Posted on May 8, 2009 by Andrew
OK, it’s time to write about the Grand Dame of American mountain bike ultras, the LT100. I guess I’ve been putting this one off because it hurts so much I don’t really want to think about it any more than necessary. This race, in a nutshell, is a bastard. Why do I despise it so much? Well, let me count the ways: First of all, it’s 100 miles, on a mountain bike. Second, it has over 12,000 ft of climbing. Third - and most importantly - it starts at 10,200 ft and pretty much goes up from there, topping out above treeline at 12,600 ft. For those not familiar with altitude like that, let me just say this: there ain’t much oxygen up there. Also, lest I forget, there are typical Colorado afternoon thunderstorms and occasional sleet or snow. The weather is very unpredictable and can play havoc with your race - no matter what your level of fitness or preparedness.
Posted on June 23, 2008 by Andrew
There are few organized cycling events that are as appealing - by name alone - as the Real Ale Ride. It has two of Beef and Pie’s primary reasons for existing encapsulated in the title. Brilliant.
Needless to say, we were there en masse. This was the biggest team turn out for a ride ever. It seems that beer, and not George Bush, is the great uniter. Who knew? And what a great place to ride! The beautiful Texas Hill Country, late May, not much wind, and the ride site is the Real Ale Brewery, right in Blanco. Read more
Posted on April 9, 2008 by Andrew
I’m up before sunrise. It’s 38 degrees. I’m in the middle of the desert surrounded by hundreds of cyclists. I’ve got a warm Lone Star in my pocket and I’m wondering, “what the hell am I doing here?”
There’s really only one reason I could be in such a situation – Pie. Read more
Posted on March 25, 2008 by admin
As most Beef and Pie fans know, my nick-name is Ponies. Because this is a cycling blog there will be no horses in my blog entry. No really, I promise. Last week after many years off the bike I was lured out to West Texas to ride in the Mas o Menos mountain bike race. I was promised sunshine, a stay in a cool hotel, a fun track, a big hill, and Tito’s Vodka. All were delivered. I was also to be the first female rider for the esteemed Beef and Pie Cycling team. Who could resist? After a night in Alpine to stay with some old friends, we arrived at the race site on Friday to meet some folks for a pre-ride. One of them was our Beef and Pie team member Joey “The Cuban Missile” Machado. Read more
Posted on January 8, 2008 by Andrew
This is one of my favorite marathon races. I’ve done it twice, had great results, and just a good time in general. But, the race is held in Juarez, Mexico. Tell that to most people and the usual response is “Dude, are you crazy?”. For those who don’t know, Juarez is considered to be one of the most dangerous cities in North America: High crime, gangs, drug trafficking, kidnapping. You want violent crime? Juarez is your destination of choice. Read more
Posted on December 21, 2007 by Andrew
OK, so there really are some races you should only do once. This is one of them. My second time around just confirmed that for me. Clearly my memory is shot. This is not so much a mountain bike race as a death march, and this year they made it even harder by adding an extra stage, making it a four-day race. Bastards. Even excluding all the stuff that can go wrong - getting lost (see 2002 post), mechanicals, bad race organisation, getting sick, crashing and going to hospital etc - the physical challenge of this race is daunting. And let me add that this was the concensus hardest MTB race in the world according to everybody there who had done the (longer) Trans Alp, Trans Rockies and Cape Epic races. Read more
Posted on October 27, 2007 by Richard
I was keen to see what my next ride held in store for the new B&P Team kit and I was not disappointed. I was so busy last week that between the storms and working I was not able to ride much. Sunday morning I rode on the Freewheeling Ride, a group of crabby old men, mean age 50+, riding in the Violent Clown colors. The Freewheeling Ride generally has about 15-20 cyclists. In the Spring there might be a few “newbies” and women with varying cycling experience. These Spring rides can be painfully slow as the ride leader- control freak-
crabby old man-Dave Henderson, tries to control the speed to make sure not everyone gets dropped, left behind, and humiliated. Read more
Posted on October 27, 2007 by Andrew
So, we’re really busy at the studio right now and I have to try and squeeze in rides wherever I can. Thus it was that I found myself battling traffic out on loop 360 early one morning last week. Also, I was very excited, this being my first ride on my brand new Giano carbon bike, built by none other than B+P teammate, Beto Boggiano. There I was, on the gradual climb up 360 just before the arboretum, getting after it a little because I had a shoot to get to. The lovely, silky sound of tires on asphalt as my companion, somehow drowning out the nasty noise of the car-people driving to work (but getting nowhere fast). Then - all of a sudden - I hear the sound we all hate: the sickening, unmistakable explosion of air that comes from a gutted tire. Read more
Posted on October 26, 2007 by Andrew
Sunday was one of those weird B&P rides. It included a crash, a fire, a very close call, and a dead body.
I haven’t been on a Progress Coffee ride in a while. With as few miles as I am able to put in, keeping up on a Progress Ride can be a bit of a challenge. On the last one I rode, I was pleased to discover that the Progress rides have grown in popularity. This is a good and a bad thing. The good thing is I can stay in just about any large peloton if it’s not too hilly. The bad thing is the larger groups always have some inexperienced riders that make things edgy if not dangerous. Read more
Posted on October 26, 2007 by Andrew
The summary of La Ruta de Los Conquistadores (or our three days of mud, pain and suffering in Costa Rica). Our group was comprised of John Wilder, Joey Machado, Scott Henry and myself. Scott had done this race before, finishing 5th overall two years ago, and is a Trek team rider. For those who don’t know, the rest of us are 40-ish Expert class racers, but nowhere near Scott’s level. La Ruta, as the race is called, is billed as the toughest mountain bike race in the world. It is run in mid-November from the Pacific to the Caribbean Ocean – across the width of Costa Rica - in three days. The distance is advertised as being 300 miles, but is in reality only about 250 by my estimates. There is a total of 26,000 feet of climbing, however, to go along with all that mileage. Rules are similar to NORBA – you must finish the day on the same bike you started and be entirely self-sufficient, accepting no outside help except for food and drink at the authorized check points. About 400 people entered the race this year, mostly Costa Rican, but also from as far afield as England, Australia, South Africa, Ecuador, Mexico and Canada. Here’s how it went down: Read more