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…..that’s the name of the forest service area we are camping in this week.  It’s also the area the Laramie Enduro is raced on.  Our free campsite has been loaded with fog and rain and we got to see these creatures our first day there.

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Needless to say, Luna is a bit leary about straying far from the camper.

Before we came up to Laramie, we stopped again in Breckenridge to ride the Mt. Guyot loop.  Thunderstorms were all around, but we made it back to camp before we got nailed hard. 

Jen huffing and puffing up French Pass

Jen huffing and puffing up French Pass

The sweet descent off french pass

The sweet descent off french pass

This descent is really awesome!  The climb up to Georgia Pass is easy and the descent of the Colorado Tr. gets better and better as you get near the bottom.  I didn’t get any pics of that part as we were pushing it to beat the rain.

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After watching the short track races at the nationals, Jen and I packed up the race house and headed to our first real rock concert since about 1997. There was a huge music fest in Denver and Widespread Panic headlined the show.  Those old guys really rocked the house.  From what I remember, they played Love Tractor, Travelin’ Light, Rebirtha,….and the highlight of the show…drums into Faries Wear Boots!  My God!  That kicked ass!

We boondocked in a Walmart lot and woke 4 hours later to city buses making their way through the park and ride which we were parked in.  uugghh.  We headed to Breck with the hopes of riding around Mt. Guyot.  It was raining and we were super tired so we soldiered on to Utah.  This is when things got weird and we decided to go to Moab.  We drove the La Sal Mt. Loop and found a great place to camp right near the junction of Kokopelli and Hazzard County Trail.  We did a sweet loop on Hazzard!

Onto Salt Lake we soldiered….in 100 degree heat.  The next morning, we looped up the Crest Trail from ma-in-law’s for 5 and a half hours in some sweet heat.  That cooked us.  I’m taking a few days off the bike, but Jen is up here in Deer Valley riding Spin Cycle and other great trails as I poach wireless and get Luna in the water.

We’ll leave SL tomorrow and head back to Colorado with plans for the Guyot loop.  Then on to Laramie for the Enduro.

Titus put us up on their site for “news”.  Interesting that they call Jen a “factory rider”.  Privateer is more like it.  Oh well.  She was kind of mad.  I could care less.  We haven’t received ANYTHING but a discount from them this year….and that was on some oem forks.  They do make great bikes though.

Jen got her second national title again yesterday with a very decisive victory over some strong single speeders.  Christina Begy and other Colorado SSers.  She was pretty stoked considering that she suffered from race allergies again and vomited her entire breakfast just before her warm up.

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The men’s field was stacked with pro riders.  I dangled off the back of the lead group on the first long climb but couldn’t keep them in sight.  I ended up 9th.  30 guys lined up.  It was awesome!  I’ll have to start training to be in the mix with those guys.

Widespread Panic tonight!

Jen and I are hanging loose at a slightly lower elevation (8,500′) in Granby, Co…the site of the National Championships.  The camping is excellent and the trails are incredible.  Our course is going to be tough.  It should be close to 2.5 hours for the SS men’s race.

Breck Epic coverage was excellent.  You can check out lots of stuff at the following:

www.mtbracenews.com

www.mountainflyer.com

www.cyclingdirt.com

There are tons of blogs out there that provided much better coverage than I have.  I plan on working up a day by day description of my efforts.  I had such a great time racing with competitors old and new.  Some of my encounters with my fellow competitors first occured almost 15 years ago.  I’ve seen some of them grow up and now they are kicking my butt.

Anyway….we’ll be here through the weekend then we’ll hit Denver Sunday night for the Widespread Panic show.  Hopefully it won’t be too hot for that one.  We’ll head to Utah and hit Breck on the way back so I can take Jen on the Mt. Guyot loop.  That ride is SICK!!!!!

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Sorry I haven’t been blogging religiously about this race.  I’ve been concentrating on recovery and refueling and I haven’t wanted to run my generator to charge my batteries.  I wish my solar panels still worked.

Anyway….. After faltering on day 2 and 3, I pulled it back together.  Day 2 was just too much and I went too hard too early with too big of a gear.  Day 3 I put on WAAAY too heavy tires thinking the terrain would be gnarly.  Not!  I lost over 5 minutes.

For Day 4 I put on new Nanoraptors front and rear and put on a 32×21.  Good choice.  My opponent Dan Durland was pretty fried.  He also got caught up in some course confusion.  I can’t say I really took advantage of the opportunity, but I had pre-ridden that area.  I settled in to my own race and really enjoyed the Mt. Guyot circumnavigation.  It’s an incredible ride that I’ll definitely rank in my top 10.  I finished first with about 5 minutes on the gap, but not enough to lead general classification.  I was one second down.  I was kind of happy as that really put pressure on Dan for today.

Today’s stage was another sicko ride over another sicko pass over 12,000 feet.   Wheeler.  I rode it as the first 30 something miles in the Breck 100 last year, but our climb was much different.  We hike-a-biked for about 30 to 40 minutes today.  It hurt.  There were lots of rock gardens up and down throughout the course.  I shredded them.

I ended up with a sweet victory today and about a 7 minute cushion. 

You can check out coverage of the event at these fine websites…

www.breckepic.com

www.cyclingdirt.com

www.mtbracenews.com

http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20090708/SPORTS/907089962/1011/NONE&parentprofile=1056

Rich Dillon had a good report on the opening prologue.  You can check it out here.  I finished 1:35 up on Dan Durland.  I had a rough time sleeping as I was never able to really wind down after the ride.  The total distance on my gps was 5.4 miles.  I clocked it at about 41:15.  Jeremiah was around 35 minutes.

Today’s ride was super fun.  Dan led out with an easier gear.  He was definitely outclimbing me.  I out descended him but somewhere he was able to get close to me again and caught me on the final climb.  He ended up putting a couple of minutes on me.  Now I sit about 38 seconds down in gc.

Mike and Mary…yes…2 time Olympian Mary….stopped by our camper right at the end of my post race nap.  Great timing!  They looked great and seemed really stoked to be with Sram this year.  They said the new XX group works incredibly well.

Tomorrow is a shorter stage but the climbing is real steep and there is little flat.  I’m running an easier gear and a new drivetrain.  I put on a new Blackspire chainring and a new chain.  Hopefully my bike won’t be making the creaking noise it made all day today.  I’m sure I annoyed the piss out of Alison Dunlap, but I was able to climb away and stay away from them. 

My dad is here with his fiancee.  They have joined us for 2 nights of camping and then they are headed to Banff in Canada.  They are enjoying themselves as they lazily make their way north.

The camping in Breck has been interesting.  We are now surrounded by a Texas Wheelchair (ATV) convention and the rain has been pretty steady.  Downtown Breck is PACKED with cyclists and 4th of July drunks. 

Jen is racing tomorrow and I’m hanging out giving her a feed.  She’ll be on the hardtail rolling the Pacenti NeoMoto in the rear and the Nanoraptor in the front.  Her ride today was rippin’ fast.  She should do well as long as we don’t get sick from the lake water we put into our camper.  Yeah….long story which I will spare you from.

Luna has a new boyfriend.  His name is Koa and he’s awesome.  He really loves Luna and they play together well.  Koa belongs to Pua and Ron Sawicki.  He’s absolutely hilarious.

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Ron and Pua have been awesome to hang out with.  Ron is very generous with his stuff.  So far I’ve borrowed his Nomad bike wash and his bench grinder.  He’s also kicked down some Infinit nutrition and some Okole Stuff…which absolutely rocks.  It will definitely be nice to have in a 6 day stage race…which I start Sunday.

I hope it rains a lot!  I love riding my SS in the slop.  6 days of slop would be even more awesome.