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).

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.

Race Across the Sky, a.k.a. the Leadville Movie

9 11 2010

Chlouber warming up for target practice

The Leadville Trail 100 is a 100 mile epic mountain bike race that takes place above the highest incorporated city in the country.  It’s really around 103 miles, and your legs let you know it coming up the “Boulevard” after your odometer hits 100 and the finish is nowhere in site.  Recently, it has attracted the likes of Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis, thus propelling the race to international recognition.

Many thanks to Jenn and Rich at IMBA for the tickets to the “Race Across the Sky” movie event,  a.k.a. the Leadville movie.  We drank adult beverages at the Hard Rock at the IMBA pre-screening party, then made our way over to the Paramount on 16th in Denver for the film.  I flashed our tickets to the usher, who frowned, then pointed us away toward the mezzanine.  We made our way from the main seating area and headed to the upper deck, banished to the nether regions of the theater.  But what seemed like nosebleed seats turned out to be the VIP section.   We were surrounded by cycling heros, studs, and celebrities.   Davis and Taylor Phinney, Connie Carpenter behind us; Chris Romer and another senator to the left;  Heather Irmiger, Alex Grant, Matt Shriver, Ken Chlouber catty-corner;  Travis Brown and Jeff Cloutier in front . . .  My thought amongst these cycling legends, “Why the hell couldn’t they get better seats?”

Felt pretty good about being included in such an illustrious crowd until my eyeballs started swimming a few minutes into the film.   I didn’t want to miss any of the movie, but I was having a hard time enjoying it with my bladder on red alert.  I had to climb over the senators to get out of the row.  As Brad Pitt remarked in Fight Club, “Now, a question of etiquette – as I pass, do I give you the ass or the crotch?”

The Denver show was the main event for the 1 day showing.  Like the first movie, there was a panel of racers on stage to share their own thoughts and experiences.  Dave Wiens, Levi Leipheimer, Rebecca Rusch, Erik Weihenmayer, JHK, and the “Lifetime Fitness dude who bought Leadville”.  Notably missing was Ken Chlouber, who, according to rumors, made off like a bandit after selling the Leadville Series to the “Lifetime Fitness dude who bought Leadville.”  He deserves it.  He pretty much single-handedly revived a near defunct mining town by creating the Leadville races.  Each panelist shared dutifully tactful accounts and rhetoric about, what for the most part, amounted to the power of the human spirit.  I’d love to see Dave Zabriski included in the panel.  Would add some color to the otherwise homogenous discussion.

“Well, you see, I’m just a big, hairy American winning machine.  I eat 9 hour finishers for breakfast, and I crap 12 hour finishers afterward.  You wanna mess with DZ NUTS!?”

Honestly, how many Tour de France roadies sport a flavor-savor anyway?  The stash says it all.

This year’s movie, like last year’s, was not only well-done and inspirational, but it jerked more than a few tears.  I was glad it was dark as my eyes welled up on a couple different occasions.  “No really, it’s just allergies.”

Also like last year, I found myself bobbing in my seat to the rhythm of the riders and the music.  It was like I was pumping my legs and feeling the fire just like they were. It gave me motivation to ride hard and train like a maniac.  That inspiration lasted until we hit Chipotle after the movie, and I succumbed to an over-abundance of delicious trans-fats, then proceeded to finish Sue’s burrito.  I’ve still got months before the season starts again.  Gotta pace myself, you know?  But when the time is ripe again, I’ll have to borrow Jon’s Race Across the Sky DVD, and get the juices flowing.  Dan and I are racing the Breck Epic next year in the Open Duo category.  I don’t wanna have to get dragged all over the Epic course by the Buss.  It will take heart, but I’m up for the challenge.  Ken Chlouber pretty much summed it up at last year’s movie premiere.  “I’ve got one word for you . . . DIG DEEP.”

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