Profiles. Tools for inspiration and terror.

A quick note - these are hand-drawn routes. That means that the stated mileage is probably a bit short. It also means that when combining the tendency for a GPS program to overstate elevation gain with the ham-fisted approach of drawing the routes resulting in losing elevation gain, that the ACTUAL elevation gains per route are probably pretty close.

Or not.

These are the 5 main stages (no prologue)...and they are not in order. Another disclaimer: these loops do not appear to be very long. But because of altitude and the fact that there's very little road to be had here, they are as big around as a can of corn.

Guyot Loop: 39.35 miles/8561'











Colorado Trail Loop: 34.38 miles/7811'











Wheeler Loop: 35.91 miles'/7620'











Pennsylvania Creek Loop: 28.08 miles/5993'












Gold Dust Loop: 33.18 miles/5496'

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Breck Epic Newsletter, 2/18/2009: IMBA Stuff. Pricing. Courses. New Sponsors. Other Crap.

Greetings Breck Epic folks and assorted bike industry friends -

This newsletter is going out to a larger audience than normal. Receiving this month's pearl of editorial smarminess are our regular lot of self-flagellating XC suspects, plus (and much to their surprise) a slew of gravity racers and riders as well as gravity-specific media and industry folks worldwide. Why? Because there's a topic that concerns us all and we're trying to get one last push in for raising awareness.

As many of you are undoubtedly aware, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) has proposed a rule change which will make it easier for parks to open trails for mountain biking by leaving access issues in the hands of individual rangers. Predictably, this has the hiking segment up in arms at the prospect of us godless heathens and Philistines plundering 'their' territory. What the hiking folks don't seem to understand with their short-sighted "our way is the only proper way" rhetoric is that there are way more folks that just don't care about wilderness issues than those of us that do.

Those that gravitate towards finding our enjoyment outdoors are best served by banding together in the unified protection of those resources and sorting out our differences through pragmatic and well-reasoned discourse instead of adopting separatist stances (there's a lesson in there that some within our own ranks might learn from as well.) If the hikers and their well-funded lobbies keep shutting the door on potential allies they're going to shortly find themselves with underfunded and dwindling resources, ones that in the current 'no frills' economic climate may very well disappear. Like us or not, we're far more alike than different in our respect for the backcountry and our desire for its preservation. We also represent additional revenue streams for a consistently underfunded resource. We're not big on clichés, but something about 'cutting off your nose to spite your face' comes to mind. Get with it hikers - like it or not, we're on the same effin' team.

So what can you do? Sadly, the public comment period ended yesterday - but the outcome still affects you, so pass the word and stay tuned in. If you know a journalist, pass along this tidbit of info. If you know a forest ranger or a land manager, voice your support for the initiative. Basically, be an advocate and an eloquent one if you can. Support IMBA or your local chapter of it - those folks have really paid the freight on bringing this initiative to the fore and generating the support necessary to get if off life-support and into the law books.

That's about it for the gravity folks. Feel free to skip the rest of the newsletter. For those of you interested in more Breck Epic MTB Stage Race propaganda, read on. Thanks for playing along.

Mike

The Breck Epic
A Greenspeed Project Event in Support of Open Space
Whatcha Get in This Issue:
Blogger's Grant Program Voting
New Partners
Pricing is Finalized
Course Maps and Elevation Profiles
Upcoming Events
About The Greenspeed Project and The Breck Epic and the Greenspeed Project

The Breck Epic Blogger's Grant Program is Up and Running!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We're giving away 4 free entries to this year's race to a lucky few who can browbeat the most of their friends into voting for them. 'Winners' (we use that terms loosely) of the voting contest will be required to submit a handful or prerace articles, then one article for each day of racing. These articles will receive online publication from some of the industry's best mags. Why? Because so much race coverage is from the outside looking in. Some of the very best race coverage comes from the racers themselves, and with a deliciously cruel torture device like a 6-day mountain bike stage race in place there's sure to be tops popping off everywhere. We're hoping to catch some of that agony and ecstasy in print. For your enjoyment. Sorta like crisping up an ant with a magnifying glass when you were a kid. Or maybe that was just us.


The entrants are all posted under the "Blog City" link at BreckEpic.com (our shiny new website.) We have two more entrants to add, Brandon Dwight of "Chocolate, Waffles and 'Cross" fame and Sarah Uhl. She's sort of a big deal. You can go check it out and vote right now if you'd like. Voting ends on March 15th. One vote per computer, please.

New Patrons:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We'd like to welcome the folks from Hammer Nutrition, Topofusion, Yakima, KuhlUSA and Shimano to the Breck Epic fold.

Hammer is the official supplier of energy drinks and gels to the event. They'll be loading you up on HammerGel and Heed before, during and after the race. Their approach to athletic nutrition is best-in-class and they offer a complete range of products designed to work independently or together as a system.
Topofusion is the brainiac product of the Morris brothers, two long-distance MTB guys who didn't like the products available to them in the GPS world. Their creation is an inspired amalgamation of products and platforms that features the best aspects of things like Motionbased and Google Earth and combines them with an easy-to-understand interface, the ability to create 'blended' maps with photographic and topographical elements and the ability to upload user data like heartrate, cadence, power output, etc. In short, an amazing tool created by mountain bikers for mountain bikers.
Yakima - have you checked out the latest Yakima site? It's pretty cool and does a great job of featuring their comprehensive offerings from rooftop cargo boxes to hitch mount racks to the usual slate of well-thought-out rooftop products, all designed to work with your existing or factory rack. The Yakima folks will be outfitting our Subaru shuttle vehicles so that both you and your ride will travel in safety and style.
KuhlUSA - based in Murray, Utah, Kuhl is at the leading edge of mountain culture and style. One of the official outfitters of the Breck Epic and Greenspeed staff, their offerings are funky, stylish and functional - all necessary elements up here where warmth and steez are prerequisites.
Shimano - you may have heard of these guys. As the official tech provider of the event they'll be on-site assisting with our mechanical efforts and probably lugging along a product or two that won't be hitting the shelves for a while. They make this stuff called "XTR"...

These guys join an already loaded murderer's row of partners including Subaru, Santa Cruz Bikes, Crank Brothers, Fox Racing Shox, Marmot, JettMTB. Mountain Bike Magazine, Squirt Lube, The Aplineer, Ergon, Great Western Lodging, Ground Apparel and the United States Forest Service.

Pricing Finalized:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As of January 3rd, our pricing has been set. We're happy to announce that we're the least expensive of the North American mountain bike stage race offerings especially when considering the ease with which most of you can get yourselves and your gear to Colorado. Even better? Once you get here you don't even need a car! If you've already placed your deposit you can head to SportsBaseOnline and select you're a la carte items - camping, meal plans, additional banquet tickets, etc. Once you've dialed it in, the SBO folks will invoice you in two separate payments for your balance. The first is due on March 15th, the second on May 31st. There is a processing surcharge for your initial deposit of $250/rider, but after that we're picking up the tab on credit card fees. On a separate note, we're filling up fast and once we fill our field limit, we're done. No ifs, ands or buts. At this point, deposits are not refundable, but they are 100% transferrable AND deferrable to 2010.

Course Maps and Elevation Profiles
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'd bet that this may interest some of you. The final tally is just over 200 miles and about 40,000 feet of vertical. While that may seem short to some, we'd like to point out that the majority of the course is over 10,000 feet and that road sections are few and far between. The Breck Epic is a true mountain bike race and the majority of our terrain is primo quality Summit County riding. We'll be posting maps, elevation profiles and GPS data to the site shortly. If you just can't wait, send me a note and I'll email you the data you need in your preferred format (thanks to the cross-platform beauty of TopFusion!)

Upcoming Events ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We've got a few of our own to tell you about and a handful of others that are close to our hearts.

Coming up first is the "12 Hours of Crested Butte" Nordic ski race. This one is promoted and produced by The Alpineer, one of the very first promotional partners of The Breck Epic. If you're not familiar with Travis and his crew you should head to their website and check 'em out - or better yet, sign up for his race - it's a benefit for the CB Nordic Center. They've also got all the backcountry goodies that make nerds like us drool...and they're having a massive sale.

The Breck Epic a bit too much? Didn't get into Leadville? You can also check out The Breck 100 (or it's little sisters, the B68 or B32). Thane and his Warriors Cycling crew have put together some pretty stiff challenges for those of you that only have a day or two to spend here. The B100 courses are, in a word, 'amazing.' Check 'em out at http://www.warriorscycling.com/

The Firecracker 50: like you didn't know about this one. Word from on high is that there will be a stricter field limit in place for 2009. Our advice? Register early. The F50 is one of the very best races in North America...and you get wool socks. www.mavsports.com

...and our stuff.
You were dying to know what else we're cooking up, right? We've got a 50-mile backcountry ballbusting cyclocross affair we've dubbed "Crossifixion: Hell on Wheels". Debuting in September 20th, 2009 (alongside Breck's annual Oktoberfest bacchanale,) it's a direct rip-off of one of the toughest races in the world, "The 3 Peaks" cyclocross race in Wales. At the suggestion of Jasen Thorpe, Editor in Chief of Mountain Bike Magazine, we'll also be placing barriers on course. Blame him. More info? Contact us.

We'll also be producing a ski mountaineering race called "The 5 Peaks" that will be held in Breckenridge in the spring of 2010. We can promise a long day in the AT gear, your tele stuff, your splitboard or your snowshoes. There'll be fantastic scenery and ripping skiing. There will also be beer. And grilled meat. Contact us for more info.

About The Greenspeed Project & The Breck Epic
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Greenspeed Project, Inc. was established in the fall of 2008 with the sole intent of funding backcountry initiatives, trail maintenance and trail system improvements through the medium of slightly left-of-center backcountry events. In addition to producing 'greener' events than then norm, we're committed to aligning ourselves with likeminded partners in the outdoor industry. A significant portion of the proceeds from our events and races is donated directly back to local and regional land managers with the intention that it be earmarked for the items mentioned above.

The Breck Epic MTB Stage Race (July 5-10, 2009) is a 6-day ultra-endurance backcountry affair to be held in the massive tangle of backcountry surrounding Breckenridge, CO. As a race its mission is to showcase the incredible work that visionary land managers here have accomplished by pairing an ambitious and shared vision with a 'let's roll our sleeves up and get this thing done together' mentality. It is one of a small few such races in US, and certainly among the most difficult.

If you'd like to find out more we'll happily fire a mind-bullet your way stuffed with an ungodly amount of sleep-inducing propaganda. No need to send us a note, we'll know that you want it. We can also email it.

Contact Information
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
P 970.485.5847
E MikeMac@BreckEpic.com
W www.breckepic.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The website's up. Big props to Dave Rossi for patiently putting up with my incessant whining and badgering without walking over here and slapping me like in the movie "Airplane". I stand in awe of his reserve.

There are a few errors in there - all of them mine. We'll get 'em ironed out over the next few days. In the interim, enjoy to beauty and spectacle of www.breckepic.com!

MM

Saturday, January 17, 2009

- PRICING AND WEBSITE

Greetings Breck Epic'ers. Just a quick update - we know that many of you have been eagerly awaiting the finalization of the pricing structure and the launch of the website. As coincidence would have it, our SanDiego-based webhost took about 1000 of their servers offline today, so if you're trying to access the site and notice that it's not working, don't get too upset - we'll be back online later today. That also means that the BreckEpic.com email addy that many of you have for me won't work either. If you absolutely need to get a message through please send it to: mikemac01@gmail.com. My gut says that we'll launch the new site this week and that the online voting for blogger's grants will go live within a few days after that. Voting will last for as month or so - I'll fill in the blanks once the site goes live.

We're finally zeroing in on pricing - we've got a few pieces left to nail down, but I'm comfortable throwing some numbers out there that are going to be pretty close to final. I'll send out the usual annoying mass email once they're written in stone, but here's what you should expect to see:
  • The RACE: just under $1000/person. This actually includes quite a bit - swag, on-course support, bike storage, banquet tickie and on-course food...the usual suspects.
  • Camping: around $200 for solos (2-person tent plus one pad) and $250 for teams (4-person tent and 2 pads). Only our tents will be allowed for camping. Absolutely no exceptions. We'll work out a different rate for RV's, but we're not likely to have hook-ups or power available for the jet-set camping crew. That's not to suggest that you can't bring them - you can. We'll have great spots for you, but it's also not a KOA campground. Camping fees include parking for your car, garbage and recycling service and a handful of other goodies.
  • Meal Plan: just over $300. If you haven't seen the menu you should absolutely check it out (there's a link to the right where you can access it.) The food is over the top.
  • Additional banquet tickets: @ $4o

Do you get a number plate? YES! That is included. Professional timing and scoring? Again, yes. I don't think that we need to beat that stuff to death. Within a few days I'll publish a full list of what each line item includes and send it out to everyone. For now, you guys have a pretty accurate idea of what the event is going to cost. For the record, we're a bit less than The Tran-Rockies and substantially less than the BC Bike Race. I thought that we'd fall somewhere in-between, so I'm happy that we're the least expensive out of those options. I also think that for a lot of folks we're just plain easier to get to (which translates into less expense), but I guess that really depends upon where you're coming from.

We WILL finalize pricing on Monday. See ya -

MM

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

- FROM THE LAND OF CHEESE AND BEER

'Cuz it ain't exactly the land of milk and honey. As many of you know, I've been in Wisconsin over the past week making a long-overdue pilgrimage to see 'my people'. Honestly, 15 degrees here feels like -15 in Breckenridge. Also, when you say "thank-you" to the person who makes your coffee, instead of "you're welcome," they almost all say "yup" with a lifeless deadpan expression, like they've just punched another brick out of the factory or something, your expression of thanks an entitlement, their acknowledgement a supreme effort on their part. You can also only travel about 3.5 miles from the center of Madison before you're deep into some bizarre amalgamation of Mayberry, the boonies and Green Acres. I don't mean to be a snob - i really don't, but if you've witnessed the cultural and geographical naivete that I have this past week you'd be a little shell shocked too.

Anyway, a little more detail about why pricing is delayed; we've got a few significant line items in the budget, two of them being school rental (or an alternative) and food. The food plan is a reasonably fixed line item...if you know where you're serving the food. We have two options; a field outside of the Breck Rec Center, or the cafeteria of Upper Blue Elementary, which is one block north. The school folks lit out for the holidays and just as they were returning, I was headed out here, so the long-anticipated sit-down-and-hammer-it-out session with them is delayed. If we serve at the BRC we have one set of costs for the vittles, plus what we'll call "site fee A" and if we serve at the school we'll have a slightly different set of costs, plus "site fee B". Each site fee comes with a different prerequisite in terms of rental equipment like tables, tents, simmering potpourri centerpieces and all that happy horseshit. I'll be back in the saddle on Monday and it shouldn't bee too long after that before we have final pricing out to you guys.

If anyone needs anything from 'Sconnie, just drop me a line and I'll throw it in with the 17 bags of miscellaneous crap that seem to be standard traveling issue when you have 2 kids under the age of three. What's one more thing? Curds, anyone? Nueske sausage? Some Michael's Frozen Custard ('cuz regular ice cream doesn't have quite enough fat, thank you very much!)

Til next week,
MM

Thursday, January 1, 2009

- MORE BLOGGER'S GRANT APPLICATIONS POSTED

...and some of them are fuggin funny. Cheggemout at the bottom of the page. The web-sitey-site was supposed to have gone live on Saturday. The holidays and all are wreaking havoc on our 3rd world internet sweatshop (bah humbug!) so you're not going to get to see the site in all of its exploitative glory until later in the week...which means voting for blogger's applicants also won't start until then. Sorry about that. To make matters worse, I'll be in Wisconsin all week visiting my parents and trying to get a sit-down with Coach Bielema. Since I'll have minion #1 and minion #2 while my snoop-wifey-wife jets off to NYC on some fancy-pants press junket I don't anticipate being very productive...or in a good mood. At all. So hang in there, BreckEpic-o-philes. Stuff's coming together, I promise. Look for a fully self-serving newsletter update with lots of new news within a week.

Now go read those blogs and gird your voting loins!
MM

Thursday, December 18, 2008

- ONLY 7 SHOPPING DAYS LEFT 'TIL X-MAS. HAVE YOU VISITED WWW.ALPINEER.COM?

Long title, huh? 20 years and over 1100 miles away I can still feel the scathing criticism of my journalism teacher from high school all the way out here in CO. (I never liked you either, lady.) With that out of the way we'd like to officially welcome The Alpineer from Crested Butte on board as a patron of the race. We're stoked to have them for a couple of reasons, the first being that they're really, really involved in open space issues in their own back yard starting with a planned project to create a single track route from CB to Gunni. Hard not to like commitment like that.

They've also been in the biz since 1969...and it shows. Their online catalog is unadulterated gear porn, especially if you're into tele, AT or Nordic stuff. And with mother nature blessing CO and the southwest with what's shaping up to be another banner snow year, The Alpineer's goodies take on just that much more luster. Emphasis on the 'lust' part. Their bike stuff is nothing to sneeze at either and it's a great tie-in that Travis himself is a veteran of several La Ruta's and other international-level stage race sufferfests.

Travis and his staff have done more than just create a nice product mix at their retail location. They've really globalized their business through the internet, yet have managed to maintain that small store appeal and benchmark service levels with gear reviews from the folks in the shop, gear guides and FAQ's and an amazing compilation of product reviews from the national magazines...and it's all in one place. They've really created a cool resource for everyone and anyone who's looking for more information. If you've ever shopped Backcountry.com these guys are an unbelievable alternative.

So yeah, there are a few days left until Christmas and there are a few great deals on their site. They also offer free shipping to the lower 48 with orders over $25. You can check 'em out at http://www.alpineer.com/ or http://www.telemarkski.com/. Tell 'em we sent ya.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

- NEWSLETTER, DECEMBER 4

Hello Breck Epic Loyalists, Hangers-on and Groupies,

Push has finally come to shove and it looks like this bird is actually going to fly. The catering folks have concocted an unbelievable series of menus (you may actually gain weight - full menu listed a few posts down,) the insurance folks have had their say and we've even gotten the additional buy-in of another elected official or two. It helps that they're all swag whores like the rest of us.

There's a broad stretch of information in this newsletter, but mostly it's about the fact that we're opening registration on Friday, December 5th at noon MST. We're placing 400 start spots up for sale and they're available on a first-come-first-served basis. This may be the final number - we just don't know yet, but it's a safe assumption. Interested? Here's the online reg linky-loo.

If you're down with Facebook there's a group there called "Weeping Sycophants of The Breck Epic". It's open to anyone if you'd care to join. Just head to FB and search for 'Breck Epic'. If you're like to get on the newsletter email list, just drop me a line.

Thanks for tuning in.
Mike

Michael McCormack
The Breck Epic
A Greenspeed Project Event in Support of Open Space

Whatcha Get in This Issue:
- Online Registration Info
- Category Update
- New Partners
- Industry Cup/ Breck Epic Auction (Now A Benefit for All)
- About The Breck Epic and the Greenspeed Project

Online Registration Opens Friday, Dec. 5th:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Coupla things that you should know:
- Head HERE to get to the registration page at SportsBaseOnline- Deposits will be $250 (US) per rider.
- They are fully refundable until we finalize pricing on Janurary 3rd. You'll have the opportunity to confirm your spot or request a refund at that time. After the opt-in period deposits and installments become non-refundable, but they are transferable/assignable.- We're offering only 400 spots...and this is likely to be it for 2009.
- While final pricing is still TBD, it will be on par with the other offerings (BC Bike race, Intermontaine Challenge, Trans Rockies) in the format. The benefit? You don't need to speak Canadian at our race.
- We'll offer three different items; the race, camping and a meal plan. Your final cost will be determined by which of those elements you elect to purchase.
- All "Race" entries include a t-shirt, jersey, socks, and banquet ticket. You get a lot of other stuff as well, but I don't need to belabor the fact that you'll receive "professional results and scoring!" and "a number plate!".
- Payment will be set up in 2 installments (after your initial deposit).
- We are still accepting blogger's grant applications. The deadline is December 31st. Voting begins on January 3rd. For more info please visit the blogsite (www.breckepic.blogspot.com). Blogger's Grant program applicants are required to submit an initial deposit. It'll be refunded if you win.

OTHER CRAP
- The website will be going live soon...that's a promise. The original version was too good for this world. The DOS-based version will be mostly text, followed by more text. In Times New Roman. Dammit. How the smarmy have fallen.
- The food will be better than fantastic. Super-fantastic? Menus a few posts down. Cheggem-out.
- The courses will be very good...and very hard. You're gonna be cussing like a long-haul trucker with Tourette's. Prologue (@ 10 miles) on Sunday the 5th, moderate stage on Monday, difficult stage on Tuesday, moderate stage on Wednesday, another soulcrusher on Thursday, then a final moderate one on Friday followed by a banquet and awards ceremony on Friday evening. At which there will be food. And beer.
- We'll have coverage of Le Tour available every night in the social compound (generously provided by Subaru)

Categories Update:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OK, we've received a ton of feedback on this and think that we have it pretty dialed. The follwoing categories will be offered initially. If we have less than 5 applicants in a category we reserve the right to roll it into another category.

Here's what we have:
Open Men Duo
Open Women Duo
Open Mixed Duo
Duo 80+
Duo 100+
Singlespeed Duo
Solo Men Open
Solo Women Open
Singlespeed Open
Solo Men 40+

Got something you need to get off your chest about the categories? Sure you do. Drop us a line...

New Partners:
~~~~~~~~~~~~
We'd like to welcome Subaru, Marmot, Great Western Lodging, The Alpineer, Crank Brothers and Jett MTB to the fold. Talks are ongoing with several other bike industry folks and a thoughtful handful on non-endemics. I like our lineup so far and am pretty optimistic that ongoing discussions will bear fruit to the benefit of all.

Subaru will be the official vehicle of the race. We're big fans of their 'zero-waste' philosophy and will attempt to emulate it in principle and practice in every aspect of our event. Subaru is also providing shuttle vehicles that will be used throughout the race for athletes and spectators alike. Check out their environmental philosophy at Subaru.com

Marmot has a longstanding tradition of supporting audacious, grand-scale backcountry efforts and we're stoked that they jumped on board. Philosophically they understand what it means to hold the backcountry dear and their efforts to date have paved the way for raised awareness and increased protections for the things that we as outdoorspeople hold dear. Check out their Fall/Winter 08/09 line as well as some great stuff about who and what they support at Marmot.com

Great Western Lodging is owned and operated by cyclists. They've been huge supporters of all the mountain bike stuff in Summit County for nearly a decade. They've got properties throughout the community from studios to 6-bedroom units and are offering substantial logding discounts to event participants. rates begin at $40/night/person (double occupancy/1 BDR condo). Mention The Breck Epic MTB Stage Race and receive 2 FREE nights on a 6-night minimum stay. Several downtown bike-friendly accommodations to choose from, many of which include hot tub access, garage parking and laundry facilities. Studios to 6 bedrooms. Condos, townhomes and limited private homes. Offer only valid for travel dates 7/4-7/11. Please call or email them for details, as online availability is only valid through April 2009. Other restrictions may apply. 888.333.4535 or check 'em out online HERE.

The Alpineer is a full-service bike and ski shop in Crested Butte. They're also really, really involved in open space issues in the CB/Gunnison areas and a big part of Dave Weins' ongoing project to link CB and Gunni with a singletrack. If you've ever purchased ANYTHING from Backcountry.com you've got to give The Alpineer's website a spin. Their employee reviews on Tele and AT gear are pretty amazing. Detailed, honest and really, really well-written. They also have an astounding selection of Nordic gear and softgoods. Travis and the team down in CB are old hands at many ultra-endurance stage races and they're a great fit with our program.

Crank Brothers has been leading the charge for clean design and environmentally friendly packaging since their inception. If you're like me (a superfreak) then you're also a fan of a lot of stuff in thier line - Acid pedals, Joplin adjust-on-the-fly seatposts and their new Cobalt wheelset. The stuff they make is functional and beautiful. Kryptonite bike porn for nerds like you and me.

And finally, Jett MTB is heading up our merchandising efforts. They've concocted a merchandise line for us that's pretty cool - hats, tees, entrant's jerseys (pro style and baggie - pick your poison - one free with your entry), wool socks, leader's jerseys...you name it. And if I get my way, we'll also do some classic custom wool training sweaters. Visit them at JettMTB.comIf you'd like more info from our end on how to get involved please drop us a line HERE and we'll forward some info.

Industry Cup/Breck Epic Auction
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you've been playing along then you know that along with the $10,000 cash purse we're also offering a way for teams to increase the size of the treasure chest. Teams participating in the Industry Cup are required to donate merchandise from their sponsors that will then be raffled off throughout the week. The auction will be open to the public and will take place on eBay. All proceeds from the Industry Cup auction will be awarded to those on the podium who've donated goods. At first we thought that we'd just offer this to the 'Open' (translation: Pros and everyone who wants to ride with them) categories, but after sitting on it awhile we thought, "we've got all this interest nationwide in the event - we could probably generate some interest in a swag auction." So why not expand it to all categories? Athletes are allowed to donate items which we'll then place on eBay for the official Breck Epic auction. This auction will be open to the general public. If you donate you're eligible for those proceeds (which will be in addition to the existing purse for your category), but your donation must fetch at least $100 to be eligible to partake in the winnings. And thus a cash purse for all categories is theoretically possible.

About the Breck Epic and The Greenspeed Project
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The BE is a 6-day ultra-endurance mountain bike stage race to be contested in the sprawling trail network surrounding Breckenridge, CO in early July, 2009. As a race its mission is to showcase the incredible work that visionary land managers here have accomplished by pairing an ambitious and shared vision with a 'let's roll our sleeves up and get this thing done together' mentality. It is one of a small few such races in US, and certainly among the most difficult. The Breck Epic is among a small portfolio of events produced by the newly established Greenspeed Project. The Greenspeed Project's mission is to fund open space, trails and backcountry initiatives through the medium of slightly left-of-center and "zero waste" events. If you'd like to find out more we'll happily fire a mind-bullet your way stuffed with an ungodly amount of sleep-inducing propaganda. No need to send us a note, we'll know that you want it. We can also email it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

- THE WEBSITE IS UP. SORT OF. PLUS SOCK DESIGNS.

Go check out http://www.breckepic.com/. It's a fully functioning homepage (that'll send your ass right back here...unless you want to send us an email - you can do that too.) We've also got some sock designs for you to check out. I thought there were a few pink versions in here, but maybe that was just wishful thinking.
















Friday, December 5, 2008

- REG HAS BEEN OPEN FOR 15 MINUTES. AND CRANK BROS CALLED...

...and they want in. Stoked. Their stuff rocks - from pedals to wheelsets to drop-on-the-fly seatposts...their whole line is staright-up bike porn. Also, it looks like solo singlespeed men have reached the 5 person category minimum. Like the fire in your belly, guys.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

- THE BUS IS COMING! THE BUS IS COMING!

Sorry - that's generally the phrase I use when something's got me so excited that I need to jump up and down while rapidly clapping my hands right in front of my face, or alternately, hugging myself tightly while rocking and moaning. To fully understand and appreciate the McCormack way of turning a phrase you must yourself be part dipshit. I'll try to annotate as I go along for those of you with IQ's above 107.

I'm gonna open up online registration tomorrow (Friday, December 5th) at noon MST. There. That's the big news. If you want in, GO HERE. Here's all the pesty qualifiers that go with that:

- Deposits will be $250 (US) per rider.
- They are fully refundable until we finalize pricing on Janurary 3rd. You'll have the opportunity to confirm your spot or request a refund at that time. After the opt-in period deposits and installments become non-refundable, but they are transferable/assignable.
- We're offering only 400 spots...and this is likely to be it for 2009.
- While final pricing is still TBD, it will be on par with the other offerings (BC Bike race, Intermontaine Challenge, Trans Rockies) in the format. The benefit? You don't need to speak Canadian at our race.
- We'll offer three different items; the race, camping and a meal plan. Your final cost will be determined by which of those elements you elect to purchase.
- Payment will be set up in 2 installments (after your initial deposit).
- We've switched up categories a bit - added a few more to our initial offering. We'll require 5 individuals/teams in each category for us to ultimately offer it on race day. If we don't have 5 we'll integrate the category with another.
- we're expanding the Industry Cup concept to all race categories in order to try and create a cash purse for all levels. Check out the blogsite to get the broad strokes, but basically athletes are allowed to donate items which we'll then place on eBay for the official Breck Epic auction. This auction will be open to the general public. If you donate you're eligible for those proceeds, but your donation must fetch at least $100 to be eligible to partake in the winnings.
- we are still accepting blogger's grant applications. The deadline is December 31st. Voting begins on January 3rd. Blogger's Grant program applicants are required to submit an initial deposit. It'll be refunded if you win.
- the website will be going live soon...that's a promise. The original version was too good for this world. The DOS-based version will be mostly text, followed by more text. In Times New Roman. Dammit.
- The food will be better than fantastic
- The courses will be very good...and very hard. Prologue (@ 10 miles) on Sunday the 5th, moderate stage on Monday, ballbustin' stage on Tuesday, moderate stage on Wednesday, another soulcrusher on Thursday, then a final moderate one on Friday followed by an ass-kicking, hangover inducing, "you lookin' good, girl" drunken free-for-all banquet and awards ceremony.
- We'll have coverage of Le Tour available every night in the social compound (generously provided by Subaru)

...and fer the luvva Boo, will some of you chime in on the sock discussion on Facebook (search for "Breck Epic")? You're all going to get the Keith Van Horn white chocolate baller cotton/acrylic over-the-calf tallboys if I don't start to see some emotional investment in the sock issue. I can't be the only one with a burning passion for hosiery...or am I?

Aw yeah. It's effin' on.
MikeMac

Monday, December 1, 2008

- HELL YEAH I LIKE WOOL

...and nothing's too fine for my Breck Epic buds, so it's wool socks all the way around. Black ones...and PINK ones. Maybe a litte argyle. Why? WTF not? You see, my dirty little secret is that I know a lot of little elves who know how to not only make stuff, but GET STUFF DONE. In this case, it's the creative and industrious folks at Jett MTB. They may look like a casual riding apparel company, but the guys who own it and run it have project managed and industrial designed for just about every lifestyle and outdoor company you can imagine. They've concocted a merchandise line for us that's pretty cool - hats, tees, entrant's jerseys (pro style and baggie - pick your poison - one free with your entry), wool socks, leader's jerseys...you name it. And if I get my way, we'll also do some classic custom wool training sweaters. We'll see...but usually I get what I want in the fashionista department. Anybody like those swank Eisbar hats? I'm gunning for those, too.

In other news:
- We're going to start accepting deposits this week. Promise.
- Our web guy is in Peru, so we're having a bit of a delay on the site, but man - it looks cool, and believe me, it's hard to find someone to do good work who'll accept t-shirts, Onza pedals and Oury grips as payment.
- We've created a Facebook Group for the race. Just head over there and search for "Breck Epic". Any nutjob can join - I did!
- If you're signed up for the newsletter you'll be the first to know once we open regsitration. Need to get in on it? Send me a note: mikemac@breckepic.com

See ya -
MM

- YOU GONNA GAIN WEIGHT, YO

Here's a quick peek at what the menu's going to look like. Big thanks to Hearthstone Catering for using organic fruits and veggies (locally grown where possible) and environmentally friendly servingware. We'll also have dinner on Sunday, July 5th, but details on that guy are pending.

Breakfast Options (daily, all week long)
- homemade breakfast breads and assorted danish
- butter, assorted jam and preserves
- fresh seasonal melons, berries and fruit
- locally baked bagels with a variety of cream cheese flavors
- special recipe jumbo sausage links or hormel black label bacon (rotating)
- chilled hard boiled eggs (in the shell)
- breakfast potatoes (a variety throughout the week)

Breckfast Entrees (we’ll two for each day)
- fresh basil and creamy havarti strata
- grand marnier french toast
- veggie scrambled eggs with leeks, tomato and bell peppers
- mexican chorizo, roasted green chile and cheese egg soufflé
- italian pancetta and sharp gruyere strata
- homemade buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy
- cinnamon raisin french toast
- huevos rancheros casserole with black beans, roasted tomato salsa and melted cheese

- chilled orange, apple and cranberry juices
- premium coffee, decaffeinated coffee & assorted hot tea (we're still looking for that elusive coffee sponsor that wants to come in and blow this up.)

Monday, July 6th - mexican fiesta fajita bar
- house made chips and three fresh made salsas
- southwestern chicken wraps with black bean hummus and roasted peppers

- tres fajitas: all finished with onions and bell pepper rings
- grilled marinated chicken breast
- lean skirt steak
- roasted portobello
- fresh guacamole, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo
- steamed flour tortillas
- black bean and corn salad in tequila scented lime vinaigrette
- authentic refried pinto beans
- spanish rice

- mexican chocolate brownies sprinkled with roasted pepitas
- tres leches
- vanilla cake awash in caramel and three milks

Tuesday, July 7th - Italiano
- caesar salad
- fresh cut romaine with homemade dressing, herbed croutons and grated aged parmesan
- traditional antipasto platter
- aged salamis, italian cheeses, marinated vegetables, roasted garlic served with crispy flatbreads
- fresh baked focaccia breadsticks

- lasagna trio:
- spinach and prosciutto ham with alfredo sauce
- smoked chicken with vodka tomato cream sauce
- grilled summer vegetables with marinara sauce

- cappuccino and amaretto cheesecake bars

Wednesday, July 8th (Awards Banquet) - Pacific Rim
- vegetable potstickers
- asian dumplings served with scallion hoisin sauce
- cucumber salad with red bell peppers and pure sesame dressing

- stir-frys with chicken breast, beef loin or tofu in garlic soy sauce with sherry and ginger tossed with green onions, mushrooms, broccoli, peppers and more steamed rice

- coconut and raisin rice pudding
- sweet coconut custard baked with golden raisins and kaffir lime
- plum cake ripe plums baked in sweet cream cake
- all good fortune cookies

Thursday, July 9th - Chicago style
- bountiful salad bar
- crisp lettuce blend and a plethora of fresh toppings and dressings
- pasta salad caprese (orecchiette pasta tossed in olive oil with house made mozzarella, fresh basil and ripe tomatoes)
- bacon and bleu potato salad

- penne pasta with broccoli and tomato in a light reggianito cream
- baked ziti tossed in red sauce with mozzarella, parmesan and classic italian spices

- sub station:
- fresh baked baguettes filled with your choice of
- beef meatballs in marinara
- chicken cheese philly style
- italian sausage with peppers and onions

- bailey’s mint brownies
- carrot cake bars with cream cheese icing
- double chocolate brownies

Friday, July 10th - western hoe down
- summer vegetable pasta salad
- cavatappi pasta tossed with a rainbow of fresh vegetables in a lemon, honey vinaigrette
- corn soufflé (rich casserole of whole kernel & creamed corn baked with sour cream and melted butter)
- cowboy beans (homemade bbq style chili beans simmered slowly with bacon, onion, peppers & cilantro)
- green chile cheddar corn bread

- bbq chicken (juicy drumstick, thigh & breast char-grilled and finished in scratch made chipotle bbq sauce)
- bbq ribs (fall off the bone beer braised pork ribs roasted in our signature bbq sauce)
- four homemade bbq sauces from mild to wild:
- bacon apple
- cherry ancho
- chipotle
- spicy ancho

- refreshing watermelon
- apple crisp
- granny smith apples stewed in brown sugar, cinnamon and a hint of bourbon, baked under streusel topping. served with fresh whipped cream
- peach cobbler, golden peaches lightly poached in simple syrup and spices served hidden under a moist cake topping. served with fresh whipped cream.

Monday, November 24, 2008

- THE LATEST NEWSLETTER (NOV 10)

I've gotten so many email requests for this that I've decided (belatedly, I know - bear with me, I'm just not that smart) to post it here.

Hug/Kiss,
MM

Heya. It’s been a month or so since we’ve self-promoted, so we figured that you were all overdue for a long email from us that let you waste another 10 minutes of your work week. Information is starting to coalesce for next year’s Breck Epic and we wanted to make sure that we maintained some sort of shared consciousness with all of you whereby we could incorporate your feedback (or at least maintain the pretense of doing so) for as long as possible prior to getting all rigid and inflexible.

In this newsletter you’ll find info on how the solo categories will be administrated, what the actual race categories will be, some new info on pricing, yet another reminder that Breck Epic Blogger’s Grant applications are now being accepted and a blatantly self-serving plug about sponsorship and media inquiries. A big thanks to all who’ve stayed tuned and offered encouragement over the past month. It’s been a weird one, but in the immortal words of HST, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” Me? I got sweatbands and everything.

Mike

Breck Epic Categories:
Categories. Here you go. These aren't finalized and I'm willing to listen to what you guys think, but I think that this will be pretty close to the final product. You can email me your thoughts or you can let your discontent fester inside you like a little pill of bitterness. Totally your call. If you want to sound off, you can email me (addy below) or you can get a conversation going on MTBR.com in the Endurance forum. On to the categories…

Open Men Duo
Open Women Duo
Open Mixed Duo
80+ Duo
100+ Duo (added 11/21/08)
Singlespeed Duo (must be 5 teams to establish category...this actually applies to all categories)
Solo Men Open
Solo Women Open
Singlespeed Open
Solo Men 40+ (added 12/04/08)

Solo Information:
There's not really an established blueprint for the solo thing in this type of racing, but our sense is that you need to be a pro or expert level rider for us to allow you to race solo. Even this gives us a little pause, but you guys need some finite guidelines to begin planning. My gut tells me that anyone racing/riding below that level is going to meet the cut-off buzzsaw by day two…and that’ll suck for you. And for us. Bottom line, if you hold an Expert or above license (let's use that terminology instead of the new categories that they're instituting for the coming year) then you'll be allowed to race solo. If you're a Sport guy or girl you'll need to submit some substantiation to be considered for solo (you've held your own in La Ruta, you've summited K2 without supplemental O2, you've cannibalized your fellow plane crash survivors in order to survive, et cetera.) Also, everyone who races solo needs to pinky swear that you'll be really, really careful out there.

"Sport?" "Expert?" If you're among the underground crew that views these categories as facile tools of the man, then my guess is that you've been operating outside of the USAC firewall. The fact that there may be some unabombers out there isn't really a surprise, especially when you consider that most of you are actually looking forward to being nailed to this particular tree of pain. Nonetheless, categorize you we must, so if you don't hold a USAC license that proves that you're an Expert or above, then you'll need to justify your inclusion in the solo category should you wish to participate in those categories. You'll all get the requisite forms and info on the next vomitous mass of dogma that we email out. Not on our email list? Think about getting on it. Your address is safe with us. Email me here: mikemac@breckepic.com.

About Time Cuts: (added 11/24/08)
They’ll be generous, but they will be enforced. Like the BC Bike Race, if you miss the cut you’ll be out of the race, but you WILL be allowed to ride in the remaining stages.

Pricing/Registration:
I've gone on record with the statement that the BE's pricing will be driven by value. I stand by that statement. With that said, this is our first swing at this and even though our group has A LOT of experience producing races, we still need to make sure that our budget projection rests somewhere within the realm of reality. Translation: I don't have it figured out yet, and if I screw it up then there won’t be a Breck Epic in 2010.

Despite that, we still need to begin accepting reservations for the event, so here's what I propose: we'll begin accepting refundable deposits by the end of November. The deposit amount has yet to be determined, but it'll be manageable. By January 1 we'll set our official pricing structure and everyone who’s laid down their deposit will be given the opportunity to say “looks great, sign me up,” at which point the balance of your race fee will be split into two non-refundable payments for which you will be invoiced. If the fee looks a little steep for you when we announce final pricing we’ll happily refund your deposit.

Couple of quick qualifiers here:
1. Once you’ve accepted the fee structure your payments become non-refundable. In the interest of not being a bunch of self-serving dicks, they will be transferrable. You can eBay ‘em, Craigslist ‘em or even raffle ‘em off to a barful of disoriented boozers.
2. If you’ve submitted a Breck Epic Blogger’s Grant application or are intending to, you must still submit a deposit. Should you win the contest your deposit will be refunded within 7 days of its conclusion.
3. If you hold a sport license (or don’t hold a USAC license at all) you’ll still be allowed to place your deposit, but you’ll get a note from us within a few days and we’ll have a few questions for you to help us establish your bona fides. We're looking into other options in lieu of USAC. Stay tuned.

A final note about pricing: it’ll be broken out in a couple of different ways. There’ll be a basic plan that covers camping, food and race entry. There’ll also be a couple of differentiated plans that allow for the fact that many of you may make other arrangements for lodging, meals, et cetera. Your final payments will be determined by which plan you sign up for.

Love it? Hate it? My back is strong. Bring it on: mikemac@breckepic.com.

Sponsorship and Media Inquiries:
Our sponsorship packets for 2009 are now available. Give us a shout and let us get something together that’s specifically targeted for your brand. If you toil in the 4th estate and are interested in receiving pre-race and daily copy from one of the winners of the blogger’s contest drop us a line and we’ll get you more information. If you’d like some general background about the race please visit our blogsite, http://www.breckepic.blogspot.com/. Until we go live with BreckEpic.com the blog will host all relevant info. If at any point in this email your found yourself saying, “WTF is he talking about?” a quick visit to the blog might be in order.

Industry Stuff
If you’ve been playing along then you know that along with the $10,000 cash purse we’re also offering a way for sponsored teams to increase the size of the treasure chest. Teams riding in the Industry Cup are required to donate merchandise from their sponsors that will then be raffled off throughout the week. The auction will be open to the public and will take place on eBay. All proceeds from the Industry Cup auction will be awarded to the on the podium who’ve donated goods.

We’ll also be in haymaking season here in Summit County as far as destination mountain bike tourists go, so we’re asking all of our friends in the industry that have rolling demo programs to consider bringing them out to the Epic for the week. We’ve a generous media buy allocated in support of this aspect of our program. Please contact us to reserve some of our lusciously flat asphalt.

About the Breck Epic and The Greenspeed Project
The BE is a 6-day ultra-endurance mountain bike stage race to be contested in the sprawling trail network surrounding Breckenridge, CO in early July, 2009. As a race its mission is to showcase the incredible work that visionary land managers here have accomplished by pairing an ambitious and shared vision with a ‘let’s roll our sleeves up and get this thing done together’ mentality. It is one of a small few such races in US, and certainly among the most difficult. The Breck Epic is among a small portfolio of events produced by the newly established Greenspeed Project. The Greenspeed Project’s mission is to fund open space, trails and backcountry initiatives through the medium of slightly left-of-center events. If you’d like to find out more we’ll happily fire a mind-bullet your way stuffed with an ungodly amount of sleep-inducing propaganda. No need to send us a note, we’ll know. We can also email it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

- HELLO SUBARU. HIYA MARMOT

Thanks for stooping by. What? You'd like to sponsor the race? Wellll...lemme think about it - we don't just hand these sponsorships our you know. Ya gotta have some relevance.

OK. I'm a moron who's easily amused by the fact that you press these little buttons on your keyboard and the little marks on the little buttons magically appear on your computer screen. Wow. In any case, I met with Subaru in person and Marmot over the phone and it looks like they'll both be piling onto the promotional juggernaut that is The Breck Epic.

I've also begun plugging in more Blogger's Applications at the bottom of the page. Or you can just snoop-clicky-click that little rightwards facing arrow next to the word "October" over to the right and a handy-dandy list of all the posts will come up. Again, wow.

MM

Thursday, November 20, 2008

- BLOGGER APP UPDATE

Thanks for keeping those cards and letters coming folks. I've spent the past few weeks pretty heads-down on sponsorship and merchandising. I'll get them all posted today (or more likely late this evening.)

In other "Nobody Probably Cares But Me" news, I just sweet-talked Dave Towle into announcing. I also boxed out the Breckenridge Resort Chamber folks by ordering all the crappers from Royal Flush. They told me that 'nobody had ever ordered that far in advance before'.

What can I say, my shit is tight.

I also popped for daily servicing as well as a fresh dose of "The Blue". I heart a fresh shitter and nothing is too good for you, my 16 loyal blog followers. You can almost smell it through the screen, can't you. Smells like excitement.

On a sidenote, I've come up with a perfect penalty for littering on course: the offender will be required to push down 'the cone' in the fullest porto with a piece of wood that's 4x4....x4! And that's inches, not feet. Think twice before you drop a gel packet, bud.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

- SPONSORSHIP PACKAGES NOW AVAILABLE

...and in other breaking news, I was projectile shat upon last night. It really wasn't as sexy as it sounds.

If you'd like to take a peek at the sponsorship stuff send me a note or give me a call.

mikemac@breckepic.com
970-485-5847

MM

Monday, November 10, 2008

- DID YOU GET THE NOV. 10 NEWSLETTER?

...I hope so, because I typed it one-handed while holding a constipated newborn in my other arm. BreckEpic.com's set to go live this week, at which point the blogsite will take a turn towards the 'stream-of-self-consciousness' style that you're all used to. Or as I sometimes like to describe as "an elaborately constructed cathedral of self-adoration." Or is that self-loathing? Dunno - deep down they're probably both the same thing. At some point in the near future I will be publishing the ultimate (and annotated!) waffle recipe. You're not going to want to miss that. Seriously.

In any case, if you missed the newsletter and you'd like me to send it to you just drop me a line and I'll get it to you. There was info on:

Pricing
Categories
Solo Rider Info
Registration Info
...and much, much more!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

- BRECK EPIC OVERVIEW

Endurance racing has diversified over the past decade, evolving from traditional cross-country racing into events designed to challenge a rider’s fitness, bike handling skills and mental strength over a prolonged period of time. The Breck Epic is a 6-day backcountry mountain bike stage race held against the stunning high-alpine backdrop of Colorado’s Central Rockies in Breckenridge, Colorado. Two-person teams and solo competitors contest each stage with cumulative elapsed time over all five stages determining the winning team.

The format has gained traction internationally with athletes and media alike, yet to date there are no significant MTB stage races of this length in the United States. Increasingly, the most popular mountain bikes events are extreme challenges; 24-hour races and 100-mile ultra-endurance events are great examples. The Epic falls into this category – it’s experiential in nature, challenging each participant to seek out reserves of strength and character throughout a prolonged effort. Here the competitive experience is measured in days, not hours. The nature of a stage race creates drama, not just at the top of the leader board, but among each team and within the mind of each athlete as the depths of each individual’s physical and mental resolve is plumbed over a span of 6 days and 250+ off-road miles.







All images courtesy Liam Doran: liamjski@msn.com

- FORMAT AND GENERAL INFO

- 5 stages plus a prologue off-road TT - The stages will be Monday-Friday with the prologue taking place on Sunday afternoon.

- A field limit will be in place (approximately 400 riders)

- Categories are still TBD, but we'll be taking our cues from the pioneers in the format, the Trans-Rockies guys and the BC Bike Race folks (and on that note, we take our hats off to both of them for establishing such an amazing format and for so graciously allowing us to so blatantly rip it off.)

- We'll offer team and solo categories, but the solo folks will be required to submit a formal application prior to acceptance. This race is going to be a bitch and any newbie that squirms in under the wire will most likely suffer an agonizing and painful week.

- Pricing is being worked out. We'll let everyone know as soon as it's finalized.

- PROCEEDS BENEFIT THE TRAILS

First and foremost, proceeds from The Breck Epic will be donated to the Town of Breckenridge’s Open Space and Trails Department (BOSAC) and the USFS (Dillon Ranger District) with the intention that they be earmarked for additional staff, trail improvements and maintenance. In this regard The Epic would be the first race of its kind to directly underwrite open space improvements with hard dollars.

Put simply, there’s a great story here; our community’s progressive stance on open space, the connectivity of our trail network and its impressive sprawl. To date those three qualities have not been placed into context on a national or international level. Through marketing, PR and the blogosphere The Breck Epic will showcase all three, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between them and showcasing Breckenridge as the ideal model for forward-thinking community involvement and the shared vision and cooperation of various land managers from the federal level on down.

- WHERE AGAIN?

Where does it take place? Summit County, CO. The beauty of Breckenridge is that you can be so close and yet so far. The Epic aspires to provide a high-end, yet rugged experience. We’ll utilize town and USFS ‘system’ trails with each stage beginning and ending within the town limits of Breckenridge. The route will change from year-to-year, each subsequent iteration allowing a select group of riders to experience a unique perspective of the place we call home.

- WHEN? WHY THAT DATE?

When? The short answer is July 5-10. Want the long answer? Right. Me too. Remember that time in band camp? Just kidding. Remember when we were discussing date options and we asked you guys to chime in? Well, with the help of the bike industry folks (and all of you) we’ve decided. This year’s Breck Epic will take place on July 6th-10th. There’s a possibility that we’ll add a seeding prologue on the afternoon of the 5th. I’ll keep you posted on that.

Why did we decide to go with those dates? Well, there are a couple of things going on in Colorado that we didn’t want to conflict with, yet we also felt that we needed to pay close attention to what we consider our window of good weather here at 9,600 feet…and that means July. There’s the Firecracker 50 on July 4th which will serve as USAC’s Marathon National Championships, The Breck 100 on the 18th and USAC MTB National Championships which will be held in SolVista Basin from July 16-19. After deliberating the merit and level of conflict with each we decided to go with the earlier week. I don’t want to conflict with any of them, but unfortunately we will. I’ve got a bit to say about each:

The Firecracker: Jeff and I created this race 9 years ago and it’s blossomed into one of the very best races in the country. I’m proud of that and more than a bit bummed out that we’re crowding its space. With that said, I’ll also throw out there that the customers are probably a bit different. It’s also a one-day event, whereas the BE is a 6 day affair soup-to-nuts. The USFS will be limiting Jeff’s field this year which means that regardless of the conflict (real or imagined,) The Firecracker’s going to have a full field. That makes me happy and ultimately allowed me to fall in line with the bike industry’s wishes to go with the earlier date so they could support both and not conflict with NATS. For more info on The Firecracker head to www.mavsports.com.

The Breck 100: The Breck Epic is based on the belief that Summit County contains an abundance of riches in terms of its trail network and its connectivity. If you don’t have the ability to take the full week off, but would still like a stiff challenge on an amazing course you should check this race out. Thane from Warriors Cycling also offers a 32 mile and a 68 mile option if you’re not up for the full hundo. http://www.warriorscycling.com/.

NATS: I feel that we have the least crossover here especially since NATS caters to short-format, UCI World Cup-style racing. I also am stoked beyond belief that NATS are finally in Colorado. I lobbied USAC for years to create a one-day NATS event and then lobbied some more to bring it to the Rockies. There’s something pretty amazing about hashing it out on course for a stars and stripes jersey and the event at SolVista promises to be amazing for both the endurance and gravity crowds. The good folks at Bigfoot Productions will be producing and promoting NATS with the help of the SolVista Bike Park crew and the folks at Granby Ranch. You can find more info here: http://www.racemsc.com/ and http://www.solvistabikepark.com/

Jeff and Thane will probably be involved in some way with the event. Thane in a course capacity and Jeff in an 11th hour “hey Jeff, I can’t figure this out, will you do it for me?” capacity. Let me offer a preemptive thank you to Jeff right now: Hey Jeff, thanks buddy.

- COURSE/VENUE INFO

- There will be a strong emphasis on course quality. You can expect very little road riding and even gravel and fire road riding will be minimized. The Breck Epic is intended to be a rugged backcountry experience.
- Distance? About 235-250 miles. Find a spandex-clad Europhile if you need to know how many K that is.
- We'll use a 'cloverleaf' model with each stage starting and finishing in Breckenridge. That means that we'll use ONE campground and will have no transfers
- Lodging will also be available – Breck’s got it all whether you’re looking for hostel, hotel or condo.
- Attn: Weekend Warriors: if you're the type of guy who likes to give yourself one extreme challenge once a year...well, this is probably not the event for you. The courses will be long. They will be difficult. 90% of the terrain will be above 10,000 feet. Cut-off times will be strictly enforced. You could die here. And nobody would find you.

- PROPOSED ROUTES

This is all subject to change of course. You know that my wife and I just had another baby and that my hormones are all in a tizzy. I might decide tomorrow that it's going to be a recumbent-only event. In the words of Crash Davis, "I really don't know where the ball's going." As if that's not enough, there's the whole USFS permit approval thingie. Keep in mind that all routes are proposed only – actual routes are subject to town, county and USFS permit approval process. These will also probably be shuffled around considerably - "Stage 1" might not necessarily be Stage 1 if you get my drift. Details on Sunday's seeding prologue are pending.

Stage 1 – Circumnavigation of Mt. Guyot
French Gulch Road to French Pass
French Pass to Michigan Creek TH
Michigan Creek to Georgia Pass
Down Georgia, up American
Out Little French Flume
Down Little French to FINISH @ western parking lot

Stage 2 - Pennsylvania Gulch/Boreas Pass
Begin at Hockey Rink
Up Boreas Pass Rd to Illinois Gulch
Illinois Gulch to BPR to Aspen Tunnel
Aspen Tunnel to Blue River Trail
Blue River Trail to Blue River Subdivision
Blue River Sub to Pennsylvania Gulch
Pennsylvania to Indiana Gulch, down Indiana
Right at bottom of Grind
Up through Dyersville
Left on Boreas Pass Road
Right on Baker’s Tank Trail
BTT to Iowa Mill
Iowa Mill to Nightmare on Baldy
Nightmare on Baldy to Sallie Barber
Sallie Barber to Barney Ford
Barney Ford to Moonstone
Moonstone to finish

Stage 3 – The Gold Dust Trail
Start in Wellington
French Gulch Road to Sallie Barber
Sallie Barber to Nightmare
Nightmare to Iowa Mill
Iowa Mill to Baker’s Tank
Baker’s Tank to Boreas Pass Road
BPR to Dyersville
Dyersville to Indiana, LEFT on Indiana
Indiana to Boreas Pass (Section House)
BPR to Gold Dust Trail
GDT to BPR
BPR back to Baker’s Tank
Tank Trail to finish at BTT Lot

Stage 4 - Wheeler/Peaks Trail
Begin at Peak 8
Climb up access road, then Peak 8 to Peak 9 Trail
Peak 9 to Wheeler
Up and over Wheeler
Return to Frisco via recpath
Pick up Peaks Trail in Frisco
Peaks Trail back to Peak 8
Finish at Peak 8

Stage 5 – The Colorado Trail
Begin in Wellington
Up Gold Run Road past the McLeary’s
Out the Side Door, hang left at first intersection (past snowmobile)
Sharp left up to Prospect Way
Right on Prospect Way to Lincoln Meadows
Climb road from Lincoln Meadows to top of American
American Gulch to Great Flume
Great Flume to Georgia Pass CT section
Descend CT to Middle Fork
Middle Fork to North Fork (Westridge)
Westridge to Soda Creek
Soda Creek to Horseshoe Gulch
Horseshoe Gulch back to dredge and Tiger Road
Tiger Road to Discovery Ridge Trail
DRT to Preston
Preston to Slalom
Slalom to Upper Flume
Upper Flume to Recycling Center & Finish

- THE INDUSTRY CUP

This year's Breck Epic will offer $10,000 in prize money. I've yet to decide how that'll be split up, but we're committed to providing a decent purse. While $10K is nothing to sneeze at I do wish that we could commit to more, so I've been thinking about ways to up the ante a bit. To sweeten the pot. To really ratchet up the pressure to unbearable levels so that losing a spot on the podium is actually physically painful. In a perfect world the disappointment of not finishing in the money would be so purely distilled that your ears would bleed. So here's what I've come up with - "The Industry Cup". Impressive, huh? (Ladies, don't bother queuing up, I'm married.)

Here's how it works: Factory pros, or manufacturer's riders will be allowed to donate items for a silent auction. It could be a frame, a fork, a component, a riders kit, a footrub from the Luna Chix, a pair of Dave Weins' dirty socks, a big spitty kiss from a man with a bushy moose-stash...whatever. Over the course of the event these items will be displayed and bids will be taken. At the conclusion of the event auction winners will be announced and the proceeds from the silent auction will be split between participating riders in the pro categories. In lieu of merchandise, teams may throw cash into the pot. Merchandise donations must have a minimum cash value (retail) of $250. Cash entries will be $150. Participation must be declared at packet pickup and merchandise (or a gift certificate or reasonable facsimile if product is size-specific) must be delivered to Breck Epic registration staff prior to the beginning of Stage 1.