1st at 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest

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24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest (photo credit: Gillen Photography)

Whoa!!! What a vacation: 42oo mile road trip, pristine camping in Cloudcroft, sunset in the White Sands, 1st at the 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest on the ONE SPEED, lots of green and red chile burritos, a fabulous trek at Tent Rocks and an amazing time bouncing all around New Mexico from one side to another with my super lady Jess Moore!

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Christmas Time

Zia Rides has a formula and it has vibe. I have gotten to know Seth, race director, and he knows how to put on a competitive event filled with fun that satisfies everyone with entertainment, food, drink and hospitality. I have done two of his events now and I’m super stoked every time I line up at a  Zia Rides event. I highly recommend trying one of his multiple mountain bike endurance events and you will be better for it, trust me.

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Church Rock-Gallup, NM

Located just outside of Gallup, NM at the USFS McGaffey Campground the course was a beauty set at 8000 feet above sea level in the beautiful Zuni Mountains among beautiful pine and aspen trees. A lap consisted of 13.5 miles and just over 900 feet of elevation gain. The lap started off with a flowy section that climbs up in the middle and ends with a flowy descent back to the start. I chose a rigid setup and again I overestimated my ability to absorb punishment over a 24 period. The middle of the course was rocky in sections and a rocky descent near the end that over time punished me like an old school teacher slapping your hand with a ruler back in the day when you spoke out of turn. That being said, a lot of the other riders that I talked to said it beat them down over time as well even with suspension. Dust was a huge issue being in such a dry climate and I rode a lot of the day laps with a bandana wrapped around my face to filter it out looking like I was about to rob a train. I recommend wearing one in settings such as these especially at the beginning when the line of riders is like a herd of cattle being rustled into a corral. The dust even with glasses on made its way into my eyes and they stayed irritated and red for several days after the race. In the end a 24 hour race is a beat down and you should expect no less if you are going at it solo. That is what makes a solo a SOLO! The course was a beauty as it wrapped around and slid through the Zuni high desert landscape.

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The field of single speeders was a solid one and the winner from last year was present so I knew that I would have to stay focused and drive steady. With Jess in my corner I knew I could do just that. The temperatures were a beast out there ranging from a high of 100 during the day and dropping to 40 in the wee hours of the morning. My body was going through spasms at times due to the extreme changes out there on course throughout the day and night. Jess kept me massaged and kept me hydrated and nourished throughout the race. I truly couldn’t have done it without her caring and prompt attention. As the race commenced, I held a steady pace with quick pits and eventually built up a lead of 2 laps on the second place single speeder. I also was in the overall lead out of all solo riders, geared, by one lap. After 20 hours of beating my body on the rigid single speed I decided that my lead was strong enough to call it and enjoy some libations. An amazing race in a spectacular setting. One of the strongest performances in my racing career. The racers were truly top-notch and very mannerful. I met some solid racers out on course and I look forward to riding  with them again. Seth runs a top notch organization and it shows out there on the course and the racers adopt that sensibility. I can’t wait to get out to New Mexico again and race another Zia Rides event.

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A few highlights on the course: dodging of cows at all hours, bacon at the Bacon Station, a beautiful setting in the Zuni Mountains, 200 miles in 20 hours on rip-roaring single track, my light going out on me during the middle of the course at 3 a.m., flowy trails like Y2K that make you grin from ear to ear, friendly and respectful racers at all times out on the course, a great race organization that thought of everything that made everyone’s weekend one to remember, and having Jess in my corner always smiling!

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Whites Sands

This was a big win for many reasons. One, it is always a huge satisfaction when you can drive across the country and take a win in a setting that you are not familiar with in regards to temperatures, climate and elevation. Second, the 24 hours in the Enchanted Forest is the first race in a 3 part series to crown the 24 National Champion in Geared and Single Speed Solo formats. Since USAC disbanded the 24 Hour crown, Seth and a group of other race directors decided to put together a new championship to honor those that are willing to push themselves out of their comfort zones to endure 24 hours of punishment. Being that I won the first race in the series, I now lead the charge towards the crown for the single speed national championship. The next race is in Oregon which is followed by the final race in Utah. I’m considering the chase as I feel like these opportunities don’t come around often. We shall see so stay tuned!

Thanks again to all of my sponsors for equipping me with the best. When you are a solo rider in an endurance format it makes a really big difference knowing that you can depend on your equipment for 24 hours without a hiccup. Zia Rides for going above and beyond to put on a stellar event. Most of all I want to thank Jess for traipsing around the country and being in my corner. Without her I would be a ragged mess and wouldn’t be able to reach my full potential.

A great vacation it was and one that will go down in the memory book of awesomeness!

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Tent Rocks

Cheers New Mexico!

 

ESI Grips

I have great sponsors that kick out purposeful and proven products. ESI GRIPS is one of those that I want to highlight as spring begins to overtake the land and racing season looms in the coming weeks. I’m really excited about this year’s race season as it will have me roaming the midwest and southwest. I will be taking part in 6-24 Hour race formats, one-day Ultras as well as some XC races.

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I have been using ESI Grips for the last 5+ years. ESI Grips are made from 100% silicone and sheathe every one of my bars. I have used ESI Grips in every imaginable terrain, race format and climate. Rather it be racing across the USA in the Tour Divide or the Trans Alp Stage Race in Europe, ESI Grips have delivered and kept my grip secure and comfortable. I’m not the only one that has this opinion as it doesn’t take one long to quickly notice that at any race you will see ESI Grips laced up on a lot of the bikes towing the line. From pros to beginners, ESI Grips work across the board and meet the demands needed to maintain comfort and security while giving an aesthetically pleasing compliment to any bike.

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ESI Grips have many options in the color spectrum for your specific tastes. They provide a range of thicknesses to appease your style of riding and comfort levels. A great aspect of ESI Grips is that they are very light weight and anyone can install them. The silicone grips provide shock absorption and supreme grip qualities in all-weather conditions. So you are not a mountain biker, well you are not to be left out as ESI has produced a wrap for cross and road bikes called the RCT Wrap with the same great qualities that ESI Grips provide. Recently, ESI came out with an ergonomically FIT Grip in order to provide an even more comfortable grip when ripping up that gnarly single track. All ESI Grip products have a great durability and comfort balance that won’t break the bank while giving your bike style points.

When it comes to your grip or wrap needs make sure you check out ESI GRIPS!

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Rip…Rip…Rip it UP!

P.S. I found my dream bike and all it needs is a pair of Extra Chunky ESI GRIPS in black!

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Winter and the Year Ahead

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Its that time of the year…you either hibernate or make it count. If you choose to make it count well then you must endure the cold and wet. Proper clothing and layers make this possible, so don’t think that you have to ride the trainer all winter long. Don’t get me wrong, the trainer is a convenient alternative and less prep is needed on those super cold days and dark evenings after work. On those days that winter recedes during the winter months, one must take advantage. Recently, I was able to do just that with the Ohio Gravel Grinders in Scioto Trails State Park. Great day on the bike with 50+ riders slinging gravel in the hills of Chillicothe. Look for local riding groups or visit your local bike shop and ask about weekend/group rides. It is always more fun when you are playing in the winter with others. I find that when the temps are below freezing that the single track is a treat, especially if it has a layer of snow lacing it. Before you know it spring will reenter the picture and winter will be but a memory. Make it count and come spring you will be surprised at your level of fitness.

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2016 looks to be another great year to be racing. I’m starting to select races for the year. Mountain bike racing has really exploded across the multi-disciplines and the venues across the country are numerous. First, I will be meeting up with my good friend and racing partner Paul for some grinding in Indiana next month. This summer I’m looking forward to getting back out to New Mexico and ripping it up in the high desert. I will have an endurace focus as always along with some cross country thrown in for some variety throughout the year on the single speed.

I’m stoked to have all of my sponsors back for the year. One that Im really excited about is my continuation with the Truck Co Posse Mountain Bike Team. If you don’t know then you should know that Trucker Co kicks out some amazing products for your cycling needs: Tire Sealant, Brake Pads, Grips, Cables and Housing and Valve Stems. I recommend all of their products and I use them on all of my bikes. I have stood on podiums due to my bikes being equipped with Trucker Co products.12185505_10153236187867986_3259329151881781089_o-2

Jess will be in my corner throughout the year providing care and support on my crazy tests of Metal. A huge thanks, hugs and kisses to her for all that she does.

Cheers

Niner BSB RDO Love Build

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My lady and I love to ride bikes together so we decided to do a  bike build together. We wanted something that would allow us to go on and off-road. The Niner BSB RDO frameset was an easy decision as Niner performs with flair. We chose parts to outfit it with that complement the style of the bike while giving us unhindered performance across terrain types. This was a fun project over a 4 month period and it gave us a pair of bikes that we will enjoy together for years to come.

20151015_131305_resized20151016_123544_resizedNiner BSB RDO Build Layout

FRAME: Niner BSB 9 RDO CX
FORK: Niner RDO
WHEELSET: Stans No Tubes Iron Cross Pro CX Disc 3.30 Ti Tubeless
TIRES: Clement Strada LGG 120 tpi 700x28c
CASSETTE: Shimano CS 6700
CRANK: FSA SL-K Light 50/34 Carbon BB 386 EVO Double 10 spd
BOTTOMBRACKET: 386 EVO BSA Kogel Ceramic
PEDALS: Shimano XTR
DERAILLEURS: Gevanalle BURD Dual Speed Front 34.9mm, Gevenalle BURD 10spd Rear
CHAIN: Shimano Ultegra 10spd
LEVERS/SHIFTERS: Gevanalle 10spd
CABLES/HOUSING/HOSES: Trucker Co
BRAKES: Hayes CX Pro Mechanical Disc
ROTORS: Ashima 140mm
PADS: Trucker Co
SEATPOST: Loaded Carbon X Lite Ultra 27.2mm
SADDLE: Loaded Napalm Carbon
SEAT COLLAR: Niner 29.6mm
HEADSET: Niner- Integrated 1.125-1.5
STEM: Loaded X Lite Titanium Stem 90mm
HANDLEBARS: Loaded Napalm UD Carbon
TAPE/GRIPS: ESI Wrap
BOTTLECAGES: Carbon

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CUPCAKE

 

20150928_120159_resized I decided to update my Single Speed frame and I’m thrilled with my selection. The Niner One 9 RDO is a beast. I dig the blue as it reminds me of childhood birthday cakes and cupcakes. You know the ones that had icing scribbled on them that spelled your name out on it and had a superhero stamped on it giving your imagination a dopamine release of invincibility all in honor of celebrating your 7th birthday. You know what I’m talking about!

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The One 9 RDO was designed for single speeding with its beefed up bottom bracket housing for stomping out that 60:1 gear ratio. It is agile-light and the geometry allows for Bambi Deer Flow through and over the course of your desire.

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I outfitted my cupcake with the already precise and tested components that I was using on my previous single speed and they bolted right up and I was on the trails in no time. The Niner Biocentric II is a dream and allows for chain adjustment to be done with ease and it holds tension over the course which allows you to ride without having to fumble over chain issues that other setups are prone to do.  I have it dialed in now after riding in Dayton and Cincinnati. I’m super stoked to push it further and line it up for future races.

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Niner hit it out of the park with the One 9 RDO frame and with my setup filling it out…oh yeah it is cupcake time!

Cheers