Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! We put together a few photos to share of just a few highlights of the year. Enjoy!
Peace and blessings from the Juarez Family
Tinker, Joshua, and Terri

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

preview of 2012 race/event schedule

I've been working on a schedule for next year. and got through September so far. It's filling up already and looks good. I want to focus on the NUE series, Leadville 100, and World and National Solo 24 hr races. Let me know if I missed anything.... I just wish I could fit in all of things I want to do.

Tinker


January 2012:

Jan. 21, Sat. 12 hours of Temecula,
Jan. 28, Sat. Sycamore Canyon Racer/Chaser San Diego

February 2012:

Feb. 23 to 26, San Sabastien Mexico training Camp at http://cincopuntamita.com/

March 2012:

Mar. 1, Triple crown # 1, XC Temecula
Mar. 10, US triple crown # 2, XC Bonelli Park
Mar. 24, Sat. Tripe crown series # 3, Fontana
Mar. 31-1 April 24 th Annual Keyesville Classic stage Races

April 2012:

April 7, Vision Quest
April 14, Julian Death March ultra endurance
April 21-22, Sea Otter Classic
April 28, NUE Cohutta 100 Tennessee or Whiskey off-road 50 miler AZ

May 2012:

May 19, NUE Syllamos Revenge Arkansas

June 2012:

June 2, 12 hours of Temecula
June 9-10 Hammerstein 24 hours jimmyboy Laguna Seca
June 16, NUE Lumberjack 100 Michigan or California State XC Champion Big Bear

July 2012:

July 14, Crusher in Tushar, Utah
July 21, NUE High Cascades Oregon
July 28, Butte 100 Montana

August 2012:

Aug. 4, NUE Pierre's hole 100 Wyoming
Aug. 11, Leadville 100 MTB Colorado
Aug. 19, NUE New Hampshire 100
Aug. 25, Kirkwood Lake Tahoe

September 2012:

Sept. 1, NUE point to point Park City
Sept. 15-16, World 24 Hour Solo Championship Canmore Alberta Canada
Sept. 19-21, Interbike
Sept 29-30, National 24 hours Colorado Spring.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hey SoCal! Have fun in Temecula this weekend!!!

:-) Sorry but I can't make it...I'll be in Chile this weekend. Bet Jason has some moola for you anyway!
Have fun!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Machines for the 24 Hours of Fury this weeknd

It's been more than a year since I raced my last 24 hour race and since I had to miss the Nats, I've got to get it out of my system.  So, I'll be heading to Phoenix this weekend with Ed Kocina to support me along with Grimey and the gang from The Bicycle Ranch.  I'll be bringing my Cannondale Scalpel and the Flash for the event.  I've got the whole new set up from Niterider to keep me lit up like a football field all night long.  I am also racing on my new prototype 24SEVEN Kenda tires, which should be perfect for the AZ trails.  I'm packed and ready!  Time to get some sleep tonight.
See you there.
Tinker





Sunday, October 09, 2011

Fix Uptown Now! Octoberfest Fundraiser TODAY in Uptown

See you there!
 
This Sunday, October 9TH FIX UPTOWN NOW will be hosting a FUNdraiser at Fenix 5-4 on Greenleaf (next to Starbucks). A $20.00 donation to FUN will gain you entrance, a plate of German food and a pint of German beer. There will be plenty of live entertainment and the doors will be open from 12 noon to 12 midnight!
You can give us your donation at the door or through Paypal which is available on our website: fixuptownnow.com

Friday, October 07, 2011

SoCal 50 race coverages by Jens Raz on MTBracenews.com

Good grief.  No wonder so many people had a tough time with the heat.  Triple digits??  That is why I went through so many bottles!!  I concur with the mandatory snow cones plead!!
Thanks Jens for the awesome coverage!!
Tinker
:D big grin
 
Written by: Jens Raz 
 
Temecula is locally known for its wineries, churches and lifted trucks. One has quite a range of options when visiting here. As of the last couple of years mountain biking has been a premier reason to come to this north San Diego County city. The first weekend of October 2011 showcased some of its finest riding. Saturday the "SOCAL FAT TIRE EPIC 50 - WEST COAST MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIP" was put on by Jason and Heather Ranoa, while Sunday the Specialized Invitational US Cup and Team Big Bear XC California State Championships were being held at the Vail Lake trails. 
 
The course consisted of 2 laps of 24 miles each with about 2,600' of climbing per lap. The first "Damn" climb was the longest by roughly 1.5 miles. The rest was littered with shorter and punchier ones. Temperatures were another challenge altogether, reaching 108 degrees by mid morning.
 
If the course doesn't seem tough, the competition sure was. Tinker Juarez (Cannondale), the juggernaut who is known for his ability to race in the heat was one of the leading candidates for victory. Nate Whitman (Herbalife24) coming of a strong showing at last months Leadville with a time of 7hrs and 6minutes and his team mate Gerry Cody (Herbalife24) who stomped Leadville in 10th place with 6hrs and 51 minutes besting the likes of Tinker and Carl Decker came for one purpose only. The "Rat Pack" challenging for the win were future Pro mountain biker Joel Titius (Corona Composite Cycling Team), John Hornbeck(Simple Green /Bike Religion), Allan LaFromboise (Don's Bicycles) and Daniel Munoz (Cyclery USA) who all rounded out the contending youths.
Could the Herbalife24 duo beat Tinker?
 
Nate's perspective went as follows:

"At the start, the group rolled out at a fairly controlled pace, with Gerry Cody and Tinker dictating the pace.  I took a few turns at the front to stretch it out slightly so that there would be less chance of a pile-up at the first hard uphand left turn.  about 8-10 riders were able to hold the pace initially, but as soon as we hit the base of the first real climb on course, it separated out pretty quickly.  Tinker and Cody were obviously the strongest.  I was able to just hang on to their wheel through the entire first big climbing section.  Behind me, John Hornbeck and Joel Titius were wavering but almost hanging on, about 10 to 20 seconds back.  

When we started into the first twisting singletrack section, it looked like we might have a group of 3 with Tinker and Gerry and myself.  But my lack of course knowledge caused me to pop off those two.  they both know the course really well and are great bike handlers.  I had not raced at Vail Lake in over 5 years.  A few untimely bobbles and I was riding by myself 1 minute back.  

From that point, a small wash out on my part and two forks in the course with no sign markings allowed Hornbeck and Titius to come back to me.  From there, we rode together for a sizable chunk of the first lap.  I was very impressed with Titus.  He is a high school senior and was state champ in the NICA league.  This was his first pro race.  He knew the course really well and helped us keep a good pace through the singletrack.  Up ahead, I could see Gerry leading Tinker on some of the switchbacks where the course doubled over itself, and I knew they would go head to head for the win, unless something weird happened.  We were not going to catch them.  
Chasing behind, the three of us traded places leading and following several times.  Hornbeck misjudged a roller and jammed his chain shifting.  He disappeared at that point.  Titius and I decided to work together for a while, with him leading on the descents and me taking bigger pulls on the flats and longer uphill drags.  We rode in tandem the rest of the entire first 24-mile lap and made time.  At this point, the temperature was really skyrocketing.  We later heard it was 107 degrees in some places on course.  Those that managed the heat and hydrated properly got some big gaps on that didn't.
 
With nobody in sight behind, Titius and I rolled through the start finish to start the second lap.  I think the heat and early effort got to Joel in his first big race.  I never attacked hard, but after getting fresh bottles, I felt a second wave of energy and picked up my effort.  He slowly drifted off my wheel, and I rode the remainder of the second lap completely solo.  I was able to avoid losing more time on the leaders, and stretch my gap to those behind.  After having seen the course on round 1, I handled some of the technical sections more smoothly.  

I continued to see the dual between Cody and Tinker up the trail ahead in the fingers section of the lap.  However, at one point, I saw that Tinker had created a gap and they were now separated with about 7 miles to go.  I rode on to get 3rd, with teammate Gerry Cody taking 2nd behind Tinker for the win.  I was very happy with the result, to get on the podium with my teammate and training partner, just a step or two below the legend Tinker.  Overall it was a great race and a good day."
 
The #1 challenger to Tinker, Gerry Cody (Herbalife25) had this to share of his battle with the Cannondale Predator:
The race began and the lead group found itself dicing it pretty quickly as we headed out of the park, and onto the dry dusty fire road. We hit "The Damn Climb" and as I suspected, Tinker went to the front and pressed the pace. I did my best to hang with him, and not long after we started climbing we were both left with our respective teammates just behind us 30 yards or so. I knew from previous experiences that Tinker is a beast both climbing and descending, so my plan was to ride and pace with him for as long as possible. It's nice knowing that the kind hearted warrior will still talk to you in the middle of a race. We took turns at the front, and made our way through the roller coaster single track. The temperatures climbed. In fact, a friend told me that temperatures on the back stretch were in the triple digits. The water in my bottles became hot. Countless squirts, and water dunks seemed useless. While climbing up one of the steep shoots, I missed a shift and threw my chain. Tinker cleared the climb, and I scrambled up the hill on foot. He looked back one last time, and that's when it was over. There was no chance of me catching him. I was cooked. He put it down, like the great cyclist he is, hard! I came in about 4 or 5 minutes after he did and went straight to the cold shower. I sat under the nozzle, still wearing my helmet, gloves, and even glasses. Sitting there, slowly cooling myself back to life,,,,with a big smile on my face! (Side note, Snow cones should be a must at any mountain bike race!)"
 
 Results - Pro Men
1
 
Tinker
Jaurez
3:24:16.9
2
 
Gerry
Cody
3:29:46.2
3
 
Nate
Whitman
3:38:57.3
4
 
Allan
LaFromboise
3:45:33.5
5
 
Joel
Titius
3:53:16.3
6
 
R
Forem
3:59:49.8
7
 
Eric
Bierman
4:06:10.9
8
 
Jon
Hornbeck
4:08:04.5
9
 
Daniel
Munoz
4:08:06.1
10
 
Paul
Romero
4:16:15.1
 
The women's Pro race was won in a tight fight by pro triathlete and coach Lesley Patterson (Trek) over her prodigy Jessica Noyola (Focus Bicycles). Patterson took the glory by just over 2 seconds.
1
 
Leslie
Patterson
4:14:29.7
2
 
Jessica
Noyola
4:14:31.9
3
 
Karen
Lundgren
4:48:19.2
 
 
 
 
Racing aside, the benefits of racing at Vail Lake are the amenities. 2 pools, outside showers, warm food, snow cones multiple mechanical support (Bike Bling), the Racers and Chasers support tent and other family friendly activities to keep the better half and offspring happy for the 3.5-5 hours of suffering.
 
What is next? Check out www.12hrsofTemecula.com for the next weekends Singlespeed "Monster Mash", Super D and  "Krosstober-fest" CX racing and more at Vail Lake!

Tour de Timor and the peace that begins with me

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Tour de Timor 2011 = An adventure of peace

When I received the invitation to participate in a mountain bike stage race in the Indonesian country of Timor-Lest last year, they offered the most generous prize amount I have seen in my whole career.  It was difficult to believe that anyone would offer $100,000 in prize money to come to Timor and race for peace and to promote good will in the country.  Yeah, right, I thought.  That was way too good to be true, and I didn't go but it was mostly because I also had other commitments here in the US and I soon forgot about it.  Then this year, the promoter contacted me again, urging me to attend this amazing event, and showed me the press and publicity from the 2010 race and proof of the payout...of course this tantalizing hunk of change was appealing!!  So I decided to do a good deed and not so much altruistically, headed to Timor for almost 3 weeks to visit with the President of Timor, participate in the country's peace ride, and race my mountain bike from September 11 to 16 on the roads exploring the entire country for 6 days, and roughed it in tents for four of them.  I had to forego the National Marathon XC race and as it turned out, the much anticipated 24 Hour solo National race less than 2 weeks after I returned.

I contacted my good friend Chris Bray of Cannondale Cannasia, who was very excited about the opportunity to travel to the remote location to participate and support me and the race.  Chris was nice enough to pack up tents, sleeping bags, mosquito nets, a battery powered fan, an extra Cannondale Scalpel, flashlights, and other assorted camping essentials.  I couldn't have asked for a better team partner for the event and he spoiled me rotten.    Neither one of us knew what we were up against, which turned out to be six days of brutal racing against some of the strongest mountain bikers and road cyclists from Australia and a handful of other athletes who didn't have to travel 23 hours.  We had a great time and had one hell of an experience!

Entering the finish after stage 2


There is more to just racing than riding your bike as fast as you can.  We learned a lot about the culture, the reasons the President of Timor put the event together, and witnessed the most spectacular support of mostly children cheering us on along the roads and especially when we entered the remote towns. We learned that there were so many children and elderly folks but not that many parents around because of the decades long independence struggle to separate from Indonesia which damaged infrastructure and displaced tens of thousands of citizens and tore apart families. 

From Wikipedia: The President, José Manuel Ramos-Horta is the President of East Timor, the second since independence from Indonesia, taking office on 20 May 2007. He is a co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize and a former Prime Minister, having served from 2006 until his inauguration as President after winning the 2007 East Timorese presidential election.[1] President Ramos-Horta suffered critical injuries in an assassination attempt in 2008.  He has been instrumental in building the government infrastructure and peace within the new country.  I thought he was such a great person and a role-model President.  He was so happy to have us there and treated us like royalty in his simple Presidential home, which was sensible and comfortable.

He spends a lot of time building schools, churches, and communities to foster the peace and security for the people of Timor-Leste.  He is definitely a special person and it was an honor to be invited to the the event, to be able to spend so much time with him, and to be a part of his peace mission.  I will forever be grateful for this lifetime experience.

The race was amazing and very difficult.  There were views of the volcanic mountain terrain, beautiful remote beaches, lush green tropical forest areas, and it was quite different than any other place I've been.  The ocean and beaches were spectacular but we were warned about the saltwater crocodiles.  The entire race was on the roads of Timor-Lest but we had to ride the mountain bikes because these were not paved and they were full of ruts and potholes.  They were primitive and functioned mostly to serve as thoroughfares for travel but there were very few vehicles.



My bike was a stark contrast to the primitive surroundings.  I raced my Carbon Cannondale Flash 26 with my new prototype 24SEVEN Kenda signature tires which was a perfect choice (they weigh only about 450g).  There was no way a road bike or cyclocross bike would be useful in the duration of the race and we didn't need the extra bike Chris brought. 

I had tough competition and managed to hold on to the King of the Mountain jersey for the first 3 days and finished in the top 5 for all the days except the last day when the leaders kept their overall finishes.  By the way, I really really enjoyed racing with the Australians.  They were such a nice group of people and we had  great time.  My overall finish was first place for my age group, second place for team, and fourth place overall.  But the experience gained by participating and therefore helping the people of Timor was far more important than the awards.  It was an amazing adventure.
Chris Bray of Cannasia
A monument outside the President's palace memorializing the assassination attempt

Children's Peace ride in Dilli on Saturday before the race

Chris Bray, President José Ramos-Horta , and me


A handshake with Mark Berrends the Race Director

Amazing Timorese rider who completed the entire event

Top leader group
And THANK YOU Timor-Leste for an amazing lifetime experience!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The green and orange stuff on my gloves

Unfortunately, I had to make a really tough decision to miss the 24 hours of Colorado Springs National Solo MTB Championship this past weekend. I had the flu since I returned from the Tour de Timor two weeks ago, which was an amazing 6 day stage race in Indonesia  (I'm almost finished with that epic story...more on that later). But  I was still coughing up nasty stuff on Wednesday night before I had to leave for Colorado so I cancelled the trip. 

I just could not sit idly by knowing there were two other local important events to attend....so I packed up the family in the camper and headed to Temecula for a nice relaxing weekend of camping. Oh, and when I woke up on Saturday I decided to race the SoCal Marathon Championship race. It went well. Real well.... except for the green and orange stuff caked on my gloves and shorts...but at least I feel good and I got some special lovin in with my new hardtail carbon Cannondale Flash 29er. She was SUPER SWEET to me!   I definitely knew that I made a good decision by not trying to race a National 24 hour race. I gave it all I had but was in no shape to race again at the Kenda Cup today.  Now time for sleep.

Check out the way cool coverage from the new web based cyling TV news - www.uridetv.com.  I'll work on a race story to post for this race, too. 


Rat was out there filming. What a great event! And THANK YOU URIDE!!

Peace and health,

Tinker

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Park City Point 2 Point video

What a great race this was!!  I'm still recovering from so much travel and sick with a bad cold...will work on the stories hope soon!

Check out the PCP2P video!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tour de Timor video stream and update after Stage 5

Tinker checked in after stage 5 and he had a good day but the connection was bad and we got cut off before he could say how he finished.  Will have to wait for the results to be posted!! 
Check out cyclingnews.com for results, videos, photos, and updates: cyclingnews

Here is a video updated through stage 5 ~ good stuff!!

Should be live feed at race start time

MulloLive



Video streaming by Ustream

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tour de Timor 2011 Update - after stage 3

We have not been able to talk with Tinker since the day before the Tour de Timor began in Dili, Timor-Lest in Indonesia but we have been able to keep track on the race website: www.tourdetimor.com, where they've been posting daily race reports. 
Tinker earned the King of the Mountain jersey (and $1,000 USD) and 4th place during the first stage from Dili to Laclubar, with 6:42 behind the winner Adrian Jackson.  Tinker had a strong third place finish on Day 2 with third overall; and another strong 4th place finish on Day 3, with 4th overall. 
The field of racers is very impressive, and the $100,450 USD prize purse has attracted strong racers from 12 countries.  The majority are top road, cyclocross, and mtb competitors from Australia, including U23 World Champion and Australian National Champion Paul van der Ploeg along with teammate and U23 National Champion Luke Fetch.  Also from Australia, the top finishers included World MTB Orienteering Champion Adrian Jackson, National Marathon Champion Ben Mather, and veteran Australian National MTB Chamion Rohin Adams, among many other notable athletes.  
So that purse is not coming easy to any of the racers, who are spending at least 4 nights of the 6 stage race in tents along the route.  It looks like the entire country of Timor-Lest is cheering them on, and enjoying the festivities of the annual visit from the racers. 
Results after Stage 3:
Stage 3 13/9/2011 7 Paul van der Ploeg Overall 1 02:33:34 2:33:34 00:00:00
Stage 3 13/9/2011 19 Luke Fetch Overall 2 02:33:35 2:33:35 00:00:01 0:01
Stage 3 13/9/2011 1 Adrian Jackson Overall 3 02:35:02 2:35:02 00:01:28 1:28
Stage 3 13/9/2011 4 Tinker Juarez Overall 4 02:36:28 2:36:28 00:02:54 2:54
Stage 3 13/9/2011 13 Ben Mather Overall 5 02:36:44 2:36:44 00:03:10 3:10
Stage 3 13/9/2011 124 Rohin Adams Overall 6 02:40:20 2:40:20 00:06:46 6:46
Stage 3 13/9/2011 6 Scott Liston Overall 7 02:41:17 2:41:17 00:07:43 7:43
Stage 3 13/9/2011 246 Christopher Hanson Overall 8 02:42:59 2:42:59 00:09:25 9:25
Stage 3 13/9/2011 169 Alex Denham Overall 9 02:43:02 2:43:02 00:09:28 9:28
Stage 3 13/9/2011 338 Matt King Overall 10 02:43:08 2:43:08 00:09:34 9:34
Stage 3 13/9/2011 278 Kel Boers Overall 11 02:43:21 2:43:21 00:09:47 9:47
Paul van der Ploeg chats with Tinker Juarez after the stage.
Paul van der Ploeg chats with Tinker Juarez after stage 2.
Tinker is currently in 4th place overall. 
Looking down on the course

Check out the Race Route:

Famed for its smooth seaside rides, gruelling climbs, spectacular mountain views and unprecedented crowd support, riders will be treated to a rare and special insight into Timor's unique geography, environment, people and culture.

View
2011 Tour de Timor in a larger map

Stages for this year's Tour de Timor will range between 60km and 136km per day.
Stage 1 Sun 11 Sep Dili to Laclubar
111kms
View Stage 1 map
Stage 2 Mon 12 Sep Laclubar to Beacu
121.9kms
View Stage 2 map
Stage 3 Tue 13 Sep Beacu to Illiamar
69kms
View Stage 3 map
Stage 4 Wed 14 Sep Illiamar to Com
79kms
View Stage 4 map
Stage 5 Thu 15 Sep Com to Manatuto
141.5kms
View Stage 5 map
Stage 6 Fri 16 Sep Manatuto to Dili
85kms
View Stage 6 map
Total
607.4kms

Course Profile

View the combined Course Profile for all sixstages.
2011 TdT Course Profile
2011 TdT Course Profile
Tinker Juarez
Good luck for the rest of the journey Tinker!
Photo and info credits to Tour de Timor
Event website: tourdetimor.com

Tour de Timor Day 3 - Beacu to Lliomar

 
 
 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

ParkRecord.com story on the Park City Point 2 Point: Cannondale CFR goes 1-2!!!

Just a quick and sincere congratulations to teammate Alex Grant for a great race!

Alex Grant recalls the days where he would feel nauseous after every endurance race. "I'd have to lie on the ground for an hour after," he said. View Full Story

 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ode to Sidi Shoes


Ergo 2 Limited Edition Bronze & Silver
(makes your feet feel soooo happy!)

Dragon 2 Limited Edition Sidi in Bronze & Black
(ohh la la!!! xoxoxo)


































Oh Sidi I missed you so
My feet were born to fit with you
On the road and on the trails.
And you were gone such a long long time
You welcome me back
And I want to say
I am so thankful to have you on my shoe rack.
You've always been my favorite
And now I know
What makes me go fast
With the right looks that are real nice
You fit me perfectly so.
Thank you Sidi
I love you.

Cool casual shoes

Check out my new cool casual shoes by Vasque:
So cool and comfortable I might hit the hiking trail tonight!!

:-)

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Butte 100

My attitude about this event was that I picked this as my favorite race.  I wanted to race hard and win if possible.  It was an opportunity to test my climbing skills and improve from my 3rd place result from last year.  My intention was to finish the best I could. 



Photo by Jon Wick (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonwick/sets/72157627268159234/)
I got there really really late on Thursday, so I only had Friday to get the bike set up and prepare for the race.  I also had to get my race package and attend the riders meeting, and somehow fit in a decent dinner.  This is part of being who I am, and it's not easy going to sleep at 2 AM when you're used to 10 PM, eating a semi-ok dinner late, and not sleeping well when you're alone in a hotel somewhere.  It's been this way a long time and I still don't like doing it.  But that is the way it goes, and you have to adjust, acclimate, and make the best of it no matter what. 

So before I get into the race story, I just want to thank the race promotion crew, and especially Gina Evan the race director, who picked me up at midnight, got me to the Day's Inn (owned by the Leipheimer family & was so comfortable!!), shuttled me around, and everything went the best it could possibly be thanks to them.  If it weren't for their generous hospitality and giving me free time on Friday to prepare for the race on Saturday, I could not have done it without them. 

On Saturday morning, I woke up really really really early.  The race stared at 6 AM but I had to get up at 4:30 (3:30 CA time), and I had 30 minutes to get cleaned up, eat, and be ready for 5 AM pick up, with the race start at 6 AM.  But with all this, I was grateful for the super early start and did okay anyway.  I managed to eat what the race offered: bowl of rasin bran, coffee, OJ, and some organic fruit blended thing in a jelly bag.  They were great and I had two.  It wasn't much but I packed my jersey and bags with plenty of Hammer bars, gels, chews, drinks (water and Heed), and supplements to keep me alive for the 10 hour journey.  I ate and drank a lot...probably more than I usually do, which proved to be a major advantage because I felt good and didn't bonk.

The race was everything I anticipated it to be and more.  It was perfect weather, and maybe a little too hot for a while, but an afternoon shower cooled it off and it was beautiful.  The race promoters had every detail ironed out too.  We had timing chips, so by the end of the race we had the results within 30 minutes.  There were so many volunteers at the aid stations, so when I was desperate for water, they were right there.  It  is such a long race, so when you're out there for hours and hours, it really helps give you motivation to have a smiling face wanting to help. 

The course was marked really well and the miles and miles of single track were beautiful.  The amazing course had the most perfect combination of descents and climbs all the while with the breathtaking backdrop of beautiful mountains, streams, forest, desert, and meadows.   The Butte 100 is a mountain bike race make for mountain bikers.  There was over 16,000 feet of elevation in the midst of the continental divide.

There were also so many reasons why anyone would want to quit, but you don't. If you finish, it's a major accomplishment.  When you're out there racing, the only thing you think of is that you want to finish and it's not about the guy you're beating.  It's more about the personal conquest and mountains you're conquering.  Like many races, I kept myself motivated by asking myself questions like, 'what will i do all the rest of the day?'; or when I got lost off the course: 'Is there a chance I can pull out of this hole now?'.  I watch, wait, hurt, and wonder what advantages I might have.  During a 10+ hour 100 mile race, the ground is leveled by the challenge of the race course and weather conditions.  The physical challenges, terrain, bicycle, gears, etc., give you advantages...or not.  Certainly, every other person out there is hurting too, it just boils down to who has the most advantages and who is able to use them best. 
Photo by Jon Wick (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonwick/sets/72157627268159234/)

During this race, I was doing great.  But, at about 30 miles into the race I ended up at a closed gate without any marking that I went through, but I didn't see any markings on the trails so I turned around.  When I met up with the second place person, he confirmed it was the right way so we rode together a while.  I was riding my own pace, but worked on about a 10 minute lead at about half way through.  By the second half of the race, I was getting a little tired and trying so hard to make sure I didn't have mistakes.  Then, even though the was marked well, I thought I got lost again because there were no markings in a section that really didn't need to be marked, but I'm paranoid about getting lost now.  Anyway, I spent at least 30 minutes getting back on track and someone told me I was now in second place.  I had lost about 15 more minutes but I focused and was determined to catch the guy that managed to pass me.  It was so long before I caught him, but when I did, we rode together a while before he started cramping.  It seemed like forever to get to the end after he pulled off and I finished first place in 9 hrs 36 min.
Photo by Jon Wick (http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonwick/sets/72157627268159234/)

In an average week, I'm lucky to get in 16,000 feet of elevation, so this particular race is without a doubt (to me), the most difficult race that I'm more than pleased to participate in.  This was also one of the events I could see what my fitness is like.  This race is totally different from Leadville 100.  It takes about half the time to ride 100 miles in Leadville as it does in Butte.  But, it is perfect for guaging how the body is working and to mentally prepare for the brutally fast 100 miles in Leadville.

Of all the years I've been doing this, I've noticed that the smaller the town is, the nicer the people are.  The bike shop donated a bike to a raffle only for the volunteers, who did such a fantastic job.  I thought that was really nice of the Leipheimer family to take care of them so well and the volunteers were really happy.  I guess I like this race so much because of the town, the race promoter, the mountains and beautiful, amazing, brutal climbing, and because of the wonderful people in the town.

I am so lucky to be able to race mountain bikes.  Some people can live their entire lives and never see what we get to see in a race like this.  I get to explore so much and witness this amazing world.  100 miles is a lot of territory and not easy to get around, but on a bike, it's the most rewarding experience anyone could dream possible.

Gosh, I love this job.

Tinker 

PS - If anyone has any photos I can post with this story please email to me - dtinkerj at aol.com  --  thank you!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Crusher was a crusher!!

Well, when I was on the line getting ready for the race start, I looked around at all the cyclocross bikes and a couple of the road bikes lining up with me and my Cannondale Flash.  Hummmmm....  I thought, maybe I was at the wrong race??  Or maybe I missed the memo about the preferred gear for the day??  Huh?! 

But, I was warned that this was half road and half mtb race and it would be a very fast off-road mtb venue.  What I didn't know was that, literally, the locals picked cyclocross bikes because they knew that there was more paved road than offroad, and the offroad was almost like it was paved.  In hindsight, it was the smoothest off-road trail I've ever ridden! 

As I looked around, I didn't recognize very many of the guys lining up with me.  The guys mostly had high end cyclocross bikes, and here I am ready to go, feeling less confident with each cross bike lining up with me, but I made the best of the day and had a blast on the fast fun course.  It was also a very painful day.

I'm proud of myself for fininshing 9th overall and did the best I could to survive the event.  It was at high altitude and I had my mtb gears set up with a 42, compared to the 50's on the cross bikes, and I also had knobby tires.  I was spinning my a** off!! 

When I was hurting the most was when the guys were catching up and passing me on the climbs.  But I was able to make some time up on the descents, even though I'm fairly cautious on the descents, but my Flash was like a rocket down the hills and during that part, I had the better equipment.  I knew it was the only way I had any chance to keep the loss as minimal as I could, so I did the best I could to gain a little just to loose it again when they caught me on the road.  Unfortunately, there were not enough descents to hold them off very long and so I just kept saying to myself...'here they come again', and kept spinning as fast as I could.  I think there were more climbs than descents.

Just wanted to say it was GREAT to be able to race with my teammate Tim Johnson, who also rides for Cannondle Factory Racing.  I've known him for  a long time but he's a cyclocross racer, and I had not previously raced him before.  It was great to line up with him.  He was looking strong and riding fast, but got a flat early in the race.  It was a long while until he caught me, but when he did, he was strong as ever.  It was an honor to ride with my teammate, and we finished together with him in 8th place.

So, did this prepare me for Leadville?  Well, you won't see many or any cyclocross bikes at the Leadville 100, so it was a super different race.  Like Leadville, the race was at 10,000+ ft, which reminded me that there is no way for me, who lives and trains at sea level, to show up a couple of days early and expect to do well.  I have to make sure to either show up the day before the race or acclimate for at least 7 to 10 days before the race.  The second or third day at altitude is always the worst for me, and it always gets me bad, so I know I will prepare by acclimating before Leadville.  It also reminded me about the road team tactics used at both races, and how I'll have to work to make sure and take advantage of that.  I also need to remember to eat and drink enough, because when I'm on my own like I was at the Crusher, I don't always fulfill the plans...but I'll have the Cannondale team support at Leadville, which is always a lifesaver. So the bottom line is, that any good quality, fast, hard race at altitude is excellent to help prepare for something like Leadville, so yes, I hope it helped.

I just want to thank Burke Swindlehardt, the promoter for having me there and for putting together a fantastic event on a fast course. It was fun and I learned a couple of new things! I better do my homework a lot more and read up on what the locals have to say about the race. I'm not much of a web lurker and I had no idea what to expect.  It was a last minute decision to participate, and as far as I knew, it was a mtb race, so I brought my mountain bike! Ha!  But this was a first time race, and I did not tap into the local knowlege as I should have.  Thank you to all the excellent volunteers, race sponsors, and staff.  It was a great race and I do hope you can do this again next year.  I'd love to see what I can do on a cyclocross bike!

Peace,

Tinker