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
Ladies, there’s no reason to park your bike for winter if you live near one of Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Parks. Especially with the hugely popular Women’s Weekend coming up quick.
On the Friday of each weekend the ENTIRE park is closed to men from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and pro rider Leigh Donovan will be hosting clinics and instruction. Plus there’s free lunch from Chipotle, door prizes, goodie bags and more. After 4 p.m. the party continues, but you’ll have to share the park with the dudes.
Then on Saturday and Sunday women will enjoy half price admission. Tickets are $25 for Friday’s activities and half off normal prices for Saturday and Sunday.
Women’s weekend will be February 7-9 at Rays Cleveland and March 7-9 in Milwaukee.
See you there!
X-Fusion has been stepping up its game big time in the past year, picking up more OE specs and topping off its range with the limited-edition, American-made, inverted Revel HLR fork. Watch as lead engineer Paul Turner discusses how its unique dual air spring system works and watch as it gets assembled.Tweet Print
Last spring Bell Helmets and IMBA partnered to award a total of $100,000 to three trail projects in the first Bell Built Grants. With the hope of making it even bigger in 2014, Bell and IMBA hope to spread the word so riders all around the country realize the opportunity they have for a trail to be built in their community for the benefit of local shredding. Like last year, Bell will be providing IMBA with $100,000 in grant funding in support of trail building.
Starting in January and running through the end of February, Bell and IMBA will begin taking applications for 2014 trails, with finalists named during the first week of March. Voting will then come in three regional phases, starting in April with the West coast, and ending in May with the East coast, with central voting in between. From there, all winners will be officially announced in May 2014, with trail design and construction beginning in June.
Bell and IMBA received over a hundred grant submissions last year from IMBA chapters, clubs and land management agencies, and it is expected that the number of applications will increase in 2014. IMBA Trail Solutions, the international leader in developing singletrack trails, was responsible for the building and designing of all three trail projects and will continue this in 2014 with help from local volunteers.
Bell and IMBA have also produced a short video of each of the 2013 winners. See them below. Keep checking back here to see how to nominate your community.Tweet Print
Cyclocross season may be winding down, but if you’ve got Holiday Fever, the only solution might be MORE COWBELL. Moots is happy to obliged with the annual release of Ti Sticks, a noisemaker made from excess or scrap tubing from Moots frames.
The titanium tubes are cut and finished in just a way to provide the perfect resonance for heckling your favorite racer. They will undoubtedly ride faster and farther thanks to your assistance.
Each year, 100 percent of the proceeds from the Ti Sticks goes to charity or advocacy groups. For 2013, the recipient is the Great Colorado Flood Relief, a natural choice after the devastating floods along the Front Range in Moots’ home state. Each of the 2013 tubes is also marked with the Great Colorado Flood Relief logo for extra specialness. There are only 31 being built this year, and with Cyclocross Nationals coming up in January in Boulder, these are likely to go fast. Order yours here.Tweet Print
A long-standing Pennsylvania tradition, Bilenky Cycle Works has hosted a… unique cyclocross race each winter through a salvage yard. There are no UCI officials measuring tire widths, the barriers are not to spec, and #handupsarenotacrime.
This Saturday the annual event was pushed to new levels with the influx of humanity (and inhumanity) in town for the Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships. The Junkyard Cross was tapped as a qualifying event for the Big Show, with heats of riders dualing for a finale and a chance to race in the Sunday’s main event. If you favored style over speed, you could still enter Sunday’s Everyone’s A Winner race, complete with universal #1 number plates.
There were a few scary moments, and likely some flat tires, but overall the event was one of the most amazing spectacles I’ve ever seen. Until Sunday that is…
Stay tuned for more!Tweet Print
Folks, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, along with partners Santa Cruz Bicycles and Yuba Expeditions, is proud to announce another “5 Bucks A Foot” campaign. Up for grabs this time is the winner’s choice of ANY Santa Cruz bicycle, along with ONE YEAR’s worth of free shuttles courtesy of Yuba Expeditions! Every purchased foot of singletrack is an opportunity to win, and the phones are open now through January 6, 2014.Tweet Print
Hanging out in the Lexus booth at the Tokyo Motor Show was this concept bike dubbed the NXB, for “Neo Xtreme Bike”. Oh my.
The Y-shaped frame looks like a relic from the 90′s (where it should have stayed) but the construction is fairly high-tech, being built from Lexus’ carbon-fiber loom that was previously used to build the Lexus LFA supercar.
Some of the parts are decidedly “normal” for a mountian bike: SRAM XX-1 drivetrain, Magura brakes. Others are customized for the build: IRC tires, Xentis wheels. While others like the shockingly dangerous looking aero handlebar extensions and clip-on mounts are purely one-offs. I’m not sure what kind of mountains you’d ride with those…
Anyway, it seems when car makers put their names on bikes they are usually re-badged BSO’s (bicycle-shaped objects, from big-box stores) or crazy-expensive and bizarre prototypes. Do you have a favorite you’ve seen?
Via Gizmag.Tweet Print
Crested Butte in 1980 still echoed with the hammers of miners, not the rumble of knobby tires on singletrack. But that was about to change as a young blue-eyed man named Mike Rust wrenched madly, transforming old Schwinn cruiser bikes into some of Colorado’s first mountain bikes. When the Californians like Gary Fisher and Joe Breeze arrived to test their fancy new bikes on CB’s storied terrain, Rust was ready and spun his way uphill into the ranks of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. Like fresh raw singletrack, Rust cut a path through Colorado’s early days of mountain biking in a swirl of dust mixing innovation, independence, irreverence and a band of Irish brothers into America’s true wild west.
Then he dissappeared without a trace.
The mystery of Rust’s life and disappearance is chronicled in the new film The Rider and the Wolf, from Grit & Thistle films.Tweet Print
WTB OEM Sales Manager Jason Moeschler, a dedicated and decorated racer by heritage, is used to the hectic schedule his business title and passion for elite level racing mandates of him. Crowned the 1997 US Junior National Champion as well as three-time Downieville All Mountain Pro Champion, Moeschler somehow also finds time to coach high school students in Northern California when not racing or working.
Moeschler just completed a work week no one would be envious of. An integral and focal member of Team WTB, Moeschler just concluded a week that began with coaching a youth and adult skills camp in Taipei; moved on to setting up and working Taichung Bike Week’s trade show; quickly followed by the Merida Cup Mountain Bike Race in Changhua; and concluded with an 8-hour race, the Super 8 Enduro in Taichung the following day. Read the full storyTweet Print