Breck Epic Newsletter
More race crap than you could possibly care about. Courses. Stage order. A cautionary word about the climate…and sadly, much, much more.
June 22, 2009
The Punchlist Newsletter
Lots of information to pass along today. A lot of it is for registered riders, but some of it is for the Breck Epic tifosi…including a set of links to all the blogs posted so far. The Tokyo Joe’s crew with Pete Swenson and Monique Merrill and Jeremiah Bishop from Monavie-Cannondale were here over the weekend pre-riding as was Jeff Kerkove from Ergon. Here’s a pic of Friday’s ride by the big crew there’s a link below to Kerkove’s recon session.
13 days to blast-off. Not registered? The clock is ticking – we have a few spots left. Operators at SBO are standing by…
With just under two weeks left there are probably still some questions lingering out there. About the courses. About camping. About lodging. About what movies we’re playing for the bike-in movie nights at Breck Bike Week or about the new “Team Relay” category. Lots of those are answered here, but if you’re still left wondering, please email or call. Our job is to help you get the details dialed so you can worry about riding your bike. Let us get you dialed on local intel and help you make this the best bike vacation ever.
In this issue:
- A Word About Courses
- Blogger Links
- Check-in for Stage One & New team Relay Category INFO
- Course Marking INFO
- Bike Shipping INFO
- The Climate/What to Bring
- Required Items
- Camping INFO
- Daily Schedule
- Stage Order
- Massage Therapy and Mechanical Services INFO
- Colorado Search and Rescue Card INFO
- Pre-riding INFO
- Breck Bike Week INFO
- Volunteer INFO
- List of Bike Shops in Summit County
- New Breck Epic Partners
- Summit Fat Tire Society Meeting INFO (locals only)
That oughta do it. For now. I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I’m getting tired of hearing myself talk. It’s go-time.
The Greenspeed Project Inc and The Breck Epic MTB Stage Race
And now, a collection of random pics.
A Word About Courses
When we published our course maps and profiles several months ago we issued a HUGE disclaimer about total elevation gain and mileage. Since most of Summit County is covered in snow 8 months out of the year we didn’t have the opportunity to ride the courses with a GPS – we basically constructed the thing out of the rides we all knew and loved and we drew each stage by hand in Topofusion. We made no bones about the fact that both elevation and mileage would be approximate.
Well, we’ve been able to spend some time on course and are steadily dialing in our dataset. Early reports were that mileage was pretty close, but that elevation gain was a bit off. Especially in the Colorado Trail Stage. It looks like we overstated elevation by about 2000 feet. I think that most would agree that that’s a good thing. Not that we missed the mark, but that the stage isn’t quite the spiteful sufferfest that we’d painted it to be.
Make no mistake – this race is hard. Despite that, Pete and I stick by our assertion that a mid-pack Sport rider can finish it if they ride smart, at a pace that they can maintain for several hours and if they can studiously stay hydrated. These 6 stages are composed of our favorite rides – we included them because we felt that they made the best riding experience and the best showcasing of the trails and network we know and love. We didn’t build this thing to unnecessarily punish people – quite the opposite in fact.
I guess what I’m getting at is that we’re hearing a fair bit of what I’d call pre-race jitters. In response Pete and I have this to say: Remain calm. Take a deep breath. Harness your chi.
…and prepare for one of the coolest experiences of your life.
Breck Epic blogs are hitting the digital ether. For a quick set of links to each, head to Blog City at the Breck Epic site.
Jeff Carter – Spot Bikes – Hosted by Outside Online
Rich – Moots/Team Dicky – Hosted by Mountain Bike Magazine
Tomi – TomiCOGs/Gettysburg Cupcake Factory – Hosted by Bike Magazine
Mary and Heather – Tokyo Joe’s/Gary Fisher/Trails 2000 – Hosted by Mountain Flyer
Jenn – Revolution/Power Bar/MTBracenews.com
Jeff Kerkove – Ergon Bike, Ergon Outdoor
Check-in for Stage One & New Team Relay Category:
Check in opens at 10am sharp at Upper Blue Elementary (UBE) on Sunday, July 5th. UBE is Race HQ, the location of three out of the six starts, the meeting area for awards and daily evening meetings and the campground for tents and RV’s. All riders will need to check in between 10am and 2pm on Sunday. UBE is at 1200 Airport Road in Breckenridge, just a block or two before you enter town from the north on HWY 9. Click HERE for landing instructions from the control tower (Google).
At check-in you will receive your feed bags. They’ll be stuffed with town info and all of your goodies. At the last tally we had: a custom Crank Brothers Breck Epic, a jersey, t-shirt, socks, information about town, your Breck Epic identification dogtags (big thanks to John George and Ali Powers at Mountain Wave!), Breck Bike Week info, your allotment of gels from Hammer, your number plate and your feed bags from Subaru.
We WILL NOT have a meeting prior to Sunday’s opening prologue/hill climb/time trial, but will have one at the conclusion of the stage at 5:30 back at Upper Blue. ALL riders are expected to attend. Missing any daily meeting without prior approval from the race director will result in a 30-minute penalty on GC. Any questions you have prior to starting stage one can and will be answered at registration/check-in. Sunday’s opening stage DOES count towards the GC.
Teams will be expected to adhere to the 2-minute time limit between riders. Exceeding that limit will result in a 30-minute penalty on GC. And 10 Swiss Francs. And some of those little individually-wrapped Bechamel cheeses.
Registration? Still open. In a bald-faced attempt to entice more riders we’ve just added a “Team Relay” competition. In this category teams of between 2 and 6 riders split up the stages between them, each team putting one rider per day on course. Who is this category for? Riders who want to participate, but don’t want to waste themselves for MTB Nats. Or for locals who can’t rationalize taking a week off from work just to stay home. Head to SBO if you’re interested – it’s already been set up in the system.
I’m sure that there are some unanswered questions out there. Many of you who’ve called have gone out of your way to apologize, most starting off with “I know you’re really busy, but…” Please. Don’t apologize. And by all means, call. We want you to. We expect you to. Our hope with The Breck Epic is that you walk away feeling like you got the inside line on our little community – that you benefitted from having friends (us) get you hooked up and dialed in. We want you thinking about racing, not about lodging or camping or pro payouts or where to get the best Mexican food. So again – call. We’re serious. 970-485-5847.
We’ve been getting a few questions about this. In order to keep our impact as low as possible, each stage will be marked the morning of its start and pulled by race sweepers the dame day. We’re super-fortunate in that we’ve duped most of our friends into helping. These are folks who race a lot and who have supreme knowledge of the backcountry surrounding Breck. To be fair, we were very up-front with them. All of them were promised shitty pay (but great swag.) They’re stoked to have you here.
At about 7:30 am each morning, local boy and Santa Cruz/Bach Builders endurance gun Josh Tostado (you may have heard of him – he’s kind of a big deal) will set out with a backpack full of arrows to check the mark and reinforce anything that he sees. The marking standard will be an arrow before the turn, an arrow at the turn and some survey tape after the turn confirming your direction. The arrows will be black on an orange background.
Once again, this is not a route-finding exercise. The BE will be composed of fully-marked race courses. We’ll give all of you an elevation profile that marks significant course features and aid stations, but you will not need a map. Nor could you possible read one that we’ve condensed down to an 8.5×11 sheet of paper – the courses are just too big.
Questions? Fire away!
Bike Shipping with High Country Shipping:
High Country Shipping (HCS) is the official bicycle shipping and luggage partner for the Breck Epic. HCS is a registered Fed-Ex shipper with the same prices as if you trotted your prized ride on down to your local Fed-Ex store.
In addition you get over-the-top service; HCS acts a clearinghouse for all shipping questions. They consult with each rider and send shipping labels in advance, track each shipment and keep you informed via email when your bike arrives at their facility in Colorado.After the race they’ll pick up your bike, re-box it, and ship it home. What could be easier?
Call ‘em. Do it. 877.231.1363
The Climate/What to Bring:
Breck is at 9600 feet. All of the terrain you’ll be racing in is above that. On several occasions you’re going to find yourselves above treeline – and that means 12,000 feet. The early part of July is typically dry (and flippin’ beautiful), but it is Breck – when it rains here it gets cold fast. Hypothermia is a legit concern. It could snow. It’s unlikely, but it could (and has) happened. What is MOST likely is a string of 75-80 degree days with very little humidity. In other words, perfect riding weather.
So bring shorts and flip-flops. And a fleece. Maybe one pair of long pants, just in case. Bring sunscreen. And lip-balm. Prepare to suffer if you forget either. Bring sunglasses – it’s hard to describe how harsh the sun can be here. Bring chamois cream. Lots of it. Bring one of those scrapey things for your car’s windshield. You never know.
Most importantly, bring a sense of humor and a willingness to endure. The race will be long and the weather unpredictable enough to keep you on your toes. The altitude will smack you, but try to keep in mind that with the exception of a small few Coloradans who live at similar altitude, it’s going to affect everyone. And even the billy goats will feel it.
What You Need to Have With You EACH Day:
There are certain items that ALL riders must carry. Hydration packs will be inspected at the race start to insure compliance. First offenders will be assessed a 30-minute penalty on GC. A second offense gets you the boot. Here’s your list:
A rain shell
A First-Aid kit
A survival blanket
Current CORSAR enrollment (see below). No exceptions. None. Nada. Niente.
Dehydration is a serious consideration at this altitude, so make sure that you stop at each aid and H2O station to take on water…and drink it. And keep drinking once the stage is over and throughout the evening. You’ll recover more slowly at this altitude. Staying properly hydrated is the single best thing you can do to keep stepping on those big gears.
What to Expect if You’re Camping:
Just a reminder, if you’re camping you need to stay in our tents. You’ll be provided with an ample sized tent whether you’re a team or solo rider and a sleeping pad. Feel free to bring whatever else you’d like. Campfires will not be permitted. Each camper will receive one shower pass from The Breckenridge Recreation Center. It’s approximately one block from race HQ.
If you’re bringing an RV we have lots of flat ground that borders some lovely grass for you to park it on. Everyone signed up for RV camping also receives one shower pass.
7am – ‘Breckfast’ (get it?)
7:30-8:30am – Daily Check-in
9am – race start
5:30pm – rider meeting and daily awards
6:15pm – dinner (for those who’ve signed up for a meal plan)
7-9pm – activities in the Subaru Social Tent
The final awards banquet will take place at The Riverwalk Center in downtown Breckenridge at 6pm on Friday.
Sunday, July 5th – Stage One: Opening Prologue, Mt Baldy TT. Start: Carter Park
Monday, July 6th – Stage Two: CO Trail Loop. Start: UBE
Tuesday, July 7th – Stage Three: Pennsylvania Loop. Start: Steven C West Hockey Arena (“The Steve”)
Wednesday, July 8th – Stage Four: Mt. Guyot (sounds like “Leo”, but with a hard “G”). Start: UBE
Thursday, July 9th – Stage Five: Wheeler. Start: UBE
Friday, July 10th – Stage Six: Gold Dust, Start: “The Steve”
There will be wireless access on-site at Upper Blue. Need a data line? Hmmm…lemme get the IT Department on it.
Massage Therapy/Mechanical Services/Chiropractor Services
Massage therapists will be on-site each day from 1pm-7pm and longer as necessary. You’ll be able to purchase massage from race admin. Chiropractor treatments will be available by appointment after 6pm each day. Big thanks to Jeff Auth for that. We’ll also offer discounted mechanical services on-site each day. Our wrenches (Ryan Gaul and Dan Monaco with a big assist from Seth “Sesh” Strickland) will be on-site each morning and afternoon to help keep baby running smoothly. Expect a bro deal on all services.
All riders are required to possess Colorado Search and Rescue card. It’s $3 and covers the cost of aircraft used in a search. For more information on what it does and more importantly, does not cover, head HERE. CORSAR cards are available for purchase online.
We’ve had a pretty wet and cold spring so far – just about everything above 11,400 right now is unrideable. The Gold Dust and CO Trail loops are dry. The next ones to dry should be Pennsylvania, then Wheeler and Guyot (probably simultaneously and just a week prior to the race start.) PLEASE – respect what the trail tells you – if it’s wet and muddy your impact on our network is extremely negative. Take the figurative high road and try another day. If nobody’s seen the course because it hasn’t dried out early enough for decent recon then it’s a level playing field for all. Please – honor the implied contract signed by all mountain bikers who are united by a love of the outdoors and a healthy respect for the backcountry.
Breck Bike Week:
…is a go. A big huge go. With the help of The Breckenridge Resort Chamber and The Town of Breckenridge we’ve got a pretty cool line up of non-competitive events going on. Demo bikes from Trek, Titus, Tomac, Moots and more – Spot and Maverick are currently getting the hardsell from BBW event director Pete Swenson. Check out the latest goodies from Shimano, Crank Brothers and DT Swiss. Streetswell will be there with sweet mountain longboards. IMBA will be there. The Boulder Center for Sports Medicine will be there. We’ve got free programming and cycling-specific lectures, 2 bike-in movie nights, a “meet the pros” night, guided interpretive rides around Breck’s in-town trail network, and best of all, we’re marking 5 “big-loop” backcountry rides and publishing ride guides. Why not put the latest bike to the toughest test?
All Breck Bike Week programming is FREE. That’s right, free. Check out the beta at www.breckbikeweek.com. Interested in tech space? It’s free. Give Pete a shout and he’ll get you lined out.
We’ve got horrible (some would call it ‘non-existent’) pay, but great swag. If you’ve got some time on your hands and want to get plugged into the action, please drop Mike a line. We need aid station worker bees, course markers, course marshals and Subaru drivers (Some restrictions apply there. Sorry convicts.)
Bike Shops in Summit County:
Mountain Sports Outlet – Trek, Specialized, Fisher, Santa Cruz, Fuji, Bianchi
Silverthorne (next to Arby’s) 970-262-2836
Avalanche Sports – Santa Cruz, Yeti
540 S. Main Street, Breckenridge, 970-453-1461
Wilderness Sports – Yeti, Specialized
400 Main Street, Frisco, 970-668-8804
Colorado Freeride – Felt, Rocky Mountain
114 N Main St, Breckenridge, 970-453-0995
Breck Velo – Cove, Voodoo
215 S Main Street, Breckenridge, 970-453-VELO
Podium Sports – Rocky Mountain, Wilier
720 Main St, Frisco, 970-669-9996
Recycled Ski and Sport
New Partners and Patrons:
Ground Apparel – the folks at Ground have cut their teeth working for the biggest and best names in the outdoor industry. They’ve got kick-ass stuff from shells to down jackets…everything that a self-respecting mountain person needs to make a 4-season existence here work.
Mountain 2 Mountain – the following blurb was copied directly from M2M’s website, but to sum up, here’s an example of local folks getting engaged and integrated into global issues. And making a difference. The M2M folks will be coordinating our bodywork resources. Here’s what their website says:
Mountain to Mountain was founded by Shannon Galpin in the fall of 2007. Inspired by Greg Mortenson’s work promoting peace through education in remote villages of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Shannon decided to stop wishing and start doing.
Originally created to support existing non profits and NGO’s working remote mountain communities in Central Asia, the first cycle of fundraising was in support of Central Asia Institute. The second cycle supported the dZi Foundation.
Now in its third year, Mountain to Mountain operates as an independent and sustainable 501(c)3 non-profit organization. A recent piece on NBC’s Dateline presents the perfect backstory for the organization’s very personal beginning, and reinforces the need for a very committed future.
Summit Fat Tire Society (local IMBA chapter) Meeting
To: All Summit County Mountain Bikers, all SFTS members, all interested parties
When: Friday, July 26th, 6:30-8:30pm
Where: The Backcountry Brewery, Frisco, CO
Why: To discuss the current state of our organization and its future. Mike Zobbe will be transitioning from his role as SFTS President into one of ambassador and ombudsman. That leaves his spot as President open to nomination. Since we’ll be electing a new president, we should also take a look at the other positions on the board. Chris Hart and Marc “Kid” Carlisle have served as secretary and treasurer for several years. It’s probably time to acknowledge their considerable contributions and invite nominees to assume those roles.
Our organization has a long and impressive resume here in Summit County, but I think that all would agree that it’s time to stop leaning on the same folks and invite some new blood and fresh energy. The path of the SFTS in the immediate and long-term future will also be discussed. At the end of this session we hope to have a polarized view of how best to proceed with the organization as well as a new executive and advisory board to help implement established goals.
Thanks in advance for bringing your ideas, your opinions and your energy to this meeting.
The GreenSpeed Project
Distinctive Backcountry Events in Support of Open Space
Subaru | Crank Bros | Santa Cruz | Jett MTB | Hammer Nutrition | Giro
Spot Bikes | Easton | Fox Racing Shox | Mountain Bike | The Alpineer | Dale’s Pale Ale | Ground
Ergon | Great Western Lodging | Kuhl USA | Squirt Lube | Yakima
WTB | Aerobie
Topofusion | The Boulder Ice Cream Company | The Boulder Sausage Company
Street Swell | Velogear.com | Tokyo Joe’s
About The Greenspeed Project & The Breck Epic
The Greenspeed Project, Inc. was established in the fall of 2008 with the sole intent of funding backcountry initiatives, trail maintenance and trail system improvements through the medium of slightly left-of-center backcountry events. In addition to producing ‘greener’ events than then norm, we’re committed to aligning ourselves with likeminded partners in the outdoor industry. A significant portion of the proceeds from our events and races is donated directly back to local and regional land managers with the intention that it be earmarked for the items mentioned above.
The Breck Epic MTB Stage Race (July 5-10, 2009) is a 6-day ultra-endurance backcountry affair to be held in the massive tangle of backcountry surrounding Breckenridge, CO. As a race its mission is to showcase the incredible work that visionary land managers here have accomplished by pairing an ambitious and shared vision with a ‘let’s roll our sleeves up and get this thing done together’ mentality. It is one of a small few such races in US, and certainly among the most difficult.
If you’d like to find out more we’ll happily fire a mind-bullet your way stuffed with an ungodly amount of sleep-inducing propaganda. No need to send us a note, we’ll know that you want it. We can also email it.
W | www.BreckEpic.com
B | www.BreckEpic.Blogspot.com
This email was sent to email@example.com by firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Breck Epic | 60 Bridge Street | PO Box 4648 | Breckenridge | CO | 80424