Monday, September 29, 2008

October's Featured Rider: Karen Eagan

The East Coast gravity scene has been going off this year. There are races nearly every weekend from Vermont to New Jersey, West Virginia to New Hampshire, and the freeride parks are some of the best in North America. Karen Eagan has experienced the evolution of riding and racing in the Northeast, and she spends plenty of time on the podium. She's also involved with riding at the community level, giving presentations for local Boyscout troops and leading women's clinics for the Northeast Mountain Bike Association. Karen is currently attending college to become a dietitian technician, with goals to work in the health and wellness industry. We think this Massachusetts ripper deserves a bit more recognition.--FF

Name: Karen Eagan
Home: Lowell, MA
Age: Chronologically or in spirit? 38 and 25 respectively.
Favorite type of riding: Naturally aggressive terrain is my first love, but I've recently fallen for the sweetness of groomed technical trails and courses.
Why you ride: It is invigorating, liberating, euphoric, and it makes me feel alive!
Sponsors: Vitamin Water, Back Bay Bicycles, Fox Racing Shox, E13, Reef, Nixon, and Highland Mountain Bike Park, NH

How does a preschool teacher who's in her late twenties and from a city like Lowell, MA get involved in competitive gravity cycling? She watches a segment on OLN depicting a happy couple on holiday meandering down a hillside with stunning mountain views, and she thinks, "That looks like fun!" After ordering her first bike through the Jeep accessories catalog (yeah, for real--one size fits all), she hits the trails. Literally.



Since then, I have been extremely fortunate to have had opportunities to learn from many diverse riders in the cycling community. I truly owe my competence as a rider to the various groups of cycling enthusiasts who have welcomed me into their cirlces throughout the years--including the individuals who continue to offer their instruction and guidance, as I still have much to learn! The community has been instrumental in providing the support, inspiration, and encouragement I needed to develop skills and confidence, and to discover my potential as a rider and as a competitor. Without these folks, I'd still be doing lawn darts on my super-sized Renegade!

Four years ago, I worked on Ride Like a Girl, a short video featuring Greater Boston female riders. It was filmed for a NEMBA video awards fundraiser. The film took home a first-place award and has served to inspire a number of female riders in the community. The film can be viewed in Volume 1 of the Northeast Mountain Bike Report. I've also worked on segment development and as a correspondent for the Northeast Mountain Bike Report.

I think one of the most important lessons I've learned is to not lose sight of why I do what I do. Riding is fun! Racing is exhilerating! It's all about the rush of the perfect run, the high of pushing my limits, and the unparalleled camaraderie of fellow racers and riders. In the end, it's more about personal satisfaction than a results standing. It's about leaving the trail or course with no regrets, having given it my all. My advice is to set realistic personal goals, keep at them, and take pride in your accomplishments, no matter how small. Most importantly, in the words of a very dear friend, don't forget to "have fun and make friends" along the way!

Red Bull Burner Results

The Red Bull Burner was a 12-hour downhill race held at Angel Fire, NM on the 20th. I kept checking the AngelFireBurner.com site for results, but they haven't been posted yet. Turns out, they're on Cyclingnews.com. Who knew? Racers were allowed to ride any of three courses in any order or pick a favorite and lap that one all day. Lisa Reinhard killed it in the Pro Women Solo class, putting down 25 laps in just under 12 hours. The Duo and Team categories don't have first names attached, so I can't tell if I'm missing any ladies in those classes.

Pro Women Solo
1. Lisa Reinhard
2. Darian Harvey
3. Jennifer Whalen

Expert Women Solo
1. Kim Gilchrist
2. Traci Koesis

Sunday, September 28, 2008

bandana-rama! Photo Contest

Have you checked out the bandana-rama! link lately? If you haven't heard, we're hosting a bandana-rama! Photo Contest. The voting starts October 1, so get your photos wearing a Freeride Foundation bandana in now. The voting goes through October 15, and the winner of the contest will be announced October 17. The photo contest winner receives a $100 gift certificate to Freeride Foundation! Email your photos to bandana-rama@freeridefoundation.com.

What Happened in Vegas

For just this once, what happened in Vegas should definitely not stay there. I saw some awesome goodies at Interbike that I'm really excited to bring onto Freeride Foundation in 2009. It seems like the industry is finally catching on to the fact that gravity girls are craving fun, fashionable riding clothes. And don't worry, nothing's been shrinked and pinked--we're talking purples, citrons, prints, and plaids.

It's also exciting to see that many companies are starting to cater specificially to freeride girls. Kona and Norco each have a women's-specific freeride bike in their 2009 line-up, proving that women freeriders are really starting to make an impact on the industry. 5.10 has a sick women's shoe coming out that'll definitely fit even the smallest freeride feet. It's all been a long time coming, but I'm definitely happy to be able to bring you the latest and greatest in clothing and gear next season. Stay tuned--some of it will arrive sooner than later!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Watch the Jeep King of the Mountain, New Jersey on Sunday!

Don't forget, the first 48Straight Jeep King of the Mountain races will air Sunday, September 28 (tomorrow)! Watch it on CBS!

Cal State Downhill Finals

Woodward West, CA hosted the final race in the California Golden State Championship series September 13-14. Michelle Rivera took the downhill win for the Pro Women. Michelle edged out Christine Hirst for the overall series title. To see the rest of the series standings, visit SouthridgeUSA.com.

Downhill
Pro Women
1. Michelle Rivera
2. Christine Hirst

Expert Women 35+
1. Jill Hamilton
2. Nancy Harris

Beginner Women 35+
1. Erica Phillips
2. Kim Finch
3. Wendy Engleberg
4. Leah Jensen
5. Lisa Guzman

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Off to Interbike

Oh, joy. Here we go. I'm off to Interbike on Wednesday. If I have a few minutes, I'll try to post a few updates between now and Friday. Don't forget to send your special requests in. I can make them happen!

Women's "Downhill" Ride at Big Bear

I use the term "downhill" loosely here, because there are major restrictions on what kind of bike you can put on a lift at Big Bear, CA. However, Amy Cone is organizing a more-gravity-than-xc women's ride at the resort on October 4, 2008. Here's the schpeel:

Womens Light DH Group Ride

October 4th, 2008
Snow Summit in Big Bear, CA
Will be meeting at 9am in the open area between the chair lift and front building.
Lift tickets are $20 for an all day pass. $10 for just one run.

Chair lift has restrictions on bike components. They are as follows:

1. Bikes must be less than 35 pounds.
2. Designated tire size must be less than 2.5.
3. Front shock must have less than 6 inches of travel.
4. Bikes must have three chain rings unless they are single speed.

Lunch will be up to you. We will eat as a group at the top and you can either eat at the restaurant or pack your own.

Wear whatever gear you feel comfortable wearing. Don't hesitate to fully gear up or go naked (figure of speech).

There is a possibility that the lift will close by then. It is only open weekends after labor day and at the first sight of freezing/snow they close it down to prepare for winter. If you express your interest in this ride I WILL keep you fully updated.
Please contact Amy Cone for more information or to RSVP: lil__missy@hotmail.com

Monday, September 22, 2008

48Straight Jeep King of the Mountain Wrap-Up

What a weekend! The King of the Mountain dual slalom course at The Canyons was intense. Eric Carter built the course and it was no joke. Big jumps, flat corners, a steep slope, and gravelly dirt made for challenging conditions for everyone.

At qualifying on Friday, putting down a clean run was the ticket to success. Anneke Beerten put down the fastest first run, gaining nearly two seconds over Melissa Buhl. On her second run, though, Anneke slid out in a corner and aggravated an ankle injury that she's been dealing with most of the season. Lisa Myklak threw down two solid runs, but a missed gate on her first run left her disqualified. Local ripper Gale Dahlager crashed in her first run, as did Stephanie Nychka, who had been ruling the course all morning. Neither was able to recover the lost time on their second runs.

The whole event is made for TV, so the rules are a bit different than a USAC or UCI race. Anneke was unable to race in the final on Saturday (even with her crash, she had qualified 6th). In order to create full brackets, the remaining riders each moved up a place, allowing the 9th-qualified rider into the final. Gale was that rider, but injuries from her crash sidelined her as well. Lisa moved into the 8th-place spot with a chance to take out Melissa in the first round of racing. We'll let you watch the action when the race airs on CBS in October!

The final race of the series will be held October 25 in San Luis Obispo, CA. Heading into that race, Melissa Buhl has the series lead, but Kathy Pruitt is within striking distance of the title too.

The Canyons Final Results
1. Melissa Buhl
2. Fionn Griffiths
3. Kathy Pruitt
4. Tammy Donahugh
5. Leslie Slagle
6. Allie Burch
7. Jackie Baker
8. Lisa Myklak

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tomorrow, The Canyons, Be There!

Don't forget to swing by The Canyons, UT for the 48 Straight Jeep King of the Mountain contest tomorrow! Swing by the Freeride Foundation booth between 1:00pm and 7:00pm to enter the Bandana-rama! Photo Contest. You could win a $100 gift certificate. Racing starts at 3:00pm. See you there!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fluidride Cup #5 Results

The fifth downhill race in the Fluidride Cup series was held at Mt. Hood, OR last weekend. Joy Mutoli represented for the Pro Women, and once again, the Sport Women came out in force. Joy, Dawn Lambert, and Cherry Thomas are each leading their respective classes in the points race. The final race of the series will be held September 27-28 at Mt. Hood, OR.

Pro Women
1. Joy Mutoli

Expert Women
1. Dawn Lambert
2. Jaime Rees
3. Chelsey Stevens

Sport Women
1. Cherry Thomas
2. Ashley Smeltzer
3. Jennifer Tell
4. Hailey Olson
5. Summer Northern
6. Corrine Grene
7. Amanda Bauer
8. Leslie Simpson

Beginner Women
1. Yvonne Gillett

Junior Beginner Women
1. Cheyenne Smith
2. Andrianna Moroz

For more information about this series and to see the current points standings, visit Fluidride.com.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

World Cup All-Mountain Championships

I'm making up a new World Cup category for recognition: All-Mountain Championships. The winners of the World Cup Mountaincross and World Cup Downhill titles are specialists. Rachel and Anneke rarely cross over to race each other's disciplines. There's nothing wrong with that at all, but there are a handful of women who race both disciplines throughout the series.

Fionn Griffiths, Mio Suemasa, and Anita Molcik are no strangers to the World Cup podium. However, it seems like they're rarely recognized for their abilities to practice and race all weekend and consistently put together impressive performances in both disciplines. Mountaincross is usually held on Saturday night, the evening before the downhill race. While Rachel and Sabrina are kicking back and watching the action or possibly even turning in early, Fionn, Mio, and Antia are duking it out in the dark on the 4x track. There are more girls who cross over, but these three have managed top-ten overall finishes in both disciplines. I think they deserve a bit more credit.

Unfortunately I'm no statistician, so I don't know how to award the real World Cup All-Mountain Champion title. Antia is the highest-ranked of the three in Mountaincross, but Fionn has the highest ranking in downhill--where there are a lot more racers. So, I'll just list their rankings and let you figure it out. Nice work, girls!

__________2008 WC 4X Overall ___ 2008 WC Downhill Overall
Anita Molcik _____2________________ 9
Mio Suemasa _____3________________ 7
Fionn Griffiths___ 4________________6

Oredigger Challenge Results

Collegiate cycling is awesome. It's gotten even more sweet over the years as disciplines like downhill and dual slalom have become more common. Back when I was racing collegiate, downhill races were rare--but then, the bicycle had only recently been invented. The rad thing about the Colorado School of Mines Oredigger Challenge, which was held last weekend, was not only that they held the downhill at Sol Vista, CO (a real resort!), but that they also included Collegiate and Open categories of competition. Several students raced both races. Meanwhile, in the spirit of team points, several downhillers made impressive cross country showings too. Sage Wilderman won the Collegiate A downhill race, and then took second in the Collegiate A cross country.

Collegiate Downhill
A Women
1. Sage Wilderman
2. Soraya Khalje
3. Emma Millar
4. Eszter Horanyi
5. Naticia Slusher
6. Abigail Carroll
7. Sarah Altschuler
8. Melissa Marts

B Women
1. Kylie Kroneberger
2. Brittany Engleking
3. Sarah Robers
4. Courtney Steen

Women's Open
1. Jessica Vogt
2. Soraya Khalje
3. Kristin Buell
4. Sarah Roberts
5. Courtney Steen

To view the full results and to see who rides for which school, visit CSM Cyling.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Visit Us at the 48 Straight Jeep King of the Mountain Contest at The Canyons!

Ladies! If you want to race this weekend, sign up NOW! Otherwise, come hang out with us at our booth in the Expo area. You could win a $100 gift certificate by participating in our Bandana-rama! Photo Contest! See you there!

Northstar-at-Tahoe Downhill #4

The fourth race in the Northstar, CA downhill series was held on Sunday. The race ran down the long and flowy Gypsy trail, and was well attended. In the closest race of the season so far at Northstar, Tenille Smith edged out Asa Salas for the win. Tasa Herndon keeps her points lead going into the final race of the season, which will be held October 5 on Livewire.

Pro Women
1. Tenille Smith
2. Asa Salas
3. Tasa Herndon
4. Robin Embrey
5. Paula Santerior
6. Gretchen Sylvestre
7. Naomi Murray
8. Cristy Gott
9. Bernadette McElray
10. Kerry Howe
11. Kelly Moore

Junior Women
1. Cierra Smith

Women 29 & Under
1. Danielle Griffo

Women 30+
1. Sally Mello
2. Colleen Carnathan

Surprise! Here's a Discount Code!

Our Blog readership has been on the rise. We appreciate everyone who's paying attention and checking out our random ramblings every day. So to say thank you, we're offering this 15% discount code to everyone who took the time to read this post.

Just visit Freeride Foundation, pick out your goodies, and redeem the coupon code at checkout. Remember, there's free shipping on all orders over $100, and that's $100 before the discount! It's only available through Friday, so get on it!

Code: BLOGFUN
Discount Amount: 15%
Available Through: 9/19/2008

USA Cycling Revamps Mountain Bike Categories

USA Cycling has officially renamed the racing categories for mountain bike disciplines. This change affects women less than the men, because the guys will lose the "Semi-Pro" classification. Instead of racing as a Beginner, Sport, Expert, Semi-Pro, or Pro, both men and women will race as category 3, 2, 1, or Pro in 2009. It's kind of like road categories, where beginners ride in the 3s, sports ride as 2s and experts ride as 1s. All of the categories, except for Pro, will still be divided into age groups as well. To read more about the changes, click here and visit USACycling.org.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gravity East Series Update

We've been waiting to get full results from the past two Gravity East Series downhill races. Their website went down, and they've been sorting out points. The two races we've missed took place on August 16-17 at Sugarbush, VT and on September 6-7 at Attitash, NH. The Whiteface 5K also counts toward this series. We posted the Pro results for Sugarbush, but haven't posted anything for Attitash. So, to make up for it, I've posted the Attitash results and the current series standings. The final race of the series will be held October 11-12 at Plattekill, NY.

Attitash Downhill Pro/Expert Women
1. Karen Eagan
2. Lauren Petersen
3. Dawn Bourque
4. Caroline Milot
5. Susan Delpino
6. Charlene Smith
7. Vicki Koch
8. Kathleen Herde


Sport/Beginner Women
1. Lauren Daney
2. Kristine Koch
3. Rebecca Bagley
4. Marielle Lueker
5. Traci Mangano

Series Standings Pro/Expert Women
1. Vicki Koch
2. Dawn Bourque
3. Alicia Hamilton
4. Lauren Petersen
5. Karen Eagan
6. Susan Delpino
7. Allegra Burch
8. Susan Delpino
9. Charlene Smith
10. Kathleen Herde
11. Susan Haywood
12. Kristin Cousin
13. Ellen Adams
14. Hillary Elgert
15. Isabel Georgian
16. Rae Gandolf
17. Stephani Gubernat
18. Marie-Eve Marcotte
19. Amanda Pilling
20. Caroline Milot
21. Candace Ellicott
22. Rosy Metcalfe
23. Tamara Peloquin
24. Anne Vig
25. Bonnie Chapman

Sport/Beginner Women
1. Kristine Koch
2. Lauren Daney
3. Marielle Lueker
4. Merideth Mansfield
5. Rebecca Bagley
6. Melissa Edwards
7. Robin Waren
8. Melissa Moran
9. Alana Meserve
10. Kristin Cousin
11. Kasey Sibrinsz
12. Amy Somers
13. Amy Coleman
14. Amy Nappi
15. Amanda Doughty
16. Traci Mangano
17. Dreama Davis
18. Tammy Allison

Women Under 14
1. Taylor Allison
2. Greer Sargeant
3. Olivia Allison

We found these results on DerailedOnline.com.

World Cup Mountaincross Final Standings

Anneke Beerten took the 2008 World Cup mountaincross title with more than double the points of second-place rider Anita Molcik. The USA's Melissa Buhl, who is the current World Champion in mountaincross, was the top-ranked North American in 5th.

World Cup Mountaincross Final Standings
1. Anneka Beerten
2. Anita Molcik
3. Mio Suemasa
4. Fionn Griffiths
5. Melissa Buhl
6. Caroline Buchanan
7. Jana Horakova
8. Romana Labounkova
9. Angelika Hohenwarter
10. Rachel Seydoux
11. Julie Boer
12. Lucia Oetjen
13. Diana Marggraff
14. Eva Castra Fernandez
15. Helene Valerie Fruhwirth
16. Katarina Tothova
17. Emmeline Ragot
18. Neven Steinmetz
19. Sarsha Huntington

We found these results on CyclingNews.com.

Leana Gerrard's Bike Check on Pinkbike.com

Leana Gerrard is one of the most talented gated racers in the US--and she rips on a downhill bike too. Unfortunately she's been injured for the last half of this season. She's looking forward to lots of training time this winter, though, so we know she'll be going strong next year. Click here to check out her Cannondale bike check on Pinkbike.com!

World Cup Downhill Final Standings

Rachel Atherton took the overall 2008 World Cup downhill title by a hefty margin. What you hear less about is that there is also a 2008 World Cup Junior downhill title too. That honor went to France's Myriam Nicole, who was also ranked 10th overall in the seniors. The riders with *s by their names are all juniors. Pretty impressive! Canadian Claire Buchar was the top-ranked North American in 8th place.

Final World Cup Downhill Standings
1. Rachel Atherton
2. Sabrina Jonnier
3. Tracy Moseley
4. Emmeline Ragot
5. Florian Pugin
6. Fionn Griffiths
7. Mio Suemasa
8. Claire Buchar
9. Anita Molcik
10. Myriam Nicole *
11. Celine Gros
12. Helen Gaskell
13. Micayla Gatto
14. Diana Marggraff
15. Emilie Siegenthaler
16. Petra Bernhard
17. Scarlett Hagen
18. Helene Valerie Fruhwirth
19. Miriam Ruchti
20. Melissa Buhl
21. Kathleen Pruitt
22. Elisa Canepa
23. Amy Laird
24. Katy Curd
25. Danice Uyesugi
26. Harriet Harper
27. Joanna Petterson
28. Anais Pajot *
29. Birgit Brauman
30. Dalma Kiss
31. Sheryl MacLeod
32. Caroline Buchanan *
33. Melanie Pugin *
34. Katrina Strand
35. Claire Whiteman
36. Miranda Miller *
37. Harriet Rucknagel
38. Leigh Douglas
39. Cara Smith
40. Amber Zirnhelt
41. Sheila Morris
42. Silja Stadler
43. Joanne Fox
44. Marie-Eve Marcotte
45. Victoria Hernandez Molinas
46. Pascaline Reusser
47. Jaymie Mart
48. Maria Michalogiannaki
49. Sandra Rubesam
50. Aimee Dix
51. Sophie Borderes
52. Anka Martin
53. Katarina Tothova
54. Leoni-Caroline Dickerhoff *
55. Anne Laplante *
56. Helena Boskova
57. Julia Boer
58. Jayne Rutter
59. Diana Lorena Dromundo Vargas *
60. Sarah Newman
61. Jessica Stone *
62. Kim Huard
63. Elke Rabeder
64. Calamaty Jayne Cann
65. Antje Kramer
66. Mireia Bosca Ballester
67. Darian Harvey
68. Wendy Reynolds

We pulled these results from CyclingNews.com.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Diablo Domination Series Round 4 Results

While resorts like Deer Valley, UT celebrated their final days of lift-served downhill for the 2008 season this weekend, there was plenty of racing to be had elsewhere around the country. The first of five US gravity racing results from this weekend come from Diablo Freeride Park, NJ. This was the fourth downhill race of the Diablo Domination series, and Karen Eagan took the win for the Pro Women. Isabel Georgian maintains her series points lead, though. The final race of the series will be held October 5.

Pro Women
1. Karen Eagan
2. Isabel Georgian
3. Bonnie Chapman

Amatuer Women
1. Lauren Daney
2. Rachel Vanderhoff
3. Kathleen Herde
4. Stephanie Fritz

Intro Women
1. Becky Gardner
2. Marielle Lueker

You can find these results and season standings at DiabloFreeridePark.com.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rachel Atherton Wins In Austria and Takes the World Cup Downhill Title

Not only did Rachel Atherton crush the downhill field by more than 13 seconds in her final run of the 2008 World Cup season, but she solidified her title as the 2008 World Cup downhill champion. On a muddy, mangled Schladming, Austria course, Rachel qualified first by more than 10 seconds over Florian Pugin. Times got just a tad slower in the final, but Rachel managed to increase her lead even further.

1. Rachel Atherton
2. Florian Pugin
3. Sabrina Jonnier
4. Tracy Moseley
5. Emmeline Ragot
6. Fionn Griffiths
7. Helen Gaskell
8. Petra Bernhard
9. Claire Buchar
10. Anita Molcik
11. Miriam Ruchti
12. Diana Marggraff
13. Elisa Canepa
14. Myriam Nicole
15. Birgit Braumann
16. Harriet Rucknagel
17. Dalma Kiss
18. Emilie Siegenthaler
19. Silja Stadler
20. Mio Suemasa

These results came from CyclingNews.com

Friday, September 12, 2008

Labounkova Wins in Austria

Romana Labounkova took her first World Cup win in soggy, stormy conditions at Schladming, Austria today. Romana, who was the fastest qualifier, held off Anneke Beerten from the gate for the win on the slippery track. Anneke took second in the race, but won the overall World Cup mountaincross points title for the season. The final World Cup downhill race is scheduled for tomorrow, and it's going to be a wet one.

Final
1. Romana Labounkova
2. Anneke Beerten
3. Jana Horakova
4. Angelika Hohenwarter
5. Fionn Griffiths
6. Lucia Oetjen
7. Emmeline Ragot
8. Valerie Helene Fruhwirth
9. Mio Suemasa
10. Diana Marggraff
11. Anita Molcik
12. Tereza Votavova
13. Neza Knez
14. Eva Castro Fernandez
15. Steffi Marth
16. Rachel Seydoux

Qualifying
1. Roman Labounkova
2. Anneke Beerten
3. Fionn Griffiths
4. Angelika Hohenwarter
5. Rachel Seydoux
6. Jana Horakova
7. Mio Suemasa
8. Diana Marggraff
9. Neza Knez
10. Lucia Oetjen
11. Anita Molcik
12. Helene Valerie Fruhwirth
13. Tereza Votavova
14. Eva Castro Fernandez
15. Steffi Marth
16. Emmeline Ragot
17. Laura Brethauer
18. Katarina Tothova
19. Elke Rabeder
20. Neven Steinmetz

The qualifying results came from CyclingNews.com.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More Fall-Time Fun: Moab Ho-Down!

Yee-haw! If cool weather, sweet fall foliage, and tacky dirt aren't enough incentive to take a trip to Moab this fall, now you have a real reason: The Moab Ho-Down. The "hootenanny" runs October 24-26. Stop spraying about how much you rip on LPS and Porcupine and prove it by racing it. Costumes, hucking, and plenty of dram-regulated beverages round out the excuses you can list for showing up late to work on Monday. Visit MoabHoDown.com for more info and inspiration.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Angel Fire to Host Red Bull Burner 12-Hour Downhill Race

On September 20, 2008, Angel Fire Resort, NM will host the Red Bull Burner. It's a 12-hour endurance downhill race. The race runs from 9:00am to 9:00pm, meaning riders will be throwing down race laps in the dark, adding an even greater challenge. The race is open to everyone from Sport level through Pro, and there are Solo, Duo, and Team options. There is a cash purse for Expert and Pro riders, with the purses being the same for the men and women of each category. This even seems pretty rad! Check out all the details at AngelFireBurner.com.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Missy Giove Wins the Third Snowshoe Powerade Downhill Race

Missy Giove won her second downhill race of the Snowshoe, WV Powerade series held August 30-31. Missy crossed the line 22 seconds ahead of second place. Ellen Adams edged out Amanda Pilling for the series title, and those two were the only Elite Women to race all three downhill events in the series. To see the entire series points breakdown, visit RideSnowshoeMountain.com.

Downhill
Elite Women
1. Missy Giove
2. Rae Gandolf
3. Amanda Pilling
4. Ellen Adams
5. Toni Moss

Women's Weekend Warrior
1. Lauren Daney
2. Anne Vig
3. Tamara Peloquin
4. Dreama Davis

Women's Intro
1. Tracey Woods
2. Liz Scoville
3. Jessica Wheatley
4. Leslie Litton
5. Amy Coleman
6. Anna Cain

Sundance Showdown Downhill Results

We were finally able to race the downhill course at Sundance Resort, UT on Saturday. This was the final race in the Utah State Downhill Series. While the dirt wasn't quite as tacky, and the corners were a good deal looser than on Labor Day weekend, the course was still super fun--and pretty pedally. I hadn't raced a true downhill since Angel Fire, so I was stoked to get the win. Fewer girls were able to race this weekend than last, which was a bit of a bummer. Addie Stewart took the title of Utah State Downhill Champion, as she had the most points in the series. To see the entire points breakdown, visit Go-Ride.com.

Pro Women
1. Jackie Baker
2. Kimber Gabryszak

Sport Women 19+
1. Joy Sather

Friday, September 5, 2008

More from New York: Plattekill Race #3

The third dual slalom and downhill races in the Plattekill Mountain, NY series were held August 23 and 24. The only ladies to compete at the race were Junior Women, and Taylor Allison swept the event with wins in both dual slalom and downhill. The next weekend of racing at Plattekill will be September 20-21. You can find out more about the series at Plattekill.com.

Downhill
Junior Women
1. Taylor Allison
2. Olivia Allison

Dual Slalom
Junior Women
1. Taylor Allison
2. Maddie Crowley
3. Olivia Allison

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Allie's Whiteface 5K Downhill Extravaganza

Since moving to New York and joining up with the East Coast race scene, I had heard the question asked anxiously, “Are you doing the Whiteface 5K Downhill?” The tone was nearly the same as those that ask about another epic event. Something like, “Are you racing the Downieville All-Mountain? On THAT?”

A 5K downhill? That’s like more than three miles of downhill course. There’s no way that can be right and if it was, it would have to be done someplace out West where there is elevation to support it. I thought to myself, OK, I’m game but it will probably be a gnarly Super D with tons of uphill at best. I’ll just suffer through it and besides, it’s months away.

Hours before I was supposed to leave for Whiteface, I looked at Downhill Mike’s “Everything you need to know about the Whiteface 5K” web page and realized I might be somewhat ill-prepared. This was a big-bike course, all downhill and no one from last year finished in less than 7 minutes. No one. Well, whatever. Suck it up, right? I picked up my friend Heather and off to New York’s Adirondack region we went.

I greeted Saturday morning as a cranky little camper. With very little sleep the week before and virtually none that night, I tried to untie myself from my pretzel-like car sleeping position, addressed my fellow campers with a pre-coffee snarl and stumbled around the campsite looking for something, although it was never determined exactly what.

Our group finally got going and arrived at the venue. I looked up and saw the looming steep walls of Whiteface Mountain. I knew the course was going to be long, I mean, it says so in the name, but c’mon. Just how hard can a 5K downhill course really be? After a 13-minute gondola ride to the top, I was about to find out.

The course started out on the only flat (and slightly uphill, if you ask me) section of the fire road, which twisted and swooped it’s way into a very steep fire road with nomadic, rolling, baby-head-rocks filling all of the turns. If a rider was unfortunate enough to blow a turn and veer from the beaten path, they were sucked into a mess of sharp, dislodged boulders, which made braking a nearly impossible feat.

The wooded sections of the course seemed harmless enough--for a normal-length course, that is. Add four more wooded sections and a few more quad-burning fire roads and you’ve got yourself the Whiteface 5K! By the end of practice on Saturday, berms had formed in the entrances and exits of the woods sections, making it feel like a bobsled track. But pedaling on the straightaway fire road sections was going to hurt on race day.

I took one more run than I should have. My quads and calves were in knots, my arms were Jell-O, my shoulders were tight and I was riding like an idiot. After smashing my pinky against a tree that threw me down in the middle of the trail, I knew that Whiteface was going to have it’s way with me. I retreated to the safety of the parking lot and the promise of a sweet swimming spot and cold beer.

The Flume swimming hole on the AuSable River is reason in itself to come up to Whiteface. Cool water gushes down cuts in the smooth granite walls to make this water-lover’s playground. Although far from crowded, the hidden little alcove was buzzing with people enjoying this natural wonder. There were five different levels of cliffs to jump, guys sliding down the flume and people just chilling in the water after a long, gritty day of playing in the surrounding mountains.

Sunday was the day. The course’s lines had burned in but there were still a few “ninja lines” that weren’t extremely obvious. Practice went well, however my race run was by far the worst race run I had put together all season. Every piece of me was tired and fatigued. After I forced myself to hammer across the finish line, all I wanted to do was throw up and lie down (preferably not at the same time, but the possibility was there). The course was fun, but I had not brought my “A game” or “B game” for that matter. In that box of Alphabits I had pulled out maybe a “Q”.

The fun didn’t end when I crossed the finish line. Oh no, there was still one more race to go. On a whim I had signed up for the Chainless Open race. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Riders line up at the start sans-chain and do one big long coaster race down the course. Upon further investigation, I was the only female who thought this might be a hoot--the Open class consisted of me and forty-or-so guys. This race really had no degree of seriousness. Many of the guys were wearing spandex, helmet visors were flipped upside down in Egyptian Pharaoh fashion, one guy was in a skin suit and a few stuffed socks down the front of their shorts. (Yes hot stuff, we know that was only a pair of socks)

The fellas and I mobbed the start, as there was no real start list and took turns in thirty-second increments showcasing our running cyclocross-style flying mount and best aero-tuck down the first straightaway. It’s a funny feeling not being able to pedal and knowing you have to somehow make the corners without scrubbing too much speed. The odd thing is that in the woods, I learned some lessons just coasting. I took better lines, stayed higher and was able to keep momentum in places I blew out during the race run. Hmmm…maybe this is a new practice tactic?

The chainless race burned my legs even more and when I crept across the finish line I was done for the day. Whiteface had done me in and I had learned a few things for next year. Mainly, to train for this event!

The final results came in and awards went smoothly at the end of the day. For the Pro Women, Dawn Bourque and Karen Eagen were on it and deserved every bit of their respective first and second places. Karen had won the year prior, but Dawn dethroned her by about eighteen seconds. With over $1,200 on the line for first, $500 for second, and $250 for third, who can blame her?

Karen confirmed herself as one of the East Coast’s riders to be reckoned with by claiming second place by a solid ten seconds. Eeking into third, but closely trailed by fourth by about two seconds, I rounded out the podium where we received checks and black T-shirts that were just perfect for creating the “T-Shirt Ninja!"

There were six Pro Women total, who made for a competitive field, but there really should be more presence for a fun well-paying event like this one.

The Whiteface 5K has all the makings of an epic event: fantastic terrain, nearly-unheard of equal Pro payouts for men and women, challenging race courses, non-race freeriding options, fabulous apr├Ęs riding swimming holes and cliff jumping, amazing scenery, and a promoter with a sense of humor.

Other incentives to visit Whiteface are the Whiteface Women's Days where on specified days, ladies ride for free, and riding camps and clinics. Beginners and intermediate riders can be eased into Whiteface’s terrain, while advanced riders can improve on their technical ledge-next-to-waterfall riding skills. Plus, there are some of the most picturesque mountaintop trails you can imagine. I didn’t believe it either, but these views rival Mammoth, Tahoe and Whistler. From the observatory it’s possible to see all the way across Vermont into New Hampshire’s White Mountains. The nearby lodging is inexpensive, but make sure to book early if you’re coming in on a holiday weekend.

Although it’s been three days since the race and my legs and arms still hurt, I cannot say enough good things about this race. I will definitely be back next year with and without a chain and better prepared for what this course can dole out. Hopefully I’ll see you there next year!

Photo Credit: www.golden-arrow.com

Thanks to Kathi Kraus for taking and providing event photographs.

Whiteface 5K Downhill Results

Allie's written a sweet summary of her race experience at this New York quad burner. I'll let her tell the story, but first, here are the results!

Pro Women
1. Dawn Bourque
2. Karen Eagan
3. Allie Burch
4. Marie-Eve Marcotte
5. Candace Ellicott
6. Alicia Hamilton

Expert Women
1. Susan Del Pino
2. Vicki Koch
3. Bonnie Chapman

Beginner/Sport Women
1. Kristine Koch
2. Meredity Mansfield
3. Alana Meserve
4. Amy Nappi

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Toilet Paper Problem

Dearest Toilet Paper Manufacturer Man,

I am a loyal and loving customer. I enjoy your fat rolls, fluffy feel, and incredible absorbency. The technological advances in toilet paper over the past five years have been as numerous and important as the improvements in mountain bikes, and I appreciate each one. In general, bikes and TP have each become squishier and more fun to use. Double-sized rolls turn weekly toilet-tissue-buying trips into bi-monthly excursions. The new, super soft TP is delightful to girls who spend lots of time in the saddle (you know what they say about chamois time!).

Recently, however, I've encountered a setback in my toilet paper purchasing. It seems that it's impossible to purchase a reasonably-sized, high-quality 4-roll package. These allotments were the norm several years ago, but now, it's nearly impossible to find a TP package smaller than a 24-pack of PBR that sports a fuzzy animal to illustrate just how soft and cuddly the enclosed paper really is. Huge 8- and 12-roll stacks of squeezably-soft toilet tissue hover precariously over tiny packages of thin, scratchy generic brands who still wrap four rolls to a pack.

As I stood pondering my choices with my shopping basket in my hands, my messenger bag on my back, and my dirt jumper locked in front of Albertson's, I realized that the only way to make it home with my TP, pasta sauce, soy milk, coconut-crusted shrimp, and grapefruit juice was to opt for a 4-roll package. Even the six-er wouldn't fit in my bag on its own (yes, I tried before I bought). In fact, the six-pack doesn't even fit into a grocery bag well enough to hang onto it while pedalling back to the house on a small dirt jump bike. I weighed my options, squeezed some packs, and picked the softest, fluffiest 4-pack I could find. It would not have been my first choice, but I had come to terms with the fact that it was my only choice.

Now I know that toilet paper runs will have to happen on days when I choose to ride the bus; when I can use one hand to grasp my 6- or 12-pack of wonderfully lofty toilet tissue in one hand and my grocery bag of waffles, electrical tape, chocolate milk, and refried beans in the other.

So, Mr. Toilet Paper Production Guy, I write to ask you: Could you please package your exquisitely plush paper into a reasonably small package so that single cycling girls can easily carry this precious commodity back to their commodes?

Thanks in advance!
JB

Registration Is Open for the 48 Straight Jeep King of the Mountain at The Canyons

Click here to sign up for the 48 Straight Jeep King of the Mountain dual slalom contest at The Canyons Resort, UT on September 18-20. The first event held at Diablo Freeride Park, NJ a few weeks ago got rave reviews, and we expect the same from the race at The Canyons. The event is open to pro and expert mountaincross and slalom racers. The top 8 women receive cash prizes ranging from $5000 for first to $500 for 8th. Registration closes on September 17th!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rachel Bauer Wins Mountain States Cup Final

Rachel Bauer won the Sol Squared G3 event at Sol Vista, CO this weekend, which also secured her overall points win in the Mountain States Cup series. The G3 consisted of two downhill races and a Super D. The person with the lowest combined time for all three events is the winner. Rachel attended all but one of the MSC races, and she competed in all of the gravity disciplines--downhill, dual slalom, mountaincross, and G3--to take the series title. Neven Steinmetz took second in the series. To see the entire list of series rankings, visit RaceMSC.com.

G3 Pro Women
1. Rachel Bauer
2. Jacqueline Harmony
3. Sage Wilderman
4. Abigail Hippely
5. Neven Steinmetz
6. Jessica Vogt

G3 Expert Women
1. Christen Boyer

G3 Sport Women
1. Jennifer Johnson

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fluidride Cup #4 Results

The fourth Fluidride Cup race was held August 23-24 in Port Angeles, WA. Katie Holden took the Pro Women's downhill win. The next race in the series will take place September 13-14 at Mt. Hood, OR.

Pro Women
1. Katie Holden
2. Joy Mutoli

Expert Women
1. Chelsey Stevens
2. Dawn Lambert
3. Cassandra Stamm
4. Angi West
5. Brook Shore
6. Kat Sweet
7. Jaime Rees

Sport Women
1. Selby Reilly
2. Cherry Thomas
3. Lisa Ness
4. Jessica Serdowich
5. Ashely Smeltzer
6. Jennifer Tell
7. Summer Northern
8. Corrine Greve

Beginner Women
1. Asta Sestrap
2. Yuonne Gillette
3. Amanda Markey
4. Rachel Delateur

We found these results at Fluidride.com.

Melissa Buhl Wins Dual Slalom and Downhill Races at Brian Head

Melissa Buhl remained undefeated in the National Mountain Bike Series in dual slalom and downhill by taking wins in both events at the NMBS Finals in Brian Head, UT this weekend. She is the series champion in dual slalom, and Darian Harvey is the downhill series champion. Visit BlueWolfEvents.com to check out all of the series rankings.

Downhill
Pro Women
1. Melissa Buhl
2. Darian Harvey
3. Tasa Herndon
4. Christine Hirst
5. Michelle Rivera
6. Mariska Chuse

Expert Women 19+
1. Linden Kimmerer
2. Jennifer Wolf

Expert Women 30+
1. Joy Martin

Expert Women 40+
1. Nancy Harris

Junior Sport Women
1. Sebray Gossett

Sport Women 19+
1. Heidi Kanayan

Sport Women 30+
1. Kerry Howe

Beginner Women 30+
1. Kate Jones
2. Angela Mijares

Beginner Women 40+
1. Erica Phillips

Dual Slalom
Pro Women
1. Melissa Buhl
2. Leslie Slagle
3. Darian Harvey
4. Tasa Herndon

Open Women
1. Kayla Meadows
2. Joy Martin
3. Brittany Jackson
4. Nancy Harris

Sundance Showdown

Addie Stewart won the Pro Women's Super D at the Sundance Showdown at Sundance Resort, UT on Sunday. She also clinched the title of Utah State Super D Champion. Anna Rodriguez took the state title for the Expert Women, and also rode the fastest Super D time of the day. The downhill race slated for Labor Day was postponed until Saturday, September 6 due to stormy conditions.

Super D
Pro Women
1. Addie Stewart
2. Kimber Gabryszak

Expert Women
1. Anna Rodriguez