Last weekend while doing trail work Cannondale-WTB OverMountain rider Mark Weir was crushed by a 300-pound tree limb, breaking his pelvis in three places. We talked to him by phone from his home in Novato, California, where he’s recuperating for the next six to eight weeks. Mark was especially disappointed about the accident because he just signed a new, three-year contract with the Cannondale OverMountain team. All things considered Weir seemed in good spirits and was happy to talk about his ordeal.Tweet Print
The NoTubes Trans-Sylvania Epic presented by Dirt Rag is now offering a three-day stage race alternative called TS3 during the Epic targeted towards racers who can’t be away for an entire week. TS3 racers get the same benefits as the 7-day Epic competitors (since they will be riding the same courses) including fully stocked aid stations, mechanical supplies at each checkpoint, a daily quick bike check by Freeze Thaw Cycles from State College, back up mechanical assistance from SRAM and BMC’s neutral support bikes available at each checkpoint.
TS3 also includes special prizes from event partners tossed in at random through the weekend. Overall TS3 GC and enduro awards include $10,000 in prizes. TS3 will start on Sunday, May 25 and finish Tuesday, May 27 (the first three days of the 7-day race.)
TS3 racers will mass start separately on Sunday and instead of racing the classic ITT they will do two cross-country style laps on the time trial course. The next two days will be the Coopers Gap epic stage followed by the Galbraith Enduro on Tuesday to decide final TS3 GC.
We sat down with Trans-Sylvania Epic promoter Mike Kuhn as asked him a few questions about the new event. Read our interview here.Tweet Print
A good pair of winter shoes is key for year round riding if you live where it gets cold and snowy. Depending on your region, super duty boots like Lake’s MXZ might be overkill, that’s where Lake’s new $260 MX145 mid-weight winter shoe comes in.
The water resistant upper is constructed with a combination of waxed canvas, leather and a waterproof membrane to keep foul weather elements at bay. The fiberglass injected sole is stiff enough for good power transfer and the durable rubber lugs provide good traction in snow and over wet, slippery logs and rocks.Tweet Print
Photos by Maurice Tierney and Shimano
In response to its rapid growth, Shimano American Corporation has expanded its Irvine, Calif., office building by some 48,000 square feet turning it into a massive 51,000 square foot distribution center. An entirely new, modern business center also opened directly across the street for Shimano’s marketing, R&D and inside sales staff.
A recent move by Shimano to go dealer direct with its products, which also includes Pearl Izumi and a host of fishing brands, not only means lower prices for the customer but a need to expand warehouse capability for shipping, receiving and storage. Even after a year the project is still being completed with a new fire sprinkler system being installed, new hi-tech conveyers being finalized and large storage spaces being prepared. Other changes to the former offices include a fishing rod and reel repair and warranty center for quick turnaround.
Shimano’s Marketing Manager Joe Lawwill, who raced professionally for over 10 years and won a Masters Downhill World Championship in 2002, showed us around the entrance to the new, highly modern Business Center. Visitors are treated to an action video loop on the main screen while a smaller interactive monitor showcases Shimano’s history in cycling.Tweet Print
The first issue of 2014 has shipped to subscribers and should be showing up on newsstands any day now. Want to make sure you never miss an issue? Pick up a subscription.
You may have noticed from the recent batch of bike First Impressions that have been popping up on this site, the staff recently embarked on a little trip to focus solely on a $2,500, six-bike test for the upcoming February issue (Dirt Rag #175). Our chosen location was the Stokesville Lodge in Virginia, just outside of the bustling college town of Harrisonburg.
The area is famous to a large part of the right hand side of the country for more than just exceptional riding: it boasts upwards of 500 miles of amazing singletrack, is home and training grounds to Sho-Air/Cannondale pro Jeremiah Bishop and NoTubes’ Sue Haywood and on top of that the Stokesville campground behind the lodge is home to the legendary Shenandoah Mountain 100 race.
As good as the camping is with its vast network of trails right out of you tent flap, it’s never been open to the public for anything other than the race on the last weekend in August and the Virginia Mountain Bike Festival in late May. Much to the delight of many, we found out that this is about to change, likely as soon as this summer.Tweet Print
Just as the 29er movement was exploding, Giant stood firm in its belief that bigger wheels were not a replacement for the good ol’ 26-inch standard. As large wheels became de rigueur for most other brands, Giant began to dangle off the back of the pack, both in progression and image. Sure, its full suspension bikes benefitted from the highly effective Maestro design, but in a market where buyers were scooping up 29ers like pelicans over a lazy school of fish Giant’s tide seemed to be retreating fast. Eventually the company dabbled in 29ers which performed well but weren’t the most popular choices among fashionable buyers.Tweet Print
I remember when I first moved to the East Coast and Team CF (Cystic Fibrosis) formed in Philadelphia. They were a small group of mostly local riders who had a lot of heart, some notable results and now a big vision: Take it all up a notch and create a larger regional, and maybe national, presence to raise awareness for the cause. It impressed me how quickly they became a dominant force. Go to any regional endurance or National Ultra Endurance Series race, and you were guaranteed to see a lot of blue and white argyle, often leading the charge.
Team founder and major funder Dr. Jim Wilson, who has been the leading researcher on cystic fibrosis in the world for over 20 years, is not only an avid mountain biker himself, but also saw firsthand how vigorous exercise like mountain biking was as effective as therapy for kids and adults with the inherited, chronic lung disease (and let’s face it, it’s way more fun). He wanted to use cycling as a platform to promote fitness for those with CF, to increase awareness of CF, and to raise money for CF research.
In short order the elite mountain bike team (the team also includes cyclocross racers), led by Christian Tanguy, Cheryl Sornson, Gerry Pflug, and Selene Yeager cleaned up at nearly every endurance race in the Mid-Atlantic region, not even Trek legend Jeff Schalk could stop Tanguy in the NUE series that first and second year. Along the way, besides the elite squad, he nurtured a growing band of amateur cyclists on the club team, many who had Cystic Fibrosis themselves and used the sport to retain a better quality of life.
As the team broadened, its riders began successfully hitting select stage and marathon races on the west coast as well as foreign lands such as Africa, Brazil and Costa Rica with success not only in results, but also in spreading the message of Dr. Wilson.
Heading into this year there’s an important name change and a new look—Team Rare Disease Cycling. This represents Dr. Wilson’s ongoing research well beyond just CF but to all rare diseases. The elite team has also added notable racers, including up and coming pro Cole Oberman, to leave an even bigger footprint, both in its race results and message. The team, along with The Penn Center for Orphan Disease Research and Therapy, will also be hosting a “Million Dollar Bike Ride” this May in Philadelphia to raise money for rare disease research.
If what I’ve seen so far is any indication, Rare Disease Cycling will be a force to be reckoned with—and definitely fun to watch—this season.Tweet Print
By Mike Cushionbury
For a great many of us, road riding isn’t a dedicated endeavor of criterium racing and hill repeats. It’s a combination of long days on the pavement, as many dirt roads as we can find, a training race here and there and maybe even a cyclocross race. This of course begs the question, is there just one do-it-all bike for all of the above?
The answer according to Specialized is, in fact, yes. Taking what it learned from the successful CruX cross line, Specialized has been dabbling in creating the ultimate gravel road bike, a concept that seems to be working as team riders Rebecca Rusch and Dan Hughes both won the Dirty Kanza 200 this year on specially outfitted editions of the “gravel” Crux. The production model, dubbed the CruX EVO, is a $3,200 road/gravel/cross machine that could be the only drop bar bike you’ll ever need. Or want. Read the full storyTweet Print