Dirt Rag Magazine

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


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.

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Race recap: Pura Vida at La Ruta

By Heidi Shilling


My journey to Costa Rica started in early July when I realized I had a chance to win a free entry to La Ruta de los Conquistadores, a three-day mountain bike stage race considered to be one the toughest in the world.

I had been texting with my good friend Annie about the race. She had recently moved back to Ohio and we became fast friends cut from the same cloth. She was a hell of a mountain biker—we would ride for hours talk about everything and nothing at all. She was wise beyond her years, never judgmental and always found a way to make me laugh.


The last text I ever got from her was about La Ruta. The very next day she was killed by a drunk driver. My beautiful, smart, silly, wild Annie was gone. The only thing that made me feel better after her death was riding my bike. Fast forward a few months and had won the Ohio Mountain Bike Championship series for expert women. The next thing I knew I was stepping on a plane headed to Costa Rica.

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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.


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…

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One day you’re in, the next you’re out

By Vicki Barclay

Approaching a big race like the Trans-Sylvania Epic, people always ask, “How you are feeling?” and “Are you ready?” I always find it a funny question to answer! The same way as when someone asks how a job interview went, men tend to answer with confidence, I have noticed, whereas females tend to be more coy and careful. I prefer the coy and careful approach.

The truth is, mountain bike stage racing is like no other racing. As Heidi Klum from Project Runway would say (yes, I know, I love crap TV!): “One day your in, the next you’re out” (with a very abrupt tone for out). You can be having the ride of your life, only to be taken out by a mechanical, illness, etc. In other words, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

This spring, with the incredible support from the Stan’s NoTubes Women’s Elite Team, I have been able to participate in a whole range of races on my journey towards TSE, including the Maryland State Champs at Greenbriar; the Whiskey Off-Road; the Wildcat 100; Mike Kuhn’s universal relay race; a 4 hour endurance race; and a cross country race in the Mid-Atlantic super series. It has been the most enjoyable spring racing to date, mostly because I have loved racing my Cannondale Scalpel 29er! The bike climbs like a cross-country hard tail, but floats over the rocks like an amazing full suspension bike.

But do all those races mean I am ready for TSE? Thoughts start creeping across my mind, like “Should I have done more back-to-back hard days of training instead of racing?” “Why didn’t I make the effort to pre-ride some of the stages that I don’t ride too often?” “Should I be more anal about my bike set-up, positioning etc?”

What I am learning more and more with stage racing, and indeed all other types of racing however, is that you have to quietly accept and be at peace with your preparations, turn up to the start line rested, and not get caught up in what other people are doing in training, eating, drinking, etc. At least that’s how it works for me.

The prologue starts Sunday and I am excited about what the week will bring. Are you ready?

Racing roads to the Trans-Sylvania Epic

By Stephan Kincaid,

The Tour of the Battenkill is a road race spread over an entire weekend and catering to the beginner to the Pro. Littered with a bunch of dirt road sections it’s becoming a legendary event. This year had over 3,500 racers in attendance on Saturday alone.

So what does this have to do with getting ready for Trans-Sylvania Epic?

First, the Tour of the Battenkill is backed by one of my best sponsors. I’m blessed to have a wonderful company in Stan’s NoTubes, and an excellent team in Stan’s NoTubes p/b Proferrin behind me for a variety of events for 2013. One of these is TSE.

Who in their right mind would support a 40 year old semi-retired dude with product and incredible amounts of enthusiasm? Stan’s NoTubes, that’s who! I was happy to see Cindy, Bob and Richie working hard for their company and taking care of their riders and their prospective customers. They are truly one of the best in the biz.

Stan’s treats you like family!

How cool is this? Personalized frame stickers!

Second, my teammates are like my brothers and I want to take care of them. During the race I did my best to shepherd Jake, John, Mike and Jacob around the field. It’s especially important to be at the entrance of the dirt sections. Not doing so can put you immediately on the brakes, this then forces you to re-accelerate in order to stay in the field. Those of you not familiar with road racing can relate to a mountain bike race surging to enter the single track. Too far back and you may never see the front again. In addition, once you get dropped in a road race, it’s rare that you get back and there’s fear of being time cut (not being classified as a finisher).

Thankfully, even with my lack of consistent riding (thanks to my full time job, recently moving and yada yada yada), I was able to dutifully perform my domestique role. I was eventually dropped at mile 55. I’d rather be dropped busting my butt for my team than to sit in and be invisible. I finished the race with others in my position to finish the 82 mile day in under four hours. Here’s the Strava info.

Some of the best parts of race/travel is meeting new people, seeing new places and sampling good restaurant fare. Of particular fun was meeting a host family and their dog Copper! Thank you for taking care of us!

How can one not love this face!

Get in my belly! A post race refuel stop at the Gilded Otter in New Paltz, NY.

Keep on Keeping On!

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