Wednesday, July 1, 2009

L'epic avec JG: musings de la musette - PREPERATIONS

A deep look into the vigorous preparations of an epic...don’t get me wrong here folks most of my accounts will likely be light-hearted and delivered with a grain of salt, some Old Chub and a good sense of humor. Make no mistake, however, that the nature of the Breck Epic, a 6 day mountain bike stage race within the heart of Colorado’s famously snow-capped Rockies is a rough and tough, no non-sense trial into the depths of fitness, courage, preparation, technical prowess. We're talkin' 'bout a soul searching nose dive into the guts of each rider as they battle not only the mountain, their respective competitors, but most certainly the evils that lay hiding beneath the surface of our own perceptions. Usually these evils arise as questions: “why the hell am I doing this?” “Am I really fit enough to finish?” “Can I really eat another GU?” “What if I can’t do it?” “What would I be without bike-racing?” “Am I taking years off the of my life?” “Butt butter! What?”

Such inquiries and many more will arise everyday during my pain, er I mean epic. I hope to share all of them with you! Hopefully my account of the week long Breck Epic will inspire, entertain and shed some light on why my family calls me “crazy”…or at least give you a good read whilst at work. Suckas!

Like I said, this is a vigorous thing, this bike racing. But, for me it’s not so much the actual riding and racing that I find extremely challenging, it's the freaking preparations. I understand why people run and I for sure see the appeal in tossing around the frisbee. It’s not so dang difficult to prepare for! This is a problem, because, self admittedly, I happen to be terrible at planning ahead and taking care of the details that accompany bike racing. Not this time though. I have 4 days to go and I am kicking ass. Just yesterday in fact I went to pick up a bike at the Maverick global headquarters in a little place called Golden. (btw, Golden is sooo Golden…I love that place)

So, as many of you may know I have a Spot(pun definitely intended…wink) on the Spot Brand/Dale’s Pale Ale bike racing squad. Therefore, you may be asking yourself why I’m at Maverick getting a bike? Well...the first reason is both of these homegrown companies share space in Golden, Colorado. By the way...Spot Brand Bikes is building singlespeed trophy frames for the winners of the SS Solo and SS team categories, CHECK THIS BABY OUT! And to be honest, based on the duration & difficulty of the race I’m scared of what my back would feel like after 6 days on my favorite Spot hardtail…not to mention my girly parts! Thus, the always delightful and charming likes of Mike Swafford and Chris Russum at the Mav graciously offered to let me ride a cool, light blue Durance. It’s awesome! I'll be starting out stage one on my Spot Brand hardtail & be making the transition to the Maverick Durance as the courses demand.

So after Ethan, Maverick’s Tech/wizard/Guru, helped me swap over some parts, I quickly hopped into the green hornet, aka my car, and hurried down to meet George Mullen.
He is one of the very best bike fit specialists in Colorado, perhaps the entire country. If you are in need of a truly professional fit, he is your man. He works with your own strength, flexibility and ride ability to set you up in a position that is tailored especially for you. To contact George email him at:

Once I was masterfully positioned on the Durance(on my WTB saddle)I was ready to take it for a test ride. A few other bike part changes need to be done like switching over to a lighter wheel set (I’m going with a sweet Stans NoTubes ZTR set with Chris King hubs. A special thanks goes out to Taylor Anderson at Spot Brand for getting those built up for me) but for today I swung a leg over the saddle sans sweet wheels and took the Durance, named “copious” (Maverick does not assign serial numbers to their bikes but rather names) and hit a trail that I have come to think of as my arch nemesis.

The Picture Rock trail and Wild Turkey trails are not uber gnarly but there is something about them that I simply do'nt like. Granted, previous to my ride today I had only ridden it on my beloved Spot Brand hardtail, but after riding it armed with full sauce and a pivot system that allows me to peddle over rocks smoothly two things happened: 1. I still DON”T like the trail! 2. I love the bike “Copi”, as I will lovingly call him from here on out, rode like a dream. I am confident that this is the bike for the job. Thank you team Maverick for the sweet rig (Mike, Chris and Ethan) and thank you George Mullen for making sure my long skinny arms were properly set up in a most excellent fit.

Tomorrow I plan to sleep in. Yeah! Then get the wheel set dialed. I’ll hit up Dave Chase at the, always radical, Redstone Cyclery in Lyons. Dave definitely knows his stuff and is always right on with any bike questions/help, check out his blog: The Redstone Underground. He’s my main man when it comes to that side of the preparations. 3 ½ days to go…

Stay tuned…copious amounts of verbiage, fun, and stuff will be had by all.

Ciao and many cheers,


1 comment:

DMC said...

you go girl ,,,,, looks like a good ride to get through all those miles..
Refuel at MY Thai ,,,Thai restaurant in Breck it will give you the need energy,.