Page 1


Issu e O ne ofX X C is now com plete. In som e w ays pu tting this first issu e together w as easier than I thou ght, bu t in other w ays it w as d am n hard .L aying ou t and d esigning is fu n for m e,bu t it never fails that I w ill com plete a page and think - “I’m not su re I even lik e this layou t anym ore.» T hen try to d ecid e w hether there’s tim e to change it. It w as a bit hard to m aintain the d iscipline to actu ally w ork on the m ag som e d ays. W e here in W estern P A experienced som e pretty good rid ing w eather the past m onth or so (even thou gh the w eather cou ld be a bit nu ts,being 10 d egrees and snow one d ay and 60 and su nny the next).Since I attem pt these X X C races m yself,it w as hard to resist getting ou t to pu t in som e m iles and try to bu ild som e sem blance of fitness. B u t for the m ost part it w as joy to w ork so closely to a su bject m atter I love. B arring E rnesto M arenchin’s photo gallery from the 12 H ou rs of Santos, and a few pages on next m onth’s Trans-Iow a, the first issu e took on a d istinct w est coast/sou th w estern flavor.It w as great to w ork w ith all these photos and stories that involved su n and w arm tem ps, especially on the d ays w hen I fou nd m yself stu ck insid e d u e to frigid tem ps,w ind and snow . T here are a lot of great folk s w ho contribu ted to this first issu e of X X C .I thank them for their tim e and generosity.W ithou t these folk s this m ag cou ld never have happened . I hope they are as pleased w ith the end resu lt of their w ork . I encou rage you to check ou t the C ontribu tors page (pg.2),click on the nam es of contribu tors and visit their w eb sites and blogs to see m ore of w hat these talented folk s are u p to. A s I’ve said from the beginning- “X X C is a w ork in progress and cou ld be a bit ghetto for a w hile». I also apologize in ad vance for m isspellings and bad gram m ar.I’m not exactly the brightest bu lb in the batch. A s long as X X C continu es to grow and im prove I’ll be happy. I hope you enjoy issu e one and can see w here X X C cou ld m aybe som ed ay go.N ow I gottta go get the w eb site look ing better and start Issu e Tw o! T hank s,

Cover Photos courstesy of: Wade Treichler/ and Brian De Groodt/

Jason M ahok ey xxcm

Introduction Page Photo Courtesy of Ernesto Marenchin/




M as O M enos R ace R eport by Brian D e G roodt P hoto G allery by CrystalA llbright R ace R eport by D an ielle M u sto

E rn esto M aren ch in

04 08 14

A lliso n M an n D an ielle M u sto

A dam Liso n b ee

C hasing the Tangible & The M ythical E ssay by A dam Lison bee 16 Trans Iow a Preview P hoto G allery by G u itar Ted


V ision Q u est R ace R eport by M ichaelTroy P hoto G allery by A llison M an n R ace R eport by Tim Van G ilder

24 27 34

C rystal A llb righ t Jaso n M ah o k ey

12 H ou rs of Santos P hoto G allery by Ern esto M aren chin 39

O ff The Bik e Food & B eer by Jason M ahokey M u sic by Jason M ahokey

45 46

Than ksto allthe con tribu torsto thisfirst issu e ofXXC.W ithou t you it w ou ld n ot have been possible.You r gen erosity an d talen tsare greatly appreciated.Than ksfor sharin g.

T im V an G ilder & Tro u pe R acin g C o . M ich ael Tro y

W ade Treich ler

G u itar Ted

Brian D e G ro o dt

Ifyou w ou ld like to con tribu te w ords,photosor art to the n ext issu e ofXXC please sen d an e m ailto xxcm ag@ gm for m ore in form ation . XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE





Som etim eseven doing 1/2 a race can be dam n fu n w hen you add in friends,a dog,an RV, the Texasdesert,good food and a beer or three. W e had a lot ofw ork to get d one in less than 16 hou rs.T hat inclu d ed pick ing u p B ase C am p 1, rebu ild ing m y bik e (H ey! W hat’s this part go to?),pack ing u p B ase C am p 1 w ith alcohol for after the race (and a little before), filling in the leftover frid ge and cabinet space w ith som ething other than alcohol to eat,and grab som e chow before going to sleep. N eed less to say,w ith 9 hou rs m ore d riving ahead of u s,w e d id n’t d o ou rselves any favors by not m eeting ou r objective the night before.I think w e rolled ou t arou nd 12.So w e’re late.A nd w e’re learning how to d rive a 30 foot RV that ju st scream s get the hell ou t of the w ay.I think a few toes m ight have been clipped as w e m ad e som e tu rns on the streets ofA u stin. I’ll ju st say it now .Texas is a big d am n state.H ow you can d rive for nearly half a d ay from the center ofa state and still not hit the bord er is beyond m e.I thou ght C alifornia w as big. Fortu nately w e had ou r crew chief A pollo to k eep u s entertained (even if he d id k eep saying som ething abou t m ove you r m eat,loose you r seat each tim e I got ou t ofm y chair).In the pitch black ofthe w est Texas night w e rolled into cam p. T he next m orning w e had break fast prepared by ou r cam p chef.I k id you not.W e had a chef the w hole w eek end . H ow cool is that? A ll w e had to d o w as rid e and have a good tim e and B rian w ou ld cook u s u p 3 squ ares each d ay.D eal! Base Camp 1

Crew Chief Apollo


Continued > PAGE 4

A rou nd m id d ay on Frid ay w e head ed ou t to pre-rid e the cou rse.T he bik es w ere com pletely coated in pow d er su gar type d u st.N o sense in even trying to clean it u p. Ju st pu t the cham ois to the sad d le,click in and ped al. A nd u nfortu nately that’s w hat I d id .O ffthe bik e rack ,u nd er m y ass and aw ay w e w ent.Till abou t m ile 15 w hen m y rear w heel fell ou t ofthe d ropou ts and I cam e to sk id d ing halt.L esson nu m ber one†and one I’m u su ally pretty good abou t ad hering to†alw ays check the bik e before you get going.A fter having spent the better part of 12 hou rs on the back ofa m otorhom e m y sk ew ers w ere com pletely loose and I’m lu ck y I d id n’t get a good taste ofpavem ent hau ling ass d ow n the road before w e w ent off-road .U nfortu nately,this w heel issu e w ou ld com e back to bite m e again on race d ay as m y brak es w ere never the sam e after w e pried them open to reset the w heel.

“by 7 :30 I w as sw eating already and the tem peratu re had shot u p to w ellover 60. It w as going to be a hot race day for su re.»

Satu rd ay m orning (6:15) cam e and I w as read y to go.T he iP hone said the tem peratu re w as 35 d egrees,bu t w ou ld be 80 for a high.Y eah right I thou ght.I can’t think ofanything I hate m ore than being cold .B u t having been ’rou nd the block in cold races,I k now how qu ick ly you heat u p.I thou ght I’d pu t on the k nee and arm w arm ers and then roll them offcloser to 10†after the su n cam e u p and heated the d esert u p a tad .W ell,by 7 :30 I w as sw eating alread y and the tem peratu re had shot u p to w ell over 60.It w as going to be a hot race d ay for su re. Continued > XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


8:15 call u ps.8:30 w e’re rolling.D u st and shit everyw here.A d isposable particle m ask m ight have m ad e sense to get m e throu gh the psycho start that alw ays seem s to be part ofa race.O nce the lines form ed and the crow d s thinned ou t (read I d ropped to the back ofthe pack †ok not really,bu t the open class d efinitely w as gone) it w as all good .T he race cou rse is an interesting one.I lik e love clim bing,so flat single track isn’t w here I m ak e m y tim es.G ive m e a hill and point it straight u p and leave m e alone for a few hou rs and I feel pretty confid ent I can d o som e d am age.So the first 20 or so m iles ofthe cou rse are basically single track ju st ou tsid e the apron ofan airport in tow n.It w as cool.W ith the exception ofone riverbed that seem ed lik e it w as w here silt w ent to d ie,the cou rse w as enjoyable†bu t not m y favorite.

“It w as abou t at the top of this clim b that things started to go shitty for m e.» T hen you cross over the highw ay and you get to Tres C u evas (see page 00).N o clu e w hat it m eans,bu t to m e it m eant I w as going to get to d o som e clim bing.I think it goes abou t 2,500 feet in a little u nd er 3 m iles.I enjoyed the clim b thorou ghly.It w as ju st technical enou gh to k eep it from being a fire road clim b, bu t not so bad that you had to d ism ou nt†so long as you k ept m om entu m .It w as abou t at the top ofthis clim b that things started to go shitty for m e. M y rear brak e pad s w ere ru bbing so bad I cou ld feel them slow ing m e and they w ere squ ealing so lou d rid ers w ere getting ou t ofthe w ay and cou rse m arshals w ere starting to ask ifI w as going to be ok to get it back to cam p.N o m atter w hat I d id to ad ju st,icou ld n’t get the pad s to give u p the rotor.I thou ght abou t d isconnecting the rear brak e,bu t given the terrain,I d id n’t think a front brak e only w as going to d o anything bu t invite trou ble.I probably cou ld have m ad e another lap w ith the stick ing†thou gh it w ou ld have been hard †bu t the noise com ing from them really illu strated ju st how m u ch ofthis sport is m ental over physical.I w as alm ost read y to toss the bik e over the ed ge ofthe cliffju st to get that noise ou t ofm y m ind . M y race w as going to end halfw ay short.I’d d o 50k and call it a d ay. The bike. XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE

Continued >> Continued PAGE 6

T his ofcou rse lead m e into B ase C am p 1 w here I proceed ed to have an existential crisis in front ofC hris.T his is alw ays a good techniqu e for figu ring ou t w ho you r good friend s are and w ho ju st w ants free beer.C hris gave m e a beer and told m e to shu t the hell u p and calm d ow n.I im m ed iately w ent back to C raigslist and took d ow n all the ad d s for m y bik es.D ecid ing I’d live to race another d ay and that w as rew ard enou gh.Tim e to eat,hu la and party w ith som e good friend s.

“Tim e to eat,hu la and party w ith som e good friends.» I have to say I loved this race,bu t I d on’t think I’ll ever be overly com petitive in it.I m ight find m y w ay to a 1st,2nd or 3rd in an age grou p,bu t the cou rse lend s itselfto those that race lik e they are on an X C cou rse.I tak e a good halfhou r to really get tick ing and even then,m y resu lts aren’t m ad e u p by qu ick ness†bu t rather end u rance.So m aybe another season ofw ork ing w ith L ynd a (W allenfels) and another season ofC X m ight help this,bu t as is,it’s not going to be m y best resu lt. T hat said ,it’s certainly going to be m y best race for good friend s.T he grou p ofgu ys I got to hang ou t w ith from A u stin are a solid d u d es and they k now how to have a good tim e†and in the end that’s w hat it’s all abou t.So you bet I’ll be back next year.

Race Day Sunset

Base Camp 1

Finish Line

For Brian’s complete race report from the 2009 Mas o Menos 100K check out XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


M as o M enos Photo G allery by C rystalA llbrig ht,crystallbrig



Good times for racers and spectators alike at the 2009 Mas o Menos. Image: Crystal Allbright/



Men’s 100K winner, Bryan Fawley (Park Place Lexus) 4:08:05 Image: Crystal Allbright/



Women’s 100K winner, Rebecca Rusch (Specialized/Red Bull) Set a Women’s Open course record with a time of 4:45:25 Image: Crystal Allbright/



Ryan Dromgoole (PACC) crosses the line 5:01:13 after the start for a 9th place finish. Image: Crystal Allbright/



Mas o Menos is more than just racing, it’s a fun way to kick off the 2009 season for every man, woman, child AND dog. Image: Crystal Allbright/




Words/Images Provided By Danielle Musto

D anielle M u sto leaves the frigid clim ate of M ichigan in Febru ary for the hot Texas desert and the M as o M enos 100K M ore than 500 racers gathered in Terlingu a, Texas over P resid ents w eek end for M as O M enos-the season opener of the U SA C ycling U ltra E nd u rance Series. T he start/finish area had a festival atm osphere,w ith people hanging ou t and cam ping over the entire w eek end . Scott (m y hu sband ) and I d rove 27 hou rs to Terlingu a, Texas w hich is located in the m id d le of the C hihu ahu an d esert.T he d rive w as bru tal bu t being able to rid e ou tsid e in the su n w as w orth every single hou r spent in the car. T his w as ou r first tim e rid ing ou tsid e in m any m onths and I cou ld n’t w ait to rid e m y bik e on d irt. T he race started at 8:30 a.m ., and the prom oter sent u s off in several d ifferent w aves. T he pro m en and w om en racing the 100K w ere sent off first in a neu tral start.I think this w as m y first race w here the start really w as neu tral.T here w as a lot ofstopping and going u ntil w e reached open d ou ble-track and then it w as every racer for his/herself.I tried to get ahead ofas m any people as possible,becau se I k new that w e w ere going to d u m p into tight single-track shortly thereafter. P assing w as som ething that need ed to be d one carefu lly,since cactu s lined m u ch ofthe trail. M u ch of the cou rse w as tight single-track that w ou nd throu gh the open d esert. T here w ere som e steep,sand y clim bs that requ ired a ton ofpow er to get u p,and a few sand /gravel pits that had no clear line.I ran K end a N evegals on both m y front and back w heel and w as happy w ith m y choice as I had no trou ble on the sand y,loose corners.T hey also gave m e tons oftraction on the loose d escents. Continued > XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


“...the su n w as directly overhead and heat radiated from the sand u nderneath m e.I felt lik e I w as in an oven...» the su n w as d irectly overhead and heat rad iated from the sand u nd erneath m e.I felt lik e I w as in an oven. I w asn’t the only one feeling the heat thou gh. I passed a nu m ber ofracers cram ping on the sid e ofthe trail.

I started to feel the effects of the heat tow ard s the end of m y first lap (this w ou ld be arou nd the 26 m ile m ark er).T here w as no shad e,and the tem peratu res reached the low 80’s.Since I had spent the last cou ple of m onths d ealing w ith tem ps in the low to high teens,I felt lik e I w as broiling.

E ventu ally I fou nd m yself at the bottom of the Tres C u evas clim b again. For som e reason it seem ed a lot easier this tim e, probably becau se I k new that I w ou ld be crossing the finish line in 10 m iles.

A nd then I had m y first sighting of the infam ou s Tres C u evas clim b.T he first part of the clim b w as nice,ju st a slight incline on a jeep road .H ow ever,the end of the clim b w as freak ing bru tal.It w as loose and rock y and w ent u p 1000 ft in 3 m iles. T he clim b snak ed u p u ntil I cou ld n’t see the top,and had a line of racers ped aling u p it w ith their head s d ow n.I cou ld feel the pain before I even got there!

O verall this w as a great race and I highly recom m end it.T he prom oter d oes a really great job organizing the race.T he pit areas w ere stock ed really w ell,the volu nteers w ere incred ibly friend ly, and the cou rse w as really w ell m ark ed . It’s a great w ay to spend a w eek end in Febru ary‰ especially ifyou live som ew here cold !

A fter the clim b w as abou t 8 m iles of false flats and d ow nhill gravel road s. I rolled throu gh the pit area, grabbed a new hyd rapak and head ed ou t for m y second lap. T he effect of the heat m ad e m y second lap w as m u ch m ore painfu l. B y this tim e

-D anielle M u sto, K end a - Tom ac - H ayes M ou ntain B ik e Team

The Tres C u evas.The “pain cave» tim es 3!O r is it 6? Around mile 23 of the 32 mile Mas o Menos course comes the Tres Cuevas climb. Tres Cuevas translates into “three caves”. With part of the climb gaining 1000 feet in under 3 miles, I think it translates into a whole lot of pain! The Tres Cuevas climb is an old, discarded and washed out jeep road, littered with long stretches of large rocks and gravel. Desert sun, heat, and the realization that if you’re doing the 100K race, and doing the climb TWICE makes for one hell of a climb!!

“The clim b snak ed u p u ntilI cou ldn’t see the top,and had a line of racers pedaling u p it w ith their heads dow n.I cou ld feelthe pain before I even got there!» -D anielle M u sto

The Tres Cuevas climb is the sort of climb that can even inspire poetry! CLICK HERE to read the 2006 poem written by Mary Pickett entitled “Vanna White Volunteers at Mas O Menos 2006”.



Chasing the Tangible and the Mythical Words and Images By Adam Lisonbee



I d iscovered E d w ard A bbey long after I ou ght to have. A native of U tah, and som eone w ho has traveled to M oab and other d esert locations since I w as a child ,I grew u p w ith a d eep love for that im probable land scape.A nd yet I had never heard ofE d w ard A bbey u ntil a few years ago. U pon read ing the first several pages of D esert Solitaire I realized that I w as read ing the w ord s of a k ind red spirit,at least in ou r love of the d esert.H is w riting is both realistic and m ythical,captu ring the essence ofthe land scape,w hile paying hom age to the ancient presence of those w ho have com e before. H e u nd erstood that the canyon cou ntry w as hom e to the A ncient O nes,and that they still linger w ithin the

asphalt road on m otorbik es...the rangers are going qu ietly nu ts answ ering the sam e three basic qu estions five hu nd red tim es a d ay: (1) W here’s the john? (2) H ow long’s it tak e to see this place? (3) W here’s the C ok e m achine? P rogress has com e at last to the A rches, after a m illion years of neglect. Ind u strial Tou rism has arrived .» Ind eed . A nd yet, there are still w ild places in the w orld . E ven w ithin the bou nd aries of A rches N ational P ark . T hank fu lly, those w ild and ru gged places are generally

“Forthe firsttim e,IfeltIwa sgettin g close to the W estofm y d eepestim a gin in gs, the pla ce where the ta n gible a n d the m ythica lbeca m e the sa m e.» -E dw ard A bbey d eep recesses of both im agination and reality.O r,as he d escribed it,“For the first tim e, I felt I w as getting close to the W est of m y d eepest im aginings, the place w here the tangible and the m ythical becam e the sam e.» It is that fu sion ofthe tangible and m ythical that pu lls m e back into the labyrinth of the d esert each year.T hat painted land scape,the hand iw ork oftim e,w ind and su n, and the overly creative im pu lses of G od , leaving behind a vast and em pty m asterpiece for each of u s to explore and d iscover. T here is no place lik e the hood oo of M oab.T here is no m aze lik e T he M aze.A nd that is w hy I think A bbey saw the m ythical m eet the tangible, becau se the earth becom es both sim u ltaneou sly,as one stand s at the led ge ofa m assive rim and stares into eternity. A bbey is rem em bered for being an environm ental anarchist,a d efend er of the w ild , and a fierce critic of governm ent,ind u strialism ,and technology.T here is a bite to his w ord s, a cru el tru th that cu ts d eep. B u t there is also an id ealism that I think even he k new w as im practical and im possible. P erhaps that is w hy he w as so critical.H e k new that he w as fighting against the inevitability of grow th,progress, and the A m erican notion ofm anifest d estiny. H e w rote that: “A rches N ational M onu m ent has been d eveloped w ill now find serpentine stream s of baroqu e au tom obiles... T he little cam pgrou nd s w here I u sed to pu tter arou nd ...have now been consolid ated into one m aster cam pgrou nd that look s...lik e a su bu rban village: elaborate hou se trailers of qu ilted alu m inu m crow d u pon gigantic cam per-tru ck s of Fiberglass and m old ed plastic; throu gh their w ind ow s you w ill see the blu e glow of television and hear the stu d io lau ghter of L os A ngeles; k nobby-k need old sters in plaid B erm u d as bu zz u p and d ow n the qu aintly cu rving XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE

d ifficu lt to arrive at. T he softness of the A m erican w ay of life frow ns u pon the physical effort need ed to see, and m ore im portantly, be in the w ild erness. P aved road s have sneak ed into the m ou ntains and the d eserts, bu t they only go so far. A nd there are not m any w ho are w illing in this age of air cond itioned ad ventu ring to get ou t and feel the heat or the w ind . T he pain of an elevated heartbeat and cou rsing lactic acid are pick ing u p w here A bbey left off. T he new saboteu r of ind u strial tou rism is physical d iscom fort. B u t, there are those w ho su ccu m b to that innate d esire to see a little better, w ith m ore clarity, and from a m ore interesting point of view . B rave blu e-haired lad ies and old cu rm u d geons tru d ge the w ell-w orn path to D elicate A rch.Y ou ng k id s sk ip and hop w hile d ragging their relu ctant parents across the sand stone. T he effort rew ard s those w ho d are to leave the confines of the au tom obile w ith a sight so im pressive and so m agnificent that there are no w ord s to ad equ ately d escribe it. T he im probability ofD elicate A rch is astronom ical,and yet there it stand s. T hose w ho tak e the tim e and steps to stand u nd erneath it are forever changed . A nd so it is,w henever one enters even the very perim eters of the w ild and ru gged places ofthe d esert and the m ou ntains. H ow ever, I read A bbey w ith m ixed reactions. I lik e to think I am a practical person. I lik e to think that d am s and road s and that “sm all d ark clou d of progress»are m ak ing life better, easier, and m ore prod u ctive. B u t I also see the beau ty and sim plicity in the slow paced ,hard -earned existence ofhis id yllic vision. PAGE 17


C an there be both? C an m an be at once solitary and societal? “T he only thing better than solitu d e,» he realized ,“is society.»

and solitu d e as they travel from tow n to tow n, and trail to trail. E ven m ore im portant than the locale ofthese rid es is the m ind set,the intent.

“Bu twhile progressha shelped ou rgea rbecom e lightera n d ou r bikesbecom e fa ster,Ithin k the spiritisthe sa m e.» A nd so that parad ox that he lived in, is the sam e parad ox I read him w ith. T he m achine of u rbanization is sim ply too pow erfu l to stop. B u t it feels good to oppose it... to slow it d ow n a little... to escape into the m ou ntains and live for a tim e as those A ncient O nes. A t least as they w ou ld have lived had they had gas stoves, lightw eight tents, w ater filters, L E D head lam ps, and freeze-d ried beef stew . E ven those of u s w ho love and explore the w ild erness d o so at a faster pace,and w ith m ore efficiency than even those of a generation ago.B u t w hile progress has helped ou r gear becom e lighter and ou r bik es becom e faster, I think the spirit is the sam e.W e ventu re into the u nk now n to try and find ou t w hat actu ally is u nk now n.T he tangible and the m ythical. “M an is a gregariou s creatu re,w e are told ,a social being.D oes that m ean he is also a herd anim al? I d on’t believe it,d espite the character of m od ern life.T he herd is for u ngu lates,not for m en and w om en and their child ren.A re m en no better than sheep or cattle,that they m u st live alw ays in view of one another in ord er to feel a sense ofsafety? I can’t believe it.

A nd w hat is that intent? To d iscover,to learn,to k now . T he d etails of w hich are left u nspok en, often u nk now n them selves u ntil,lik e a flash of light they com e crashing d ow n on the m ind and heart of the ind ivid u al. H id d en tru ths are laid bare as one d escend s into the inner d epths of hu m an m otivation and thou ght. T he triu m phs of the m ind and the bod y are am plified by the actu al land scape. In other w ord s, find ing life in the vast caverns of hu m an d ou bt seem s appropriate and beau tifu l w hen in the open spaces of the w ild erness. A nd lik e the spirit of the A m erican W est,E d A bbey end u res.T hou gh he is gone, his w ord s linger and continu e to inspire those w ho read them .E ven after d eath,he is able to bring to life the inner spirit of ad ventu re that each of u s has hid d en w ithin ou r psyches.

“W e are preoccu pied w ith tim e.If w e cou ld learn to love space as d eeply as w e are now obsessed w ith tim e,w e m ight d iscover a new m eaning in the phrase to live lik e m en.»

L ik e C actu s E d him self,the w ild of the d esert and the d esire and effort to explore its d epths are that collision of the tangible and the m ythical. O ver tim e the very real and very hard -earned efforts of crossing the contou rs of the land scape becom e a d istant m em ory,a story,a legend .W e pass throu gh the w ild places lik e the w ind .W e com e w ith a w hisper,and then w e are gone.T he stoic,eternal earth w atches w ith ind ifference as w e glid e throu gh tim e and space.

T he echoes ofthat statem ent are playing ou t in the sm all,bu t grow ing m ovem ent of u nsu pported m ou ntain bik e racing. Intrepid rid ers are ventu ring into the rem ote and em pty spaces of the W est,from M oab to D enver and from C anad a to M exico. E ven w ithin the chaos of su rrou nd ing u rban life,rid ers are find ing a certain peace

M eanw hile the su n continu es to rise and fall. W ind and rain and heat and cold w hip aw ay at the sand stone of the A rches and the peak s of the R ock ies. L ife ram bles onw ard into the d istance.A nd d espite the best efforts of progress to tam e w ild places,those w ild places still rem ain.A nd they alw ays w ill. >




A Tran sIo w a Preview

Im ages By G u itar Ted



Tran s Io w a V 5:H ere’s a rem in der o f w h atTran s Io w a is... W e are in fo rm in g yo u all th atare in th e even tth atif yo u do n ’tagree th at yo u are o n yo u r o w n ,th atyo u are respo n sib le fo r yo u rself, an d th atth is is b ein g u n dertak en o f yo u r o w n vo litio n ,th en do n ’ttak e th e start.

“yo u arerespon sib leforyo u .» -Th eTran sIo w a “G o lden Ru le» XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


Tran sIo w a |M ay 2 & 3,2009 300+ m ilesof gravelan d a w h o lelo tta h u rt.

Lo o k fo r m o re race co verage an d in fo atg-tedpro du ctio n s.b lo gspo m , tran sio w a.b lo gspo m ,xxcm ag.b lo gspo m an d in th e n extissu e o f X X C XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


Photo by: Jason Mahokey

To con tribu te to XXC or for a dvertisin g in form ation con ta ct XXC at XXCm ag@ gm . XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE





By Michael Troy (AKA The Vintage One, AKA Granny Gear).

56.5 Miles, 11,000 feet of elevation gain, and an epic day in the Santa Ana Mountains. “ O !» I heard those w ords shou ted over the PA system (w ell,ju st a bu llhorn really),from the ‘throne’of one of those plastic potties behind the starting line of the V ision Q u est. It w as still d ark ,m y flashlight I had strapped to m y helm et had the lu m ens ou tpu t ofa pair of excited fireflies,I w as m issing the start ofthe race,and as I hu rried to re-assem ble m y clothing post-natu re call,m y w ind break er u nzipped from the bottom u p.N ice.G reat start (or non-start,as ifw ere). So,I had abou t 135 rid ers ahead ofm e as I began m y qu est.N ow here to go bu t u p in the rank s!A nd u p it w as.T he rid e began easily along B lack star R d .T he clim bing started soon enou gh and as the m orning sk y brok e into d aw n,w e topped ou t on the first ascent.T he fast gu ys w ere offthe front,so I w as passing slow er folk s all along the w ay and I felt qu ite good .I w as rid ing pretty conservatively since I d id not w ant to bu rn the cand le too brightly,too early,

bu t m y pace felt in control and sm ooth. T he previou s night w hile setting u p cam p,I w as regretting not ru nning the E d ge carbon w heelset w ith som e ofthe Fastrak L K tires.It certainly w ou ld have been fast.I had passed on that for a cou ple ofreasons:not being able to go tu beless and think ing I m ight have w anted a bigger tire for the rou gher sections oftrail.W hat m ad e m e feel better w as cou nting 12 rid ers alongsid e the road repairing flat tires before the M ain D ivid e R d . W hy so m any flats? D u nno.T horns on a fireroad that sees all k ind s ofvehicle traffic? U nlik ely.P inch flats on a fireroad clim b? N ever heard ofthat.W hatever it w as,I never felt lik e the H ope/Flow s/2.2 C aptain C ontrol com bo w as an issu e.T hey rolled w ell and absolu tely shined in the techy,rock y trails in the race.N ext tim e I w ou ld possibly d ow nsize to a slightly sm aller tire,bu t I w ou ld not give u p tu beless for the w orld . I hit the top ofthe first clim b,peeled ou t of the w ind break er,spu n u p the iP od and pu shed shu ffle-all songs.O n the virtu al tu rntable:T hird D ay...’C ry O u t To Jesu s’. T hat m ay happen any tim e now . Continued >



A lot m ore clim bing follow ed on the M ain D ivid e R d and it w as still cold .Frost on the grou nd attested to that,bu t it w as going to be a beau tifu l d ay.I w as glad I had the long sleeve jersey on.B rrr.E ach clim b w as follow ed by a qu ick d rop and it w as chilly u p there. N ow I had pick ed a som ew hat arbitrary goal ofeight hou rs as a finishing tim e. H onestly,I expected to be a nine hou r finisher,bu t better to aim high.I also d ecid ed to leave the cam era in the cam per and stop as little as possible at any aid station,etc.T his really paid offas I w ill see later on. M ore clim bing...iP od rock in’to the Sou nd track from M ad agascar: ‘I L ik e To M ove It,M ove It’.

som ething I tru ly su ck at:sw itchback s.Toss in a bu nch ofrock steps to d rop offof and ad d fatigu e and I w as not happy.I am glad that L enzsport bend s that top tu be as I tested the clearance once in a painfu l w ay.E very so often the 29er feels a little big and aw k w ard and this w as one ofthem ,bu t really I w as ju st rid ing lik e a beginner...all brak es,no balance,no flow .I let one rid er pass and he ju st d anced by.C rap!O K ,self,tim e to get you r act together.It got better from there...relax, look ahead ,less brak es,m ore faith in you r bik e.L ow er H oly Jim w as very fu n.B y then I w as rid ing lik e I had a clu e again.T he trail crossed the creek m any tim es and it w as ju st beau tifu l in there althou gh I w as not look ing arou nd m u ch. O n the iP od Jam es Taylor w as talk in’‘bou t ‘M exico’.

“Seven m inu tes nearly separated m e from that feather.» It took m e three hou rs to get to M aple Springs A id Station #1.T hat w as one hou r before the cu t offtim e.I thou ght that w as a bit slow ,bu t ifI cou ld hold a one hou r cu shion to each cu toffpoint,I w ou ld be O K .I fu eled u p at M aple Springs and rolled ou t on the paved road .A bou t 100 yard s ou t,I had a big old leg cram p, right leg,inner thigh,k nee to crotch.W H A A aaa? T hree hou rs!!!!I d id not even feel all that bad otherw ise.I got offofthe bik e and tried to stretch it ou t bu t the cram p ju st got w orse.So,I got back on the bik e to see ifI cou ld ped al.I cou ld ,so offI w ent,bu t I w as very concerned and I w as really trying to soft ped al for a w hile.I cou ld see cram ps at eight hou rs,bu t three? N ot a good sign.O d d ly enou gh,I never had another cram p all d ay.T he paved road w as d eceptively steep.It k ind a hu rt.B u t as soon as the road tu rned to d irt,the pace pick ed u p and I felt better.I had a feeling that w e w ere head ed to som e seriou s elevation gains and every so often I cou ld see a peak w ith antennas,etc.I figu red this:Ifit w as high,had a road on it,and w as in the d irection oftravel,w e w ere head ing u p it.I accepted that and sm iled .L et’s go. Tu ne ofthe m om ent...’I P lay C hick en W ith T he Train’,C ow boy Troy. M od jesk a P eak ,Santiago P eak ...first one then the other.E xcellent view s.It felt lik e w e clim bed forever,bu t it had an end at last.T here w ere a few patches ofice and snow on the N orth sid e as w e began the d escent. P ink w as ‘G ettin’T he P arty Started ’on the Ipod and prom ising to “k ick m y ***». M otivating,ind eed . U pper H oly Jim trail began the singletrack section and it w as chock fu ll of

O ne rid er ask ed w hen the cu tofftim e w as and I said 12:30.O ops.Sorry d u d e.I got that w rong as I w as soon to d iscover. I hit the go/no-go cu toffpoint at aid station #2.Ifyou d o not beat the cu tofftim e, you are d enied continu ing on the V ision Q u est cou rse and you are d irected to the C ou nting C ou p finish.W hen I rolled u p,som eone shou ted ,“Y ou better hu rry,you have seven m inu tes till the cu t-offtim e!» W H A A A A T T T T !!!!???? I stu ffed m y face w ith an orange slice,filled u p m y w ater need s and ran past the check point lik e I w as escaping E ast B erlin before the w all w ent u p.

“W hy ham m er? I du nno, cu z I cou ld,I gu ess.» Seven m inu tes.Seven.Seven m inu tes nearly separated m e from that feather.T hat w as abou t ten pictu res w orth oftim e ifI had brou ght the cam era.O ne flat tire. M aybe tw o or three m inu tes here or there to look at the view s or stretch m y legs.If I had not set a goal ofeight hou rs,I w ou ld have been w ay less focu sed on m oving along.So even thou gh eight hou rs w as not realistic,it m ad e nine hou rs possible and for that I w as glad .I d id not com e that far to tak e the lesser path. From here,I rod e/pu shed /rod e u p Trabu co to the beginning ofH orse T hieftrail.I had expected the hik e-a-bik e.It w as pretty heinou s from w hat I had heard and it w as.Still,I k new that there w as an end to it.A top to the m ou ntain.A nd all I had to d o to get there w as to k eep m oving.I cou ld d o that. Continued >



I w ou ld pu sh for a few m inu tes and rest for a few second s,bu t I w as a happy m an.I w as going to m ak e it.T he iP od spit ou t songs at rand om and they all flow ed into som e su rreal m ix:C asting C row ns,Sou l C ontrol,Shak ira,and P hillips,C raig and D ean.

The Author, his Lenz Sport, and his finisher’s badge of honor.

T here w ere a lot ofrid ers below m e that had m ad e the cu tofftoo. Su rprising.Forty-five m inu tes later I topped ou t on the hik e-a-bik e and I k new I had it in the bag.T hat feather w as m ine.I took a bit m ore tim e here at the aid station.I had earned it.A t this point I w as fighting for 110th position or w hatever,bu t as long as I d id not crash or get lost,I w as a finisher and that,after all,w as m y u ltim ate goal. I really enjoyed the trail d ow n Trabu co.T hat is som e sw eet stu ff.Fast, w id e,u nd er the trees...w ow . M ichael B u ble stepped u p to the m ic as the scene blu rred by...:“W hen m arim ba rhythm s start to play...» Som ehow it seem ed lik e a good tim e to d ance. From there it w as ju st a m atter ofhead d ow n and ham m er to the end . W hy ham m er? I d u nno,cu z I cou ld ,I gu ess.I felt pretty good so I ju st flew and crossed the line five m inu tes before 03:00.Som eone w as shou ting “R id er nu m ber 100!».I am not su re ifthat is significant,bu t they seem ed excited .M ore than lik ely they shou ted that w hen rid er nu m ber 1 and 10 and 32 and 65 and 7 2 and 125 cam e across the line.I took the finisher’s bad ge ofhonor;the feather. Fifty six point five m iles,11,000+’ofclim bing,9.5 hou rs.Six G u ’s,tw o Snick ers bars,one P ayd ay,ten electrolyte capsu les,three bottles of A ccelerad e,lots ofsongs played .W here d id the d ay go? I filled u p a cou ple ofbottles ofFlu id recovery d rink and sat for a m inu te,still bu zzing from the w hole thing.It w as tim e for a show er, food ,and sw apping stories am ong the grou p.I hu ng the feather on the ed ge ofm y gear bag and w alk ed aw ay a tired ,happy m an.

“I took the finisher’s badge of honor;the feather.» XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE




The highest peak of Vision Quest off in the distance.



Slater Fletcher (5th Place/05:54:03 Vision Quest). Check out for more about Slater. XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


Luke Wiens (4th/06:22:27 Vision Quest) XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


Bruce Wilson (29th/07:02:18 Vision Quest).



Jenz Raz, (35th/07:04:24 Vision Quest) nearing the top of Trabuco. XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


favorites Photo: Jason Mahokey Location: Boyce Park, spring 2008.

To su bm it you r favorite trailcon ta ct XXC at XXCm ag@ gm . XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


Getting Started Vision Quest race report from SoCal’s Troupe Racing Company G etting started . T his concept carries into all areas of the W arriors Society M ou ntain B ik e P ow W ow event w hich featu res the V ision Q u est and the C ou nting C ou p. For m any, it m eant getting their training started back in N ovem ber of ‘08.For m any rid ers lik e m yself,it m eant getting started on new bik es for a new season a bit eariler, planning the ‘09 season’s rid es to be su re that w e w ou ld be in good shape for this race. It m eant getting the d ay started at an u ngod ly hou r of 3 am ,force feed ing a break fast,and head ing ou t to a race w ith a start tim e of 5:30 am .A nd for m yself and m y team , Trou pe R acing C om pany, it m eant the start of ou r second season. First, a bit abou t Trou pe. T he team is pretty sim ple: w e’re a sm all team of 11 rid ers focu sed on m ou ntain bik e racing in all form s † xc to u ltra end u rance. W e’re am ateu rs, bu t w e try to present ou rselves and ou r sponsors as if w e’re pros. W e tak e prid e in ou r team , and w e’ve been able to accom plish som e great things. B u t qu ite honestly, w e ju st love to rid e and race and share the experiences throu gh photos and stories. W e’ve earned a sm all follow ing † w e’re seen by m any as “the team to be on» † w hich is qu ite flattering to u s.T hrou gh it all,w e’ve m et som e great people across the nation and have had the lu xu ry of w ork ing w ith am azing team sponsors. It’s these bond s that d rive u s ju st as m u ch as the never end ing chase for the pod iu m . T he V ision Q u est,or “V Q » as m ost racers and end u rance rid ers refer to it as, is one of SoC al’s biggest and bad d est hard core end u rance races. It w as recently rated by B ik e M agazine as one of the tou ghest races the U .S., and that’s no jok e.T he race sits in the heart of O range C ou nty and carries rid ers accross the Sad d leB ack M ou ntain R ange and along trails that m ost of see d aily loom ing in the back grou nd of ou r d ay-to-d ay lives † w hich is both XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


By Tim VanGilder

exciting and intim id ating.For the ill prepared ,its a constant rem ind er of the pain to com e becau se this race lasts 56 m iles,and send s rid ers u p 11,000 ft of clim bing as it traverses the range. T here are m any races ou t there that encou rage the spirit of personal accom plishm ent. T he V Q , in som ew ays, is not one of them . T here are cu t off tim es that m u st be m et at k ey check points throu ghou t the cou rse. M iss one, and you r race is over. Y ou r nu m ber plate is rem oved and you are on you r ow n to m ak e it back to civilization. T his strict ru le w ell u nd erstood by all com petitors and only ad d s to the experience. W e arrived at B lack star C anyon at 4:45 am .It w as d ark .It w as cold .M ichelle (m y w ife and fellow Trou pe rid er) w as w ith m e and getting focu sed for the shorter 44 m ile version ofthe V Q , the C ou nting C ou p.W e w ere fortu nate enou gh to roll u p to a park ing spot close to the staging area. A lread y rid ers w ere spinning u p and d ow n the paved single lane road trying to w arm u p.In the d istance, the sou nd a bik es on trainers cou ld be heard along w ith the occasional annou ncem ent from the the race organizers over the bu ll-horn. M ichelle and I lined u p next to each other at the start at abou t 5:15 am .She w as rid ing w ith a light,I opted not to carry one.D ark ness only lasts for 30 m inu tes after the start so I d ecid ed to stay w ith her throu gh the canyon to the base of the first clim b. B y that tim e, the su n w ou ld be u p. W hile at the start, C hris V argas, d irector of the W arrior’s Society, w as m ak ing som e annou ncem ents w hile others in the organization lit cerem onial sw eet grass and pou nd ed on a tribal d ru m . T he grass w ou ld k eep rid ers safe and it set the tone for w hat w ou ld tru ly be a long d ay in the sad d le.

Continued > PAGE 34

A t 5:30 am ,w e w ere off‰ It’s qu ite a sight to see 300-som e rid ers racing thou gh the d ark ness. W e had gotten u p near the front of the m ass of rid ers and at one point look ed back and d ow n the trail to the canyon below w hich w as lit u p w ith 100’s oftiny w hite L ID lights.I said “good lu ck ,rid e safe» to M ichelle and settled into m y pace for the 9 m ile clim b to the top ofthis section. I reached the top of B lack star at a pretty good tim e † abou t 5 m inu tes or so faster then I expected .I felt good and I m ad e the tu rn onto the road that carries rid ers along the top of the m ou ntains k now n as the M ain D ivid e. Spectators w ere alread y there bu nd led u p in jack ets and m ittens to w atch rid ers crest the first clim b,aniIt w as great to see som e fans alread y cheering u s on. M y m ind began to ignore the pain in the legs,and ped aling seem ed too easy.I w ond ered if this w as “the zone» that so m any athletes talk abou t. If it w as, I d id n’t w ant to think abou t it.I k ept rid ing and su d d enly,I w as at the top of the first d ecent † T he M otorw ay. M otorw ay is a tight, technical, and loose d escent of shaley rock . It’s got a lot of exposu re and d eep ru ts from the w inter rain. T his is not the place to loose focu s. It’s also one of

the best d escents on the cou rse, so its w orth letting the brak es fly a bit to enjoy som e good d ow nhill single track . I tu rned of the volu m e on m y iP od , and had one of m y sm oother ru ns to the tu ne of N itzer E bb’s classic track , “Fu n to be had ». T he bottom of the M otorw ay ru ns into a beau tifu l canyon called M aple Springs,and this is the site of aid station #1.I stopped here qu ick ly to fill u p m y bottles.Trou pe had positioned a team m em ber,R and y P rofeta at this aid station to help get u s in and ou t fast.H e’s a pro at pit stop nu trition † and got m e fu lly fu eled u p and back on the bik e in less then 4 m inu tes.I d on’t recall m u ch ofthis pit stop,other then grabbing som e R itz m inicrack ers and saying “I’m 15-20 m inu tes ahead ofsched u le». T he next 5 m iles or so is one of the hard est.It’s a paved section of road that grad u ally gets steeper and steeper as it approaches the start of M aple Springs fireroad that goes back u p the m ou ntain.M entally it’s fru strating:rid ers leave the aid station in the big ring and grad u ally w ork throu gh all their gears u ntil they are spinning in their granny ring.For m e,this w as a chance to eat on the bik e w ithou t w asting tim e at the aid station or focu sing on technical trails. Ju st as in earlier hou rs, the m iles began to fly by seem ingly w ithou t m u ch effort, w hich m ad e this section the best of the rid e. It reaches the highest point † Sad d leback P eak , and w ind s arou nd the back of the m ou ntain (throu gh snow ...yes,snow ) on the w ay to the second d escent,H oly Jim . H ere’s w here rid ers get their flow going.H oly Jim is the essence ofsingle track rid ing in SoC al.It’s got it all † long w ind ing d ow nhill,sm all rock y sections and rock d rops,tight sw itchback s,stream crossings,and the best part:its long!this is a good 30 m inu te d ow nhill. Continued >

“My mind began to ignore the pain in the legs, and pedaling seemed too easy. I wondered if this was “the zone” that so many athletes talk about. If it was, I didn’t want to think about it.” XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


It’s technical at tim es, bu t its perfect for cross cou ntry rid ers and is the highlight of the race. G ood d escend ers can really gain som e grou nd on the clock ,bu t lik e the M otorw ay,an error here cou ld be gam e over for the d ay. E arlier, I m ark ed a rid er as w e d ropped into H oly Jim and m ad e an effort to pass and hold him off for the rem aind er of the d ay.D espite being silly,I repeat the phrase “Stay on the gas» to m yself any tim e I started to slow d ow n.R id ing d ow n H oly Jim ,I d id ju st that † I stayed on the gas and passed a good nu m ber

starting going crazy,beeping all sorts of m essages.T his w as also the tim e w hen m y iP od Shu ffle becam e jam m ed on 2 songs † a D J set and one other, w hich only ad d ed to the stru ggle.M y strategy here w as sim ple:one foot in front ofthe other,and d ont stop.I continu ed to plod on,stopping only to grab a bar from m y jersey or to tak e a d rink ofH eed . R eaching the top of W est H orse T hief is a m ilestone of the V Q . It m eans that the w orst is over.R acers have the option of stopping for a fresh grilled bu rger

“My strategy here was simple: one foot in front of the other, and dont stop.” of strong rid ers w ho w ere stru ggling w ith the trail, cram ping, or ju st ru nning ou t of gas.I reached the bottom of the trail and aid station #2 w ith no signed of m y m ark ed rid er. M y stop at aid #2 w as short and sw eet. A volu nteer topped off m y bottles, I grabbed a fresh orange w ed ge (citru s tasted G O O D ),and I w as on m y w ay to the final and m ost gru eling clim b ofthe d ay,W est H orse T hief. T his w ou ld be m y d ark est hou r ofthe rid e.H orse T hiefis a rock y,technical and steep clim b back u p to the top.So steep in fact,that its a 1 hou r (+/-) hik e-abik e.T he su n w as ou t,it w as w arm ,and w as tak ing in flu id s slow ly.M y G arm in

Trabuco Trail Photo: XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE

w ith all the fixin’s to celebrate,bu t I opted ju st to top of w ith w ater and get on to the peak of the final d escent.M y legs felt su rprisingly good .I w as clim bing in m y big ring and excited w ith the thou ght of posting a good finishing tim e. B u t since m y G arm in w as off,I d id nt k now exactly w hat that tim e w ou ld be... or,iffor som e reason,all the m ath I had d one in m y head w as w rong. I d ropped into the final d escent fu ll of energy.T his final trail,called Trabu co,is another ofO .C .’s finest.T he m ajority is ju st w hat one w ou ld w ant to rid e to cap off a great clim b; its single track , a little technical in spots, bu t its qu ite rock y and tight. A fter abou t seven hou rs in the sad d le at this point, m y sk ills w ere beginning to fad e and I w as getting bu ck ed arou nd .

Continued > PAGE 36

T he bottom is fu ll ofcreek bed s w ith bou ld ers and rock s to navigate throu gh and the best w ay to get throu gh them is cyclocross style † d ism ou nt,pick u p the bik e and ru n throu gh,and ju m p back on.I began to see m any rid ers grab their legs and holler as if they had been shot by a sniper in the bu shes.C ram ps w ere starting to set in,and lu ck ily I’d been w atching m y nu trition and w asn’t som ething I had to d eal w ith. T he final 6 m iles to the finish are nothing bu t joy and pain.R id ers m u st ped al slightly d ow nhill on Trabu cco road .T his is a cou nty road that is w ell u sed by hik ers,bik ers, m otos,and other rand om u sers that w ant to d rive pick -u p tru ck s over d irt piles.Its a road that is not m aintained and is littered w ith holes,rock s,and ru ts.It tru ly is painfu l to try to rid e w ith any sort ofspeed .I w as rid ing from the left sid e to the right sid e and back again trying to find som e sort ofclean line.

“The final 6 miles to the finish are nothing but joy and pain” Finally,the finish line w as in sight and I gave a qu ick look behind m e to see ifanyone w as com ing u p (habit from X C racing,I su ppose).N o one w as there † ju st lik e the m ajority ofthe race.A qu ick bu rst ofw hat w as left ofm y speed and I cam e throu gh the finishing chu te and w as hand ed m y finishing feather † a tru e treasu re to all w ho com plete this rid e.M y tim e (7 hou rs,45 m inu tes) w ou ld be 47 m inu tes faster then m y first V Q ,so I w as happy w ith that.I had no m echanicals,no cram ping or nu tritional problem s,ju st a great d ay rid ing. T he rest ofTrou pe w ou ld d o ju st as w ell.A ll ofthem cam e in w ith tim es better then previou s years,too.It seem ed that ou r revised training program w ork ed w ell. N ext u p,Trou pe gets set for the m assive am ou nts ofX C races that w e are lu ck y to have here.W e’ll be racing the U .S.C u p W est series,Sea O tter,and a nu m ber ofother great regional X C events.W e’re lu ck y enou gh to have a fantastic end u rance series close by called the 12 H ou rs ofTem ecu la,and w e’ll be at all those as both solo’s and team s. P lu s,w e have tw o 24hr ofA d renalin events here and w e’ll field both solo and team s for those as w ell.A lso on ou r rad ar is the 24hr N ational C ham pionships in M oab,and the Tahoe-Sierra 100,w hich is part ofthe N U E race series. W e’ve got a great season lined u p. L et’s get it started . XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE

Photo: PAGE 37

Photo: Jason Mahokey Location: The back of my car after a long training ride.

To con tribu te to XXC or for a dvertisin g in form ation con ta ct XXC at XXCm ag@ gm . XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE










theart oftim ew asting


food ~ beer ~ m usic XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE

Photo: Jason Mahokey Location: A muddy ditch in Boyce Park, spring 2009.



B y Jason M ahok ey w w w .thesoiled cham

100K , Chili& B eer

Terlingu a, Texas is hom e to the M as o M enos 100K , it’s also the “C hili C apital of Texas» and som e say the W orld ! T hat got m e think ing of one of m y favorite C hili recipes and one ofm y favorite post “chilly» rid e m eals- “Soiled C ham ois B ig A ss C hili and B eer».C om plex carbs,protein,and an aw esom e w ay to w arm u p after a long cold rid e or race. O f cou rse there is a L O T of fiber and a lot of spicy ingred ients in this chili, so it m ay or m ay not be the greatest pre race m eal. I gu ess it d epend s on how m any trips you w ant to m ak e to the “porta john»,or how m u ch “bu rn» you w ant to feel d u ring a race. T he great thing abou t m ak ing chili is that it’s really hard to f*ck u p. D on’t lik e an ingred ient? D on’t ad d it! W ant to ad d som e corn or a d ifferent bean? G o ahead ! T he Fed erales aren’t gonna bu st d ow n you r d oor and hau l you aw ay becau se you d id n’t pu t black beans in the chili!A lthou gh they SH O U L D d o it ifyou leave ou t the onions! I lik e m e som e onions! N ow start cook in’! O pen a H op D evil and pou r into pint glass (d rink ).Stir fry m eat, peppers and onions u ntil the m eat is brow n and the peppers are tend er. Stir in tom atoes, sau ce, chipotles and beans. A d d chili pow d er and m ix and heat throu gh w hile you finish you r beer.N ow open 2nd H op D evil. H eat chili throu gh,scoop a few servings into a big ass bow l,top w ith a hand fu ll of the shred d ed cheese and serve som e tortilla chips,or som e nice cru sty w hole w heat bread on the sid e.C rack open another H op D evil! O f cou rse not everyone d rink s beer (G A SP !) and som e folk s A C T U A L L Y care abou t w hat they pu t in their bod ies d u ring training and race season, so if you m u st, this ingred ient C A N be left ou t.If H op D evil is u navailable it can also be su bstitu ted w ith another hop-tastic beer (see right). C hili lik e this can easily be m ad e in ad vance, and w ou ld be great for a 24 hou r pit crew to heat u p and eat d u ring those chilly evening hou rs of sitting arou nd the cam p fire w hile you ’re ou t “ju st rid ing you r bik e». XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE

INGREDIENTS: 2 Can of Chili Beans

1 Cup of Canned Corn (Drained)

1 Can of Black Beans (Rinsed/Drained)

1 Tbs (or more) of Chili Powder (To your liking)

1 Can of Dice Tomatoes with Green Chilies

2 to 10 dashes of El Yucateco Hot Sauce (To your liking)

1 Can of Tomato Sauce 1 Large Onion (Diced) 1 Large Red Pepper (Diced) 1 Large Green Pepper (Diced)

1 Pound of Lean Ground Turkey, Beef or Veggie Crumbles for you non meat eating types. 1/2 Cup of Low Fat Shredded Mexican Cheese 2 to 6 Victory Hop Devils

2 to 3 Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce (Chopped fine)

The beer in the C hili and Beer-

V ictory Brew ing’s H op D evilA le H op D evil is one ofm y favorite “go to» beers.M y other “go to» is Sierra N evad a P ale A le.B u t V ictory is brew ed right here in m y hom e state ofP ennsylvania,so I tend to reach for it m ost often. N othing goes w ith spicy food lik e a nice,crisp,hoppy beer, and V ictory H op D evil fits that bill for su re! G arret O liver (au thor ofthe B rew m aster’s Table) says this abou t H op D evil;

“Thisbeerju stbegsforTha i food ; there’sa big cila n tro n ote in the n ose tha tca n ’twa itto m eetthe chilies. Bold M exica n d ishes,especia lly fa jita s, w illd o ju sta swell» I think m y chiliqu alifies as a “bold M exican d ish».O r at least a bold Tex M ex d ish! Also Try: Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Tröegs Hopback, and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. If you need to kill the pain- Check out Bell’s Hop Slam, Dogfish Head 90 Minute or Victory’s Hop Wallop. PAGE 45

Much more than a Mariachi band for hipsters, Calexico blend a variety of influences to provide the perfect soundscape for desert miles or daydreaming of epic rides in the sun. Words: Jason Mahokey For close to 10 years I’ve enjoyed the music of Calexico. They are the closest thing to “World Music” this aging music snob will listen to. Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, Calexico’s music oozes a distinct south western style, and I could not stop listening to them as I put together this issue of XXC. Influences include: Mexican Mariachi bands, acoustic folk, jazz, alt-latin, 60’s surf music and the spaghetti western sounds of Ennio Morricone. Whatever the influences, when they all come together they bring a sound that is perfect for long rides in the sun, picking cactus thorns out of your tire casings, or doing 12 oz. recovery intervals on the patio with your favorite adult beverage. In 2008 Calexico released “Carried To Dust”. It just recently found it’s way onto my iPod, and right now some of my fave tracks are the instrumental “El Gatillo”, “Writer’s Minor Holiday” and “Inspiracion”. While past albums like Feast of Wire and Hot Rail are more burned into my memory, there is a lot of good stuff on “Carried To Dust”, and definitely worth a listen. For more information on Calexico visit You may also want to check out where a huge collection of Calexico live shows can be downloaded FREE and LEGAL. I recommend the April 25th 2003 show from Stockholm, Sweden. Good stuff. Photo by Gerald von Foris



In 2003 and 2004 Ennio Morricone, one of the most famous composers of all time, was remixed. What followed was a series of CDs that mixed together some of his legendary scores with ambient, break beat, and electronica. While I can’t say I loved every track, via iTunes and eMusic, I was more than able to pick and choose a variety of tracks that immediately made their way onto many of my personal play lists and mixes. They blend perfectly with songs from the above mentioned Calexico and even a variety of Pixies tracks.

Click here for more information or to download tracks from Ennio Morricone’s remix CDs. PAGE 46


M an y o f o u r ro adie an d cro ss b ro th ers an d sisters tak e th eir em b ro catio n (A K A “B elgiu m K n ee W arm ers») very serio u sly. I’ve n o ticed o ver th e years th at th e en du ran ce m o u n tain b ik e cro w d ten ds to tak e th eir lu b ricatio n ju st as serio u sly. W h at’s yo u r lu b e? W h at k eeps yo u r ch afe aw ay an d yo u r b u n s h appy? M y perso n al “go to » lu b e is B ag B alm .It’s ch eap,readily availab le in m o st dru g sto res an d it k eeps th in gs frictio n free “b elo w th e equ ato r». I’ve also u sed plain o ld petro leu m jelly w ith go o d resu lts to o . B o th seem to w o rk w ell in w et w eath er an d th at can b e great fo r th o se m u ddy sprin g races,w h en lo n g h o u rs in th e saddle can lead to a ch am o is fu ll o f pain . H ave a fave? A recco m en datio n ? H ead o ver to th e b lo g o n X X C m m an d w eigh in o n yo u r favo rite ch am o is lu b e.

Race Day Sunset

Base Camp 1

Finish Line

By Jaso n M ah o k ey XXC SEASON ONE: ISSUE ONE


I hope you enjoyed tak ing a look at issu e one ofX X C .It’s a start.I hope it’s not the finish. Stay tu ned to xxcm and the X X C blog for u pd ates and plans for the next issu e ofX X C . G ood lu ck at the races or on you r next epic ad ventu re. -Jason M ahok ey

“A rt issu ffering.» - Squ id w ard Tentacles



XXC Issue #1  

Inspired by cycling publications such as Embrocation, Rouleur, Cyclocross Magazine and Dirt Rag, comes XXC. A Web ‘Zine dedicated to the spo...

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