Thursday, July 18, 2013

Time for cross

It's time.  The course has been cut and scraped and it seems as if there's plenty of interest in coming out to fine tune it.  I just wanted to update everyone on what's going on as far as races that Feedback Sports is involved in.  First of all there's the Wed. night series which starts on Sept. 4 and goes for 7 consecutive Wednesdays.  I've sent a copy of the race flyer to Taylor at Golden Bike Shop and he was going to post it on their website  I'll be finalizing it and sending it to BRAC by the end of the week.  Second, the first annual Feedback Cup will take place on Nov. 3.  We've applied for Silver  status as a cup race so that should guarantee us a big turnout.  We are also hosting the Tune Up Cup on Dec. 28 as a way to help local riders keep sharp for Nats. at Valmont in January.  Working any of these races guarantees you free entry into that race.  We nee a lot of help for all of them.  In return, the team receives a percentage of the profits.

I've also committed to helping the Body Sync team by putting on a race for them on Sept. 22.  There is no team obligation for that race, but if you feel so inclined, and want to volunteer to help, there will also be a free entry, and tons of good Karma.

I think that's all for now.  Get those "skinny tires" out and start riding the course.  Spread the word that it's ready to go.



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Winter Park Super Loop

We had a great weekend of racing at Winter Park, CO on the Super Loop XC course.  18 miles and 2,300 ft of climbing combined with some  fun descents including some really tight twisty sections of a new trail.  The almost 2 ft deep Vasquez creek crossing caught a bunch of racers off guard, but the cold water was refreshing.  There were 8 Feedback racers out there with some great results...all in the top ten of their categories.

Rob Lamielle scored a 2nd in his race which was his 1st podium in about 7 years...Congrats to Rob!

  Our team raked in some good points towards the overall, but we still have a ways to go for any podium hopes.  If we have four more races like this weekend, then we should be in contention.

No injuries, but a tree branch did catch Lisa's new kit.

Doug Hudson was excited for his 1st race on his 27.5" (650B) hardtail.  According to him, it delivered the twitchiness and acceleration that he likes in a 26'er and the rollover benefits of the 29'er, so he was stoked with the new set-up.  Of course, his new Stan's NoTubes ZTR Medalist wheels worked flawlessly and the bike is approaching sub-20lbs with an XT build.  He'll be working on getting the weight down further.

We'll see everyone back at Winter Park on July 13th for the Point to Point.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 15th Weekend Racing

With the Bailey Hundo, Winter Park HIll Climb and the Angel Fire Enduro race all happening over the June 15th weekend we had Feedback racers representing all over the Colorado and New Mexico!
Here's a few rider race reports:
Winter Park Hill Climb
We had four racers show up to suffer through the WP HC. Will Allen earned a 2nd place podium finish with a blazing fast 40:22 up the 5 mile climb! Mike (hits every race) Schaub and Rob LaMielle both rallied for 5th in their respective classes and last but not least Colin Vito cut a couple of minutes of his previous time for a respectable 18th. Overall it was a beautiful day in Winter Park and fun to test the suffer meter!!
Angel Fire Enduro
The Angel Fire Enduro race this past weekend was a lot of fun!   I still have tons of room to improve!  It was great to see Sam, Tim, and Jon from the Feedback family.   There were some riders you’d recognize, and lots of DH pros that I’d never met before.  There were plentiful brews from Oscar Blues, and generally a great vibe of people who love riding their bikes. 
My bike was already on the bus with me when the rail on the trailer with 80 or more carbon bikes broke, so I avoided scratches there.  I had a couple minor mid-run crashes on the first and last runs of the weekend so I collected superficial scratches there…and I must have been pushing some limits.  The Boundary trail section was fun and had technical moments.  I didn’t get a chance to pre-ride that one, but would like to explore more of that trail someday.  I did pre-ride most of the four courses within Angel Fire resort, so I knew something in advance about the powdery dust, sweeping forest sections, and plentiful rock gardens.  My Maxxis Ardent rear tire succumbed to side wall cuts on a warmup run on Sunday morning.  I nursed it a bit, but ultimately rode a flat halfway down the hill and through the dual slalom as gently as possible.  A new Racing Ralph (a leftover from my XC race/ride stash) with a tube got me to the start line with three whole minutes to spare before my appointed start time.   I got tubeless running again by the 2nd run on Sunday.  I rode just about everything over the weekend including a section of the World Cup downhill that saw many dismounts, planned and otherwise, by others.  My bike took a bit of beating, but I was able to use every millimeter of suspension front and rear.  I need to work on my slalom turns and jumping skills.  There were a surprising number of folks at the post race awards and raffle on Sunday evening.  My 2 year old daughter stood on the top podium step (just for fun) and claimed a Fox DOSS dropper seatpost in the raffle.  The seat on her strider is already bottomed out, so perhaps I can find another use for it.
It you get a chance, check out a real enduro mountain bike race.  I am headed to Crested Butte the weekend of the 29th for the next stop on the BME series!
Jason Young
Angle Fire, was epic indeed. It was the first Big Mountain Enduro of the season and my first enduro experience. Sammy and I drove the Feedback van down on Thursday and met up with some friends who we stayed with. On Friday we set out to pre ride the first stage, which was on part of the South Boundary Trail. After hours of shuttling and hitchhiking we made it back to the resort. The trail conditions were amazing because it had rained the night before. 

Saturday morning, John Harrach, Jason Young and myself all lined up to load our bikes onto the "new sturdy trailer". Waited in line, then loaded up two school buses. On the dirt road that led to the start, we were closely watching our bikes bounce around until one side of the trailer broke off and sent several bikes to the ground. Chaos and fear were in the air as everyone scrambled to pick up their bikes. I pulled mine off the trailer and took it on the school bus for the remainder of the drive. Some racers jumped out and started pedaling the rest of the way (5-7 miles of climbing). 

The race went off, and about 10 minutes into a 20 minute race I flatted. Needless to say, my race was over. There was a ton of carnage and several flat tires. On Sunday, there were 4 lift access stages on the ski mountain - zero pedaling - big jumps - rugged terrain! My goal was to survive. It was my first time racing in a full face helmet and full knee, shin, and elbow pads. I was surprised how tiring it is to ride the chair lift up and shred the world cup downhill course down - definitely earned a new level of respect for downhillers. I pretty much got smoked and finished around 42 out of 46... but I had a damn good time!

The next enduro is in Crested Butte in two weeks and I would strongly encourage everyone to try it out!
Tim Allen

The 1st stage was sick. Wasn't very technical at all and had some pedal sections which helped me in a field of DHers. There was a lot of carnage on the side of the trails. Flats, broken chains, crashes and one guy ended up getting hairline fracture in his fibula.
After finishing we heard that the shuttle back jack knifed on the way down and rather than waiting couple hours for them to get us a group of us hitched hiked with bikes back to Angle Fire.
Sunday my goal was to ride conservatively so as not to wreck. Majority of the trails weren't super technical, lots of softball size rocks and fast dusty turns. One of the stages went down a world cup course and was crazy hard. After the first section it was ok. I was in 13th after the 1st stage and slowly moved back to 20 something out of 40. I would have liked to do better but it will take some time bombing down hill not worrying if I might break some bones. Definitely could use a full face helmet.  The race overall was a lot of fun. Jon Harrach

Salida Big Friggin Loop
Anyone who likes distance and backcountry riding should really check out the Colorado Endurance Series.  They max on 74 entries per event so that they don't need a permit to run and as a result they are free to race.  Salida Big Friggin Loop was race/ride 1 of the series this yr.  This series is pretty tough so despite the fact that they are so few entry spots you get some strong guys and gals.  Jesse Jakomait lined up (won CT last yr in record time, first time under 4 days I believe - Taylor can tell you how insane that is.

SBFL had two distance options, 89m/10k ascent and 107m 12.5k ascent.  The shorter just missed a section, a very hard section however with primitive trail, private land this yr (by accident) and as a result 4/5 mighty barbed wire fence gate crossings that were quite a conundrum, thankfully did not get shot at!  The way the course was set up you could decide mid-route what distance you wanted.

The route left Salida and headed for the Colorado Trail up to Mt Princeton hot springs.  I was shocked by the speed of the start, full on xc race pace. However after close to an hr of dirt road climbing and upon reaching  the CT the temptation to ride single track at speed and a few downhill passes soon got me racing, probably foolishly but lots of fun.

At Mt Princeton you keep riding directly north on the CT which involves a vicious climb back to the single track and it was here only 2.5 hrs in I remember first starting to feel it.  Then another fantastic section of CT trail to cottonwood pass and then into Buena Vista (BV).  Again rode that section hard reeling in some more as the trail suited my few strengths.  Hit BV very happy and filled up and contemplated waiting for ride partner. 

This series is totally unsupported so you carry a lot of crap.  BV came at mile 45 and that was the one opportunity to get water.  So you had to leave BV with 62 miles ( in the heat of the day) of fluid on board which in my case was full camelbak and 2 bottles.  Should explain here, this is a GPS route, no chance of doing it without GPS, no route demarcation at all.  Also had never ridden any of this so excitement was high.

So, to be way more brief next section was fantastic, felt great until mile 75ish, asthma started to kick in, got worried about water, barbed wire fences, lost towns with special stones we had to collect, stole into a Moto camp to re supply water which mentally turned me round, GPS freezes for some long but easier to navigate sections thankfully.  Big dirt road climb when both courses came back together with detonations going on all around from some of the short course participants, one guy I passed could not muster a hello and nothing I said was helping him.  Big 3k descent back into Salida.  Really was great.  9.40 ride time (10.20ish total) 6th in big loop field so very happy with that.  Highly recommend the race. Rob Batey

Bailey Hundo

While you all were hopefully still sleeping Saturday morning, we had at least four Feedback racers lining up for the Bailey Hundo, 6:00AM start….arg, roughly 95 miles and 10,000 ft. of climbing.  This race was originally, in 2010, slightly over 100 miles with two additional steep road climbs and a hike-a-bike to the finish.  I was happy to see the race directors made some modifications over the last couple of years to make the finish a little kinder, still plenty of miles and climbing to make it challenging but no one I know wants to hike-a-bike to the finish.  It would be hard to ask for better weather. 
The course was a little dry and loose but if you ride the Buffalo Creek area that is no surprise.  Seven miles of road and 1,300 ft of climbing to start the race.  This works remarkably well at stretching out the field.  By the time you get to the 40 plus miles of single track things are pretty well sorted out.  Most of the people passed on the single track either burned too many matches at the start or did not descend well on the loose trail.  Everyone was pretty good about letting faster racers through.  Racing from Mile 7 to mile 60 is about as good as it gets, 15-20 minute climbs followed by great single track descents.  At the 60 mile mark racers drop from the Colorado trail to the South Platte Road heading toward Deckers, 15 miles of 1-2% grade road.  I was glad to be racing a 1/9 instead of the SS.  From Deckers to the top of Stony Pass is about 2500 ft. of mostly dirt road climbing.  A piece of cake on rested legs, a total grind after 75 miles and 7,000 ft. of climbing.  After Stony pass it is mostly down to the finish, with a couple of climbs to remind you how long you have been on the bike.  The race finish area has to be the best in the state.  You finish into a meadow with the North Fork of the Platte cutting through it, rock outcropping’s and big pine trees on both sides.
Kudos to the Hundo folks for their organization.  Every racer had a timing chip and you knew your time and finishing spot when you crossed the finish line, pretty nice.
I finished 28th overall with a time of 7:41, first place in the 50 plus class.  I think it helped to have home field advantage.

Kudos to Rob B who raced the Salida Big Friggin Loop the weekend before and still posted a fast Hundo time. Eric Davis

Realized on first climb that not fully recovered but 60m of fantastic ST as Eric stated which again got me to ride hard.  Exploded on Stoney pass with infilled lungs.  Finished in 7:31...1min off ideal goal.  But really very psyched that i had a decent race and the course and organization were great,  plus I don't have to do another 100 all yr.  great show by feedback racers, Tim that was me as we were told conflicting things to do at the road!  Eric on gears was a rare sight. 

I really feel privileged that this is where we live and this I what we get to ride.  The endurance events talk to that statement the most. Personally I've put myself in a huge hole with two back to back hundreds and accompanying sinus infection, but they were both fantastic races and psyched to get both under the belt as both new events to me. Rob Batey

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Winter Park Tipperary Creek

The season finale for the 2012 Winter Park Epic Singletrack race series took place on Sunday August 26th, the King of the Rockies/Tipperary Creek XC.  This 25.2 mile race is a Colorado classic that many of the Sport's big names have competed in over the past 10 to 20 years.  It is still a racer favorite with its generous amounts of climbing, steep gnarly descents and tight twisty singletrack. 

The race began on County Road 50, a few miles west of Fraser, and finished at the Winter Park Resort.  All start groups from Pro to Beginner raced the entire 25 mile course, which allowed racers to see how their finishing time stacked up to the top pro racers in the State. We had ten Feedback Sports racers (in various start groups) out at 10:00am for a chilly start to what turned out to be a great day for mountain biking.

Race photos are courtesy of Annette Hayden and Mountain Moon Photography.

Racing in the Pro category were Lisa Hudson, Tim Allen and Ross Delaplane.  Lisa finished on the podium with a 3rd place finish, while Tim and Ross finished 7th and 12th respectively in the 24 racer Pro Men's field.

Rob Batey had a great race in the Expert 35-39 class, finishing second, just a fraction of a second away from taking the win!

Also coming through with strong finishes in the Expert class were Mike Schaub in 5th, Doug Hudson in 7th, Steve Warfel in 8th, Will Allen in 8th and Doug Meegan in 15th.

Colin Vito, racing in his fifth Winter Park race of the season, finished in 14th place in the Sport Men 35-39 group.

As the Tipperary Creek/King of the Rockies race was the last race of the season at Winter Park, overall series awards were calculated and given out.  Series championship awards were determined based on each rider's best 5 race finishes (out of the 7 race series).  Four Feedback Sports racing team members garnered podium finishes for the 2012 season at Winter Park!

Tim Allen finished in a tie for first place in the Pro Men's category for the season.  He did that with three race wins at Winter Park; the Hillclimb, the Valley point-to-point XC and the Grand Park short track.  Congratulations!

In the Pro Women's category, Lisa Hudson finished in second place!  She did that with consistent high finishes in all five Winter Park races that she entered this year.

Will Allen was a terror in the Expert Men's 30-34 category at Winter Park in 2012, with 3 podium finishes in the five races that he did.  That put Will in second place in the season standings! Nice job for a first timer at Winter Park.

Mike Schaub had a super consistent season at Winter Park in 2012, completing six races with two podium placings and top 5 finishes in all.  Mike finished in third place in the Expert Men's 50+ overall standings for the year.

As the 2012 season came to an end at Winter Park, racers and friends enjoyed some excellent food and beverages under the Feedback tent, while trading stories about the great season that just concluded.  But, there was no rest for the weary as cross season was just around the corner  . . .

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2012 Breck Epic

Feedback Sports mountain bike racer Eric Davis took on the challenge of the 240-mile 6-day Breck Epic stage race this year.  The race is one of the most difficult and most rewarding in the world as it includes miles and miles of high altitude singletrack, 37,000 feet of climbing and long diverse courses each day.  Eric raced in the singlespeed category and finished the six day stage race in 23 hours and 33 minutes. Whew.  Eric's wife Mary also completed the epic!  Here is Eric's race report detailing how it went down:

"This year the 2012 Breck Epic held the unofficial Single Speed World Championship Stage Race.  Based on the luck (or lack of luck) I have had the past two years at the Breck Epic on a geared bike, I could not resist the lure of the SSWCSR.  It seemed like a good idea last January when I registered.  The closer I got to the race the more I questioned my decision.  I have had some success racing the SS in age group competition, but racing the SS against the 20, 30 and 40 year olds started to seem like a bad idea.  Not that I had any expectations of a podium but I also did not want to finish last in the SS category. 

The word Epic is defined as “extending beyond the usual or ordinary in size and scope."  This year the definition would prove to be accurate.  The first three stages are around 40 miles in length with over 6000 ft. of climbing.  Day 4 is the queen stage with 44 miles with 6800 ft. of climbing and day 5 while shorter includes the infamous hike-a-bike over Wheeler Pass.  Thankfully the final day is only 32 miles with only 3500 ft. of climbing.  Seems like there was a time in my life when 3500 ft. of climbing was an Epic day.

This year day 2 turned out to be the day that really hurt most of the field.  The race started with a drizzle of rain with a temp around 50.  That would turn out to be the nicest weather of the day.  Throughout the day the rain would go from light showers to downpours and trail conditions ranged from gooey to looking like stream beds.  It was hard to recognize riders since we were all covered in mud.  Some of the later racers were pulled at the last check point and given adjusted times to prevent hypothermia.  It was one of those days where you question why you aren’t on the couch next to the fire reading a book instead of out racing.  I am not sure how many people pulled the plug but the nightly meeting was certainly sparse after this stage.

Racing the SS this year has been an education in regulating energy output, when to walk and when to grind, not to mention learning just how long I can stay at or near anaerobic.  It is hard to say whether it is harder than racing the geared bike since they are so different.  It was certainly an adventure.  The SS field contained 19 racers.  Within the group there seemed to be two races.  The top three who are for the most part pros battled back and forth and then the rest of the racers had a race within a race.  I finished most days in 9th or 10th, with an overall of 9th for the week.

This year Mary got talked into this race as well.  She raced it as team with a friend from Gunnison, women’s duo open.  There were only two women’s open teams but it turned out to be one of the most watched races each night (USA vs Canada).  The two teams traded podium spots each night with time deficits of as much as 18 minutes being made up from one day to the next.  Mary’s team went into day 5 (Wheeler Pass) down by 19 minutes.  They made up 17.5 minutes of that on day 5 and then went ahead by 3 minutes on the last day, day 6.  Mary’s team finished with about 32.5 hours of racing for the week."