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Wells wins third straight Marathon champs, Grant takes women’s title

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Photo by Micah Rice

Twenty-two Stars-and-Stripes jerseys were earned on Saturday as the 2014 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships brought an action-packed end to the Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival in Idaho.

Riders left the start line in morning and afternoon waves with temperatures being near perfect for the morning races and beautiful, but hot, in the afternoon.

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Todd Wells (Durango, Colo./Specialized Factory Racing) made it three in a row in Sun Valley, finishing six minutes ahead of silver and bronze medalists Stephen Ettinger (Bozeman, Mont./BMX Mountain Bike Racing Team) and Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Fort Lewis College/Specialized) in the pro men’s event. The win was the third straight Marathon Mountain Bike national title for Wells.

Rose Grant (Kalispell, Mont./Sportsman & Ski Haus) rode her way into the Stars-and-Stripes jersey in the women’s pro race, finishing 14 minutes faster than silver and bronze medalists Joey Lythgoe (Park City, Utah) and Nina Baum (Albuquerque, NM).

See more results here.


Video: ‘Danny MacAskill – Epecuén’

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Courtesy of Red Bull

Following on from 2013’s mind-blowing ‘MacAskill’s Imaginate’, Epecuén is the latest film from Danny MacAskill.

Directed by long time collaborator Dave Sowerby, will see Danny take his riding back to the roots of trials riding, exploring the forgotten town of Epecuén in Argentina, a location that has been submerged for the majority of the past 25 years.

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Pablo Novac, Epecuén’s only resident throughout the troubled times, gives a brief history of the location culminating with his thoughts that he ‘…can no longer see what use this place has for us now,’ MacAskill however has other ideas.

Danny MacAskill is renowned for pushing the levels of both his riding and filming with previous releases ‘Way Back Home’ and ‘Imaginate’ accumulating over 50 million views between them; Epecuén is set to raise the bar once again.

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Watch the film here.


Trans-Sylvania Day 1: Bishop, Sorenson take Stage 1, Wicks leading TS3

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Text and photographs courtesy of the TSE Media Team

Racing started with a bang for some and a whimper for others in the first stage of the week-long NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic mountain bike race presented by Dirt Rag Magazine in the wilds of western Pennsylvania.

Sunny skies and mild warm temperatures showcased the best of Pennsylvania in the spring and added to the fun-time feel of the “Singletrack Summer Camp” vibe surrounding the race. However, while the weather was mild, the racing was far from laid-back, since the BikeFlights and Grimpeur Bros presented by SMCC individual time trial first stage is one of the major determinants in placings for the rest of the week.

The 15-mile time trial had some new singletrack sections added, making the race truly East Coast technical-style riding, complete with an “East Coast Rocks” race section as well as the SRAM Enduro section. Flats and crashes were par for the course, and it was a rare rider who came across the finish line without any mud splatters, thanks to some massive downpours the day before.

Read the full story


Review: Van Nicholas Zion 29

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By John Herron

I’ve ridden my share of XC wünderbikes over the last 20 years, but I wasn’t familiar with Van Nicholas, or its line of titanium bikes. Without much of an American dealer presence, the Dutch company relies on its website for selling to most of the United States, which left me to ponder: Can you reach Ti Nirvana from a dropdown menu?

Find out in our long term review.


Join Shine’s monthly Santa Cruz Ride at the Chanticleer Pumptrack

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By Joh Rathbun. Photos by Clay Ryon.

I’m usually the only woman at the pump track, so I’ve decided that if I have to be the only woman to get more women out there, I will be that woman. I also lead rides in Santa Cruz for my team, Shine Riders. The Shine Santa Cruz rides are designed for women to work on their bike-handling skills, regardless of their skill and fitness level. So, it seemed like a no-brainer to host a Shine ride at a pump track. I would get the women out there via my team outreach.

Read the full story


Rider’s Eye: Mountain bike biathlon

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Not what you expect to see from mountain bikers, huh? Photographer Leo Volz III captured the action at the International Intergalactic Global Open Mountain Bike Team Relay Championship of the Multi-Friggin-Verse (yes, that’s the official name) in Marysville, Penn. It was the first race of the Mid-Atlantic Super Series and afterwards there was a special bonus event: mountain bike biathlon. The premise was simple: ride two miles, shoot, ride two miles, shoot, ride two more miles to the finish. See more of Volz’s photos from the event here and send your favorite photographs to riderseye@dirtragmag.com.

 


‘Fabrique au Quebec’ – Inside Xprezo bikes

Words and Photos by Ryan Thibault

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I smile at the customs agent. She’s scrutinizing my passport—one glance down at my mug shot, one up at me…and again. The photo is dated, and my Afro has long since been quaffed.

“An’ why are you tra-ve-ling to Ca-na-da?” she asks in a French accent as cute as her face.

“To visit Cycles Xprezo,” I reply. 

“Ah, a moun-tain bi-ker,” she says with a knowing smile while handing back my documents and nodding me past.

There are a number of universal loves in Quebec and the bicycle tops the list, alongside Celine Dione and poutine. Spend even a few minutes in the province and the fanaticism for man’s most noble invention is apparent. This ingrained affinity for bicycle technology has given birth to one of Canada’s homegrown bicycle manufacturers, Cycles Xprezo.

Read the full story and see more photos.


Ride Like A Girl

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By Joh Rathbun. Photos by Jason Van Horn.

Most ladies I know wouldn’t be too happy if you told them they “ride like a girl” — unless you’re one of the ladies from the Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay, that is.

On February 1, I joined up with ladies from the BTCEB for the monthly Ride Like a Girl event. Ride Like a Girl is the first Saturday of the month, and is ladies-only. According to the group’s meetup.com page, “The emphasis of these rides will be [to have] fun and to meet other women who love to ride. We have rides geared towards all level of riders with experienced leaders.” This was my first time riding with them, but not my first time at El Corte de Madera Creek Open Space Preserve, commonly known as Skegg’s. It’s part of a green belt just south of San Francisco comprised of 62,000 acres of land, in 26 open space preserves.

BTCEB was founded in 1987, and is a founding member of IMBA. From its website, “BTCEB has been a leader in encouraging low-impact environmentally friendly riding, volunteer trail work participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, and grass roots advocacy. Of course we also love to ride bikes and have fun!”

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While the sun was out, the temperature was low compared to our recent weather—about 50 degrees. After introductions, Amy Arcus led while Jane Moorehead swept the eight of us. We entered the park on a downward singletrack. The redwood forest welcomed us with the hush of wind through the trees and the smell of wet earth. The singletrack led us past the redwoods and lush bracken ferns, to tight madrone and tanoak groves. After the dryness we experienced in Santa Cruz, the forest felt fecund.

“Strava clocked us at 10.5 miles and 2,400 feet of climbing, I think the elevation gain is a little high but I’ll take it,” Amy said, but it didn’t feel like 2,400 feet of climbing, as the downhill and uphill changed frequently. We rode trails like Sierra Morena, Methuselah, Giant Salamander, Blue Blossom Trail, and rode the Fir Trail back out—which was a nice graded fire road. Ten women, one crash, lots of laughs, and 10 miles later, we exited the park, blissed out.

BTECB stoked us out on snacks after the ride—and there was even beer. Big ups to Inga Beck for arranging the Ride Like a Girl Ride, and to Amy and Jane, who may not have known the names of all the trails, but knew how to have fun. Lastly, here’s a big thank you to Family Cycling Center for the loaner bike—the Santa Cruz Blur LTC was built for Skegg’s! Like my carpool buddy, Donna Riggs said, “It was worth the drive.”

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Joh Rathbun is a freelance writer, and columnist and ride leader for Shine Riders Co. To stay up to date on West Coast events, like her Facebook page, or contact her at johrathbun.wix.com/freelancewriter.

 

 


Review: Foundry Broadaxe

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Tools, in the most basic sense, empower you. They’re an investment in the future; they will help you accomplish things. Foundry Cycles, as a brand, has really pursued the marketing their carbon fiber bicycles as tools. In the hands of a skilled user, or rider, the tool will be transformed into a beautiful thing. Dirty, but beautiful. My tool was the carbon fiber Broadaxe B2—a 29er hardtail, sporting the middle of the three SRAM drivetrain packages. The price for the three Broadaxe models ranges from $3,000 for the X7-equipped B1 up to $5,600 for the XX-equipped model.

“Stealthy” is how I would describe this bike. Its lines are symmetrical and clean and seem to flow uninterrupted, fore and aft. If you appreciate a matte, primer gray paint job on a classic muscle car, you will like the looks of the Broadaxe. Internal cable routing, tapered head tube, the new SRAM X0 Type 2 rear derailleur, Press-Fit 30 bottom bracket, 15mm thru-axle in the front, and a 12x142mm thru-axle in the rear make this bike a caucus of the latest standards and tech—the Broadaxe is kryptonite to retro-grouches.

Read more in our long-term review.


Jay Petervary wins Arrowhead 135

Photos by David Gabrys/45NRTH

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The frozen feats of strength known as the Arrowhead 135 started Monday morning and 45NRTH sponsored rider Jay Petervary took the win in his first attempt, finishing the 135 miles in 20 hours and 11 minutes.

Though it was his first crack at the race, Petervary is no stranger to these types of races. He has won the Iditarod Trail Invitational (350 AND 1,100-mile versions), the Tour Divide and now the Arrowhead.

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Armed with nearly a full fleet of 45NRTH gear, he likely stayed pretty toasty warm, even as temperatures hit -30 degrees overnight.

Check out the amazing photo gallery from David Gabrys of 45NRTH of the action here.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Petervary set a record in the Arrowhead. The record is actually held by Todd McFadden at 14 hours 20 minutes.

 


Video: The making of ‘Get High’ in Slovakia

Think those videos you see of amazing mountain adventures just come easy? Think again. Some aspiring filmmakers from Slovakia got in touch with their story of their adventure in the West Tatras mountains and how their new film “Get High” came to be.

By Zuzana Triebusnikova

One and a half year ago I did not know almost anything about mountain biking. Now I can say that I know more about it and have seen more videos than a regular rider. Peter Lengyel has infected me with his passion and showed me that it is possible to do what you like.

He had this video in mind for a long time. Thus, when he was ready to make it I wanted to take part. Even though it is a short movie, it took a lot of work, effort and planning. It is almost no budget movie. No budget, because we had only family support (borrowed cars and some equipment) and a borrowed bike for 2 weeks which Peter have not ridden before. However, without the priceless help of our friends, the video would be impossible. The biggest thanks goes to Juraj Lovás and Michal (Sakso) Stiksa who filmed the entire video.

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So we had two weeks to film it. As you will see from the pictures, the weather was not always pleasing us. Rain, snow, fog, drizzle, wind, sun, we had all kinds of weather…

Keep reading…


Fat Bike Summit brings trail users together

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Photos by Griff Wigley

The Midwest Fat Bike Access & Grooming Workshop was held on January 9 and 10 in Cable, Wisconsin. This gathering brought together over 70 advocates from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin devoted to improving off-road cycling and fat biking in winter. The event was sponsored by Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) and hosted by Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC), International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), and the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA).

Read more about the event here.


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