Velonews Gallery of the Breck Epic (Check out pic #13 and #26)

14 09 2013

What can I say? Photographers just love this kit.  Or maybe it was the background that caught his eye .  .  .

What can I say? Photographers just love this kit. Or maybe it was the background that caught his eye . . .

Perusing the Breck Epic Facebook page, I found this photo tribute to the Epic by Daniel Dunn featured on Velonews: http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/09/mtb/gallery-breck-epic-2_302526.

A couple of nice Alchemist shots on 13 and 26.





Leadville Trail 100 Video featuring Team ALCHEMIST!

11 09 2013

Lucy Stylianou came all the way from England to shoot this awesome video of the Leadville trail 100 mtb race.  The video was sponsored by Saint-Gobain/Norglide Bearings, and featured cycling legends like Rebecca Rush and our very own,  Jenn Dice (#22 on the Outside Magazine Power List).  Team Alchemist Racers, Jenn D., Dan R., Disco Stu, Drew, and myself were asked to be interviewed and filmed for the video.  My interview was in the middle of a brewing storm, so the audio was unfortunately too crappy to use.  Had my Waltworks there to show off too.  Sorry Walt.

Tweet it, Facebook it, Share it with friends/family `cus we are famous! (in our own tiny little minds).





Alchemist Updates and Photos

29 08 2013

Some Team happenings going on.  Here’s the skinny:

Paul wins Pikes Peak Marathon

Paul defended his Pikes Peak Marathon crown. Winning the 50+ cat. Coming from third place to crush the competition on the descent. Those aging knees just couldn’t take it. Awesome, Paul!

Laurie on Glen Haven Gallivant 200k

Laurie on Glen Haven Gallivant 200k. This was a short one for her, having done 400 and 600k this summer. What!?!?  What’s the female word for animal? . . . . Animal?
Photo from http://coloradobrevets.blogspot.com/

John W. in Wyoming

John W. rode 3800 miles across 23 states. Here he is in Wyoming. Being hunted by jackals.

Is that the Grand Canyon?  John crossed it on a tightrope on live TV.  I think I got that right.

Is that the Grand Canyon? John crossed it on a tightrope on live TV. I think I got that right.

Coast to Coast, Baby!

Coast to Coast, Baby!  John W., du bist ein fickende superfreak! Strong work.

Austin contigent, Tommy F. and the fam relaxing in Philly after racing a Vermont Stage Race.  Tommy, I think that's the Delaware. But if it's the Schuylkill, do NOT fall in.  I used to row in that muck, and headless dogs were commonplace floatsam.

Austin Team contigent, Tommy F. and the fam relaxing in Philly after racing a Vermont Stage Race. Tommy, I think that’s the Delaware, but if it’s the Schuylkill, do NOT fall in. I used to row in that muck, and headless dogs were commonplace floatsam.

Luke won the Boulder Short Track Series for 10 and under. He’s only 9.  Booyah!

Sean B. took second at the Vail Amateur Time Trial, which is a part of the US Pro Challenge, of which Sean is the lead Doctor.  Saving lives AND Podiums.  Need a pic Sean.

Drew went out and rode 24 Hours of Poorman’s/Chapman.  Over 200 miles. 25,000ft of vert.  Self supported.  Why, you ask?  Because he can.

What’s new in Alchemist apparel ?  Baggies and compression socks.  Yeah, you heard it right.  We like it loose, but we also keep it tight around here.  More on that to come.





Cycling News makin John A famous!

18 08 2013

Check it.  Way to go Johnny!

http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/breck-epic-2013/stage-6/photos/276690





Breck Epic Stage 6, Gold Dust

18 08 2013

Final stage of the Epic.  We were 7 minutes out of third in the overall standings.

As Mike Mac puts it, today is the reward for the hell he put us through yesterday, and every day before that.  Gold Dust is a loamy, curvy water channel on the other side of Boreas Pass.  The turns are banked, and the trail is great fun.  But to get there, we have to climb over Boreas.  We started at the Ice Rink today.  We had every intention to start at the front. But as per our usual M.O., we showed up a minute before the start.  Stuart and I lined up with the overall 3rd place team at the back of the pack.  But we needed to make up 7 minutes, so it wasn’t a neutral race.  My legs felt more like their old self, so we hammered it right away, passing most of the field, and working our way up to the top quarter of the field.  Today, we raced.

Coming back from The Gold Dust is a long, railroad-grade dirt road that climbs for 45 minutes.  At the top is Aid 2, and then it’s downhill almost all the way home. We slowed down to share a PBR hand-up before heading home.  On the way home, there is one section of trail in which the river essentially runs along it, down the middle.  A couple years ago, I remember eating sh*t right into the river.  So naturally, as we approached it, I thought, “Do NOT take a bath here again.”.  But which line was the good one?  Right or left?  I chose right.  Or wrong.  I planted my front wheel into a large river rock and took another bath.   Stuart had a good chuckle as he pulled up to find me sputtering Giardia-flavored mountain water.

The rest of the ride home was uneventful, but hectic, as we weren’t sure how much time we had on the third place.  We finished 2nd on the day, just ahead of Dean (on a singelspeed) and Kyle.

Another Breck Epic in the books.  The most Epic of weeks, ever.  Leadville on Saturday.  Breck Epic on Sunday-Friday.   We started the week off in DFL, but got stronger and faster.  The 7 minutes we needed to make up on Stage 6 was won and then some, as we ended up taking almost 30 minutes, and clawed our way back out of a huge hole for third in the overall.   Riding with Stuart was awesome.  We made a great team.  Not the least of which because he didn’t ever complain about how much he had to wait for me the whole week.  Stuart has taken it to another level this year.  I’m pretty sure he’s doping.

It will be nice to not have to sit on a saddle for a good while.  My ass needs a break.

Stage 6. 2nd for the stage

Stage 6. 2nd for the stage

Breck Epic 2013. Walsworth and Wu, 3rd overall.

Breck Epic 2013. Walsworth and Wu, 3rd overall.

Stage 7. Chris C made this ridiculous meal for Stu and me after the final stage. 1/2 pound of herb rubbed beef, bacon, blue cheese, arugula. Yeehaw!!

Stage 7. Chris C made this ridiculous meal for Stu and me after the final stage. 1/2 pound of herb rubbed beef, bacon, blue cheese, arugula. Yeehaw!!

Castillian sandwich.  As Chris puts it, he's the meat of the Team.

Castillian sandwich. As Chris puts it, he’s the meat of the Team.





Breck Epic Stage 5, Wheeler

18 08 2013

” . . . if you’re reading this, you faced the rabid Aqueduct stage down, met its stare and made it look away.  You stood your ground. Well this old bitch has one more card up her sleeve, one more knife in her boot and one more cruel sucker punch to throw before she’ll kneel before you.  And its name is Wheeler.”

-Mike Mac, Breck Epic 2011

Breck Epic Stage 5, Wheeler

Breck Epic Stage 5, Wheeler

David B focused on the Wheeler start

David B focused on the Wheeler start

Ah, yes. Wheeler.  Wheeler.  Wheeler is a special stage.  We start from the Peak Nine parking lot on the west side of town.  From the the gun, it starts climbing, and climbing, and climbing.  Eventually, we turn onto a narrow goat path, and the view to the top of the pass is unobstructed.  You can see a line of ants marching in front and behind you for miles.  The trail is too steep and narrow to ride, and almost too narrow to walk with your bike.  But walking is the name of the game here.  Miles of it.  The view at the top is as breathtaking as the hike up.  Last year, we had fresh cooked bacon waiting for us at the top.  The baconators were there again.  As we rolled over the top, hot, greasy bacon was inserted directly into our gaping mouths, and it was spectacular.

The descent off Wheeler is rutted, rocky, narrow, windy, disorienting, and dangerous.   It took out the overall Singlespeed leader, Dax Massey, with 2 broken ribs and a punctured lung.  Fortunately, we survived.  Rolling into Copper, we turned on the afterburners and pace-lined it all the way back to Frisco.

Mike added a new piece of “trail” called Miner’s Creek Gulch, which was supposed to bypass the busier sections of the Peak’s trail.  This road was steep and full of babyheads, adding to the hike-a-bike for the day.   Between the hike up Wheeler, the descent down Wheeler, and the hike up Miner’s Gulch, there were plenty of choice words for Mike Mac on the stage.

But the legs felt better today.  We took second for the stage, and almost 30 minutes on the 3rd place overall podium.  Just 7 minutes out.

Chris C and his Bday cake. Chris celebrates his birthday each year by pounding the crap out of his body at the Breck Epic

Chris C and his Bday cake. Chris celebrates his birthday each year by pounding the crap out of his body at the Breck Epic





Breck Epic Stage 4, The Aqueduct.

16 08 2013

Been a hectic week.  We are slowly clawing our way back onto the overall podium.

Stage 4 is the Aqueduct stage. This is the longest and hardest stage.  With climbs like “heinous hill” and “vomit hill” (both aptly named), the climbs just keep coming at you. The long Keystone climb after Aid 2 at 24 miles lasts an hour, but you aren’t done because the groin shot after Aid 3 at 36 miles is even worse.

Breck Epic Stage 4, The Aqueduct

Breck Epic Stage 4, The Aqueduct

But I finally found my legs. I cleaned Heinous hill and mostly cleaned Vomit hill.  We finished 7 minutes behind second place, which we likely would have taken except for my little foray onto Middle Flume when I should have been on Upper Flume.  Coming down the new Slalom track, which has high banked turns and swoopy flow, I followed a couple guys off course.  About 9 of us ended up losing 10 minutes or more with that detour.  But on the bright side, David B was with that pack, and we ended up riding with him for a good bit of the race.

The Aqueduct is named for the large corrugated pipe that splits the trail going into Aid 2.  David and Stuart were ahead of me leading up to the pipe.  I tried to call out that the left line was the line to take, but we were separated by a rider, and they had a small gap on us.  David, took the right line and tried to hop over the Aqueduct, but his front wheel didn’t clear the pipe, and he went down hard into a large bush, narrowly missing a dangerously jagged rock.  We stayed with him for several minutes as he gathered himself.  Except for a bruised hip, he was okay.

Third on the day.  36 minutes out of the overall 3rd place Team. We got work to do.

 





Breck Epic Stage 3, Guyot Loop

15 08 2013

Guyot Loop Elevation Profile. That red hot poker at mile is Guyot

Guyot Loop Elevation Profile. That red hot poker at mile 12 is French Pass

Stage #3, Mt Guyot Loop.  The notable feature of the day being the death march to over 12,000 ft.  Approaching it is like doing the Firecracker 50 course backward.  So we got to descend Little French Gulch instead of climb it.

Along the way, Stuart had to see a man about a horse

Along the way, Stuart had to see a man about a horse

I thought this would be the day that I found my legs.  It wasn’t.  I still felt sluggish and winded, but on the bright side, we came across Chris after cresting French. He was using some choice four letter words as he struggled with his CO2 and a flat tire. We stopped for a bit and got him fixed up.  We all stayed together down the rest of the rocky descent, since Chris only had about 15 PSI in the fixed tire.  We made it down fine though, and he was able to fill up at aid 2.

Disco, Chris, and I on top of Georgia Pass. Chris and Stuart crushed the climb and had to wait for me. They were chatting with tourists when I got there.

Disco, Chris, and I on top of Georgia Pass. Chris and Stuart crushed the climb and had to wait for me. They were chatting with tourists when I got there.

We rode most of the rest of the stage together, snapping photos, and enjoying the day. Well, as much as you can enjoy having a red hot poker shoved up your a$$,

Shower Cap Boys

Shower Cap Boys

The weather was intermittently rainy and then sunny.  So we stopped to put on or take off our jackets about a dozen times.  At aid 3, we donned shower caps as the weather seemed to be getting serious.  But of course, as we climbed American Gulch, the sun popped out, and we roasted under our jackets and shower caps.

Podium!

Podium!

Despite my crappy riding, we still managed to get on the 3rd podium spot. We are still over an hour out of 3rd place in the overall.

More photos below.

Riding up French Pass

Riding up French Pass

Little Marching Ants. This was a false summit.

Little Marching Ants. This was a false summit.

From the top of French. Whole lotta this going on.

From the top of French. Whole lotta this going on.

Welcoming party at the top of French.  They were handing out Skittles, which I promptly aspirated on the way down.

Welcoming party at the top of French. They were handing out Skittles, which I promptly aspirated on the way down.

Big Johnson. to be more precise, a smoked, nasty Johnson.  Named after Tim Johnson. Bread, marshmellow fluff, Nutella, potato chips. Pickles makes it nasty. Bacon makes it smoked.

Big Johnson. to be more precise, a smoked, nasty Johnson. Named after Tim Johnson. Bread, marshmellow fluff, Nutella, potato chips. Pickles makes it nasty. Bacon makes it smoked.





Breck Epic Stage 2, Colorado Trail Loop

12 08 2013

Colorado Trail Stage.  See that fang at around 11 miles?  That one hurt.

Colorado Trail Stage. See that fang at around 11 miles? That one hurt.

Aah, what a difference sleep makes.  And Albuterol. And food. And time.

I felt loads better today.  Still at around 70%, but a big improvement from yesterday, which was a uniquely strange and terrible experience.  Today was the Colorado Trail Stage.  Probably the most funnest stage.  Steep climbs and long, flowy descents are the signature features for the course.  Last year, I was soaked and hypothermic, and barely limped home.  I enjoyed none of that ride.  But today was perfect conditions, and my lungs were staring to come back around.  It was also nice to not have to stop for directions, since the course markings were up.  Funny how starting on time with the rest of the field makes for a more productive day.

Mike decided to throw in a couple new sections this year.  A long, bumpy ridge trail, which felt like a rock-strewn tightrope.  And a 17% grade road climb before getting to the fun stuff.  But the sweetness that is the Colorado Trail and Blair Witch Trail makes the grunt worth it.

We made the stage’s podium in third today, picking up about half an hour on the current overall third place team.  We forgot to get a podium shot. My lungs are recovering, so Stuart is only waiting minutes instead of hours for me.  We have about an hour and a half to make up for the overall third spot.  4 more stages to go.  Guyot Loop tomorrow. Over 7K’ climbing.  Better get some rest.

Time to dine!

Time to dine!





Team Alchemist Race Updates

11 08 2013

Been MIA for quite a while.  Lots happening with Alchemist and Racers.  Will have to catch up with most of that eventually.

But a couple things to mention.  Leadville and Breck Epic.

Several years ago, I was done with Leadville. Too much craziness.  Well, Dice was going for her tenth belt buckle, and so Stuart decided he would give it one last go too. But Stuart wouldn’t ride the Breck Epic with me unless I did Leadville too.  The Epic starts the day after Leadville.  Sounds like an awful idea. But what the hell.

Jenn's 10th

Jenn’s 10th. Those are solid gold.

Alchemist actually fielded a fairly large Team for Leadville:  Jenn, Ryn, Noel, Ken, Stuart, Rob S, Neil (and Team Alchemist Canada), Mark R, Bob W (yes, Bob, I’m borrowing you from Wolfpack), Dan R, Drew and me.  We also were joined by honorary Alchemist members, Farrar, Alden, Mirek, and Hunter.

We were supported by an all-star crew that would make NASCAR pit-crews cry with envy.  Jeff C (badass singlespeeder and fresh off nuptuals last weekend), Chris C (also badass and also doing the Breck Epic), Jon P (who narrowly missed the big belt buckle last year by 3 seconds, 3 SECONDS! and should have been riding with us this year, but somehow didn’t get chosen in the lottery to race. W-what?), Deb P (who already has her belt buckle and has crossed this race off her bucket list), Toni G (also already has her buckle, and also would rather help us through our suffering than race), David F (son of Farrar, great kid, fast mtb’er, and will be old enough next year to race LV), Steve M (Kili veteran and sub 9 guy who earned that b*tch “before they paved Columbine”),  Kim R (who rocked the Alchemist support tent with her son Nathan, who is going pro next year).

Perfect conditions yesterday.  No rain, hail, lightening, or swarms of locusts.  The previous day’s rain made the course packed and tacky.  It was the fastest course in history.  Good day to go under 9 hours.  We all went under 12 hours, six of us earning the big belt buckle for under 9.  Drew at 8:06, Stu at 8:10, Ken at 8:12, Rob at 8:29, Dan at 8:46, me at 8:43, Noel at 9:42, Mark at 9:44, Neil at 10:49, Bob at 11:22. Outstanding. And yes,  Dice earned her tenth buckle, which is so big you can’t bend over to tie your shoes when wearing it.  She and Ryn rode in together at 11:14.

I’ll have to give more details another time.  I need to sleep at some point, since we just finished stage 1 of the Breck Epic. Pennsylvania Gulch.  36 miles, 5500 ft of climbing.  Stuart recovered spectacularly from yesterday.   I . . did not.

Breck Epic Stage 1. Pennsylvania Gulch.

Breck Epic Stage 1. Pennsylvania Gulch.

Stuart trying to figure out where the heck we are going

Stuart trying to figure out where the heck we are going. The paper map, as it turns out, is only helpful if you know how to read it. Unfortunately, neither Stuart, nor I, have that ability.

We started the stage at 10:10a.  The actual race start was 8:30a.  Being the loving and doting fiance that he is, Stuart wanted to see Dice get her tenth Buckle at awards this morning, so we started a smidge late.   We finished last in our category.  We also finished last overall.  DFL, as some would call it.  The course markings and aid stations are pulled after the last rider in the pack, so we had to navigate with my Garmin 500, and a paper map.  We only got lost a couple times, when the Garmin would inexplicably lose track of us, and we couldn’t figure out where we were on the paper map.  Ken, we could have used your Rand McNally sense of direction there today.  When we finally caught up to the course sweeper, she was baffled how she could have missed us.  It caused a storm of chatter on the crew radios, and eventually led to bets being placed on whether we would finish DFL.  I’d like to blame the late start or getting lost or having to ride back to the car because I forgot the map for the DFL, but really, it was because I was sucking wind, and ass, today.   It felt like riding at 16,000 ft on Kilimanjaro. I’m hoping the Albuterol and Flovent I called in for myself will help.  I think a real night’s rest will help too.

With that in mind, more tomorrow.





Dan B. rocks the Ironman Coeur d’Alene

28 06 2013

Finish Yoga.  Or as Buss described it "Vomit suppression pose"

Finish Yoga. Or as Buss described it “Vomit suppression pose”

Dan B. could barely swim when he decided to do an Ironman.  But then again, Busse is no stranger to bad decisions.  He’s done multiple Leadman’s (all the Leadville events in a season), RAAM rider, Breck Epic . . . The list goes on.

Last weekend, he went to Coeur d’Alene  to qualify for Ironman Kona, and try not to drown.   He came out of the water in 71st.  By the end of the bike, he was in 35th.  The man can ride.  He was picking off more folks until the wheels came off around mile 11 on the marathon.  He death marched it home, and still manage to fend off most other folks to keep his standing, finishing in the top 10%.   Congrats buss.  You da man.

Buss crushing the bike with his Alchemist kit and aero helmet.

Buss crushing the bike with his Alchemist kit and aero helmet.

Feeling rough, but looking strong at the finish

Feeling rough, but looking strong at the finish





Drew, Jon and Dan R. contend for 24 Nats, and Sean and Todd ride with Ron Kiefel

24 06 2013

Jon throwing down at the 24 hours of Enchanted Forest National Championships

Jon throwing down at the 24 hours of Enchanted Forest National Championships

Drew, Jon, and Dan R. went down to Gallup, NM last weekend for 24 hour Nationals.  They rode solo in a large men’s open category.  Turns out the rain turned everything to mud around 11pm, so the race was shut down for 7 hours.  Come morning, Jon had put in 120 miles, and figured that was enough, so he focused his energy on supporting Deb, who won the 4 person women’s Team category.  Awesome.  Congrats, Deb.  Dan rode after the mud delay, and shot up to 15th. Drew knocked out another three laps after the morning start before clipping a pedal and supermanning it into the dirt.  He dislocated his shoulder in the process.  Later, he would tell me that he thought to himself  “WWJD”  or “What Would Jeff Do?”.

We often have the debate in the ER about whether to sedate people for shoulder reductions or not.  He prefers to knock em out, I prefer to give them no meds and slam it back in, Lethal Weapon style.  Actually, it’s very gentle, but the point is that we have different styles on shoulder relocation.  After the crash, he didn’t have the option of sedating himself, so he did it Wu style.  The tough mother-grabber put his own shoulder back in, and then rode 10 miles to get back to camp.  He packed it in at that point, finishing in 11th place.  He was in 5th at the time.

Nice work out there, you three.  I’ve officially retired from solo 24 hour racing, so hats off to anyone who is willing to suffer that much.

Jon, Dan R., Deb, and Drew at 24 hour Nats. Before the pain.

Jon, Dan R., Deb, and Drew at 24 hour Nats. Before the pain.

Team Headquarters

Team Headquarters

Mud Lap Casualty

Mud Lap Casualty

Deb and her Team on the Top Spot

Deb and her Team on the Top Spot

Sean and Todd finished up the RTR this past week.  Before they were done, they rode a stage with Ron Kiefel, who, despite a few extra years, can apparently still hammer.

Sean and Ron Kiefel

Sean and Ron Kiefel after sharing pulls at the Ride the Rockies.

Ron K. back in the 7-11 days.  No Helmet!

Ron K. back in the 7-11 days. No Helmet!








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