This past weekend Gear Movement Pro Cycling Team Members; Deidre York, Sam Morrison & Jason Hilimire bellied up to the start line with some of North America’s best riders and poured themselves a full serving of Whiskey 50 on the rocks of Prescott, AZ. In it’s 10th anniversary, the Epic Rides Whiskey 50 event drew over 2,000+ competitors and had an amazing $40,000 cash purse (to be split evenly between male/female riders) on the line. With 2 days of racing and the main event being a tough and technical 50 mile race on sunday, it was sure to be a great weekend.
The race is unique in it’s set-up in that racing is spread over 3 days. With the Pro only “Fat tire crit” on friday night in downtown Prescott, Saturday the 25 & 50 proof amateur races and Sunday the showdown on Whiskey Row with the 50 mile Pro Races.
Todd Sadow and Epic Rides have really raised the bar in mountain bike racing the past few seasons. The Whiskey has an incredible 40k prize purse, multi-day racing, concerts on Whiskey Row, Expo Center, and beer gardens it easily draws incredibly strong racing fields to vie for the big money. This gives the whole weekend a super fun and festive atmosphere and one that we highly recommend you attend. We are incredibly excited about Todd’s vision for the future of mountain biking.
Friday’s festivities kicked off with a men’s and women’s downtown criterium. 20 minutes + 3 laps over an incredibly hard course with 2 steep hills and a high speed chicane to the finish line. All this is done on the same bike that you must race over 50 miles on sunday. Only thing you are allowed to change is the tires! Thankfully mountain bikes have easier gearing, because those climbs get tough after a few laps!
With hundreds of fans lining the downtown streets, the crit was incredibly fun and exciting for both the male and female races. Sam even managed to launch himself off the front for a lap, but was so deep in the pain cave he didn’t realize he was in contention for a $100 prime! The men’s race was won by Max Plaxton and the women’s by Katerina Nash respectively. Full Results here
Saturday gave the team a chance to relax a bit, check out the downtown expo and visit some coffee shops. After the continuous weekly snowfall in Boulder during April, it was great to enjoy the sunshine and get a chance to spin out our legs a bit more while checking out the race course and even catch a bit of the amateur racing action.
Sunday came quick and after having some fun for a few days, it was time to get down to business. At 8:30 am the mayor himself fired off the shotgun and launched the racers off and out to the technical terrain surrounding Prescott. Both the men and women’s races starts tamely as we roll neutrally out of town, but soon the niceties are shelved and the racing gets hot and heavy before diving into the trails.
50 miles of up and down treacherous terrain awaited us. Rocks, cliffs, waterbars, treacherous descents, switchbacks, you name it the race course had it all. While each one of us was pinned to the max for the 3+ hours of racing, even with the pain and suffering, we were all smiling at how much fun we were having. There’s nothing that riles up racers more so than great competition and an incredibly fun course. Though, the out and back to Skull Valley could have been bypassed (9 miles of descending followed by 12 miles of climbing out) it proved to be the make or break point for the racers. Pounding away in the heat, the dry and dusty conditions were a stark contrast to what we had been training in.
Thankfully, there were plenty of volunteers at the aid stations and nothing invigorates you more than a cold bottle dumped on your head and a fresh bottle of CarboRocket when you’ve been climbing for what seems like eternity. Rolling to the top, we were greeted by a hovering helicopter that was following the race and really made you realize how spectacular the entirety of the event was. Once at the top, you still had to descend plenty of technical singletrack, including the rocky creek crossing. Here just a few miles outside of town the crowds were assembled and ready to cheer you on as you picked your way precariously through the rocks. Go down in a blaze of glory attempting to cross, or make it through clean and fast; you were sure to be cheered on by a multitude of fans. Giving you just enough adrenaline after 47 miles to keep pushing all the way to the finish line. And push is what each one of us did; with Deidre finishing an incredible 11th place (& in the money!!), Sam taking 27th and Jason 53rd. Full Results here
What can we say, we thoroughly enjoyed the Whiskey 50 and looking forward to many more races this season. A Huge THANK YOU!! to all of our Sponsors; The Gear Movement, Point6 socks, Kali Protectives, CarboRocket, Voler Clothing & Stages Cycling. We really cannot thank you enough for all your support.
I have to admit, when I got my number plate a few days before the race I was not very stoked. I was starting 44th out of 45 ladies!? I had to reconsider my goals for the race at that point and kind of bring down my expectations. My goal was to cut my starting position in half – 22nd place.
Race morning came and I surprisingly wasn’t as nervous as I thought I was going to be. My teammate, Lauren, and I rode from the team hotel to the venue which was about a half hour ride on bike paths through the valley. At the start, the announcers accidently started to read the call-ups backwards and I got called second to the line. I was super confused and proceeded to get yelled at by officials for trying to move up early.
The gun went off and there were two crashes within the first half mile because of sketchy girls trying to pull even sketchier moves. My legs were feeling good and I tried to move up as much as I could. At the end of the first full lap I was in 22nd place. Already reached my goal! Marc Gullickson, the U.S team director, was out on course throughout the race to give me time splits and encouragement. After staying safe the first lap, I just wanted to pick up as many spots as I could and race a smart race. I was making up time on the girls in front of me by hitting all the “A lines” and clearing all the technical root sections, not to mention they were fun!
All throughout the race I just kept feeling better and better, but eventually the gaps between riders became too big to make up the differences. I settled into 19th place with a lap and half to go and stayed there for the finish. Not only was I the top American finisher, I was the top North/South American finisher as well!
Saturday we got to watch the elite races which were pretty cool. It required a lot of standing around though, which was extra hard since my legs were totally destroyed from the day before. However, my Mom and I got to enjoy some tasty pretzels from the Hofbrauhaus stand, so it was worth it. Sunday was the eliminator race in downtown Saalfalden. The course was a lot different than the only other eliminator I have done, at the Colorado Springs Pro XCT. All the girls who were staying at the hotel and racing eliminator rode down to the venue with me, but we got there just as they were closing the course for practice so we only got one lap in. There were over 100 women racing so they had us do a time trial on the course and then take the top 32 for the actual rounds of racing. Each person had to do two laps on the course which was about 2.5min long. I went all out as hard as I could and when I finished I was sitting in 31st place. There were only about 10 riders left to go after me, but somehow I managed to get bumped down to 37th. Ooh well! I got eliminated in the eliminator – go figure.
All in all it was an amazing trip, with breathtaking views, and awesome results. I definitely couldn’t have done it without the love and support from my Mom, Sam Morrison, and all my family and friends. Also, a huge thank you goes to Jordan Schware and Ben Duke from The Gear Movement. Those guys are awesome!
Well, I made it to Austria in one piece. I didn’t sleep nearly as much as I wanted to on the eight hour plane ride over here, but the first night here I slept like a rock! My U23 teammate, Lauren Catlin, and I almost missed breakfast the next morning because the alarm didn’t go off and neither of us wanted to acknowledge the fact that it was morning.
We are staying at the Hotel Rupertus which is serving as team headquarters for both the USA and Great Britain. The hotel sits at the base of the Leogang bike park and right below some breathtaking cliffs.
I’ve gotten to ride the race course every day since we’ve been here and I’m just now starting to get my lines dialed in. That is until I woke up to pouring rain this morning. That is definitely going to change things a bit considering the course is filled with roots, off camber chutes, and some lovely rock gardens.
Nevertheless, it is absolutely gorgeous here and the rain will just add to the experience. There are several “A lines” throughout the course that are a bit tricky and scary, but luckily I’ve got decent technical skills which will help me save some time in these sections during the race…hopefully!
The rain has calmed down a bit and that means it’s time to go see how the course has changed! The U23 women’s race is tomorrow, Friday, at 11:00am. That’s 3:00am Colorado time. Thankfully for everyone back home, there isn’t a webcast of the race so I’m not going to ask anyone to get up that early to watch me. =)
My friend Glenn Kalnins introduced himself to me through mutual friends at a bike race back in 2006, and for a bike mechanic, let me tell you, you can’t find a better friend in the industry! Glenn works for CDI Torque Products, a subsidiary of Snap-On Tools. Glenn has worked in the torque field for years and has leant his love for bikes and human-powered two wheel machines to Snap-On and CDI in an industry dominated by engines, no easy feat!
Glenn first gave me a set of these T-Handles earlier this year and we have put them to work in every aspect of our bike maintenance around the shop since. With a team mechanic background, ease of use and compatibility are key components in any tool I choose to take on the road. I keep this same concept alive in our shop, utilizing only a small handful of select tools instead of tool chest upon tool chest of randoms!
The color combos are easy to remember and find in your toolbox or on your workbench and the hand grip fits well in your hand. The magnetic end of each T-handle is a nice feature, keeping your bits in place. When purchasing these T-handles, make sure to get the bit sit from Bahco, it is amazingly useful! I keep these T-handles in my toolbox everywhere I go and will continue to do so this winter as the Head Mechanic for the Raleigh/Clement CX Team. Come stop by our tent at one of the USGP’s this winter and see how these CDI Torque Products T-handles work and feel. Need to know where to buy them? See below for the manufacturer write-up and distributors:
CDI Torque Products (a Snap-on Company) has revolutionized the torque process required by the cycling industry with its new line of CDI Preset T-Handles. The Preset T-handles use torque-limiting technology to error-proof the assembly process in tightening critical bolts thus eliminating the possibility of damage or breakage to these components. The Preset T-Handles are available in the most commonly required torque values (4Nm, 5Nm & 6Nm) found on most bike frames and components today. Each Preset T-Handle is color coded in high visibility colors for easy identification and comes with a replaceable 4mm hex bit which can be interchanged as needed depending on the application. The Preset T-Handles also include a Certificate of Calibration, Manufacture Date and are accurate for 2,500 cycles (or clicks). The CDI Preset T-Handles are available at your local bike shop through QBP, BTI, Hawley, United Bicycle Supply and Downeast Bicycles Specialists.
One thing I would like to point out to finish up this review is, if you ever get a chance to catch Glenn at one of the bike races around the US, take the time to shake his hand, he is not only an industry friend to me but a great personal friend!
Sam Morrison and Deidre York traveled to USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals in Sun Valley, Idaho this past weekend to represent The Gear Movement in the U23 XC and Pro Short Track races. The cross country course was a very steep fire road climb followed by a smooth and flowy descent, ending with a crowd-pleasing rock garden. Both Sam and Deidre took top ten finishes, with Sam finishing 9th and Deidre landing on the podium in 2nd! With this finish, Deidre has secured her place on the US World Championships team where she will travel to Saalfelden, Austria in September to compete in the U23 field.
Sunday afternoon was the Pro Short Track races. Deidre finished 22nd on the day, and Sam rode through heavy traffic to finish 27th on the lead lap. Both are traveling to Missoula, Montana for this weekend’s Pro XCT.
Ever wondered how a pro team mechanic deals with the daily happenings of his team? How about the pro team mechanic whose rider, Rory Sutherland just won the overall race in Silver City, NM at the SRAM Tour of the Gila? Check out this photo gallery snapped by Jordan last week with UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Teams’ mechanic Chris Franges. We jump into their team trailer and view everything from TT bikes, to race wheels, to trailer maintenance and even a montage on gluing tubular tires!
Have you made the yearly pilgrimage to the Sea Otter Mountain Bike Classic? Every year I go it seems to get better and better. A four-day weekend on the Laguna Seca Race Track in Monterey, California, the weekend draws crowds from around the world. Seven years ago at my first “Otter,” it seemed as though the international community was much more represented than today. Most likely due to the increase in mountain bike races around the world especially in the XC discipline and the tame courses offered up, the atmosphere is very American, but who can complain, its Monterey!
Another thing that sets this weekend apart from Sea Otter Classic’s of the past was the first inclusion of a Cyclocross race. Held as a novelty at this date in April, the cross race brought a small field but a large rowdy crowd of onlookers. The Sea Otter Classic goes from the 8am -5pm every day, with mountain and road bike races all day and a large expo area for fans, families and industry folk. The Men’s Pro Cross race was held at 6:30pm, which gave people enough time to have a few beers and get ready for the spectacle! The barrier section on the course was located right in front of the massive Sierra Nevada 18wheeler beer truck; you can only imagine what that did for the atmosphere!
Clement Tires flew Ben Berden in from Belgium to work with a few new sponsors of our program and get ready for the 2012/13 season with a look towards worlds in Louisville, KY early next year! Ben managed to fly to the win in the men’s pro race taking the honors and making a great show for some of the new sponsors in attendance. As usual a lot of hard work went into making this win happen for him, this consisted of late nights of building bikes and gluing tubular wheels and a few nights of cocktails at the Crown and Anchor in Monterey for the whole crew!
So focused on the cross season ahead and our work at Sea Otter I did not get a chance to catch any of the downhill or dual slalom races which are always my favorite. Most of the pictures seen here are from around the show and a few of our friends seen along the way. Thanks for ready and stay tuned come September for some great coverage of the upcoming season!
Good weather? Check. Beautiful, lush, vibrant foliage? Check. A desire to get outdoors, away from the containment of your winter sanctuary/home? Check. What does this mean? It’s Spring!
With spring comes the need to re-evaluate our gear, and look to our warm weather goals This means the need to upgrade some old, weathered gear with new, colorful, technical favorites! Yes this is a reason to spend some money but do it on the smart and cheap.
As we do every year, the Salomon specials are here and in large quantities. Our friends at Salomon around the country have been gracious enough to provide us with at least one piece of every item they make. What could be better than getting your spring wardrobe dialed in with some technically minded gear? Yep its time to outfit yourself with some Salomon! Check out what Hilary has to say about the latest offerings and see them here on our store: The Gear Movement’s eBay Store
Do you like trail running? But only run in road shoes?
Check out the Salomon Women’s XR Mission! This shoe is designed for both road and trail. The lightweight cushioning features are idea for high mileage on hard packed trails and rolling hills. And of course the bright colors make the shoes more fun and give you energy to get up those steep climbs.
When urban style meets winter performance and warm. The Rodeo Waterproof boots are equipped with a leather top and natural motion sole. They have a ClimaShield waterproof membrane that keeps your feet dry and warm down to -12°C/10°F.
The Sky 30+10 Backpack is ideal if you are looking for one pack to use for all your outdoor adventures. It is lightweight and is incredibly expandable (from 10 to 40 liters)! Not to mention its removable backboard, lite shoulder straps, quick fit belt, load lifter straps, and adjustable sternum strap which make it super comfortable.
If you’re looking for a year round technical pack, look no further! The Sky 30 is built with the anatomically shaped Airvent Contract System, which greatly increases back ventilation on hot days. The pack includes wide ski straps and pole holders for all your winter backcountry adventures. Its 30 L volume makes it ideal for a long day hike or a light overnight voyage.
The Men’s High Pile Hoody SmartSkin is the perfect layer for every season. Its high pile fleece provides cozy warmth on cold winter days, while in the summer it is an ideal outer layer for when the sun goes down.
A true Salomon best seller, the Men’s XA Midlayer is soft and breathable. Featuring a fitted fit and full front zip, the XA Midlayer is a necessity for pretty much any aerobic sport. Did we mention it comes in 5 great colors?
The Women’s XA Midlayer is designed with a flattering fitted fit. It’s the layer to grab when you are looking for something warm and cozy, yet breathable for your early morning run!
Check our eBay store for all of these great auctions throughout the week!
July 11th and 12th rocked hard! Perfect weather, a bit of rain and tons of sunshine and the sweet tarmac at Invesco Field in Denver, home to the Denver Broncos. Its every uber fan’s dream to get to hang out VIP style at Invesco Field and that is exactly what we did for the Rocky Mountain Bike Festival.
A cultural event, rich with bikes, character, locals, and community flavor, we couldn’t ask for much more. Put on by Miles Ahead Events and Carol Johnson, The Gear Movement rocked the house for two days straight! Community Events are the name of the game in this day and age, its a competitive market and anyway we can touch our client base on a positive level is great! Our next event coming up before we go into the cross season full swing will be the People’s Pedal Party – a pre-party and welcoming to the pro cyclists coming to our state for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge!
The People’s Pedal Party in Colorado Springs on August 21st 4-8pm will be a blast! Live music, BMX demonstrations, USOC demonstrations, tennis, fencing and of course some sweet cycling companies like The Gear Movement! The event will be held in the middle of downtown Colorado Springs on the eve of the Prologue to kick off the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
Come visit us for the party in downtown Colorado Springs and follow us on Facebook and Twitter throughout the week of August 22nd – 28th for updates from Jordan Schware in the yellow Mavic cars, winding through the mtns of CO!
See you then!