XXC Issue #6
XXC Magazine is dedicated to the sport of endurance mountain bike racing, epic rides, and two wheeled, multi-day adventures in the dirt.The magazine focuses on the personal experiences of riders and racers while attempting to show the beauty of our sport. Race reports, photos and stories of all day adventures in the saddle are contributed from dirt worshipers and endurance freaks from around the world.Digital and print issues of XXC Magazine are available at xxcmag.com.
SEASON TWO - ISSUE SIX XXC Magazine SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX Southern Cross 2010 First Place Has A New Number by Andrea Wilson Getting Aero For 3:13 by Cameron Cogburn It Takes Two by Andy and Cara Applegate The Grenzsteintrophy by Gunnar Fehlau The Trans-Sylvania Epic Race Preview by Jay De Jesus The El Paso Puzzler by David Wilson Making My Own Place by Vance McMurry Hilly Billy: Recon One Trans Andes Challenge Recap Vamos Chicas Vamos! by Heidi Volpe Interview: Rebecca Rusch by Jason Mahokey Enduro Nut Corner by Namrita O'Dea, MS, RD, LD In Search Of Porn by Jason Mahokey XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 2 6 8 10 16 18 24 30 34 40 41 44 50 56 57 XXCMAG.COM A brief encounter with snowless roads and winter base miles. Photo by Jason Mahokey XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 3 XXCMAG.COM U ,^530q6p5v 0^ W hat did I do to O l M an W inter? A pparentl I pissed him off g ood. d y M aybe it w as one too m any bl posts this w inter w here I qu estioned his og rel ationship w ith J Frost as being m ore than ju st "w ork associates, or ack " the m u l de ofother insu l that I' hu rl his w ay in recent w eeks. titu ts ve ed O l M an W inter' R eveng e on m e has incl ded a f harrow ing ,ice and d s u ew snow filed road trips, a race cancel du e to a freak snow storm in l ed G eorg ia,and m ost recentl the 2nd w orst snow storm to hit Pittsbu rg h in y m y 38 year ol l etim e. d if A s m u ch as I w anted to g ive in to O l M an W inter and throw m ysel in d f front of an oncom ing snow pl , I didn' T he road trips w ere saf y ow t. el com pl eted, and the ru ined Sou thern C ross race w eekend w as sal ed vag w ith a snow y nig ht ride, g ood beers and W ii R ock B and w ith friends. I even m ade the best of"Snow m ag eddon 2010" by u sing m u l e tw o hou r tipl shovel sessions as circu it training and the tim e spent trapped in the ing hou se w ith cabin f ever as m entalconditioning . T he best m otivation has been w orking on this issu e of X X C . It' dam n s hard not to stay m otivated w hen you g et to w ork on stories l w e have ike in this issu e. G u nnar Fehl ' report on the 2009 G renzsteintrophy in G erm any au s served to not onl inspire m e to keep f sed on the com ing season,bu t y ocu al to take a step back and l so ook at how f the w orl has com e.H ow ju st ar d a l e over 20 years ag o an event l the G renzsteintrophy w ou l not ittl ike d have even taken pl -- not becau se f ks didn' w ant to ride their bikes ace ol t 800 m il bu t becau se doing so w ou l have probabl resu l in being es, d y ted shot at w hil dodg ing tanks and l e and m ines. R eading G u nnar' story s g ives you a sense ofhis disg u st w ith the past,bu t m ore than that you g et a realsense of his appreciation f the freedom to do this race now .A s you or can im ag ine,it w as pretty hard to l ook at al of this w inter' snow and ice l s as anything m ore than ju st "w inter in Pennsyl vania, w hen com pared to " reading abou t the cherished freedom of riding you r bike al ong G erm any' f er Iron C u rtain. s orm O l M an W inter m ay continu e to pl ag ainst m e,he m ay do his best to d ot prey u pon m y hatred of the col and snow , bu t it ju st w on' w ork! T he d t m otivation I g ot from w orking on stories and photos from Sou thern C ross,Trans A ndes,E lPaso Pu zzl and Tou r de l Patag onia races is too er, a g reat. W itnessing the desire and determ ination that everyday riders l ike V ance M cM u rry and H eidi V ol have to train and pu sh them sel to pe ves com pete al side the best in the w orl is too inspiring .O l M an W inter ong d d ju st can' com pete.T he snow s w il m el the tem peratu re w il w arm ,and t l t, l m any,m any m il w il be enjoyed. es l I hope you al enjoy this season' first issu e as m u ch as I enjoyed pu tting l s it al tog ether.C heers to another season. l J ason M ahokey X X C M ag azine XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 4 XXCMAG.COM � 4v ,�p, �F Th anksto all th e gener scontri torsofX X C #6. ou bu W i ou t th em ,X X C w ou ld not be pos i th sble. J D eJ u s ay es D avi W i on d ls Car Cas los tanon Ces M endez ar D ani P�s el at tr andes allenge. el ch ans ch com M ar celo Tu cu na G u nnar Feh lau ,Elm ar Egner D avi K o�m ann, , d and M i K u s enko -gr tei ophy. la m enzs ntr de JR.Pets & G u nnar "F i . ko end" Sh ogr abr aci com en- ar ng. Chri H i s nes D onna G ar a ci A ndy and Car A pplegate a Cam er Cogbu rn on Ryan Bos o i A ndr W i on -blog. ckh ou s aci com ea ls bri er ng. Vance M cM u rry Sam M cM u rry Ri Cer c on J on Bou ch er -gnatli . as kescom J on M ah okey -th es ledch am oi . as oi scom N am ri K .O ' ea-nam ri ta D taodea. com Rebecca Ru s -r ch ebeccaru s . ch com H ei Volpe -h ei volpe. di di com M i ael D arter -m i aeldartercom ch ch . D ave M cElw ai -tr lw atch . ne ai net Colt M cElw ai -cycli rt. ne ngdi org Speci th anksto J n O ' al oEri Leary,Br ennan M ah okey, am ly. Everyone at Pr Bi ,team ates f endsand f i o kes , ri Extr s al th anksto H ei Volpe f th e art di ecti of a peci di or r on "Vam osChi Vam os " and to K ri ti Schm alzer f edi ng cas ! sn or ti as i s atance w i "Th e El Pas Pu zzler" and "I Sear ofPorn. th o n ch " Cover i age by M i ael D arter -m i aeldartercom m ch ch . Ri Rebecca Ru s ,Locati San M arti de losA ndes Patagoni A r der: ch on: n , a, genti na. D o you w ant to earn s e f ee m ag s ag? om r w Contri te s e w or or ph otosto an u pcom i i s e ofX X C! bu om ds ng s u E m ai J on M ah okey at xxcm ag@ gm ai com f m or i orm ati l as l. or e nf on. 24 hours before "snowmageddon ." Photo by Jason Mahokey � X X C M agazi Enjoy th e w or and pi ,bu t pleas don' copy and or pas i of asyou r ow n. ne. ds cs e t st f Becau s li th e s s .."don' plagi ze or take on loan,th er salw ayss eone,s ew h er e ke ong ays. t ari e' om om e w i a bi nos w h o know sand w h o tri you u p and lau gh sw h en you f " th g e, ps all. XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 5 XXCMAG.COM southern cross XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 6 1 beastly number plate, 1 aero helmet, 1 tandem, 50+ miles, and 3 views of southern cross 2010 XXCMAG.COM A racer dives through the fog of Southern Cross. Photo: Chris Hines XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 7 XXCMAG.COM first place has a new number... andrea wilson rolls the "number of the beast" to first place at southern cross 2010! recap by andrea wilson Even though the temps hovered in the 40s and clouds enveloped the upper elevations of the climbs on course, it was much, much nicer than it could have been if the race hadn't been rescheduled from a couple of weeks ago when several inches of snow fell and temps hung in the low 20's. It's not often that I get butterflies, but after losing last year to Carey Lowery in the last 100 meters of race course, I had more reason than pay out to do well this year (unfortunately, Carey wasn't able to make it this year because of a recent surgery). Before the race start, I rode around the CX loop that we'd circle before and after the 50-something mile gravel route through the national forest. This loop was a lot easier than the Mulberry Gap loop from last year, so I wasn't too worried. When the race started, I tried to make the best use of the cross course to get ahead of the other women. My strategy worked well, and I ended up entering the gravel just a little behind the group of men's race leaders. Once I got away from Camp Wahsega, I forced myself to settle into a sustainable tempo (I have a bad habit of starting out too fast). The first climb (Winding Stair) went by quickly, and soon enough, I passed the aid station, headed up a few more miles, then started the descent down to several miles of pavement. I like descents... Other than having to stop for a lost water bottle (damn crappy cage!), I hauled all sorts of ass. The way I see it, descents are free time if you can go faster than your competition without wrecking or having a mechanical. I set my brakes up especially for this- I can grab my drops and wrap a finger or two around the brake lever without rubbing the pad on the rim unless I squeeze it a little more. The road section was where I knew I could make up time on the other women. With ladies like Emily Brock and Brenda Simril chasing you, playing up your strengths can be pivotal. I got in my drops and put my head down, maintaining the same strong tempo effort I'd hit on the way up the first climb. At one point, the Applegates (Andy and Cara Applegate, see page 00) passed me on their tandem. Sweet! They ended up going slightly slower than what I was originally aiming for, but the energy-saving benefit of sitting behind a 29er tandem when there's a headwind is pretty awesome. Once we were back on the gravel, the second climb started soon after. The Applegates and I were back and fourth- they were generally faster on the flat/downhill stretches and I was a little faster uphill. This was also where my legs started to ache. For a minute, I slowed down, but then I recalled the hours of trail and road riding in Mountain View that I'd put in during Winter Break. So, I gritted my teeth, cleared the whiney thoughts from my head, and pushed harder. Andrea climbs into the clouds with a devilishly "modified" plate. Photo: Chris Hines XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 8 XXCMAG.COM Rolling along nicely with the Applegates. Photo: Donna Garcia Miles later, I stopped at the last aid station to quickly get a little water and toss my vest, which had been bothering me since the zipper stuck halfway down a few miles back. At that point, the Applegates passed me again (I wasn't really racing them, but they acted a little bit as a rabbit to chase to keep me going). A few miles later, the final descent began. At first, it was foggy and rocky. I was a little cautious for the first section since a wreck, flat, or broken equipment would be pretty disastrous. However, once it smoothed out, I went back to going all-out. A couple of times, I felt my rear wheel skidding precariously around the damp, sandy turns... it was both incredibly fun and incredibly terrifying all at once. (The Applegates left me in the dust- they not only had a heavy and very stable machine with fatter tires and front suspension, they also have the skill and cojones to take full advantage of it!) Soon enough, I was back at Camp Wahsega. Eddie set up a killer run-up (everyone said it was worse than last year, but I didn't think so) and a little singletrack to navigate before reentering the CX loop. When I got to XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 9 the base, I noticed that Ryan (Bosio) was about halfway up. Happy to be off my bike, I shouldered it and started to climb. Once I got to the top, I hopped back on and headed down some rooty trail, over a few trees, and around the last couple of bridges before re-entering the course (I also managed to pass Ryan somewhere along the way). As I entered the section of barriers, I caught back up to the Applegates. I thought about attacking and diving around them, but then figured it wasn't really all that important, so I told them that I'd back off so we could all have good finishing photos. So my hard work paid off... I finished 1st, 20 minutes ahead of the 2nd place woman. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come. I've got a lot more work to do before I'm 100% ready to conquer my first 100 miler in a few months. HUGE thanks to Eddie and Namrita O'Dea for putting this race on. It's always going to be one of my favorites, and I LOVE that they pay the women out the same as the men ($500 for 1st place!!!) You guys rock! XXCMAG.COM Victory. Photo by Ryan Bosio The race started with a lap of a unique cyclocross course around Camp Wahsega that included bridges, bench barriers and a stone stair run-up. Leaving the campground for the giant dirt road loop, a lead group quickly established itself at a quick but comfortable pace. There were seven of us, two of which were on mountain bikes. The first climb was only 3 miles long, but 2.5 of those were at 9-10% and on dirt � in other words, a serious climb! I hit it hard at threshold to see who I would be up against for the day. Yep, it was Thomas Turner. Twenty minutes later, after literally climbing into the clouds, we hit the SAG point at the top of Winding Stair Gap and proceeded to bomb back down into the valley. Thomas was on his mountain bike and put a twenty to thirty second gap on me and my cross bike on the descent. I did not panic as Eddie told us at the start there was a ten-mile stretch of pavement that linked the dirt sections up, and I knew I would have the advantage there. Turning onto the road portion, I saw Thomas in the distance and I was coming up fast on him. I think he was hoping to work together on the road but I knew I could not forfeit the opportunity here of using my cross bike advantage and isolating him on his knobbies on the pavement, so I blew by as fast as I could and tucked into aero position and kept hammering. getting aero for 3:13 cameron cogburn takes a second helping of southern cross and asks for a third recap by cameron cogburn Upon hitting the dirt again, I settled into a steady tempo up the big ring climb back into clouds to the SAG point, and descended quickly but in control down Cooper's Gap back to Camp Wahsega. There was one more lap to be done on a modified version of the initial CX course that involved an incredibly steep and long "run-up" (like the Wigwam Hill power line run-up from Iron Cross except at the end of the race � ouch!) and a neat section of singletrack with four fallen logs that acted as natural barriers. I rolled through the finish in 3:13, the last two hours of which were ridden alone. This is definitely one of the more unique races around and comes at a perfect time of year, when people have just resumed riding and are eager to test their legs. Due to the terrain (long mountain climbs and descents) one is guaranteed to be either rewarded with playing in the clouds or spectacular views. I will certainly be back next year for a third helping of this awesome race. The aero helmet made an appearance as a joke and stuck around for 3:13 and a second Southern Cross victory for Cogburn Photo: Donna Garcia XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 10 XXCMAG.COM it takes two southern cross - tandem style by andy and cara applegate After a bad weather re-schedule we headed down to Dahlonega, GA for the 2nd annual Southern Cross Race on Jan 23rd. Because of the timing of the event, and our race goals for the upcoming season, we chose to race on our new behemoth Fandango 29er tandem. Some may call it insane, but we really love experiencing events on the big bike. Not only is it a change from racing a "half bike" and a bigger challenge, but it is also the supreme test of teamwork. For those of you who have never ridden a tandem, it really is ALL about teamwork. That is, the ability to work together, smoothly, both uphill and down, to get the job done. This teamwork didn't come about the first time we rode a tandem - we had to work at it - but once we started to get it, being able to experience events together rather than just seeing each other at the start and finish of races has been a blast. Eddie & Namrita O'Dea of 55nine performance, along with the help of very dedicated volunteers, laid out a short and relatively technical traditional cyclo-cross course that zig zagged around and over the bridges and benches that dot the property of Camp Wahsega, a 4-H center run under the auspices of the University of Georgia. The weather was cold, damp and overcast with fuzzy gray mist hanging thickly in the higher elevations. About 45 racers took to the line, ready to tackle a lap of the short course before heading out onto the dirt roads of the Chattahoochee National Forest in the North Georgia mountains. Yes, we can do a cyclo-cross dismount and remount on the tandem, but is it fast? Well, faster than coming to a complete stop, but not nearly as fast as with a single bike. For this reason, we didn't want to get in any of the serious contenders way, so we lined up back row and didn't fight too hard for position as we rolled off the line. After we bulldozed our way through the short course, it was game on and we powered away on the slight downhill leading out of the camp and onto the first climb. The first climb � a doozy that took us about 40 minutes sent us into a fog bank hovering just above soft, wet, tiresucking fire roads. The route had transformed into the kind of stuff that destroys your morale as you slog upward at maddeningly slow speed. We even witnessed the effect certain bog-like areas had us On at least one occasion the tandem pilot actually yelled at the road out of frustration. Strangely enough there was no response. > Andy and Cara Applegate plow through the mountain fog. Photo: Chris Hines XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 11 XXCMAG.COM After passing the aid station and gaining several false summits, we finally hit the first leg-relieving downhill. We flew down the mountain, and then rolled around on about 7 miles of pavement. Here we caught up with a few riders, including the eventual women's winner. Before we knew it, we were on the massive climb back up to the top of the ridge. While not as steep as the first one, this climb was loooong, following a picturesque stream bed back into the clouds. The view did nothing to ease the struggle of muscling a 50 pound bike up a 9 mile climb on soft dirt roads, even with two people powering it. The higher we climbed, the denser the fog became. Often, it brought visibility down to just a few feet. We came close to cracking before reaching the top of the ridge, but kept on forging ahead. Once on the ridge, the course rolled up and down, the fog so dense we couldn't distinguish the direction of the road. After more than three and a half hours in the saddle, we finally hit the last descent. We let the bike roll, railing it down the fire road. Flying down into Camp Wahsega, the race was not yet finished. We still had to spend several minutes lugging the bike and our bodies up the two-tiered, super steep run-up. Just hauling ourselves up that hill, after four hours of riding, was an enormous, muscle-seizing effort. Following the run-up, we descended a short bit of single-track that contained several downed trees, requiring multiple dismounts. This led us back onto the `cross course at the camp, which we happily navigated, crossing the finish line, the eighth bike to do so, as the clock ticked over at four hours, ten minutes. What happened at the front of the race? Well, we know that Cameron Cogburn crushed the course in three hours and 13 minutes, wearing a time trial helmet. We promise to give him a hard time about this FOREVER. Andrea Wilson, who we rode with for portions of the race, handily won the women's category. The 2010 course was well marked, longer, and even more challenging than last year, with approximately 6000 feet of climbing over 52 miles. We will certainly be back in 2011. Looking for a challenging event to hit up in the dead of winter? Southern Cross is just the ticket. Andy and Cara Applegate have been riding tandems together since 2003, and are still happily married. They reside in Black Mountain, NC. "The route had transformed into the kind of stuff that destroys your morale as you slog upward at maddeningly slow speed." XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 12 XXCMAG.COM The behemoth Fandango 29er tandem rolls on. Photo: Photo: Donna Garcia XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 13 XXCMAG.COM Berlin Wall, 1980, Photo: Alexander Buschorn XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 14 XXCMAG.COM The Grenzsteintrophy � A 1,280 km mountain bike ride along Germanys former Iron Curtain. Packed and ready for the 800 mile journey on the "Kolonnenweg." Photo by Mila Kusmenko 19 bikes l ag ainst trees and l p posts. T he sm al path to the ean am l beach is bl ocked by hel ets, backpacks and g ear. T he host of the m sm al restau rant "Priw al-Treff ju st opens the w indow s. T he l l " cam ping g rou nd nearby is stil qu iet and sl l eepy.A typical hol iday m orning .Franky adju sts the straps on his pack.T he sl g u y in his im f orties checks his g ear � ag ain; in a f ew m inu tes the "G renzsteintrophy" is g oing to start. T he "G renzsteintrophy" (G ST ) is a m ou ntain bike ride of 1, 280km (800 m il w hich 20 years after the f l of the inner-G erm an es) al border takes its riders al side the f er Iron C u rtain from ong orm L �beck-Travem �nde to M ittel ham m er in the V og tl area. and G ST is not strictl a race,bu t no easy Su nday af y ternoon ride either. It' a sel -su pported ride w hich m eans: no hel from ou tside, no s f p su pport cars, no pl acing of f ood bag s etc. E verything the riders need, they have to bring them sel ves or bu y u nder w ay. T he org anisation team doesn' u se the term "race" f l al reasons � t or eg bu t there is m ore: "T he G ST is no race. W e w ant friendship and sociabil instead ofcom petition. expl ity, " ains H .D avid K o�m ann of the org anisation team . T he G ST is not a tou rist event either � 17. m eters vertical and 000 an intrig u ing pol iticaldim ension keep the starter fiel qu ite sm al. d l XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX T he l etters "G ST " m ake f the sam e acronym as the "G eselschaf or l t f Sport u nd Technik" a param il �r itary you th org anisation of the f er G D R .A nd the rou te g oes al orm ong the "Todesstreif ("death en" strip"), a corridor of l and next to the inner-G erm an border. To su ccessfu ly cross this corridor f the peopl of the f er G D R l or e orm m eant to fl into freedom . A bou t 900 peopl l their l ee e ost ives there u ntil1989. A pathw ay caled "K ol l onnenw eg " ran paralelto the border and w as l the m ain m il itary su pport road f the E ast G erm an arm y.It' m ain or s character com es from concrete sl w hich are m ade f tanks and abs or heavy tru cks � f l or etting rain and snow throu g h them they "consist of hol of abou t 3" w idth and 8" l th.T here are al ays 4 hol " es eng w es next to each other and 7 in a row � a rou te of m an m ade pothol es. O nl w ide l -pressu re tires, g ood su spension and enou g h speed y ow m ake this rideabl B eing abandoned f 20 years the ol m il e. or d itary road is taken back by natu re,so it is overg row n by g rass and shru bs. U nl G reat D ivide/Tou r D ivide the G ST initiators did not have an ike establ ished track to f l or even a road book l the A C A olow ike provides. T hanks to vol ntary hel u pers and l ocal scou ts the G ST track w as created in G PS fil es. C on tn u ed > i XXCMAG.COM PAGE 15 "The former Western border of the Eastern State was a deadly aisle full of landmines and watchtowers � today it is a strip of wilderness..." Pothol navi on e gati It' been raining f three hou rs now . Ju st the s or continu ou s rattl ing and thu dding u nder m y front w heel tels m e that I am on the rig ht path. E ven the l l e 2, tires of m y 29er are chaleng ed by the ol arg 25" l d m il itary road of the f er G D R . T his constant orm rattl w orks l a perf navig ation system . A s ing ike ect l ong as it rattl I am rig ht. N avig ation ju st by es eyesig ht w ou l be probl atic. M y eyes are nearl d em y bl inded by heavy rain and the "road" m ostl is y covered by sting ing nettl thistl and sm al trees. es, es l T he road is l to the l 20 years du e to the l of ost ast ack hu m an intervention. Franky dashes throu g h the dripping w et fl bef ora ore m e. T he packs on his bike shake the w ater from the l eaves. T his hel m y ow n riding . H e w as the track ps scou t f the W endl or and area and his know l e of edg the l ocal trail bestow ed the G ST riders w ith a l of s ot adventu re rig ht next to the u su al pu bl paths and ic tracks. Som etim es there are even el ectric f ences and cattl herds in ou r w ay. e W endl and trem bl es W e have to stop f cou ntl tim es.T his tim e it' an or ess s el ectric f ence that fizzes in the rain. Franky ju st craw l throu g h u nder the f s ence. J st as I w ant to u heave m y bike over the f ence to hand it to him it gl ides ou t of m y hands and f l rig ht into the f als ence. A s I try to l t it u p ag ain there is a hissing sou nd and if I start shaking throu g hou t the w hol body. e Instinctivel I l g o of m y bike.A w et G u nnar,a w et y et bike and a strong el ectric f ence don' m ake f a g ood t or com bination.It doesn' m atter w here I tou ch the bike t � fram e, saddl or tire � everything is w et and e el ectric.I do a strang e robotic dance in the m iddl of e a m eadow in the W endl and w hil trying to g et m y e H aibike ou t of the cl s of the e-f aw ence. W hen I l ift the bike the f ence com es u p w ith it.M ostl it catches y the crankset.It takes abou t 15 m inu tes of sm al kicks l and throw s to free the bike. M easu red on this scal e the tal-g rassed horse m eadow s that I have to cross l l on are qu ite kinderg arten. ater XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX A i e of D eath becom es E co- asi sl O s W hat separated the tw o G erm an states u ntil 1990 is a stripe that stretches exactl 1, y 328km (825 m il l . es) ong T he f er W estern border of the E astern State w as a orm deadl aisl f l of l y e u l andm ines and w atchtow ers � today it is a strip of w il derness onl accessibl by the ol y e d m il itary road ofthe border g u ards. T he "G reen B el now adays is seen as a special chain t" of extraordinary val abl biotopes. A ccording to the u e B U N D (G erm an section ofFriends ofthe E arth) in the G reen B el there are 109 biotope types hal of w hich t f can be f nd on the "red l of endang ered biotopes. ou ist" M ore than 25% of this G reen B el is natu re reserve.In t J ne 2003 in the G reen B el the "D ay of B iodiversity" u t w as cel ebrated. In 24h m ore than 500 experts and scientists fil abou t 5, species of fl and f na. ed 200 ora au Som e species w here f nd that w ere bel ou ieved to be extinct in the rest ofG erm any. C on tn u ed > i This area may still contain landmines... Enter at your own risk PAGE 16 XXCMAG.COM XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 17 XXCMAG.COM Rolling towards Schifflersgrund "The border didnt just leave traces in nature but in millions of minds, too. It makes me sick, this contrast goes to the heart. I feel myself cranking harder." XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 18 Su rfi on the W erra w aves ng L inking stag es can be tricky l in the Tou r de France w hen ike seem ing l u nspectacu l passag es su ddenl becom e dram atic. y ar y W ith the H arz M ou ntains and the R h�n area u nder m y bel I t expected a qu iet ride � these days the cou nty border g oes al side the W erra river.First I braced m ysel f todays stag e ong f or w ith a nice breakf in the com fy caf of B esenhau sen M anor ast � then took an easy spin u p to f ortress H anstein. From there I w ent the 250 vertical m eters in ju st a kil eter of said pothol om e path dow n to L indew erra from w here a nice tail ind pu shed w m e throu g h the W erra valey.B u t su ddenl the track w ent in a l y rig ht ang l u p a hil. e l N ow m y heart rate is arou nd 180 and I sl l g rind m ysel to ow y f the top. T he K ol onnenw eg g ets steeper and steeper. J st u straig ht on. Teu tonic thorou g hness doesn' know serpentines. t L aying the concrete sl crossw ise on the road so that the hol abs es are l a l ike adder is the onl concession to l y andscape m ade here. XXCMAG.COM A fter reaching the top I visit the border m u seu m Schiffl ru nd ersg w hich is the first m em orial site of its kind in G erm any. It' a s m acabre scene: the architectu re of death seem s m ore cl w hen ear su ddenl the G reen B el becom es a conserved "antif y t ascist barrier". L eaving that behind I ride freel throu g h the niceties ofnatu re w ith y onl m y heart rate to beat tim e � there is no yesterday or tom orrow y ju st an endl string of"here and now ". ess B u t the soil is bl oodstained. T he border didn' ju st l t eave traces in natu re bu t in m ilions of m inds,too.It m akes m e sick,this contrast l g oes to the heart.I f m ysel cranking harder.T he next 70 km (43 eel f m il to C reu zbu rg hel m e w ith this:A nearl endl intervalof es) p y ess short and steep cl bs m akes it hard to ride.A f the 20th ram p I im ter stop cou nting .E ven w ith m y 27 g ears I som etim es have to hike-abike.T his is vol ntary,rig ht? u R i ng the Rennstei di g It' the sixth day of G ST. Since km 588 rig ht after the H arz s m ou ntains I have been riding al one. O n m y w ay I m et ju st one other biker on the ol m il d itary road.I started earl this m orning � y arou nd 4. a. . I share the w oods w ith f 30 m oxes, deer, snail and s birds. E ven the su n onl rel ctantl joins u s. It sl l peeps over y u y ow y the hils and throu g h the m orning m ists ofthe C obu rg l l and. I take m y m orning coff in a sm al bakery in the indu strialarea of ee l Streu f , a tow n that l directl on the ex-border. T he first dorf ies y 25km (15, m il of the day are done by 6. a. .A t noon I am in 5 es) 15 m Sonneberg .I see to reaching the R ennsteig ,one of G erm any' best s l distance hiking tracks.Til reaching Tettau I have to im provise ong l qu ite a bit. T he track that I had g oog l is harder than I thou g ht. ed Pu shing the bike throu g h thick u nderg row th on a straig ht l over ine hils and throu g h sm al val doesn' hel w ith m otivation. l l es t p In the near of Tettau the f er border m eets the R ennsteig and I orm decide to u se the R ennsteig f the next 16 km (10 m il til or es) l B rennersg r�n.A f that I m ove back onto the m il ter itary track ag ain. I race dow nhil in f l antastic w ave-l l ike andscape to the m ost eastern part ofthe T h�ring er W al f d orest (the sm al u phils in betw een m ay l l be conceal here.. ed .) A t 9 p. . and after 193 km (120 m il m es) I eventu aly reach l Bl ankenstein. T he sm al "R ennsteig " g u est hou se provides a g ood l m ealand m ost im portantl a w arm and snu g bed. y Fi spu rt nal H aving the T h�ring er W al behind m e I ride rel d axed al side the ong Saal river tow ards the end. In the m iddl of the stag e I pass e e throu g h a sm al tow n caled M �dl th w hich w as cu t in hal by l l areu f the border.T he tow n is know n as "L ittl B erl theref e in" ore.Today it som ehow becam e a vilag e m u seu m som ew here in betw een l "eastal ia",kitsch and coping w ith actu alhistory. g T here are better pl aces to recap the division of G erm any,bu t there sel dom are pl aces that have that strang e a rang e of photog raphy m otif in su ch a sm al area. s l C on tn u ed > i Yes, we carried our bikes up this section. XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 19 XXCMAG.COM Grenzsteintrophy XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 20 XXCMAG.COM Crossing a sculpture-museum of the former border. XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 21 XXCMAG.COM The bike rests next to the "grenzstein." I have a qu ick col in a pu b,press the shu tter a bu tton of m y cam era thrice and off I g o.. I . w ant to reach the g oal If I hu rry I can m ake it . w ithin seven days. So the l and fl by and near M ittel ies ham m er I pass throu g h a m oist dal T he sl river e. ow R eg nitz l iteraly attracts m ilions of g nats. l l Since there are no m ore border g u ards arou nd they start f easting on m e rig ht at the "Staatsg renze" (state l it) sig n. 3 fl 1, im ats, 255 km ,17. m eters ofcl bing and 7 days l 760 im ater I finished the G ST . XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX Thi year' event s s T he G renzsteintrophy 2010 w il start on the 17th of Ju ne. B ef l ore G erm an reu nification in O ctober 1990 this date m arked the W est G erm an national hol iday know n as "D ay of G erm an U nity",rem em bering the G D R u prising in 1953 that w as su ppressed by Soviet troops. In 2010 the rou te g oes in the opposite direction starting in the V og tl and and heading north w ith the g oal of reaching the coast of the B al Sea at the Priw al in tic l Travem �nde. W ith eig ht riders m aking it to M ittel ham m er in 2009, the 2010 G PS track is som ew hat confirm ed. E ng lsh Inform ati at w w w. i on grenzstei ntrophy. de PAGE 22 XXCMAG.COM Gunnar at the finish of the 2009 GST - the point where the former border meets the Czech Republic. Das Ende XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 23 XXCMAG.COM XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 24 XXCMAG.COM M ul ti-day E ndu rance O ff R oad B icycl Stag e R acing rols e l into the eastern U S f 2010 w ith the Trans-Syl or vania E pic presented by T he O u tdoor E xperience O rg anization. Ru n from M ay 30th to J ne 5th w ith 7 stag es in and arou nd the u State C oleg e,PA area,this inau g u ralevent w il f re som e l l eatu of the m ost pristine sing l etrack and rem ote m ou ntainou s terrain that the M id-A tl antic has to off er. A s endu rance racing continu es to evol and su rg e in popu l ve arity and prestig e,this prem ier east coast event bring s stag e racing to w ithin a reasonabl g eog raphical proxim ity to a hotbed of e prof essionaland am ateu r cycl and adventu re racers from ists 4 m ajor m etropol itan areas as w el as C anada and w esternl E u rope. C onceived in a fashion to incl de as m any u participants as possibl the event has m any u niqu e f res e, eatu that provide both the com petitor and their friends and f il an adventu re oftru l epic proportions. am ies y Spread ou t over a m ajor U S hol iday w eek,there are som e key hig hl hts to this event -- a central ig ized w eek-l ong "base cam p", diverse race-stag e desig n, a distinctive team stru ctu re,and the trail them sel s ves. It is desig ned f ease of or participation, a com m u nal environm ent f friends and or f il spending their vacations, and the hig hest val e of am ies u ou tdoor experience. Tru e to its E pic nam esake, the event w il traverse som e of the m ost rem ote and chaleng ing l l g rou nd in the east, m aking f a chaleng ing , fu n and or l decidedl u npredictabl event. "W ith the variety of terrain y e and u niqu e dail stag es, there is potential f chang es in y or overal race l l ead on every day, every stag e. T his w il be l trem endou sl exciting ,a tru e test of perseverance and a hel y l of a l of fu n" says M ike K u hn, co-org anizer of the event. ot M ental physical and l istical preparation becom e , , og param ou nt to an event l this, and now is the tim e to l ike ay you r pl to l nch you r ow n epic ride at this event. T his is ans au you r preparatory g u ide,and you r w ake-u p cal. l O, , n5rt03v F ,O rg anizers M ike K u hn and R ay A dam s are r4, , constantl striving to increase g rassroots participation in y bicycl racing . A nd, thou g h endu rance racing typicaly e l appeal to m ore m atu re, experienced racers, they think s they' f nd a w ay to incl de m ore riders w hom m ay have ve ou u a m ore casu alapproach. A side from the standard M en' and s W om en' Sol D u o and Tandem cl s o, asses,they' concocted a ve w el e tw ist to the l er Team categ ory that w il ensu re com arg l ease of participation f both experienced team s and or w eekend w arriors entering their first m u l ti-day race w hil e raising the f n qu otient. u B asicaly,a Team w il consist of 3 to 6 riders,and each team l l m u st finish at l east three riders every day in any com bination of m em bers. R iders m ay rotate days, take off XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX and rest,w ork,w hatever � the cu m u l ative tim e of the team is w hat m atters. "T his is m eant to alow as m any peopl as l e possibl to experience endu rance team -racing and to assu re e that those w ho cannot com m it to the entire w eek m ay stil l participate u pon a team , says K u hn. It w il al alow f a " l so l or l evelof strateg izing throu g h special ization. "You can send ou t you r cl bers on the hilier stag es and pow er-riders on the im l fl atter, f aster days. A l kinds speed records w il be set. A s l l " w el, it al takes som e of the seriou sness and pressu re aw ay l so by spreading the w ork l oad ou t fu rther am ong st team m ates w hil creating f m ore friendl com petition. Pl e or y ease note that riders entered in the Team categ ories do not need to ride and finish each stag e tog ether du ring the race (as team m ates m u st do in the du o categ ory). T he Team categ ory is al abou t f n, l u friendl com petitive spirit, and experiencing the event f y or those w ho m ay not be abl or w iling to com m it to al seven e l l days ofracing ., g ,T Q M Q M Q , O , e fg S fF f , 5ntr, N ny Q nty c 30y ��, q, r, 0t6 rF , f , 61r3,s6^C ,40( r,30px4,n^q,5rpu^v ,ov ,^0,( nw pny 54C 03,py ( o4C 054,0s, v ,y 4 ^ty ,v r53npxE, , v ( v 0s, ,M 40y q, �, sn45, y ^t, 30y v 30nq, n^q, 30px�, qtr, 3v 501, y, 53nv C n r�pry r^5,^530q6p5v 50, un5 v 4503r, 5ur, rrxE, ( v r4E ,^, y v 0^, 8 4,^, s03, 8 ,��, y f , 5ntr, e 05u 30px, ��, @�F e , r( 05r,45n35,,O 001r34,S n1,n3rnE ,,f5n35,n5,S 3rr^8 00q,R63^nprE ,, f t^v pn^5, v ov ,O 001r3 S n1, , v sv py ( ^tE, 4, un4, orp0( r, 5ur, ( 645, qr n3rn, 3v , v , e 05u30pxC8 v y ^, , 5u, 0^t, 08 v q08 ^, y 4, sy ^t, uv y n^q, 645, w r^06tu, 30px4, 50, x , rr1, �06, �063, 0^, 50r4E-�, v r4E , ( y f , 5ntr, N ny Q nty @�, ��, q, r, F f , 5n35,n^q,sv 4u,n5,pn( 1t306^qE n55r3�30y v ^v ,,Ry y ^t,45ntrC ,sn45E uv ,g 4, 4 ,5ntr,8 v y y ,p07r3,n,y 05,0s,t306^q,n^q,y 05,0s,uv 4503�E 0y ,5u306tu, ,,e y u 4503v ,v p,53nv ^,56^^ry 4,n^q,M ( v 4u,p06^53�4v qr,ny 0^t,8 v 5u,40( r, n ,( n<v 7v 4ED-, v r4E ^t, r8 ,, ( y f , 5ntr, k O , e n�4508 ^, -�, n5, XnxrF , e , r( 05r,45n35,n^q,sv 4uE ^v ,,l06y ^q,461r3,sn45C y ,sv ,4( 005uC ,30y r3, y p ,0n45r3,53nv 4,8 uv y pu,srn563r,t3rn5,7v 4,0s,5ur,y r8 nxr,n^q,y 054,0s, 0 , 110356^v r4, tr5, 3o03^rE, 7r3ntr, 5v 50, nv ,M 41rrq, sn45r45, qr34, s03, 3v 07r3, � ,�,Y c T E ry ,,j p0( r,50,5ur,^r8 ,4pu00y ,0s,53nv ,o6v qv ,�,( v r4,0s, y y ^tF y 1 , 63104r,o6v 5,53nv C y y,qr4v t^rq,50,xrr1,�06,0^,5ur,tn4,n^q,0ss,5ur, o , 3nxr4E�, v r4E , ( y f , 5ntr, f6 1r3, , npr4, e E Ej v �, Pe n5, N , ^5r3, f5n5r, n3xF, c , e , r( 05r,45n35,n^q,sv 4uE uv ^v ,,g 4,6^v 26r,45ntr,8 v y y ,srn563r,-D ,( n44, 4 ,5n35,f61r3,P ,3npr,4rt( r^54E npr34,8 v y t3061,s0y 08 v ,,e y ,3rD y ^t,rnpu, f , 61r3, , P 4rt( r^5, n^q, p0^5v ^6r, 5ur, 50, ^r�5, 45n35, n3rnE, ,f61r3, 8 v y P 4, y , o ^, n, 35, , rtv 0^, qv 30nq, 8 v 53nv , ny 08 , 03, qr, y 50, y 3npr34, 413rnq, 50, 065E, v ,U5, 4, n pv ,^5v 1n5rq, 5un5, rnpu, 4rt( r^5, v y 5nxr, ��, v 8 y, ��D ( ^65r4, p0( 1y , 50, r5rE, M , ^,k O ,ov xr,v 4,5ur,or45,pu0v pr,s03,5uv 4,r7r^5E ,y 55y ,,M v r,40( r5uv ^t, q ssr3r^5,s03,n,45ntr,3nprC 4,45ntr,3npr,8 v y y ,5ur,r^q630, ,v ,5uv y ,s0y 08 ( , 0503p�py s03( n5C8 v 5v rq, r, , 5u, ( 4rp5v 0^4, y v s03, ny 08 ^t, 3rt3061v v ^t, ^, o , r58 rr^E��, v r4E , ( y f , 5ntr, e 05u 30px, �, @�F j 11y P , uv r, n( , pn( 1t306^qE, r( 05r, 50, ,e 45n35E, v , N ttr3, v ov qn�C py ( ^t, , s ,rn563v 5ur, ^t, or45, y , g ur, 53nv 4E, 26rr^, f5ntrC5uv 0^r, 54, , 4, uv 5ur, n44v py p, f , 5n5r,O 0y rtr,53nv 4,0s,e 05u30pxC ^py ^t,g 644r�,Y 06^5nv y y ,v 6qv ^,53nv C y, 0 0s, or45, qtr,v 53nv 4,^, rn45E�, v r4E , ^r, 5ur, 3v y ^r, y v 5ur, , ( y f , 5ntr, N ny Q nty @�F �, q, r, k 45n35, ,O, n^q, ^v n5, sv 4u, pn( 1t306^q, N ny Qnty f5n5r, , q, r, R03r45, ,sn45C D, , s 4v r53npx, ^, ny Qnty f5n5r, ,6^, ^ty v N q, r, R03r45Eb ^r, v r, , y 55y q04r, 1nv 50, 0s, ^, s ^v 0ss, ,v 4u, 5ur, 3nprC5uv qn�, v y srn563r, 54, 5ur, , 4, 8 y, ov 0s, 130y 0t6r, n^q, n, s 05ur3, ,r8 , 46313v , ( v r4E 4r4E�, y PAGE 25 XXCMAG.COM f , nsr5�F, race of this m ag nitu de requ ires a f ly org anized ,A u l saf net f com petitors. E ach stag e w il have m u l e ety or l tipl checkpoints f refu el or ing and m edical l , ead-m oto drivers and dail pre-ridden, tripl y e-checked cou rses. A side from l istical technical and nu tritional su pport and on-site og , infirm ary, the Trans-Syl vania E pic w il f re physician l eatu Todd M cG rath on hand throu g hou t the event, overseeing the m edicalstaff to assu re the com petitors'saf ety. Todd has m u ch l ead experience in this capacity, incl ding the threeu w eek l ong 2002 Su baru Prim al Q u est A dventu re R ace in Telu ride,C O . l R y ^tF , n( v � ,Q 7 r^5�X0qtv ,,T his is a "w orking vacation" l ocu after al! B eing tru e to its g rass roots f s, the TransSyl vania E pic provides m any diverse recreational opportu nities f you r non-racer/su pport crew and/or or f il sharing in you r vacation. Su rrou nding the base cam p am y "vilag e", nu m erou s C entral Pennsyl l vania cu l ral historical tu , and recreationalpoints of interest are w ithin easy reach every day incl ding Penn State U niversity, Pennsyl u vania state capital H arrisbu rg , A l toona and the Johnstow n Fl ood M em orialsite. Stag e 4' R aystow n stag e m ig ht be the perf s ect tim e tim e to take the C annondal f e actory tou r,onl 40 m il y es to the sou th.B ack in cam p the recreation hal w il serve as the l l dail race-central w ith u p-to-date race inf ation, heal y orm thy satisfying m eal and nig htl entertainm ent/m ovies. D u ring s y the day, the experienced cam p staff w il l dail activities l ead y and day-care f those in cam p.E very nig ht w il al f re or l so eatu an aw ards presentation f individu al stag es and overal or l cl assification. Perhaps the m ost settl f ing actor to you r race recovery is the f that you are based ou t of a sing u l act ar l ocation (and bed! du ring the entire event., ) A rest during course recon. Photo by**** ****** XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 26 XXCMAG.COM Nancy Adams rides some sweet Pennsylvania singletrack. Photo by**** ****** c , 3r1n3v s03, r, 3n^4D 7 n^v Q 1v , For an event ^t, 5u g f�y n, pF , of this m ag nitu de, sim pl l g ing tons of hou rs on the bike y og does not g u arantee a podiu m . T hou g htfu l pl anning and preparation are keys to finishing .E verything from fitness and riding techniqu e to l istics of team w ork to recovery and og m echanical sel su fficiency m u st be addressed. M ike K u hn f l it ou t best:"from now u ntil the l stag e of the event,it aid ast is al abou t strateg y, pl l anning , discipl and recovery, and ine keeping the rig ht perspectives. T he race is not w on on the " first stag e � conversel al can be l in Febru ary w ithou t y, l ost proper approach that m ig ht l eave you bu rned ou t, overtrained, or u nder prepared com e the actu al race w eek. H ere w e'l f s on l l ocu aying you r f ndation tow ards a su ccessfu l ou ` pic. E T he earl w inter f ndation stag es of preparation are y ou param ou nt to su ccess at a m u l ti-stag e event l the Transike Syl vania E pic. N ow is the tim e to l the necessary base og vol m e ofriding in order to m aintain a w eek-l race eff u ong ort. PAValeys. l com endu rance racer R ob L ichtenw al off his ner ers tw o cents:"T hree w ords � base,base,base.B e real istic � ride f tou g hening and keep it FU N . For R ob, w ho pl on or " ans w inning the Sol M en' division, this m eans schedu l o s ing stru ctu red days in the saddl consistentl H e'l m im ic race e, y. l conditions by doing bl ocks of 2-3 sim u l ation days back to back. R ob w il al m im ic the terrain by seeking ou t l of l so ots l ong cl bs,thou g h stil at l to m oderate intensity as it is im l ow stil Janu ary. For the averag e racer, this m eans l , fu n l ong endu rance rides w ith the onl g oal that of being on the bike y f al or ong ride w hil w orking on bike handl . N ow is al e ing so the tim e to start g etting in the rou tine of proper sl eep and nu trition as g ood habits take tim e to ing rain. C om e l Febru ary and earl M arch, it' tim e to start ate y s cranking u p the w ick. G ranted you ' g ot som e base m il by ve es this tim e,"g etting a sol and f sed bl of training in at id ocu ock this tim e is cru cial M ost seriou s racers f s on m il e and . ocu eag XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX ram ping u p intensity, and you shou l think al d ong the sam e l ines, w hatever l evel you com pete on", coach says. L ater in the M arch,as racing heats u p is w here you r m entaldiscipl ine m u st realy kick in. E ntering earl season races shou l be l y d approached as individu al battl tow ard the u l ate g oal es tim . D o not overcook you rsel rig ht ou t ofm otivation � rather,u se f a "race-throu g h" approach to events,testing you r fitness w ith the g oal of prog ression tow ards the race w eek. Training throu g h race m ay m ean you are not sharp in these l ead u p events, bu t the end resu l is a new l t evel of fitness f race or w eek. K eep abreast of how you ' f ing as w el, keeping re eel l track of w hat you r body is teling you N o need to w il al the l l l m arbl earl on � g et l ofrest and rem em ber w hy you ride es y ots and race in the first pl ace. B y l A priland into M ay is w hen ate you ' hard w ork w il realy be show ing throu g h, l g ing re l l og back to back distance rides w ith a f s on the approaching ocu E pic . W ith tw o w eeks to g o, you r fitness and skil l l evel shou l d hopefu ly be topped off from you r preparations. A t this l point,M ike and R ay su g g est you attend their m ini-cam p f or you r l hard eff pre-race. It is a g reat chance to pre-ride ast ort som e of the race cou rses and see w hat' in store. A fter that is s now tim e to R E ST. D ecreasing vol m e w hil keeping u e intensity ju st topped off and resting m ore. Pay very cl , ose attention to you r recovery and staying heal l thy eading u p to the race. You are ready... A s you cycl throu g h you r preparations f Trans-Syl e or vania E pic,it is im portant keep in m ind that it is not you r day job. K eep it fu n, and if you are doing the team categ ory, pl an tog ether, ride tog ether and prog ress... tog ether. H ol ding you rsel accou ntabl hel keep the f s,and it al alow s ves e ps ocu so l you r team to devel and cover al the detail that you 'lneed op l s l to finish tog ether. C om pl eting this event w il be an l accom pl ishm ent, bu t the total spectru m of the preparations and racing it w il create satisfying l l l y asting m em ories., XXCMAG.COM PAGE 27 X , 0tv p4F T his is a big u ndertaking � respect w hat the 45v event is and be prepared to take on the chaleng e. Prepare l you r f il and/or su pport crew f the natu re of the event am y or and w hat you w ou l requ ire of them � after al, it is their d l vacation, too so be real istic w ith expectations of them . If you are entering the D u o or Team categ ory,com m u nication is key betw een m em bers. H aving cl objectives,intention ear and shared preparation g oes a l ong w ay tow ard keeping the w heel u pon you r eff betw een now and the l stag e of s ort ast the event. Technical echanical preparation is cru cial as /m , w el. H ow sel su fficient can you be on the trail is as l f im portant to having a fl l y w orking bike. E xpect the aw essl u nexpected by stocking u p on chains,cabl tu bes,tires and es, the l ike. H aving sol m echanical know l e and id edg u nderstanding of you r bicycl assu res the tou g hness of you r e arm or. W hen asked w hether he' pref f l-su spension or a d er u l hardtail bike f the ` pic, M ike K u hn says "I pref -- a or E er com pl y tu ned-u p bike that I can rel y cou nt on w ithou t etel iabl qu estion. O ne that sol and rel e,that I tru st and know is id iabl " as prepared as I am . Q y , 1v 0t6 rF, here you have it � you r basic g u ide to preparing ,T f the Trans-Syl or vania E pic. Folow ing an org anized pl l an m akes it easier to envision and su cceed at the event. Folow ing you r heart and racing f the experience assu res a l or victory, no m atter w hat! T his is a tru e Pennsyl vania A leg henies adventu re w ith so m u ch to experience f al. l or l H ave an open m ind and g ood l ck! u R ( , 03, 03r,^s03( n5v 0^, r, 3n^D 7 n^v Y 06 ^5nv N v Q 1v 7 v 5, 8 8 E v 0^, 5u g f�y n, ^, xr, p, 4v 8 53n^44�y n^v 7 nr1v p0( pE Mike Kuhn surveys the trail. Photo by**** ****** A rest during course recon. Photo by**** ****** XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 28 XXCMAG.COM XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 30 XXCMAG.COM By David Wilson Photo by Carlos Castanon XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 31 XXCMAG.COM Hosting a race is not always the best way to prevent a loss of trails, but in El Paso, Texas, an ass-kicking mountain bike race was exactly what the community needed to reignite the local cycling community and make a name for itself in the endurance racing scene. In 2006, after winning a stars and stripes in the 30+ short track National Championship, I returned home to El Paso and found trails that had been completely trashed by recent flooding, some covered with up to ten feet of boulders. Neighborhoods had been flooded and businesses destroyed. Many of the problems were directly related to poor development; bulldoze-and-build communities divided by large concrete channels replaced natural arroyos. These channels were not enough to control the wrath of 150 years of rainfall. Water spilled over, causing millions of dollars in damage and forcing the community to rethink future developments. With the local trails in such poor condition, my wife, Jennifer, and I started doing some of our own trail repairs, and were forced to train in areas much further away from our local trailheads. The following year, Jennifer and I returned from another summer of racing. The trails were still in disrepair and the local mountain bike club seemed to be more of a social club, its members content to ride the few trails that had not seen much damage. Frustrated, we began to venture out from the typical riding areas into those that had not been ridden in many years. Later that fall, we met Brent Sanders, his wife Susanne, and local bike shop owner Ricardo Vega and convinced them to join us for an epic loop around the Franklin Mountains, above the Rio Grande valley. The elevation ranged from 4,000 feet to just over 7,000 feet. We realized that we had a lot in XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 32 XXCMAG.COM Susanne Rasmussen climbing the newly finished switchbacks to the north ridge of the Franklins Photo by Cesar Mendez common as we discussed how difficult it was to get other riders to explore areas away from the trailheads, and how to organize users to build and maintain good trails. On the spot, we decided to put together the first El Paso Puzzler with the intention of challenging local riders and reorganizing the Borderland Mountain Bike Association. of the most demanding trails in the country. The summer of 2009 would bring that to an end. Jennifer and I hit the road again that summer for some serious racing, dropping words such as "Puzzler," "ass-kicking," "50 miles," and "toughest race you'll ever do" into conversation. Every evening of the Breck Epic 6-day stage race, riders and their support crews would gather for awards, dinner and socializing. There were six Puzzler veterans there, and almost every night one of us wore the race t-shirt. People began to ask questions, and I went into promoter mode. Trek pro Travis Brown seemed interested, and may have even heard me say that no Coloradoan had finished our event, though three had attempted it. After returning home from another summer of racing, we really focused on The Puzzler. Going into its third year, The Puzzler was being touted as the toughest race in Texas. Continued > In February of 2008, 28 riders showed up for a 46-mile test of endurance. We dubbed the race "The Puzzler," and stashed four pieces of a bumper sticker throughout the course for racers to find. Only 18 finished that year. In 2009 we had a full 50-mile event and added a shorter, 35mile option. 65 riders began and only about 35 finished. The word was getting out, but it proved difficult to convince mountain bikers to race for over five hours in winter on some XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 33 XXCMAG.COM I personally had been claiming that it was the toughest 50-miler in the lower 48, but I got some raised eyebrows making that statement in the company of seasoned veterans. We became a part of the Texas Marathon Series, secured a better venue, and worked diligently to complete a three-mile section that would keep the race entirely within Franklin Mountains State Park. One of the first to register was Travis Brown. Two weeks before the event we had about 65 riders preregistered, and then suddenly, the registrations started pouring in! Our inboxes were flooded with questions and the blog was getting a record number of hits. When the 10-day forecast showed good weather conditions on race day, even more registrations came through. By the time online registration closed, we had 138 riders -- thirteen more than we had targeted. I was feeling the pressure as race weekend approached; someone had removed some of the course markings, and on Saturday morning we saw our second full page feature in the newspaper. But soon, the party tent went up and RV's started rolling in, full of people with bikes and southern accents trying to figure out where to go and what trails to ride. Travis Brown arrived with a buddy from Durango and I took him for a spin on the last 5 miles of the course. The next morning, 140 anxious riders toed the line as Brent said "Go!" at 8 am. The weather was cooperating; I was comfortable in just a jersey, arm warmers and knee warmers. I was in first place at the end of the first loop � an 11 mile sample of things to come. Eventually I settled in to 8th place and struggled through severe cramps while trying to finish. Almost every prediction I had made before the event was proven wrong. I thought that we would see our winner near Local racer Santiago Chavez negotiates some Puzzler singletrack Photo by Cesar Mendez XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 34 XXCMAG.COM the five hour mark or over . . . not under. Evan Plews, my friend and the 2009 Old Pueblo Solo Champion, rolled in at 4:38. I'd thought it was impossible for a single speeder to finish in the top five; Cameron Brenneman finished 3rd overall. I thought for sure that we would continue to see an attrition rate close to the 50% of previous years; all but 25 riders finished. That afternoon, the keg of Fat Tire was empty before we even started handing out awards. We heard a lot of wonderful comments about the trails, the organization of the event, and the beauty of the Franklin Mountains. People said they would be back, and Travis Brown said he believed it would "blow up next year." Monday morning, our logistics manager, DJ Singh, showed up with a copy of the morning paper. The Puzzler got the front page headlines! We were happy to see that, the following weekend, a parking lot accessing the east side trails was completely full. The Puzzler was now legit and on its way to becoming a "must do" early season event. Along with a fall 12-hour race and a traditional cross-country race in the spring, The Puzzler has given El Paso a much needed kick in the ass to keep existing trails open and new trails coming � not to mention a place on the map boasting some of the toughest trails in the country. For results and more information visit elpasopuzzler.com XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 35 XXCMAG.COM Y , nxv ^t Y b , �, 8 ^, npr cy This is not another story of a professional mountain bike racer However, this overwhelming desire of guilt would consume me, as riding an inhuman pace to win another race. This is the story of a if I let someone down. Who did I let down? My wife, kids or regular guy, chasing something to finish just one race. The friends. They all loved me just the same. I then realized that I let Breckenridge 100. It may not sound myself down by not finishing. This like an interesting read to you, however addiction could only be quenched by in 2009, I attempted four ultra acquiescing. Only one word brought endurance mountain bike races and peace to my soul. Yes. It was the only finished only one. I didn't quit any of answer which calmed me and brought a them. I was just going too slow and renewed focus to my life. missed the cutoff times. It was my first year of racing on a mountain bike. For The Plan. In order to complete the the previous years, I had been ultra Breckenridge 100, I knew that I would running. So, racing for 12 hours wasn't need to work harder and train more. that foreign to me and I was in good Most importantly, I needed to convince shape and I am tough. I spent 9 years in my wife that we needed a new bike. My the US Army and have hundreds of 1996 Trek Y-22 just wasn't going to get parachute jumps. In high school, I did me to the finish line. After almost 20 an Ironman triathlon, many marathons hours on four different bikes, I decided and worked in a bike shop. This isn't to on a 2010 Specialized S-Work Epic. say that I have "mad" skills on the bike Surprisingly, my wife agreed. In 2009, I or that you would be seeing me hang had only two races before the with Toast (Josh Tostado) while Breckenridge 100. One of those, I climbing Wheeler Pass in Breckenridge, didn't finish either. For 2010, I would but I was confident that I could finish be doing at least four races before the Breckenridge 100. Ending last year Breck. The focus of the races wasn't to with another DNF at the Park City Point win, but to use them as Joe Friel would to Point, was a blinding flash of the say as "B" or "C" races for the base obvious for me. This stuff is crazy hard! building I needed for the year. The muddy results of the Red River Riot Photo by Sam McMurry What does it really take to finish strongly in a race like the Breckenridge 100? This is what this story is about. It is not intended to be some existential examination of mountain biking, but a realistic look at what it takes for a regular guy to finish the Breckenridge 100. Over two or three articles, I am going to focus on the things that a regular guy with a job, who travels 190,000 miles a year, with a wife, two teenagers and two dogs, has to do in order to prepare for this race. Along the way, I'll examine the weird things I do to motivate myself during the long hours of pain in the saddle, but ultimately we want to gain a better understanding of why I choose to do these crazy things, when I could just sit on the couch and watch more NFL Sunday Ticket, help my wife with some more "honey do's" or help my kids with their homework. After not finishing Breck last year, I was still confident in my abilities and thought maybe Breck was a fluke. I decided to try the Park City Point to Point (PCPP) in Park City Utah. After missing the cutoff for the last section of the PCPP, I really started to doubt myself. Can I really do this? I am 40 years old. What does it take to finish one of these races? Months went by of asking these questions. They plagued me like an addiction. For a few days at a time, I would decide against trying the Breckenridge 100 again. XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX My new bike arrived on October 9, 2009. Few words can describe this day in history, but as Ferris Bueller said as he is driving his friend's, father's limited edition 1961 Ferrari out of the garage. "Come on, live a little." And live I shall on this bike. October to December of 2009 was spent building as strong a mileage base as I could given my travel schedule for work. My focus was long rides on the weekends. I started at four hour rides on Saturday and Sunday. These grew to five hour rides on the weekend. During the week, my goal was six to eight hours on the bike. This rarely happened. Usually, my week day training was spent doing core exercises along with hours on the elliptical machine in a hotel gym. Yes, I have done countless four hour workouts on an elliptical machine. With ninety days of my new training regime behind me, the Excruciation Exam arrived on January 2, 2010. Eighty-six miles of Texas Hill Country fun. There are two bike ranches close to Austin, TX. Rocky Hill Ranch, you can imagine what the trails are like here, and Bluff Creek Ranch. We call it, Warda, because it is in Warda, TX. The Excruciation Exam is the oldest mountain bike marathon in the state of Texas. It started with a single track eight mile lap at XXCMAG.COM PAGE 36 Warda, then goes onto some Texas country dirt roads to Rocky Hill Ranch. It is about 23 miles from Warda to Rocky Hill. At Rocky Hill Ranch, we did "the big loop", twenty-two miles and then headed back to Warda for a four mile loop to finish. Last year, I didn't finish this race, because I took some allergy medication 2 days before the race. Little did I know that most allergy medication is a Corticosteriod, which slows the body's processing of carbohydrates and proteins. This is not desired during an eight to ten hour mountain bike race. The goal this year was finish. Finish, I did in 7 hours, 39 minutes and 28th place out of thirty in my age group. The weather started out silly cold for this time of year in Central Texas. The temperature was 31 degrees with frost on the ground! The temperature did get into the fifty's, the sun was shining, and it was good day for a ride with 250 of my closest friends. The greatest difficulty I had during this race was with my nutrition. At about 5 hours into the race, I got into this extreme apathetic state and I would rather be doing anything, but riding a bike. This was going to require a modification to my nutrition plan and a phone call to Infinit Nutrition (See Infinit Experience, Page 39). One of the best parts of racing is recovery. No early morning training, just lots of sleep and food. When having three races each over seven hours in length in a month, recovery is essential to being able to get ready for the next effort. Especially, when the general rule of thumb is two to three days of recovery for every hour of racing. Within three to four days after a race, I found that I was ready to get back on the bike. As the months went by, I found myself getting stronger and stronger. My plan was working! During one of my first recovery rides after the Excruciation Exam, I had a bad crash, which sprained my wrist, three fingers and ripped a finger nail off. Yea, it hurt. I ended up with six stitches and some nerve damage in my right hand. This happened about two weeks before the Red River Riot. >>> Cold, muddy conditions and finding 10th place at the Red River Riot. Photo by Ric Ceron XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 37 XXCMAG.COM The crash highlighted the biggest lesson I have learned through this journey. As John Milton said: "The mind is it's own place, and in itself, can make a heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven." Starting the Red River Riot, was exciting. It was the first running of this race. Race Director, Kevin Lee's goal was to replicate some of the gravel grinders from the mid-west here in Texas. The race consisted of two loops, which were over 50 miles each on country dirt roads with a 10 mile section of single track at the Breaks at Bar H bike ranch in St. Jo, Texas. The total mileage was 115 miles. The conditions were bad at the start of the race and continued to get worse as the rain continued throughout the day. The temperature started in the high 40's and it was raining. The high temperature for the day was forecasted to be 55 degrees, however, it didn't get out of the 40's and it rained the entire time. The horrible weather caused Kevin to cut out the single track portion of the course. This reduced the total mileage to 105 miles. After eight hours and forty-two minutes and 105 miles, I have never been so muddy in my life. About 85% of the estimated 150 racers abandoned the race after the first loop. I finished the first loop in three hours and thirty minutes. Starting the second loop, I was feeling good. The changes made to my race nutrition were paying off. The second loop of the Red River Riot was the hardest. The wind really started to blow during this stage, as we entered into the Red River Valley. It was awesome riding down the plateau into the Red River Valley. It was on this loop that we rode through 98 majestic wind turbines. This is one of the largest wind turbine fields in the state of Texas. It was a couple hours into this loop that the weather was at its worst and I started to question myself. As I came around a turn, there stood a huge herd of cattle, who were all looking at me. As I approached them, I started talking to The once shinny Ferrari-like S-Works, now sports a healthy coat of Red River mud. Photo by Vance McMurry XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 38 XXCMAG.COM them and giving them names. The one cow who stood in the road the longest; I named her after my ex-wife. I then noticed that I felt a lot better after talking to the cows. So, I started talking to any animal I could see! The climb out of the Red River Valley wouldn't have been bad, except for the mud. At one point, the mud was so slick, I had to get off my bike and try walking up the hill, because my tires were slipping. Just over this last big hill, I came across some race marshals who told me that I was in seventh place. I was surprised! By now the mud was so bad, that performance of my trusty bike was seriously starting to suffer. With 10 miles left, my chain stopped engaging on the chain rings. After trying to use a tree branch to clean off some of the mud, I found the best cattle rancher in the state. He left a huge water tank on the side of the rode for his cattle. I borrowed some water from here to fill my water bottle to spray off my drive train. Twenty-three bottles of water later, my bike was running again for about a mile. By now, I lost the ability to shift my front derailleur. It was stuck in my small chain ring. I was then passed by three other racers. This now put me into tenth place. Upset, but I was still stoked that I was in tenth. Climbing the hill to finish the Red River Riot was a great feeling. Finishing in tenth place was a first for me. My wife and kids crewed me for this race. They were a huge help and a blessing to see as I came around the last turn and they were all yelling for me. With the winter coming to an end soon, I am looking forward to racing in some warmer and dryer weather. U ^v ,^sv 5 r ,�1r3v r^pr j , u r^, v 5u ^t4, n3r^ t0v 3v 5, v , 5, ^t, tu 8 5u 3npr, 53v 0^C ^6 5v , n pu , , n^tr,4, v 0s5r^, ^rrqrqEi n^pr, pY 6 33�, n3r4, , Y 4u u 4, , v r�1r3v r^pr4, v , r, 8 5u 5u 130q6 p54, n^q, 1r01y 0s, r, , U ^v a ,^sv 5, 6 53v 0^E 5v I am a huge fan of Infinit Nutrition (infinitnutrition.us) and have been using them for over a year. Infinit is a fully customizable liquid source of nutrition, which has everything one needs. Electrolytes, carbohydrates, flavor, calories, protein, caffeine and amino acids. One thing I found while ultra running was that the off the shelf nutrition products just weren't enough for me. I believe it is because I weigh 185 pounds and most products are made for 150 pound or lighter people. Additionally, fumbling around with pills and food packages was difficult at best and got even worse when the weather turned bad. My goal was to find a completely liquid source of nutrition. I found that with Infinit Nutrition. During the Excruciation Exam, I realized a reoccurring theme with the 2009 Breck 100 and Park City Point to Point. At five hours into the race, my mental state was one that I really didn't care if I went any further. It was such a massive mental struggle to get my body to move. I called Infinit about this and Michael Folan, President of the company, returned my call. He recommended that I reduce the amount of protein in my mixture and drink more fluids. He said that it sounded like I was getting dehydrated, because along with my apathetic state, I would start to cramp and get nauseous. We made this change in my formula and shipped me out some more mix in time for the Red River Riot, which was just 3 weeks later. The reduced protein and extra fluids made a big difference in my performance at the Red River Riot. I was consuming about 10 ounces more an hour than I was in previous training and races. I was consuming about 33 ounces an hour of Infinit mixed in water, staying hydrated and fueled. The Red River Trophy. Photo by Ric Ceron My next couple of races should be exciting as I am definitely getting stronger and faster. The Dirty Dozen 12 hour race is on the same course that I finished in first place during my first 50 mile ultra marathon. The 24 hours of Erwin Park will be my first 24 hour race. As long as I can keep riding the wave, this should all get me ready for the Breck 100. See you at the finish line! XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 39 XXCMAG.COM 8 y , ( ^EU5, y , s6^EU5, vyor, 5r, ,U5, vyor, rn , 8 vyor, , 8 y , 26v 1044v �, ssr3r^5 oy qv 5 ^, ^�5uv ( 045, 64, 7r, ,un n ^t, 0s, un r7r3, q0^rCy n 0^r, prEE ,r5, y 3n E D e, ,VE Ecr54x0CT vy Nvy e 06on �, n Pv , , y �, y �, v e pr, 3rp503 g , T Q , UXXl , UXXl , b h N M Uk , T N e Recently ABRARacing.com's J.R. Petsko and a small group of riders, including well known endurance racers Betsy and Gunnar Shogren, went out to work on the route for this June's Hilly Billy Roubaix in Morgantown, WV. The course is close to set, and registration is open at bikereg.com. Given J.R.'s comments above, and the pic of Besty Shogren below taken during the ride, this 70 mile dirt road race looks very promising. If you like things that hurt. This spring XXC will be taking the short trip south to Morgantown to explore the race route ourselves, so look for more on the Hilly Billy in XXC and on xxcmag.com in the coming months. Visit abraracing.com for more information. Besty Shogren take a moment to rest during a recent course recon mission with husband Gunnar and Hilly Billy race director J.R. Petsko. Photo by Fiend XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 40 XXCMAG.COM Over 35,000 feet of climbing, but the views must have made the suffering worth while.All photos Photo by Marcelo Tucuna/transandeschallenge.com O , 0^5v rq, ^6 PAGE 41 XXCMAG.COM XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX g 4, , uv Vn^6n3�, 03r, ( 5un^, 3npr34, ���, urnqrq,^50, v urn35, 5ur, n5nt0^v M ^qr4, 06^5nv 0s, c n^, Y ^4, s 5ur, ,03, ����, 3n^4, ^qr4, uny r^tr, g M O y 45ntr, 3nprEg ur, �, , 4v 45ntr, 3n^4, ^qr4, g M 3npr,^py v 6qrq, � ,, v r4C07r3, ���0s, ( y , �C , 505nyry , r7n5v tnv , 0^, ^Cn^q, �06, n4, pn^, , 4rrC40( r, n<v 7v 4E n( ^t, r8 M 5ur, , 5, r^q, 5ur, �, 0s, 4v 45ntr4, M ( r3v 5ur, pn^, 5rn( 4, e rorppn, 64puB, 0s, e n^q, Vr^^�, v f( 5u, � , rn( , g Xn4, v P 04n4�500x, j 0( r^ P 60, O , v n^q, n3�, pO 0^^ry , 5ur, 4, S 8 ^, Y Y 06t, n Y punryN 30qr3v � r^qn�fr7r^�a 0, 6or4�500x, b 1r^, v ,^q, v , px,W g , 5ur, Y �rq, v , 8 ^E s6y , 54, or, n5, y p0( E , Y , 03r,^s03( n5v n^q, y3r46y pn^, s06^q, 53n^4n^qr4puny r^trE v 0^, e 0s, Xn4, v P 04n4C4rr, , 1ntr, �E B ,R03, 03r, e rorppn, 64pu, g rn( , ( 0^, � ,���, v^ny, r^r3ny, yn44vsvpn5v0^, R , S O F b , 1r^ , r^ Y Y , n35 , n0, , v 4, 36 qr^ pv � u v r�g rn( , v 5D 66^ ^ Ry A a p0y c 0,O y , S n^ a b , 1r^ , 0( r^ j e , rorppn, 64pu , , ^ v f( v ,h fM �g rn( , e A Vr^ sr3, 5u � , Xn4, v P 04n4 b , 1r^ , v Y �rq Y , n3�, pO 0^ ^ ry t, , v nryN 30qr3v � fM �g rn( , r^ qn�fr7r^ �a 0, 6 or4 Y 06 A Y pu , px,h , W g b , 1r^ , qv U^ q6ny , 06 nq, n^ ^ 06 4,f1nv � R g � ^ ,�, r^ Y X 4, rt0, u n7r33vA , n^ , n3y Y n3 ,O 045n, v , rn( , Y c Y D 6 n^ n3v , 6v P v O , V6 O 04, ^� e pn�g M S qr Y �rq ,�, v Y , n3v e 0( n, , q3v n, n4pv r^ 50,c 0356tny 3n<v �g rn( , 3n4v , 0, A M n^ a ( � �N y, N yf06y , Y ,�, r^ i 4,f1nv �g rn( , v , r4r35 ^ , g 5n^ P S , 0^ <ny O rony 04, , rq30, r3^ v � 0, y A c Y �rq ,�, v V ,6n^ , noy Xr3 A , c 0, n, U7n^ n, r3ry 0,O u v r� Y y � y � ,��, r^ Y T , n33�, 4v x, , v y j ry r4,a r5u r3y q4�g rn( , rtnu 0( rE y Q^ ^ A j y �, y � n^ , Y ^ ,, , XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 42 XXCMAG.COM The Swiss duo of Renata Bucher and Simon Zahnd (above) would finish 2nd on GC in the Open Mixed category. All photos by Marcelo Tucuna/transandeschallenge.com XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 43 XXCMAG.COM k , k O , g Q i UQ Ua e j V ,6 45, qn�4, ns5r3, 3r56 3^v u 0( r, ^t, s30( , ( 0^5u , 3npv n^q, ^v v n, 0s, ^t, 53nv ^t,^, f , 06 5u , ( r3v , M pnCr^q6 3n^pr, 3npr3, n^q, 5v r, T 06 3, 0, 03y O u n( 1v �, ( �-, f0y j q, 0^, e , rorppn, 6 4pu , xrq, k k O , e 5ny 50, no06 5, 3npv , ^tC53n7 ry ^tCn^q, r3, 1p0( v v , u 6 ^t, Y , 06 ^5nv g 08 ^, 07 v g 06 3, 4v ( 0^r�, 5u r, Y E E E, ^, Y r, 3nv ^t, s03, UE N M Cn^q, 130( 05v ^t , r, 5u ���,Xrnq7 v y ���, , y r, q0p6 ( r^5n3�,, npr, p3044, ur, E, , e M g fx�, , XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 50 XXCMAG.COM The Queen of Pain Photos by Michael Darter, michaeldarter.com Rebecca Rusch XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 51 XXCMAG.COM c ����, v nry n35r3E ,, Y pu P p0( k , k O , Y M S F U5 26 v5r, n, 4rn40^, � 06 r, u nq , 40, sn3I , 4, 7 , f , 1r^qv ^t,n,( 0^5u ,03,40,3npv ,n^q,53nv ^t,v ^tC ^v ^,f06 5u , M , ( r3v , pnE U5,3rny �, y q0r4^ 5,4rr( ,y xr,5u r3r 6 pu ,0s,n^, v 4,( 0 4rn40^, , ss, n^�, 03rCq0r4,5H ( , v RUSCH: Nah, not really an off season on paper. However, my last really serious race was 24 Hours of Moab in October. I did race in November in Ecuador and just did two stage races in Argentina, however those were really fun vacations for me as well. There is some work thrown in for Specialized and Red Bull doing media and clinics in these places and there are races thrown in for fitness, but in general these late and early season races are not super stressful for me and I love the experience of travel, going to new trails, meeting new people and keeping my fitness at a decent level. The alternative would be sitting on the trainer for hours on end in Ketchum Idaho in front of my TV. Which would you rather do? k , k O ,Y M S F u r3r,n,t308 v ,g ^t,^6 ( or3,0s,45ntr,3npr4,v ^, a , 035u ,M ( r3v ,46 3ry ,( 03r,n^q,( 03r,3npr34,8 v y pnC � y ,tr5, 5 v ,u r, 5pu , 53�, 03r, ^5r3^n5v 50, ( v 0^ny r7 r^54C 8 u n5, , , nq7 v pr, n 5v pn^, , ^q, 14, �06, 7 r, s0y 53n7 ry ^t, 54v 5u r, E , tv 50, x4, v 06 qr, h fC � ,0s5r^, 40( r, 50, 13r55�, 45v y 36 p,0pn5v 0^4�, 3nprH 50, RUSCH: International events are an awesome experience, but you have to travel to them with an open mind, self-sufficiency and a bit of patient humor. Extensive travel, logistics, language barriers, different foods, different cultures, unknown facilities such as bike shops, clean water, etc are all things to be ready for. This is what can be frustrating when you are trying to do your best at a race, but it's also what adds color to the experience. I travel with my own race foods (Hammer Nutrition), my own medical supplies (Adventure Medical Kits), my own spare parts (SRAM chains, Avid brake pads, Specialized shock, extra tire, tubes, etc). There is a limit to what you can bring on an airplane, but being prepared for simple maintenance on your body and your bike are essential. You have no idea what you will find in a foreign country and have no idea what facilities the race will offer. Do your research before you go, but also travel prepared and be ready for things to sometimes not run like clockwork. Take pictures and enjoy the experience. k , k O ,Y M S F u n5,n3r,40( r,0s,5u r,u v y tu 54,s30( ,5u v ,j tu v 4, � , 06^tCo6 5, 4�, , o6 4rn40^H RUSCH: The month of training and racing in Argentina was a first for me. It's the earliest I've been on bike in any race season and the longest I've been away for a training camp. The Cape Epic in South Africa was close at 3 weeks away, but that is held in March. A big highlight of that month long winter training camp was racing with two new teammates, Jenny Smith (Trek) and Heidi Volpe. Each experience was entirely different, but they were both top notch teammates and I had a blast riding with them. It was also a highlight to get to camp alongside Mary McConneloug and Michael Broderick in the Trans Andes. They are fellow SRAM athletes, so I'd met them before, but never been tent neighbors or spent much time with them. I've also made some great connections down in Argentina and have been asked to help them design and run the first 24 hour race in the country in 2011! Lastly, a big highlight coming up is the start of my first ever movie tour, The Mountain Town Movie Tour to show Race Across the Sky, the Leadville Trail 100 film. The five stop tour is starting next week (Thursday, February 25) in my home town of Sun Valley, Idaho. (see list of dates and locations on page 53) All showings are in the mountain west and ALL raffle and ticket sales money will benefit the IMBA chapters in each area where I'm taking the film. I'm super excited to share the experience from my 2009 win and also to be able to give back to trails in the areas I love to ride. k , k O ,Y M S F 06 ,u n7 r,orr^,ny ,07 r3,5u r,8 03y ,l y q,50,3nprF , f , 06 5u , s3v , 3tr^5v , p6 nq03CO u v rCr5pE, 5u r3r, M pnCM ^nCQ , y , CU4, n, 1 npr,5u n5,� 06 ,p06 y ,y q,4rr,� 06 34ry s,3r56 3^v ^t,50,w 45,50, 6 3 qrCn^q, ,v , ^05, p0( 1r5rH RUSCH: Argentina has me a bit smitten. This was my 6th trip to that part of the world and each time I have felt it was someplace I would like to return to. Spending a full month in the area also gave me more of a local's impression of the place. The thought of a little cabin down there has been on my mind. The riding is great, the people are really welcoming and cycling and sports are thriving down there. I need to learn Spanish though! k , k O , M S Fj u n5, Y , q3n8 4, 06 , n, � 50, 3nprH, u n5, nxr4, 06 , j ( � y , 00x, n, n5, 3npr, n^q, 4n�, u , b �rnu CU, n^5, q0, n5, ,8 50, 5u 0^rI H, g , u r, ny r^trH, u r,0pn5v pu y g y 0^H RUSCH: Location, challenge, reputation of the race director, interesting or different format... then of course, media and prize money are always good bonuses for myself and sponsors, but not the first reason for picking a race. Y , 06 ^5nv g 08 ^, 07 v g 06 3 ^, Y r, c , 3r4r^5rq, �, N f1rpv v ny <rq f , h a , M XXQ l CUP M T b i , e , npr, p3044, ur, M g fx�, k , k O , M S Fl 06 , Y , 45n35rq, ^, v nq7 r^56 3r, 3npv , r^, nqr, ^tC5u ( 5 48 5pu 50, ,u r, v , r^q6 3n^pr, 06 ^5nv ov ^t, ^, ( ^, xv v ���C8 u n5, , 8 , n4,5, v no06 5, r^q6 3n^pr, 06 ^5nv ov ^t, n5, nqr, ( ^, xv 5u ( �06, 8 , n^5, s0p6 4, fg , v 50, Vh 0^,5H RUSCH: I love adventure racing and would still be competing in it except that the sport has sort of died. The big races such as Eco Challenge and the Raid are no longer in existence and the sponsor support is just not there. I did a couple of mountain bike races (a 50 miler and a 24 hour team event) at the end of 2005. I had no intention of focusing on being a cyclist, but that's how it unfolded. I had success early on and just kept going with it. My main sponsors, Red Bull and Specialized were super supportive, so I just decided to play it out and see what happened. After some great success that first year with a 24 Hour National Championship title and 2nd place 24 Hour Worlds performance, I decided to really focus on cycling, get a coach, start training like a cyclist and see where it would take me. It has been an awesome experience to learn a new sport, compete in different events and extend my career in a totally unexpected way. PAGE 52 XXCMAG.COM g , u 6 34qn�CRro36 n3�, , , �C����, f6 ^, ny r�, 1r3n, 06 4r , i y b T g , u 6 34qn�CY n3pu , , , ��C����, g u r, 0�� , e g , 6 r4qn�CY n3pu , , , �C����, e 0n3v R03x, v , 00y , ^t, T tu fpu g , u 6 34qn�CY n3pu , , , �C����, Vv , , ( fn^5�, 6 qv M 503v ( 6 Y , n3pu , , �C����, g u r, v S n35r3 , c ^x, M , XX, 3nssy n^q, pxr5, r4, 0^r�, v yor^rsv r, 5v 4ny ( 8 y, 5, 5 UY ,ur, N M , pun15r34,^, v rnpu, n3rn, E XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX Y , Uffb h XM CY b a g M a M , O , M e N b a P M XQ CO b Xb e M P b , c , M e W , Ug l Ch g M T O , V ,M O W fb a , b XQ Cj l b Y Ua S T , k , k O , M S Fj v , 4rr( v �, Y , 5u n, ^ty r^qy r44,v 0s, 5q003, y 4C5u n5,^py qr, y 45, 06 4xv y , v 6 1 , nqqy ^tCpy ( ov , v , C8 u r^, v , v ^tC4xv ^tCr5pE, �06 0ss, r, xrC8 u n5, �06 , 3r, 5u ov , q0, s ^q, ,v �0634ry q3n8 ^, s, 50H RUSCH: Back country skiing feeds my passion in the winter. I like the exploration, the navigational skills needed, and the off-trail experience. In the summer, when I'm not riding, I'm usually running or hiking. Rock climbing is still my first love and what I will always be drawn to, but while I'm racing as a bike pro, that sport has been forced to take a back seat. I still look at rock when I travel and will absolutely climb more when my racing career slows down. k , k O ,Y M S F 06 ,q0,n,oyr^q,0s,40y0,n^q, ,l 5 ,rn( ,r^q6 3n^pr,3npv^tC ,q0,� 06 ,u n7 r,n, 1 , 3rsr3r^pr,03,q0,5u r� ,rnpu ,u n7 r,5u rv3, 1 , 304�p0^4H RUSCH: They're both great in their own ways. I endured the frustration of dropping out of many adventure races due to a teammate's injury. It's difficult to DNF when you feel fine and ready to go. That is the biggest downfall of team events. On the flip side, some of my best friends are from adventure racing and there's nothing more powerful and rewarding than being able to share the experience struggling and working together with another like minded person. It makes the experience more complete. You can share the laughter, the tears, the victory together. My solo endeavors are satisfying in different ways. In a solo event, I know it's either 100% my success or my failure. If I didn't do the training or preparation, there is no one to blame but myself. These events are probably more mentally taxing because there is no one to lean on when you feel down. I have always liked a mix of both solo and team efforts. Even when I was climbing. I did a few solo walls and loved the experience of self sufficiency. I also love being on a team and being able to give support and work in a group. k , k O , M S F P 0, Y , �06 , ^q, n5, r, u 0y o0q�, 5^r44, n5, sv 5u 5u 8 r, sv 5u p0( r4, s30( , 5 ,u n5,p0( r4,s30( ,q0v^t,5u v4,8 vqr,7 n3vr5� ,0s,np5v7 v5vr4,u ry14,8 u r^, p ,0( 1r5v v r7 r^54,v n, T 06 3, 04, ^t,^, y xr, �-, f0y n^q, 45ntr, 3npr4H RUSCH: I think whole body fitness is essential for any athlete. Running, yoga, and skiing are key ingredients to keep my body balanced and prevent injury that would happen if I were just hunched over a bike all day. For super endurance events, I do believe that overall fitness is even more important. Ultra endurance seems to expose any weakness you might have and magnify it significantly. I saw this in adventure racing where a seemingly small knee pain or blister became a race ending injury after multiple days. The same happens in 24 hour racing where during the witching hours of the night, all your weaknesses (physical and mental) start to bubble to the surface. k , k O , M S FM 4, c 30, 0( n^C07 r3, r, Y , n, 8 , 5u 1n45, �rn34, 40, n7 r, ,, 03, , u �06, ^05v prq, v n^,^p3rn4r, v , ^6 ( or34, 8 0( r^, r7 r^54Co05u , ^, 0s, n5, , 130, n n( , ^q, n5r6 3H RUSCH: Yes, I have noticed and increase in both participation in the women's fields and also an increase in the level of competition. It's great to see the changes in the US and also around the world. I see the increases all across the board, from the high school level with all the new leagues popping up all the way up to the more "mature" aged women who are discovering sports for the first time in their lives and becoming avid cyclists after their kids are grown and they have time and motivation to explore. k , k O ,Y M S F u n5,8 vyy,or,40( r,0s,� 06 , ,j t 4,v^,����H,fu 06 y , 0ny q,8 r,y00x,s03,� 06 ,n5, f , 0y0, a n5v0^ny4C j 03yq4C n^q, Xrnq7 vyyr, , , n ^H , tnv RUSCH: At this point, I have only planned my season through August. 24 Hour Solo Nationals are on the schedule as a main goal as well as defending my title at the Leadville Trail 100. I will also hit up as many of the USAC Ultra Endurance Series races as possible. After August, I am not sure where I'll be headed. The biggest problem is that there so many great races to choose from, so my challenge will be balancing a realistic race, travel and work schedule where I can go to some great places and accomplish my goals without overextending myself! R , 03r, 03r,^s0, 4v 3rorppn364puE ( v 7v 5, p0( XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 53 XXCMAG.COM Two pieces of boards strapped to your legs will do you for a bit, but when you've got a serious mountain bike addiction, it's JUST a bit! XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 55 XXCMAG.COM Sports Nutritionist and Topeak-Ergon endurance racer Namrita O'Dea, MS, RD, LD, shares another tasty and nutritious recipe to help fuel the long ride. Y , Qk UO M a , T , b g , T b O b XM g Q O Prep time: 2 minutes, Cook time: 5 minutes This quick and delicious hot chocolate features antioxidant rich and tasty dark chocolate to keep free radicals at bay. And a dash of chili powder, and cayenne pepper helps put the "hot" this hot chocolate. Prep time: 5 minutes Y , Qk UO M a , T , b g , T b O b XM g Q, O e , QO b i Qe l f , Y b b g T UQ Taking inspiration from its hot neighbor, this recovery smoothie is a sweet way to get carbohydrates and protein back into the muscles after a long workout on the bike. U ,a S e Q P UQ a g fF 11/4 cup cold skim milk 1/2 oz dark chocolate, chopped finely 1 tbs cocoa powder 1 small banana 3 tbs vanilla protein powder 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp vanilla Dash chili powder a , h g e Ug Ub a , Rb , Q e , e i Ua S F Ua c fQ Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 185 Fat: 5.5 g (25%) Protein: 9.5 g (20%) Carbohydrate: 27 g (55%) a , h g e Ug Ub a , Rb , Ua c , Q e , e i Ua S F fQ Serving size: 1 smoothie Calories: 400 Fat: 8.5 g (19%) Protein: 22 g (21%) U ,a S e Q P UQ a g fF 1 cup skim milk 1/2 oz dark chocolate, chopped finely 2 tsp cocoa powder, no clumps 1 tbs raw sugar 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp vanilla Dash chili powder Dash cayenne pepper [optional] P , Ue Q O g Ub a fF � Over low to medium heat, cook all the ingredients together in a saucepan, stirring frequently. � Make sure there are no clumps in the cocoa powder and that the dark chocolate melts completely. � Do not boil. � Serve with mini marshmallows or a cinnamon stick. Carbohydrate: 63 g (60%) P , Ue Q O g Ub a fF Combine ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. The power of the dark side... These beverages both contain the tasty power of dark chocolate and cinnamon! Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, iron, copper, and manganese and cinnamon has been shown to: Increase satiety levels when added to food, help with inflammation, and many other possible health benefits. XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 56 XXCMAG.COM U , 4rn3 0s ^, pu, j , un5r7r3v 5nxr4, tr5,^, ( 00q ,5, 50, v 5ur, 00qE N Vn40^, nu0xr� , �, Y While a small part of my brain (the immature, "Hey look! Boobs!" part) wishes this was an article about cities that Debbie "does," events that go on "Behind The Green Door," or what only $5.99 a month will get you access to, it's not. OK, so it's still an article about porn, but it's the cooler, dirtier, sweatier, self-propelled, two-wheeled kind -- BIKE PORN! More specifically, bike RACING porn. Winter is a desperate time for many bike racers. Once you get past a few runs, a hike or two, and other winter activities like snow shoeing or XC skiing, the legs and mind will start to crave time in the saddle. Many racers love riding in the snow and cold, some high tail it for warmer climates and some, like me, shun the cold, curse Old Man Winter every time the snow flies, and retreat to their basements to climb on the trainer for what can only be described as "simulated pleasure." Back in the NORBA XC days of Ruthie Matthes, Susan DeMattei, Ned Overend, Dave Weins, and Tinker (when he actually raced for fewer than 12 hours), ESPN televised some mountain bike racing. Sure, it was usually on at like 4:30 a.m., but that didn't stop me from programming the top-loading, wired remote VCR to record races so as to watch them later while on the trainer. It didn't take long for the money to fall out of Pro XC racing in the US. Along with sponsors, TV coverage was gone; ESPN found it more profitable to televise poker, dog shows, and lumberjack contests. A stack of worn out, faded VHS tapes featuring racers on 30-pound hard tails with Judy shocks and the latest in V-Brake technology was all I had to get me through my winter workouts. Soon came the Lance era of road racing, and OLN, now Versus, started to show the Tour -- the WHOLE Tour -- not to mention at least highlight shows of my favorite Spring Classics. Now, using a high zoot, front-loading, wireless remote VCR, I could arm myself with stacks of blank VHS tapes and record my favorite stages and races. But there was a flaw. It's hard to maintain motivation to race mountain bikes while stuck in your basement, pedaling nowhere, watching road racing. Don't get me wrong, I dig road racing. I respect it, I admire it, and I watch it. But often, watching road racing has the same feel as staying up until 3 a.m. to watch Hardbodies on HBO when you're XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX c, ^ ,03 13 (not that I did that. . . ). The movie sucks, you care little about it, but there are boobs!! Of course, in this case -- "It's bike racing! On TV!!! Must watch, must enjoy!" A lot has changed over the years. Technology has changed. VCRs are a thing of the past, the internet is king, and the world is a much smaller place. There may not be any mountain biking on TV, but if you take a few minutes you can find a ton of it on the Web. Now, with either a lap top or some Googled software, an iPod and a video patch cord, you can once again enjoy some really great mountain bike coverage while you spin, waiting for the winter snows to melt. Some of my favorite coverage of all things dirt is Colt McElwaine's cyclingdirt.org. Cycling Dirt gives a TON of coverage to National and UCI XC racing as well as cross racing. You will also find some excellent coverage of endurance events like La Ruta de los Conquistadores. Speaking of Colt's La Ruta coverage on xxcmag.com's Facebook page, Matt Ohran, team director of the former Mona Vie-Cannondale team, said "Colt is a hard working man. 1 camera, 1 laptop and all that coverage!!!!" There is some truly amazing stuff on cyclingdirt.org, and he should be r( 8 5u, ^t, un7r, 130oy , v tr55v ,U, ^0, v 0^, 53nv , ( qnv �, , �, y 8 03x065,^, 5ur, ^r3E , y n4, g , un5,4C0s, v , p0634rCn4,0^t, 5ur3r, 103^E v ov q04r, 3npr, , n, t, 4, 0s, commended indeed. If you're looking for ways to dial your motivation up to eleven and pedal nowhere, I highly recommend it. When the forecast is void of snow and ice, I love being out in the fresh air, putting in miles on my mountain bike. But when the snow is deep, the ice is thick and the wind strong, I have no problem with getting my daily workout in on the trainer. That is, of course, as long as there is a big dose of race porn. For more insight into mountain biking's growing "porn industry," be sure to check out the interview with Cyclingdirt.org's Colt McElwaine on the xxcmag.com blog. Screen photo by Jason Mahokey, used with permission courtesy of Dave McElwaine at Trailwatch net and Colt McElwaine at Cyclingdirt.org. PAGE 57 XXCMAG.COM 5u qr15u , 8 v ,U^, r, 0s, ^5r3, sv y y U, ^ny �,rn3^rq, n5, 5u 5 ,u r3r, n4,^, r, v v oy 46 ( ( r3E 8 v ( n^,^7 ^pv r, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, y ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,DM or35, n( 6 4, O Photo by Jason Boucher gnatlikes.com XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 58 XXCMAG.COM XXC SEASON TWO: ISSUE SIX PAGE 59 XXCMAG.COM