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 clich├ęs, 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