Wednesday, October 22, 2008


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:


- 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.


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 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? 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

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.

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: and

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.


- 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.


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
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


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.


If there's one thing that can be said about bike journalists, it's that they're bike nerds like the rest of us. God bless 'em. Thanks for the ink, boys. Here's a looky-loo at what the pundits from the 4th estate have to say:
Mountain Bike, October 8, 2008
VeloNews, October 22, 2008
Bike Magazine, October 21, 2008
Mountain Bike, October 23, 2008
Cycling News, October 24, 2008, November 11th, 2008
Mountain Bike, November 12th, 2008
Mountain Bike, November 13th, 2008


The obvious benefit for the community is an influx of cyclist dollars. Secondary to that is that the revenue from the event will be donated directly to BOSAC, and through the use of a restricted grant, the USFS. The use of an event as a fundraising mechanism that underwrites trail construction and maintenance represents a paradigm shift in the event business, but this is a logical extension of one of the principles upon which Maverick Sports Promotions, (the joint venture of Jeff Westcott and Mike McCormack) was founded; “Events must give back to the community.” If the event makes money, that money will directly underwrite trail improvements. The Epic’s goal will be to provide the funds necessary to add one additional seasonal staff member for each organization.

Additionally, the PR generated from the event will create millions of unique consumer impressions, further solidifying Breck’s status as a worthwhile stop for national and international destination mountain bike travelers. The biking season here is short, but the goods are, well...good. Really good.


The message is simple – open space is vital. And Summit County is a wonderful representation of how 3 disparate land management entities can work together to create something truly amazing. Preservation, conservation, responsible use…whichever way you’d choose to describe it. There’s a great story to tell here in Breckenridge, one that’s been years in the making. Town leadership decided early on that ‘quality of life’, as a concept and in practice, needed to be elevated and reprioritized in order to achieve more harmonious balance with the commercial pressures unique to resort communities. In looking around at some of our counterparts across the state it’s obvious that we’re head and shoulders above most of our them in both principle and practice.

We also want to underscore the fact that Breckenridge is an amazing place to visit and live. There are many old Victorian mining towns in Colorado, but few with a world-class resort and none (other than us) with almost unlimited backcountry access. Most of the town’s marketing efforts focus on the first two elements. Athletic events, especially ones grand in scope and detailed in execution do a great job of highlighting the third.


We’ll be making every effort to make the Epic as green as possible. A kinder, gentler mountain bike race. This means concentrated efforts at recycling, a conscientious nod to the reduction of our overall carbon footprint every step of the way and the use of renewable energy credits for all of our power needs. These are just the tip of the iceberg – we’ll be striving for sustainability and conscientious use with every decision that we make. We’ve always felt that 1000 heads are better than one, so please feel free to forward your suggestions on how we may shrink our impact as much as possible.


The Epic will partner with the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and its new “Team IMBA” initiative. Through participation in the Team IMBA program participants are given the tools to fundraise for their racing efforts. Proceeds from Team IMBA fundraising are split 50/50 between IMBA and the event’s charity of choice, in this case BOSAC and the Dillon Ranger District. The beauty of this strategy is that an estimated 90% of the event’s participants will come from outside of Colorado. Team IMBA’s program extends the reach of fundraising efforts to communities well outside of the traditional harvesting grounds for open space donations. Funds raised through Team IMBA will be in addition to the event revenues described elsewhere.


If the idea of a sprawling, unbelievably difficult and environmentally and socially conscious event with a built-in PR Hemi piques your interest please feel free to drop me a line at We've got value-driven partnership packages that can be tailored to your brand's marketing and PR needs. We've also got flat asphalt for your rig if you need it, and if you talk sweet enough we'll park you next to the coffee guys. Or the beer guys.

As far as partners go, we place a premium on folks that share our values about the altruistic underpinnings of the race. A decent sense of humor goes a long way, too.


...or in other words, "It's not what you know..." I don’t want to overly commercialize and monetize the event, but historically the best sponsorship leads come from word of mouth. In order to integrate with the stated goal of the event (to directly fund additional labor resources for Breckenridge Open Space and Trails and the USFS) we’re being a bit selective about who we partner with. If you’re hooked up with an organization that might be interested in aligning themselves with greener goods and goals, please feel free to contact us to make an introduction. I can provide more details, but we’ll offer each referrer a 10% ‘finder’s fee’ that can be applied toward entry fees and merchandise. Based upon finalized cash sponsorship. Limit one solo entry (@ $1000 value, actual value TBD) and $300 merchandise credit.


It's good for the soul. And for the wardrobe. Volunteers? We need ‘em. Course Marshals, moto name it. Volunteers will get piles of event swag and I’m talking about the good stuff. Each volunteer will earn $10/hour credit at the company store ($150 maximum.) You’ll be able to redeem your credit for socks, tees, hats, fleeces, bags, etc. All volunteers will also receive meal tickets for breakfast and dinner for each day that they volunteer. Interested? Please contact me at


We’re giving away 4 race entries to the folks who’ve got the scribbling jones. Each blogger will be required to submit four 1,000 word articles prior to the event on topics ranging including actual race prep, their mental states, why they love their bike and just about anything else loosely related to the event. During the event they’ll be asked to write 500-1000 words after each stage. All of these articles will be distributed via email within the event newsletter and published on the event's website. Each blogger will be assigned to one of the vertical cycling publications and the promoter will forward their daily race journals to their print partner at no cost. Blogger hopefuls are required to submit writing samples and a completed questionnaire detailing their qualifications. Voting will be public and will take place online beginning January 1st. If you're interested please take a spin through the "Dogma" and "Rules" posts, then get crackin' on the Application. You can also email me ( and I'll forward you the Werd dock-ya-mint.



I’ve been involved in cycling events for as long as I can remember. There are two memories that stand out for me when I look back and I guess if I really dig deep into the mental nooks and crannies I can say that they’ve shaped how I’ve come to look at events in general. The first one that jumps out at me was a what-was-then-called NORBA event in Traverse City, Michigan. I remember that the race was so much more than that – it was an event. The energy was unbelievable and you were left with no doubt that if you were a mountain biker, that Traverse City, on that weekend, was the center of the universe.

My weekend was highlighted by two notable experiences, both of which left indelible impressions on a short, pale and naïve kid from Wisconsin. First, there was a fit and tan women walking around all weekend with a shirt made of what I could only describe as the sort of fish netting that you might sea in the South Pacific. She was also bra-less. Possibly European. To this day I couldn’t tell you what her face looked like. Couldn’t pick her out of a crowd of two if I had to. What can I say? I was about 22 years old and still flailing about in the uncertain seas of huge testosterone surges. I was also sort of a drooling moron at the time (you could make a case that I still am, although it’s possible that I’ve been upgraded to ‘juvenile’.)

The other part of that weekend that sticks out for me was the fact that the night prior to the XC event I got caught up in the excitement of the weekend and the camaraderie of sharing one crappy hotel room with 15 other farting, belching and generally stinky recent post-adolescents. There was beer. There were drinking games. Being a Wisconsinite, there was credibility on the line. So I got hammered. Drunk as a chicken. I was so hung-over during my Sunday race that I’m pretty sure I got passed by a 12 year-old wearing clogs. I may have hallucinated that, but unfortunately for my ego I’m pretty sure that hippy freak middle-schooler owned me. My race experience was summed up at the finish line (yes, I finished) with the following words: “I’ve never wanted anything to end so badly in my life.” Then I was laughed at. By people claiming to be my friends. For years.

What these two memories underscore for me is that events at their best are experiential. When the stars align they give a participant much more than just an on-course experience. I don’t want to get all John Tesh-y here, but something that requires an over-the-top amount of commitment and sacrifice tends to get its mitts into your life in a systemic way. By living through the experience you generate memories. Of pain. Of triumph. Of good food. Or the lack of it. Of a particularly smelly fart. Of intense suffering and of rich reward. Of a woman with nice boobs, a staggering lack of modesty and no visible tan lines.

What started way back in over 20 years ago as a ‘sweeper’ for a local century ride turned into a full-immersion experience that’s defined my life and career. Over the past decade-and-a-half one of the things I’ve enjoyed most is living vicariously through the exploits of others, especially where it concerns bike racing. I like reading about other people’s experiences in the saddle and my guess is, so do you. So without further preamble, I give you “The Breck Epic Blogger’s Grant Program”. Or in other words, “Why use 10 words when 10,000 will do?”

So to bring a long and probably pointless intro to a merciful close; be funny. Be smart. Be informative or entertaining. Be all of those things. Or be none. We don’t care what you have to say…as long as it’s interesting. If that sounds like you, then sharpen your pencils and click on the “Blogger’s Grant Application” link to the right.


The Breck Epic Blogger’s Grant (BEBG) Program was established out of pure selfishness. I like to read about bike races and I feel like there are a lot of people out there like me. I also feel that the current crop of race reports published in the straight-up vertical media sometimes lack in nuance what they attempt to make up for with a detailed list of top-five finishers. I think that people want to live vicariously through others and I’m willing to pay for a small handful of you to document your journey from wherever you are right now to your finish in Breckenridge on July 10th. In exchange for you putting pen to paper I’m offering 4 individual race entries.

The Rules:
1. There are four BEBG’s. They’ll be made available to solo and team competitors.
2. Only 1 person per team may receive a blogger’s grant. In the event that you win 50% of your team’s entry will be picked up by us.
3. BEBG application submission period begins today. Thanks to all of you who’ve already forwarded your literary palmares…but please fill out the form and get it back to us.
4. BEBG applicants will have their applications posted online on the event’s website. Users of the site’s forums will be allowed to vote for their preferred blogger. Winners of the ‘poll’ will receive their very own BEBG and unlimited self-promotional bandwidth. Polling rules are still to be determined, but in general, the sooner you get your application to us and published online, the greater window of availability for people to vote for you.
5. Blogger’s will be required to submit 4 training/general articles (1,000 words minimum) prior to the event and one per day (500 word minimum) while the event is in progress. Did you get 9 when you added that up in your head? Me too.
6. BEBG applications need to be submitted (via email only) by Tuesday, January 6th, 2009. That’s 6 months out from the race start which provides you a rough submission deadline of one article every 6 weeks leading up to the race.
7. Images may be included – please submit screen-resolution images unless otherwise directed.
8. Articles will be edited by BE staff, posted online at and blasted out to the members of our newsletter email list. The copy of BEBG recipients becomes the exclusive property of the event. You may repost your copy, but in broad strokes, we own exclusive rights. This leads us to…
9. Your blogs will appear on the Breck Epic website and in email blasts. Each blogger will also be ‘paired’ with one of the industry publications. BE staff will edit and forward your copy (race journals only) to your designated publisher with the sole intent that it be allowed to be published on that publication’s website.
10. Don’t be bummed if you don’t win! If you habitually write we’ll happily post links to your stuff on the blog page. There are also event sponsors who may request their own writer for the event. We’ll address this situation one-on-one with sponsors and writers as it becomes relevant.
11. We (OK, “I”) hold the deciding vote. I could be coy or less than up-front about that, but there are also strategic reasons for this program. I’ll serve as the ultimate tiebreaker if necessary.
12. Please submit your application by January 6, 2009 to Sans-serif fonts only please.



Feel free to write whatever you’d like, but please adhere to the word-count guidelines. You’ll be allowed to run on indefinitely if you win. To the victor go the spoils, right? Please email to by January 6th, 2009.


SECTION 1: 35 words or less per question (please answer all)
Where are you from?
What kind of bike do you ride?
What do you love about it?
Solo or team competitor? Why?
Who’s your teammate (if applicable)?
Done any ultra-endurance stuff before?
Favorite food?

SECTION 2: 100 words or less per question (please answer at least 4)
Worst experience on a bike?
Best experience on a bike?
Tell us about your LBS (Local Bike Shop):
Tell us about your favorite ‘local’ ride:
Tell us about your favorite ride EVER:
Describe a sponsor or company you admire and why you admire them:
Who will play you in the Breck Epic movie and why?

SECTION 3: 200 words or less per question (please answer at least 1)
What do you hope to get out of this experience? Expectations/goals/etc.
Tell us about your history as a cyclist or in the industry:

SECTION 4: 200 words or less (optional)
Feel free to blatantly self-promote here. A quote you like, a direct appeal to the voters, some hateful vitriolic slander for your political opponents (see: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter…) This is your space. Decorate it however you’d like.

SECTION 5: An image of you. Or of whatever.
Mandatory. 200 x 200 pixels please.

SECTION 6: Links to your work:
Optional. Please submit a maximum of three.


If you're making the trip from either coast you may want to consider registering for The 4th of July Firecracker 50 on the Saturday preceding The Breck Epic. 50 miles might be a bit long with what lies in store for you with the Epic, but I can honestly say that the F50 is one of the very best races in the US. It's as close as I've seen to what I'd imagine racing in Europe to be like. It's also Marathon NATS. If you like the idea of getting two amazing race experiences while you're out here but are balking at the 50-miles, they do offer a team option. Each rider on the team does one 25-mile lap.

Seriously, the F50 is a race that you should do before you die. It's that good. If you're here and can't/don't want to race it I'm sure that Jeff would love to have you as a volunteer. You get a pretty cool swag package (t-shirt, custom DeFeet Woolie Boolies, a killer barbecue and I think I remember there being free beer in the past) If you're interested in racing or volunteering you can give Jeff a ring-a-ding at


...also known as "lies." In another life (and universe) I was a marketing and brand director for the Trek Bicycles family of brands, I’ve been a Breckenridge resident since 1998. In 2000 I co-founded Maverick Sports Promotions with Jeff Westcott. Through that collaboration we established the environmental education program “Mountain Bike Little League” which has since become the national standard for youth development through advocacy and education. We also developed “The Firecracker 50”, an event generally acknowledged to be one of the best ultra-endurance mountain bike races in the United States, as evidenced by its designation by USA Cycling as national championships for three consecutive years. For 5 years I was employed by Vail Resorts both as an event and customer service manager in Breckenridge and subsequently a marketing monkey at Beaver Creek. Do not annoy me. I WILL throw my own poop at you.

Somewhere in there I've also mucked around with The SuperCup Cyclocross Series and a bunch of high-profile, televised snowboarding, freeskiing and alpine events while at Breck and BC. I also have a dog. He doesn't throw poop. But if ever figures it out, you better watch it.

For the last 3 years I’ve been the managing director of Bigfoot Productions, the event arm of Yeti Cycles. In this capacity I’ve been directly responsible for all aspects of The Mountain States Cup (the largest race series in North America,) as well as several cycling industry initiatives and strategies designed to grow the ranks of the sport.

Thanks in advance for taking a look at the event –

- BLOGGER APP #1: Team Dicky

NAME: Rich Dillen


HOMETOWN: Charlotte, NC

Where are you from? Charlotte, NC
What kind of bike do you ride? I still don’t know what BRAND I’ll be riding, but rest assured it will be a rigid single speed 29’er with pink wheels.
What do you love about it? I don’t have it yet, nor do I know who is going to make it, so the anticipation of the unknown is quite thrilling.
Solo or team competitor? Why? Solo. All my former teammates from previous stage races still have restraining orders against me, so my options for a partner are quite limited.
Done any ultra-endurance stuff before?
Two La Rutas
Two Trans Rockies
One BC Bike Race
Tour de Burg
Twelve hundred milers
Twenty+ 12/24 hour events
A myriad of other bicycling related tests of fortitude
Favorite food? Oatmeal cookies washed down with Amstel Light
Movie? Three Amigos
Book? If Chins Could Kill (The auto-biography of Bruce Campbell)
Worst experience on a bike? By far doing the Cohutta 100 on a fixed gear the week after my dad died was the worst time I’ve ever had on a bike.
Best experience on a bike? My first 24 Hour World Championship in 2000. It was the first time my dad got to watch me race my bike.
Tell us about your favorite ‘local’ ride: Getting up every morning, riding my bike to work, riding for a living, and then riding home. Some days I forget what a gift it is to be a bike messenger, but when I think about it what could be better?
Describe a sponsor or company you admire and why you admire them? The Bare Knuckle Brigade is the best sponsor anybody could ever hope for. They have taught me to hate, but with compassion. To destroy, but with empathy and kindness. To be the absolute best ever, but with humility. They are a cult of excess personality with a capital “P” that rhymes with “T” and that stands for “Tool”. Did I mention we’re just a club that loves show tunes?
Who will play you in the Breck Epic movie and why? Tony Danza, of course it would only be shown on the Lifetime Network for Women. If he were not available the producers would probably give Rick Moranis, Martin Short, or Ben Kingsley the nod.
Tell us about your history as a cyclist or in the industry: I started riding mountain bikes back in 1989 or so while attending Youngstown State University. I sucked at the very start, but over the years I got slightly better. I floundered around in the beginner class at some local XC races, and eventually worked my way up to being a slightly better than average sport class racer. When I started my job as a bike messenger in 1996 I started getting stronger, and when I discovered endurance racing in 2000 I knew I had found my niche. I had some success in the first few years, but I burned out pretty quickly as I focused mainly on 24 hour races. After a tidy little hiatus I sold all my geared bikes and took up single speeding thinking I had left endurance racing and the idea of ever doing a classic stage race behind. Little did I know that over the next four years I would race my single speed for thousands of miles all over North and Central America, and have some of the best times of my life. Yeah, that sums up my lifetime’s worth of cycling history in 200 words or less (199 words to be exact).
That's fascinating! Tell us more! (editors note: the sarcasm is mine, and yes, I know that sarcasm is, A: verbal violence, and B: often a greater statement about the issuer than the subject.): When it comes to endurance racing my goals have morphed since I first started. I used to do it for the pure challenge of pushing my limits, but now I think of it as an advanced form of speed touring or just a painful vacation from the real world. Now my goal is to be the guy who can squeeze the most fun out of every event I enter. Sure, there are times when I want to do my best, but for the most part I just want to ride new trails, meet new people, and come home with new memories. I may not come in first, I may not have the most popular cycling blog, and I really only remember about 50% of the grammar skills I learned in college, but I am the most proficient blogger when it comes to describing my experiences with run-on sentences, and you will definitely have a hard time finding a better single cogging, humor blogging, fun hogging, brain fogging, eggnogging writer to help you live out the Breck Epic in a vicarious manner.
Links to my work:
Shove Industries:
La Ruta 2004 (caution: @ 4,000 words):

- BLOGGER APP #2: Luke Wiens

NAME: Luke Wiens

SPONSOR/TEAM: Ergon…hah, just kidding…we are of no relation. (Wiens Family Cellars/Lucca Restaurant).

HOMETOWN: Sacramento, CA…currently Temecula, CA

Where are you from? I reign from Sacramento….and honestly, vow never to return!
What kind of bike do you ride?/What do you love about it? Kona “The King”…In my opinion has been an all around beast. I’ve punished this thing at Mammoth, thrown thousands of miles at it, and raced everything from XC to Endurance…it still keeps on tickin!
Solo or team competitor? Why? Solo…because I have yet to find anyone local that can keep smiling after 10+ hours on the bike.
Done any ultra-endurance stuff before?
12 hours of Temecula (Solo)
Tahoe-Sierra 100
24 Hours of Hurkey Creek (Solo)
In that order…
Favorite food? By far the burrito…god programmed me with an instinctual craving for these boogers that kicks in usually between hours 4 and 6 on the bike.
Movie? Gladiator…you aren’t human if you didn’t like that movie.
Book? A New Earth…by Eckhart Tolle. I read this long before Oprah starting pumping it up.
Worst experience on a bike? When I first moved to Colorado I went for a road ride and double flatted on the other side of town. I had no one to call and walked 12 miles home clopping around in road shoes. Cute girls driving by commenting on my lycra get-up wasn’t enough…a summertime thunderstorm moved in like clockwork to make the last several miles pure joy!
Best experience on a bike? Being the only guy rocking lycra on the shuttle at Bootleg Canyon. At first the downhillers didn’t know what to think…but after several runs of keeping my flesh intact, I started to get a little conversation out of ‘em. I was extremely lucky and too stupid at the time not to dawn armor…after making it through all of those killer trails unscathed that weekend; it was a mix of accomplishment and a near death experience!
Tell us about your LBS (Local Bike Shop): I have about 4…and when you put them all together you actually get a decent selection and pricing. I’ve made friends at all of them and they all serve different purposes, ie. Nutrition, drivetrain, etc.
Tell us about your favorite ‘local’ ride: Vail Lake has evolved from a desert location with a big climb and a fast descent to a venue that hosts XC, Xterra, Endurance, Super D, and Downhill with a whole network of trails. From Eric Carter to my six year old cousin…this place has something for everyone. I have been lucky enough to start a weekly evening ride there…and for some reason, people keep showing up.
Tell us about your favorite ride EVER: The first time I rode in Orange County I showed up with a route map at Aliso Canyon….my intentions, to ride the Aliso/Laguna Wilderness/El Moro loop which connects two parks near the coast. After setting out on my adventure I was offered an array of trails, epic views, and great technical descents. I summited the first major climb only to be greeted by the local OC High School cross country team with hot moms in tow on a training run. It was a pretty hot day and their wardrobe selection seemed to be quite minimal. The next couple miles of fireroad proved to be some of the most technical terrain ever. Welcome to SoCal.
Describe a sponsor or company you admire and why you admire them: Ergon….because they sponsor the dude that beat Lance...just kidding! I admire any company with a goal of improving comfort for us guys that log a lot of cockpit time. They have some solid athletes with seemingly good personalities….and plus, I’ve got a soft spot for green.
Who will play you in the Breck Epic movie and why? Robert Duval…because you just gotta respect the guy. Of course he would probably have a horse and a lot better dialogue then me.
What do you hope to get out of this experience? Expectations/goals/etc. Tell us about your history as a cyclist or in the industry: I started in endurance sports 5 years ago to help remove myself from a toxic lifestyle. Ever since this quest began it has become a journey of continually increasing the bar. I worked my way up through triathlon and peaked with Ironman. The next logical step was 24 solo. The fact that my true passion has always lied with mountain bikes made the quest for 24 solo an outstanding adventure. A multi-day stage race should offer an even closer look at my soul…that’s why we do this stuff right?? To find out just how tough god made ya!
Feel free to blatantly self-promote here. A quote you like, a direct appeal to the voters, some hateful vitriolic slander for your political opponents (see: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter…) This is your space. Decorate it however you’d like. The pic above is a visit at the family winery from someone I look up to very highly...former Olympian and Xterra dominator, Conrad Stoltz (dude broke his back and came back to crush the Xterra tour). “When you get hurt and all of your sacrifice adds up to nothing, are you willing to put it all on the line again?” – CS. To build yourself up as an athlete…all of the hours and dedication, and then to charge descents skimming the threshold of control…anyone who pushes that hard earns my respect.
Links to your work?

- BLOGGER APP #3: Larry Grossman

Name; Larry Grossman
Sponsor/Team Name; SQUIRT LUBE
Hometown; Eagle, Colorado
Where am I from? Born and raised in New Jersey, Moved to Florida in 72, chased women in college in Tallahassee until 83, moved to Wyoming then Colorado in 83, been here ever since.
What kind of bike do I ride? Salsa El Santo for Now, Felt Carbon Niner Hard tail on deck...
What do I love about it? It's a lifestyle for me, bike does not matter much.
Solo or Team and Why? Team, isn't life all about team work? Plus I need someone to bitch to when the climbing gets brutal.
Who's My Teammate? Dewet Marais, partner/owner of SQUIRT LUBE, also age 51
Done any Ultra Stuff Before?
24 Hours of Moab 4 times
Breck Ultra 100 2 times
Firecracker 50 once....ouch!
Favorite Food? Pizza, French Fries and more pizza
Movie? It's a tie....the Godfather and Caddyshack
Book? Fire on the it and learn something
Worst experience on a bike? Getting caught out on Freemont pass in a wicked hail, rain and lightning storm in the middle of a century with no gear. Paramedics got called in to help us recover from hypothermia at Copper Starbucks.
Best experience on the bike? Competing in the 24 Hours of Moab with three of my best riding buddies for four straight years, including the big flood year.
Sponsor or Company I admire? Maxxis, for stepping up, no questions, to help me put on a fantastic Spring Cyclocross series in Eagle last year. They were huge and made the series great for all the racers who showed and throwed.
Who Will Play me in the Breck Epic Movie? Robert Di Niro
What do I hope to get out of this experience? I race for a few very simple reasons, and that goes for all bike rides/races. Riding bikes is about where you go and who you go with, always has been, racing is just a great way to stay fit and create an awesome sphere of friends as well as see some amazing places. Then you get to tell stories and drink a Stella with your bros...perfect. So, I just plan to add another experience and more friends to my life...the end. I'm 51 yars old my friend, nothing left to prove and how many more of these rides do I have left?
Blatant Self Promotion...see my blog.
Mike, I've only known you for a couple of years now, but I think you know my cycling soul pretty well and the passion I have for our favorite form of recreation. I've shown my ass and my humility to you and your staff at MSC, and most importantly really cared about making the experience of riding and racing better for everyone, even the assholes. I'm not gonna beg for a blogger "grant", but you know I will write the truth and the words will come from the bowels of my cycling soul....thanks for putting on the race, you are a warrior. (Editor's note: flattery and an occasional Stella are indeed two of Mr. Grossmam's insidious maneuvers. FWIW, they're pretty effective.)
Links to Work;
1. is above

- BLOGGER APP #4: Matthew Juth

COMotion Sports

Nevergreen, CO

Where are you from?
One of those rare, indigenous, natives of CO

What kind of bike do you ride?
Yeti ASR-SLc, SS Niner
What do you love about it?
Yeti - Made just down the hill. Perfect bike!
Solo or team competitor? Why?
Team - I've always wanted to do a team event like this. Suffering with a good friend sounds like fun apparently.
Who's your teammate (if applicable)?
Don't know yet. It depends on how much this thing costs! I'm sure it will be someone faster than me.
Done any ultra-endurance stuff before?
VT125 Last year, 24 HOM (team) '06,'07, Beaver Creek.
Really, I'm just another XC monkey who hit the plateau and decided to try something different to excuse my recent poor performances in shorter events.
Favorite food?
Green Chile – Kills colds and adds propulsion.
Fight Club
Under the Banner of Heaven - Incredible read...that guy has a gift.
Worst experience on a bike?
It's a tossup between crashing 200yds from the finish line at WP and then riding 10 milesback to my car with torn ligaments, or having to spend 3 hours on a road ride in Denver with an unstable individual with the amazing ability to piss off every motorist within 100yds by flipping them the bird and yelling obscenities at their vehicles.
Best experience on a bike?
Riding from Woodland Park to Rampart Reservoir, circling the lake and then bombing down to Manitou on my shiny new Diamondback Viper. I was riding with my best freind who just stole his brothers Haro with pegs. Age 11? It was foggy, drizzling, and cold, I had a can of Dr. Pepper for "nutrition", and a sweatshirt for "technical cycling wear" I still can't believe we duped my folks into letting we little kiddos do that. It certainly foreshadowed the poor planning and forced Epics to come when I started riding a bike again at age 27.
Tell us about your LBS (Local Bike Shop):
My most "L" BS is Bicycle Outfitters in Nevergreen. Tony provides a constant source of peer pressure to drink frosty beverage prior to all rides, flak for being a wee-bit anal over my bike builds, great service with the "oh-god-not-Matt-again-attitude, and (seriously) thebest shop around. My less "L" BS is an amazing shop and a team sponsor as well. They provide all the same as the above shop, except no flak over anal bike builds.
Tell us about your favorite ‘local’ ride:
Always noncommittal and unable to make a decision, I have 2 options.
- MTB - Tour D'Evergreen - Matt's garage to Falcon, Parmalee, Lair ‘O Bear, 3-Sisters, Evergreen Mountain, Bergen Peak, Elk Meadows, Hiwan, Home.
- Road - Matt's garage to Squaw Pass, Mount Evans, Idaho Springs, home.
Tell us about your favorite ride EVER:
See above comment relating to decisions.
Describe a sponsor or company you admire and why you admire them:
Shimano. I know that goes against the trend of SRAM being hip and cool, but they have continue to make bombproof products and have been incredibly successful despite a lack of flash. They also are able to admit when they make a mistake, and change to what people want before losing their customer base.
Who will play you in the Breck Epic movie and why?
Edward Norton. No-one would believe a stocky dude like myself would race I bike. I need a skinny guy who can intimidate others with his trademark bleeding-gum smile and is carved like a block of wood. If he refuses the minimal pay, the drunk, homeless guy sleeping behind our office will be the alternate
What do you hope to get out of this experience? Expectations/goals/etc.
I really want to open up my eyes to what is possible again. VT125 certainly showed me what I am capable of, and I think this is another step in that direction. I was planning on trying to get to one of those other not-nearly-as-cool-as-the-Breck-Epic Epics, so this will give me the opportunity to do it my favorite high-altitude playground. I have always loved suffering with my buddies in the mountains and this should provide endless opportunities for this (or at least 6 days worth).
Tell us about your history as a cyclist or in the industry:
My bike was my sole source of transportation until age 15. After years of pedaling all over the darn place, I hung up the two wheels until my late 20's. My wife persuaded me to start riding HER bike around for exercise when my rock climbing habit was waning due to the birth of my first kiddo. After riding a tiny, 10 year old bike for a month, I was hooked once again, bought my own bike that fit, and started the adventure again. 4 years, 13 bikes, 60+ races, and 1 blog later, here I am begging for an entry fee...
Feel free to blatantly self-promote here. A quote you like, a direct appeal to the voters, some hateful vitriolic slander for your political opponents (see: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter…) This is your space. Decorate it however you’d like.
I started the whole blog as an experiment. It's turned into a really fun activity for my self actualization and reflection. I'm trying to show the folks that read this thing (as well as myself), that you can be mairried, have 2 kiddos, a full time job, and still go out and be fairlycompetitive on a bike and have the time of your life doing it. I know this is a popular theme now, but in the age of people getting more lethargic, depressed over the state of things, and willing to buy adventures I beleive this is important. Also, I like to refer to myself as a "sexy, athletic, genius" I think that sums it up pretty good, no? I'm quite humble as well.
Links to your work:
Main Page
Race Report
Spring Training '08

- BLOGGER APP #6: Ben Thompson

NAME: Ben Thompson


HOMETOWN: Bend, Oregon

Where are you from? Grew up in Monterey, CA and was introduced to proper biking on the great trails of Laguna Seca, Big Sur and surrounding areas.
What kind of bike do you ride? SOBE/Cannondale Team Scalpel Full Suspension
What do you love about it? Bike climbs like a billy goat, descends like a hellion and believe it or not, the Lefty fork actually works…quite well in fact!
Solo or team competitor? Why? Solo – I’ve done TransAlp and TransRockies as a team and itching for a little personal suffering…I mean fun.
Done any ultra-endurance stuff before? I’ve raced TransAlp, TransRockies and La Ruta and always been in or around the Top 10. Love all the ups and downs that come during multi-day racing!
Favorite food? Good Mexican (especially after a ride!)
Movie? Usual Suspects – the first great ending twister
Book? Travels with Charlie – Americana at its best from a hometown author, John Steinbeck.
Worst experience on a bike? Suppose the answers to the next two questions could both come from my endurance racing days. Worst day would have to be down at La Ruta, starting in a cold rain, climbing up the volcano in colder rain, fixing flats in shin deep cow crap and finishing 5hrs later in a cold rain. Rough day mentally, physically but sure made the rest of the days look good!
Best experience on a bike? No contest in my mind: the 2006 Cascade Creampuff 100. Rarely do you have those days when EVERYTHING goes your way on a bike; legs show up, stomach actually processes food, brain shuts down and lets the body work and no mechanicals. The 100 mile race with 18000 feet was actually fun the whole time and coming in 9 minutes ahead of second place wasn’t bad either.
Tell us about your LBS (Local Bike Shop): Sunnyside Sports has been a huge help in keeping my ever abused stable of bikes in fine (or at least rideable/raceable) form. Owner Don Leet is super enthusiastic about cycling and supporting local racers. Hutch’s Bikes managers Mike McMackin and Jon Fry have always been there for those specific Cannondale questions, getting the race bikes together in a hurry and supporting the SOBE/Cannondale race effort. It sure makes riding and racing a whole lot easier with all of these great resources here in Bend, Oregon!
Tell us about your favorite ‘local’ ride: Every Autumn when the racing schedule settles down we corral the local mish-mash group of all the people we rarely get to ride with during the season for the final mtb rides up around Mt. Bachelor with a finish at local’s night at Deschutes Brewery. Good times chasing each other back towards town on the swoopy singletrack; Great beers only available on tap at the brew house, Best buddies sharing what they love most – riding bikes.
Tell us about your favorite ride EVER: For me, an international location holds a certain sway…like bonus points on the ride scale. My favorite ride ever was outside of Klosters, Switzerland up the trails made famous by Frischknecht and his Swiss Power riders in and around the World Marathon Championship course. Amazing singletrack and doubletrack wound up the valleys, through tiny hillside villages and sheep farms all the way up to the Austrian border. Pretty cool riding burly singletrack up to take a peek into another country…not to mention that nearly every person I saw was so stoked on cycling that they would give you a push up the hill or a shout of encouragement. Awesome.
Describe a sponsor or company you admire and why you admire them: Cannondale – I admire them because they continually push the envelope in both design and function in their bikes. It’s refreshing to see a company still innovating in an industry of fairly static design. What’s better is when form follows function such as their outstanding Lefty fork, Carbon Fiber frames, BB30 standard, etc. I must say I’ve never ridden or raced a better bike than the new Scalpel.
Who will play you in the Breck Epic movie and why? John Cusack – dry, semi-sarcastic humor that he can focus on bringing attention to social, class, international, and interpersonal issues and situations.
What do you hope to get out of this experience? My goal for this race is two-fold. My wife and I had our first child May 15, 2008 so I’d love to use this race as a “Myth-Buster”. Does fatherhood automatically make you slow and fat? Could be – let’s see. I’ll do my best to bust this myth and not the seams of my chamois. Second goal is to place Top 10 in the Solo overall. I have been able to accomplish this in other mountain bike stage races and love trying to mix it up with the likes of Andres Hestler, Max Plaxton, Kris Sneddon. I love interacting with fellow racers and support crew before, during and after stages almost as much as the racing. There is something refreshing about forgetting the thousand things on the “Honey-Do List” and reverting to the simple schedule of: wake, eat, ride, eat, nap, eat, sleep…repeat as necessary. We’ll all in the same boat each day and loving it.
Tell us about your history as a cyclist or in the industry: I started racing recreationally in college in the late 1990’s after falling in love with the sport on the trails around my home town of Monterey, CA. My move to Seattle kicked the racing into full gear with the close proximity of race venues and quantity and quality of teams and riders. Racing for local shop teams eventually progressed to sponsorship by the national SOBE/Cannondale team last year. I have focused on my first two-wheel love – mountain biking in all its forms: XC, STX, MA, SR. Plenty of good times are still ahead even as I enter the fateful “mid 30’s” and fatherhood.
Random stuff about you? Perspective is everything. I’ve got a job. I’ve got a kid. I’m still trying to race PRO and be competitive and I’ve raced these kinds of races before. I teach kids cycling camp in the summer when not traveling to races. I ride with firemen, doctors, mechanics and PROs on a weekly basis.

I think using this color in my race reports will give them a fun, real feel to readers whether they’re a recreational cyclist, enthusiastic “Regular Joe” or aspiring junior racer. I love sharing not only my own take but also blending in other people’s views on the day’s work during races, moments of personal suffering and highlights, and the amazing level of camaraderie that bonds all of us on the start line together in the common struggle.

Links to your work:

- BLOGGER APP #7: Tomi McMillar

NAME: Tomi McMillar

SPONSOR/TEAM: TomiCogs/Gettysburg Cupcake Factory

HOMETOWN: Carlisle, PA

Where are you from? The Eastern Great Valley. Minored in bike racing at VA Tech back in the day, then bounced a bit locally before settling here in the Cumberland Valley with Michaux for a backyard.
What kind of bike do you ride? All of my bikes are made from eight tubes of steel, have two wheels and one speed. Sometimes they coast, sometimes they don't.
What do you love about it? The freedom provided.
Solo or team competitor? Why? Solo, because expanding my personal limits is, well, personal. Can't always do that when racing as a team.
Done any ultra-endurance stuff before? Thirteen hundo's, six on a fix. Tour de 'burg six times, 100% fixed in '07. A few 24's via teams & a duo. Getting into overnight bikepacking to really see how far I can go.
Favorite food? Pizza, hold the olives, light on the onions, pile on the rest.
Movie? 12 Monkeys
Book? On the Road.
Worst experience on a bike? Seeing my best friend get clipped by a drunk driver while spinning back to the car after a sweet Sunday ride in Michaux. That kinda sucked.
Best experience on a bike? The very first time I remember my mom putting me in that rickety plastic seat on the back of her townie bike for a ride down the street to visit the neighbor's. I was three and recall being sort of terrified at the wobbly start. But man, once we were moving, I've been forever hooked on that flying sensation. Thanks mom.
Tell us about your favorite ‘local’ ride: Getting away from the beaten path, linking together Bambi's vision; primative, raw, not-IMBA approved. Hidden stretches of flowing loamy love thru lowbush blueberry and knee high ferns stashed in the middle of world reknowned rocky techy gnar. Following the natural lines of travel thru the forest, not too steep, never straight, but rolling and zigging and zagging just right. Goldilocks would approve, I'm sure.
Tell us about your favorite ride EVER: I'd like to think that the best is yet to come, that's one reason why I'm throwing my hat into this ring. But if I had to rank one, it would be the day my dad took the training wheels off that little blue bike.
Who will play you in the Breck Epic movie and why? Probably the "I've fallen and can't get up" lady from Life Alert (tm), but hopefully it won't come to that.
What do you hope to get out of this experience? Laid. I mean, if being a fixed gear mountain bicycle stage racing stud doesn't bring in the chicks, then why else should I bother? oh, wait.....I meant to say that it's a zen thing. Yeah, it's all about the zen. And not being DFL on 1800's technology.
Tell us about your history as a cyclist or in the industry: Have always ridden bikes; kiddy bikes, then String Ray banana seat styley, bmxer's, 10 speeds. Bought my first mountain bike before heading to college in '88, hooked. Started raced spring '89 and haven't looked back, always wondering what's next? Started with those epic 40k's back in the day, then NORBA, dabbled in 24's, then grassroots XXC's and Monsters which are now 50's, 100's. Underground stage racing lit the fuse for multi day adventure and now I'm gearing up for the overnight touring game. Been friends with some of the original Hugh Jass gang since college, awed by the fixed approach at that muddy Canaan 24 in '98. Then Tim's ride at the Shen100 in '02 really opened my eyes. Tried it, liked it and now I find myself holding a handful of meaningless fixed 'course records' and producing bolt on fix gear cogs and stainless chainrings to fund my adventures. What a fun trip it's been. (ED: I got passed by a Hugh Jass guy on a friggin' clown bike with ape-hanger bars in the middle of the night about a decade ago at the 24 Hours of Moab. It was the year they all rode in the same pair of acid-washed bike shorts...not identical shorts, mind you, but the SAME PAIR. They switched them from rider to rider in the transition area. Anyway. the guy that passed me was obviously laboring, (cuz i'm a stud, right?) and while he was passing me he kept chanting to himself "HYooo-jassss, hyoooo-jasss-heeeeyeeewwww-JASSS!". I was laughing so hard that I almost fell down.)
Feel free to blatantly self-promote here. A quote you like, a direct appeal to the voters, some hateful vitriolic slander for your political opponents (see: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter…) This is your space. Decorate it however you’d like. My plan is to race this thing on a fixed gear and winning a slot in this contest is probably the only way that that will happen. I've done a stage race fixed before, it wasn't easy, it kinda sucked in some respect, but was also quite rewarding in many ways. This is a chance for me to do it again, and see Colorado for the first time! Cuz there's no way I'm throwing down good money to torture myself in that way again, I'd rather spend it on a trip to Durango for SSWC09, no offense Mike. ;-P (ED - none taken. But a fixie? You should carry a gun. With one bullet. Not for bears or anything, but for yourself.)

So please, please, pleeeeeeeeeeeze, vote me into this thing and I promise to attempt wholeheartedly to keep ya'll entertained along the way. Open the window and let ya'll witness the different bits and pieces of the working mind of a slightly off kilter bicycle loving nut job.

Links to your work:

- BLOGGER APP #8: Keith Berboken

NAME: Keith Berkoben


HOMETOWN: Somervile, MA

Where are you from? Somerville, MA

What kind of bike do you ride? 2006 Santa Cruz Superlight:
- Fork: Fox F100x
- Shock: Progressive 5th Element Air
- Drivetrain: XTR
- Brakes: Magura Marta SL
- Wheels: NoTubes ZTR Olympic rims on Tune hubs.
What do you love about it? It’s a bike, it’s paid for, and it’s currently not broken. It also feels incredibly balanced in technical singletrack and climbs like mountain goat on steroids.
Solo or team competitor? Why? Team, because the whole is more than a sum of its parts. You combine strengths, protect weaknesses and pick your buddy up when he’s down. The strategy is more complex, and a lot more fun.
Who’s your teammate (if applicable)? Eric Edlund. He’s a Cat 2 roadie with a dangerous wily streak and a pair of legs to back it up. The problem: Breck-Epic isn’t paved. In eight months he’ll love knobbies, I promise.
Done any ultra-endurance stuff before? Raced TransRockies in 2006, 2007, 2008. Every year I said I’d never do it again. Every year I came back faster. Go figure.
Favorite food? Burritos are not food, they’re a way of life.
Movie? Tough one... (Mainly because I’m terrible at remembering movie titles.) Recently, The Departed. In Sports, 24 Solo. Most watched, The Big Lebowski. Most disorienting, Memento. The overall favorite remains a mystery, even to me.
Book? On the Road, by Jack Kerouac. It reminds me that life is for living, not worrying about what happens next.
Worst experience on a bike? It was a 52 mile singletrack marathon race that started after 2 inches of rain the previous night. I was out of food and water after the first hour (long story) and was all alone in the woods after the fifth. By mile 45, every rock, every hill, every bird in every tree was mocking me and there wasn’t enough moisture in my throat to yell back at them. Every few minutes a rider would clatter out of the woods and pass me like I wasn’t even moving. It could be that I wasn’t. I hurt too bad to care.
Best experience on a bike? Stage 7, TransRockies 2008. After 7 days of giving his all, my partner was shattered, cramping, holding it together by a thread, and with a 250m wall and 7k of singletrack to go, our competition was breathing down our backs. My partner hit the hill hard, sweat pouring down his face. No talking, just one foot over the other like a man possessed. We crested the hill first and hit the black diamond Fernie, BC singletrack like it was day 1, railing corners and putting 8 minutes into our chase—the perfect finish to a week of incredible teamwork. (ED: Dude. That's awesome.)
Tell us about your LBS (Local Bike Shop): Ace Wheelworks, my LBS, is about two blocks from my house, which is relevant because I have a habit of going there four or five times a day when I’m working on a project. Not only do they seem to have no problem with my coming in over and over for obscure small parts that cost under $2 and require fifteen minutes to dig out of the back, but they almost seem to enjoy it. Every time I come in, somebody drops whatever they’re doing to help me out, and most of the time they have exactly what I need.
Tell us about your favorite ‘local’ ride: Such things are not for posting on the internet, but if you come out to Boston you can have a guided tour.
Tell us about your favorite ride EVER: There’s nothing like riding all day with your best buddies when it’s 65 and sunny on a Saturday afternoon. Two winters ago we had a 65 degree Saturday in January (I live in New-England), the ground was dry, and everyone I know put their lives on pause to go out and play. As we were all in full-on hibernation mode by that time of year, an all-day trail ride was a circus—people tossing over the bars, huffing and puffing, bikes breaking down in comically ridiculous ways—but no one cared because we were having so much fun riding bikes.
Who will play you in the Breck Epic movie and why? Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones: Indy is the master of getting himself into sticky situations—trapped in a pit of snakes, getting shot at, chased by a giant boulder, etc—then delivering the perfect pithy, one-liner right before making his spectacular escape. What better quality to have for mid-race interviews?

KB: [takes bad line and gets himself stuck on a rocky outcropping over a cliff]
BE: Wow Keith, that looks tricky. How do you suppose you’ll get down from there?
KB: "I dunno. I’m making this up as I go…”
KB: [jumps off ledge, lands miraculously on trail 30’ below]

What do you hope to get out of this experience? Expectations/goals/etc. “No wrecks. No mechs. No pulling big gears.” The underlying message is simple. Be consistent, be prepared, and don’t do anything stupid to end your week early (in reverse order). Despite its simplicity, I’ve found this mantra to be all but unachievable in multi-day ultra-endurance events. No matter how hard we train, how meticulously we prepare, and how careful we are, something always goes wrong in 30 hours of mountain bike racing. Nevertheless, we continually strive for the triumphant confluence of preparation and dumb luck that is the perfectly executed stage race.

This year’s journey, after three years of practice, is all about the perfectly executed stage race. We will be sharing every step of this journey—gear, training, the deepest cob-webbed corners of our psyches—on our blog, which is already up and running at

Some of the big questions:

- Are eight months enough for my partner to convert himself from a ‘cross-leaning road racer into a rock-loving mountain goat?
- Will Pedal and Wrench triumph over the brutal New England winter?
- How many bike parts can one person break between now and July?

Read along at

Tell us about your history as a cyclist or in the industry: I’ve been having a love-affair with mountain bikes for about twelve years, but three years ago it started to get interesting. Sometime early in the winter of 2006, a (now) good friend of mine invited me out for a drink on a snowy Wednesday evening. I got to the pub and she was sitting at the table with a manilla folder full of print-outs from (Many of you may recognize that as the website for the TransRockies Challenge.) She hands me the folder and a pint and says, “I need to do something crazy, you in?” I flipped open the folder, skimmed a few pages, and by the time I polished off my drink, my life was forever changed—little did I know it at the time. I’ve been racing mountain bikes ever since, and I have the scars to prove it.

In my other life I’m an engineer working in healthcare IT (my partner is a plasma physicist, working in a giant contraption that makes plasma). I also coach the MIT Mountain Bike Team, was once a bike mechanic, and aspire to still be in one piece by the time I reach 35. We’ll see how that last part goes.

An except from our blog:

it's 4pm and I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Madison, WI where I'm drinking hot cider with cinnamon at 4 in the afternoon … 1,100 miles from my bike I've done nothing but eat, drink, sleep and stare at my laptop for four days … Although the YouTube mashups of Palin/McCain faux pah are very amusing, I'm genuinely worried that if I don't get stabbed with an epi-pen soon my life is going to become the languid whine of the radiohead-clone indie band playing on the speakers behind the counter.….Bike racing isn't about a deathwish, or an ego, … , it's about feeling alive--alive with real pain, real fear, the ecstatic joy of success and the devastation of defeat. It's about learning to appreciate the coffee shop and the hot cider because they're the polar opposite of everything you experience in racing. It's about having your life be more than a flatline of comfortable homogeneity that you trace from office to couch to restaurant until you get married, you have kids, you get old and you die. We race because we love life, and life is best experienced at its limits.

- BLOGGER APP #9: Jeffrey Carter

NAME: Jeffrey Carter
SPONSOR/TEAM: Mafia Racing

Where are you from?
I am an East Coaster. I grew up in suburban Connecticut and lived in Boston for ten years before moving to Colorado in 2004. I learned to ride back east and therefore love rocks, roots, dense forests and mud.
What kind of bike do you ride?
Like any mountain bike nut, I have a few bikes, but the one I consider my true bike is an Independent Fabrication Ti Deluxe.
What do you love about it?
love the plush ride and lightweight of titanium, and that it was made in a city I lived for ten years. I am a lucky to guy to have such a nice bike.
Solo or team competitor? Why?
Solo. Having done and enjoyed three stage races with a partner, I am ready for the challenge of motivating myself for 6 straight days of hard racing.
Done any ultra-endurance stuff before?
Yes I have done three Leadville 100’s, the Breck 100, two Transalps, the BC bike race, the Firecracker 50, the Laramie Enduro, 4 Vermont 50’s, the Durango 100 and others.
Favorite food?
Big sushi feast with friends. Or a cheeseburger and brews at the Cherry Cricket in Denver.
Better Off Dead. Love that buzzed mailman, scenes from Squaw Valley, and Chinese guys with Howard Cosell accents. Brilliant.
The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Classic book that I first read when I was ten or so. But it’s not like I wear wizard pajamas or anything. (Ed: Is that a 20-sided die in your pocket?)
Worst experience on a bike?
March 1, 2006. Riding my bike to work, thinking about the workday ahead. Light goes green, cross 6th avenue. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a pickup blowing through the intersection. Holy shit. Hits me square on the left side, up on the hood, break the windshield, world is spinning. Car stops, everything hurts, but everything moves. This is a good sign. Onlookers call 911, on the backboard, to the ER, then to surgery. 6 broken bones, 13 weeks of casts, hit and run. Firecracker 50 on July 4.
Best experience on a bike?
The 2004 Transalp Challenge. I had only raced my bike a few times in some fifty milers in VT. It seemed so daunting- 400 miles, 75,000 feet of climbing, eight days, ungodly fast partner- beyond anything I had attempted before. I went on rainy road rides in Boston in March; I lied to work and road tripped to Pisgah to train in April. Arriving in Mittenwald, I was petrified at the site of hundreds of people who looked fitter than I. But it totally ruled. I wiped out, I bonked, I cried, I finished and I loved it.
Tell us about your LBS (Local Bike Shop):
My local shop is Turin in Denver. These guys are solid. Always psyched on bikes, talking gear, tons of advice, interested in their customers. My fiancé and I get great service there. Like getting your bike put up on the stand on a busy Saturday afternoon, in front of ALOT of people, small but significant problem fixed while you wait. Ten bucks. I rarely shop online anymore because of the service I get at Turin.
Tell us about your favorite ‘local’ ride:
This goes back to my days in Boston when I would ride the Middlesex Fells. Far from being trapped in an East coast city, I’d hop on my bike and spin through the city from urban living to wooded rooty singletrack in half an hour. Over the ten years I rode there, my loop evolved, sections got cleaned and memories and a rider were made. Finish the loop, head down the hill, and catch the vibe of the city on my way back home. Sprint up that last hill before home on the way to a cold one.
Tell us about your favorite ride EVER:
There are so many killer rides, but my all time favorite trail is the section of Colorado Trail from Kenosha Pass to the Swan River drainage. I’ve ridden it in a few incarnations, including an ill-conceived solo round trip to Breckenridge and back. I recall one ride in particular with cloudless skies, late afternoon views of South Park glowing in the golden light of fall. After the demoralizing climb back up to Georgia Pass, the CO trail descent to Kenosha, with its tacky brown dirt and yellow rooms created by a canopy of aspens, is one to remember.
Describe a sponsor or company you admire and why you admire them:
I really admire Dirt Rag magazine as it covers many aspects of cycling, most of which are relevant to my life as a commuter, mountain biker, racer and occasional road rider. In particular I like their constant focus on bicycle advocacy and trail access issues.
Who will play you in the Breck Epic movie and why?
That guy from Breaking Away because he kind of looks like me. That said, that movie was like thirty years ago and he may have fallen into a life of alcoholism and drugs only to have cleaned up, found god, and been in a True Hollywood Story. So yeah, that guy. This will be his big comeback. (Ed: he DOES look like you!)
What do you hope to get out of this experience? Expectations/goals/etc.
A good time. Not a throw-eggs-at-Ryan-Seacrest good time, because that may be asking too much. I hope to convince a bunch of friends to race as well, and spend the week going as hard as I can, riding incredible trail, enjoying the perfect weather I have arranged, seeing familiar faces, and making new friends. I’d imagine that for most people considering this event, mountain biking is a huge passion, but their time is often occupied by competing interests. The Breck Epic or stage races in general, offer total immersion into the scene of this collective passion, a chance to develop a rivalry with that guy who keeps passing you on the climbs, to meet a friend of a friend, get a glimpse of the fastest pros, and the sense of community from having done it all together. An event like this frames your year, giving context to those bonk filled April road rides as much as the all day September singletrack-a-thons that feel so easy from a season of hard won fitness.
Tell us about your history as a cyclist or in the industry:
I’m a regular guy with a job and a house who has been riding mountain bikes for about fifteen years. First because it was new and fun. Then because it was good exercise and more fun than running. But over time, mountain biking became something I planned around, something worth taking a vacation for, a prerequisite for a girlfriend, and the always answer to “what are you doing this weekend.” Stage races and ultra endurance races have evolved over this time, becoming the framework of a summer, not because it really matters how I do, but because doing it at all seems just right.
Feel free to blatantly self-promote here. A quote you like, a direct appeal to the voters, some hateful vitriolic slander for your political opponents (see: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter…) This is your space. Decorate it however you’d like.
Look folks, I’m your man. My blog will slay all others and entertain you with a witty recount of the week’s events, as well as erudite comments on cycling, stage racing, the meaning of life and quite possibly the outcome of streaking Breckenridge on July 10, 2009. I promise to chronicle my unmatched training regimen, allowing you to glean the ideal approach to such an event as told by me, a wise sage of mountain bike stage racing.
In all seriousness, I really look forward to the opportunity share the week’s events with the reader. Check out the link to my Transalp blog below. A lot of friends said they really enjoyed reading it. Granted I had to toss back a few euro lagers to get in the right frame of mind to write it, but I’m willing to sabotage my Breck Epic race performance if that’s what it takes.

Links to your work:
I authored a blog for our friends chronicling our adventures before and during the 2007 Transalp. Check it out.

- BLOGGER APP #10: Wendy Skean

Wendy Skean

Hammer Nutrition

Mountain Center, CA

Where are you from?
Mountain Center is a rural mountain community 45 miles from Palm Springs.

What kind of bike do you ride?
A Turner with Fox suspension, Avid Juicy brakes, Shimano XTR components, and Stan's American Classic wheel set.

What do you love about it?
It never brakes down in a race and it is bright green so they can find me if I get lost.

Solo or team competitor? Why?
Solo because none of my riding partners will even consider such an undertaking.

Done any ultra-endurance stuff before?
Rockhopper Classic Stage Race - 1987
Coyote Clunker Classic Stage race - 1987,88 Pedal the Peaks - 1994 - 5 days, 450 miles
12 Hours at the Summit, Big Bear, CA - 1997,98,99,2000,2005 Leadville 100 - 1996, 97, 98, 2004, 05 Solvang Double Century - 2000, 01, 02 SilverRush - Leadville, CO 2001 Moab 24 Hours - 1996,97 - 1st Womens Masters Team Canan 24 Hours - 1997, 1st Womans Masters Team Montezumas Revenge - 2000, 02 Vision Quest - 2003,04 Norba National Marathon - Big Bear, CA Five time 24 Hour World Solo Champion - Age Group 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 Eight other 24 Hours of Adrenalin solo races Breckenridge 100 - 2006 Old Pueblo 24 Hours solo- 2004,2005,2006,2007,2008 Whiskey 50 - 2005,2006,2008
12 Hours of Temecula 2008 Series - solo (Ed: "Damn")

Favorite food?
Salad and dark, dark chocolate

Dr. Zhivago

Walk West , It is about an adventure I would have loved to have done.

Worst experience on a bike?
After an exhilarating ride on the Monarch Crest Trail while training for Montezuma's Revenge I crashed and separated my shoulder and cracked several ribs. On my first ride back and training for 24 hours at Hurkey Creek, while trying to be careful, I crashed again. This time spending 7
days in the hospital with a severely bruised pancreas.

Best Experience on a bike?
2002 Solo World Championships in Silver Star, BC. This was a beautiful setting and the weather couldn't have been better, until the middle of the night. An unpredicted cold storm hit with such
force it blew down tents and sent racers running for shelter. I was on the course when it hit and it was the first time I had ever ridden through so much rain ( being a So. Cal. gal.) When I got into the pits they were nearly deserted. My son would not hear of me stopping. In ten
minutes I gobble down a potato, drank chicken noodle soup and was back out riding. It was a challenge and exciting. Stuart Dorland had added age groups to the categories for the first time that year and I wanted that jersey(I wanted that jersey, I needed that jersey). I was being
chased and on the last lap had only a few minute lead. I had never raced so hard and looked behind me so much to see if I was being caught. Coming across that finish line in first place at age 56 in the 45+ category was the most satisfying experience I have had on a bike.

Tell us about your LBS(Local Bike Shop):
Velo Bum in Rancho Mirage, CA.; Tri-A-Bike in Palm Desert, CA; and Otero Cyclery in Salida, CO have all been a great help to me.

Tell us about your favorite 'local' ride:
My favorite local rides are all in Colorado where I hope to live when I retire.

Tell us about your favorite ride EVER:
In the summer of 2007 I went to visit my son in Salida, Colorado. He had a ride he had wanted me to go on. We drove to Georgia Pass and started the ride to Kenosha Pass. It had rained the night before so the roots were slippery and water from the grass and leaves made it seem like it was still raining. I have a love affair with aspen trees (even planted some in my yard) and the
aspen forest we rode through were magnificent. It was a push up to Kenosha but coming back down was the most fun I have had on a bike. We swooped through the aspens and out into meadows. It was exhilarating. I went back in 2008 and rode it again.

Describe a sponsor or company you admire and why you admire them:
Hammer Nutrition has made it possible for me to compete at the level I am. Their products and helpful attitude are supreme.
Who will play you in the Breck Epic movie and why?
Tinker. In drag.

What do you hope to get out of this experience? Expectations/goals/etc.
I am a very goal oriented person. I need bigger challenges to work toward. I started endurance riding in 1994 and since then have taken baby steps to get where I am today. I have always wanted to do an epic ride but they have always been to far away for the time I had. From the
first time I heard of the Breck Epic I was excited. I had ridden the Breck 100 in 2006 and thought it was an awesome course with beautiful scenery. What would be better than five days of this kind of riding. It was close and in the state I hope one day to make my home. Many people believe that a 65 (2 days before race) year old rider can't and shouldn't take on such a challenge. I want to prove to myself that I can fulfill my dream of an epic and show others that it is possible for them too if they work at it. I have already started my training for this dream race. I expect to finish and be the first 60+ women to do so.
Feel free to blatantly self-promote here. A quote you like, a direct appeal to the voters, some hateful vitriolic slander for your political opponents (see: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter…) This is your space. Decorate it however you'd like.
I am not your typical entrant for this type of race. I have been teaching first grade for 29 years and will turn 65 on July 3 and have gray hair. I started riding in 1985 and started racing in locally in 1986. I started solo endurance racing in 1996 with the Leadville 100. In that race I only made it 75 miles. In 2005 I became the first and only woman over 60 to finish Leadville in under 12 hours I did it in 11:24. That was 30 minutes faster than I had done it in 1997. Since then I have challenged myself to longer and more difficult races each year. I hold the record for the oldest woman to finish Vision Quest. An extremely challenging 50 mile race with 11,000 ft of climbing and a time limit. I felt very honored when Roy Wallack and Bill Katovsky wrote the book "Bike for Life" and included my name in the Table of Contents in Chapter 1. I plan on riding for life and continuing to challenge myself. I am realistic and know that someday in the far future epics will be out of my class. Now they are not and I want the chance to fulfill my dream.

Links to your work?
You can google "wendy skean" and see my work.