At Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, cyclists to remember coach who wore tutu

By Mary Shinn City & health reporter,  Friday, May 25, 2018 5:03 AM

A group of Iron Horse Bicycle Classic riders will don tutus Saturday in memory of Tricia Shadell, a Durango mountain bike coach who died by suicide in November.

The Durango DEVO and Every Pedal Mountain Bike coach was known for wearing tutus on rides for fun and to remind everyone around her that cycling is fun, DEVO founder Sarah Tescher said.

 

To donate to the Grief Center of Southwest Colorado in honor of Patricia “Tricia” Shadell, visit fundrazr.com/ride4trisha.

 

Tescher and nine other riders hope to raise $10,000 for the Grief Center of Southwest Colorado. The group set up an online campaign for the ride, and each person is aiming to raise $1,000.

Tescher and her son plan to pass out 20 tutus the morning of the ride to anyone interested in supporting the memorial ride.

Durango High School student Abbey Shepard, 15, who will be among those on the ride, knew Shadell as a coach and mentor.

“She made everything fun. If it was a bad day or a rainy day, she would find a way to make it just better,” Shepard said.

If a rider crashed, Shadell would restore confidence by telling the young cyclist he or she was tough for taking the fall, Shepard recalled.

Shepard said she knows five people who have died by suicide, but she was close to Shadell and two others.

“I didn’t and still do not understand why someone so gracious could get that sad to where they decide to end their own life. I was and still am confused, sad and angry,” Shepard wrote in an email to friends and family about the online fundraiser. The email was later shared with the Herald. She described Saturday’s ride as a way to “help to stop these horrible events from happening to more people and families.”

Shepard had friends and family who lent support after Shadell’s death, but she hopes the fundraiser for the Grief Center of Southwest Colorado will ensure young people have somewhere to go if they don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents. The Grief Center offers services regardless of a client’s ability to pay.

After Shadell’s death, Tescher organized one evening ride for DEVO and Every Pedal cyclists to ride together and meet with a grief counselor to help them process her death.

Since then, she learned about the Grief Center, which offers counseling to bereaved members of the community.

“This local nonprofit is invaluable to our community that has seen so much loss,” Tescher said.

She said raising money for the center and awareness about its services was an appropriate way to honor Shadell, who wouldn’t want anyone to suffer.

“This is something that, hopefully, will benefit other people dealing with loss later on,” Tescher said.

The Grief Center of Southwest Colorado has seen demand for its services grow exponentially in the last three years, said Director Judy Austin.

Demand for counseling is likely being driven by an increase in traumatic losses in the community, such as suicides, homicides and car crashes.

In addition to providing services by appointment, bereavement specialists with the center also respond to crisis situations, such as the school shooting in Aztec to help students process the trauma, she said.

Teens who have experienced a loss of any kind are three times more likely to die by suicide, Austin said.

“I really do believe that good grief therapy can be part of (suicide) prevention,” she said.

Unresolved grief can also increase the rate of depression and anxiety in general, she said.

“It can really embed itself in the psyche of a person,” Austin said.

The immediate response to a traumatic event can be crucial in helping people process traumatic loss, she said. But grief can continue for years, and it’s important that those grieving learn how to live with loss, she said.

All the money raised by the riders will go to serve bereaved members of the community, she said.

During Saturday’s ride, Shepard suspects tutu-clad riders will draw smiles and cheers from spectators and fellow riders.

mshinn@durangoherald.com

Zia Town Series (Buckley Eliminator!)

 Devo riders stacking the gate!

Devo riders stacking the gate!

The Devo super fun race and the Zia Town Series was an awesome afternoon!  the Devo kids tor up the course and all revived metals for their valiant effort!   The Zia race is always entertaining.  watching the local pros, FLC riders and many of the up and coming riders go head to head is certainly an event to see!  The great commentating from Coach Chad Cheeney just makes the races too!

Results for the Zia races:

A Men

Final 6-Pack

 A Men Winner - Riley Amos

A Men Winner - Riley Amos

1 Riley Amos  RGPs Holeshot

2 Chad Cheeney

3 Simon Donaway

4 Sam Vickery

5 William Farmer

6 Nick Glotfelty

Farmshredding

Loser 6-Pack

7 Chad Quinn

8 Max Bechtold  RGPs Holeshot

9 Brad Neagos

10 Will Berger

11 Patrick San Marco

 Max Bechtold tapping the cone for the RGP's prize!

Max Bechtold tapping the cone for the RGP's prize!

12 Sean Holley

B Men's Final

1 Riley Jaber

2 Tyson Atwell  RGPs Holeshot

3 Mason James

4 Aaron Renner

Open Women's Finals

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1 Katja Freeburn  RGPs Holeshot

2 Sage Davis

3 Sara Swallow

4 Willow Lott

5 Maggie Holcome

6 Nina Quayle

 Coach Lee showing the little groms how its done!

Coach Lee showing the little groms how its done!

When it comes to race preparation, riders take individual tactics

By Jessie O’Brien Special to the Herald, Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:03 AM

Local mountain bike racer Darian Harvey says preparing to ride the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic is a whole different animal than racing on trails.

 Courtesy of Darian Harvey

Courtesy of Darian Harvey

Many of us will be sitting in shaded comfort at the Silverton finish line festival beer garden this weekend. Raising a pint takes little training. The racers, on the other hand, have spent months toning their muscles and building their endurance for the intense 47-mile journey to Silverton for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. They all prepare in different ways to meet specific goals according to their strengths, weaknesses and body types.

Jens Nielsen has been racing bikes on the trails and on the road for over 20 years. The Denmark-born-and-raised former pro said he’s an amateur racer “in his senior years,” but he’s still a competitor. The 46-year-old won the race in his age group last year and placed second in 2016. He hopes to finish in the top three this year.

To do so, Nielsen’s been training since the beginning of the year.

“Getting older, it is important to work on strength training, so throughout the winter I do a four-month program,” he said. The key for Nielsen, who is 6-foot-6, to do well in the race is to keep his weight down and muscle mass up. After decades of racing bikes, some aspects of the sport no longer require serious preparation.

 Jens Nielsen has been a bike racer for more than 20 years. (Courtesy of Jens Nielsen)

Jens Nielsen has been a bike racer for more than 20 years. (Courtesy of Jens Nielsen)

Nielsen said when he was younger he just rode his bike as exercise, but now he will do functional strength training (exercises that mimic the specific task for which one is training) a couple of times per week. Now, he thinks every rider should participate in strength training regardless of age.

“Cycling is such a quad/hamstring/calf-dominated sport, that a lot of people tend to neglect their core, back, shoulders and arms. You’ll get all these weird pains,” he said.

That’s the mistake downhill mountain bike racer Darian Harvey made her first race in 2017.

“Last year, I thought, ‘I am in good shape. I can do this no big deal,’” she said. “I overlooked the strength of my core. When you are in that situation where you are just giving it everything, your core gets tired that much faster.”

When your core gives out, all the weight is put on the saddle, causing extreme discomfort.

Unlike Nielsen, Harvey has to build her endurance. The style of training she was used to as a downhill mountain bike racer is completely different than preparing for the Iron Horse.

“Downhill racing was very anaerobic – short sprints, trying to generate a lot of power and a lot of balance work. ...The road bike, it’s the opposite to some extent. It’s trying to see how long you can ride for as fast as you can,” Harvey said.

She is very structured in her training, and to prepare for the long distance, Harvey rode her road bike as much as she could.

“I’m kind of OCD, so I have a plan for everything,” she said. She started preparing on the trainer in the winter and would gradually increase her duration. She was able to do bigger miles, around 40 to 50, on her bike earlier this year because of the warm winter. More recently, she focused on uphill ascents by riding the passes.

Caroline Eastburn is a retired racer who teaches a 17-week Iron Horse training program at the Durango Community Recreation Center where students learn everything from proper clothing and bike maintenance to climbing and mental focus. She said the climbs are where most students struggle.

Climbing is where Nielsen shines.

“I should probably just play basketball,” he said. “But (my height) helps because I have some big levers in legs.”

Harvey said her strength is her mental toughness.

“I am willing to suffer,” she said. “I am willing to do that and be uncomfortable for as long as it takes to get it done.”

Eastburn said the pain is something many new riders are not prepared for.

“Learning how to ride with sustained discomfort or pain, learning how to carry that through on the big passes is something that some of the newcomers might be a little alarmed by,” Eastburn said.

Another component that is important for newbies is learning to ride with large groups.

“That is a whole new experience for them. It can be a little bit rattling if they’re not prepared for it,” Eastburn said. “That is one thing we try to address – riding with other people in the pace line and working with other people. That can be one of the more challenging things for the more inexperienced rider.”

Getting closer to race, all the athletes back off their training so their bodies are refreshed for the big day.

Harvey, who normally eats a paleo-influenced diet, will load up on carbs before the race to build her glycogen stores, which function as the body’s long-term energy reserve.

Eastburn encourages her students to find a diet that works for them early on in the program and urges them to stick to it.

“The biggest thing is on race day, don’t change it,” Eastburn said. “(My students) will get their race packets on Friday and there will be some sort of gel or miracle supplement in there that is guaranteed to make you ride faster. They’ll try it for the first time on race day and that is a recipe for a disaster.”

Iron Horse: What you need to know

By Ryan Simonovich Herald Staff Writer,  Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:03 AM

It’s here again. This year’s 47th annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic will take place this weekend. Thousands of riders, spectators, future cyclists and passers-by will descend on Durango to watch one of the best cycling events in the West.

Many of the events are the same as last year, but to be sure you’re in the loop, here are some top things you need to know for this weekend.

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Road and trail closures U.S. Highway 550 will be closed between Purgatory Resort and Silverton from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Also on Saturday, traffic on U.S. Highway 550 in the Animas Valley will be rerouted from 7 to 9 a.m. Southbound traffic will be routed on County Road 203 from Hermosa to Animas View Drive. Northbound traffic will travel in the southbound lane of Highway 550.

One southbound lane of traffic will be closed starting 3:30 p.m. Saturday on Main Avenue between Eighth and Ninth streets.

Multiple road closures will take place around downtown Durango on Sunday.

From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. these roads will be closed: Main Avenue from Eighth to 10th streets; East Second Avenue from Eighth to Ninth streets; Eighth Street from Main Avenue to East Eighth Avenue (crossing at East Third Avenue); intersection of 10th Street and East Fifth Avenue; and East Eighth Avenue up the hill to Fort Lewis College.

These trails will be impacted by the Iron Horse mountain bike race from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday: Nature trail, Rim trail, Chapman Hill access road, Factory trails and Lamppost trail. It is not advised to use these trails during the mountain bike race.

Fans cheer on riders in the 2007 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Citizens race.

Spectating the road race to Silverton offers mountaintop spectating. Spectators can watch the racers crest Coal Bank and Molas passes, but be advised that the road will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.. The finish line in Silverton could prove to be a smart spot to watch if the race comes down to a sprint finish. Again, plan ahead for the Highway 550 road closure.

In downtown Durango, the BMX race, cruiser crit and mountain bike races offer plenty of entertainment. Watch as the mountain bikers battle the steep, rocky access road to the top of Chapman Hill or as they cruise through the inside of Steamworks.

The climbs after traveling through the Animas Valley, the road race course to Silverton climbs for about 10 miles to an elevation of more than 8,500 feet. Then, the riders face Coal Bank Pass, which climbs from 8,600 to 10,500 feet over 5.4 miles, according to data from Strava. Finally, Molas Pass climbs from 9,700 to 10,700 feet over 3.4 miles.

Gravel and mountain bike riders get a reprieve from the high elevation. The gravel routes feature a steep climb known locally as the Glockenspiel. The steep pitch on County Road 502 is 1.3 miles in length with an average gradient of 5 percent, with sections reaching over 10 percent. Then, the Texas Creek climb on County Road 245 is 2.5 miles at 5 percent.

The mountain bike course, which travels around the FLC mesa, features two climbs that both reach gradients of close to 30 percent. The Lamppost singletrack trail is just a third of a mile with an average gradient of 8 percent. The main challenge of the course is the climb up Chapman Hill, which is just over a third of a mile with an average gradient of 11 percent.

Silas Fredrick, 5, puts on his game face for the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Sprite Kids Race in 2015 in downtown Durango. Silas is the son of Benj and Marci Fredrick.

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Kids most of the bicycle race events are open to all ages. There are also additional events for kids. There will be a kids fun race from 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday at the corner of Ninth Street and Main Avenue. There will also be a kids village from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday featuring a bounce house, face painting, a strider bike course and other activities.

Riding at high elevation one of the reasons the Iron Horse is considered a well-known and tough event is because of the high-altitude course.

Most people observe that breathing becomes more difficult the higher in altitude you are. This is even more noticeable when you are exercising at high altitude.

The simple explanation for this is that there is less oxygen in the air at higher altitudes, so it takes more breaths to intake the amount of oxygen the body needs, said Bruce Andrea, a cardiologist at Durango Performance Center.

Physiological changes happen in the body when exposed to altitude. Changes can happen in a matter of days, to more significant changes over years. This is why athletes who live at higher altitudes adapt to the lower oxygen levels, and athletes from lower altitudes have a harder time when first exposed, Andrea said.

To have a successful race, Andrea suggests athletes get plenty of sleep in the days leading up to the race. Also, limit alcohol consumption before the race because alcohol in the body’s blood interferes with oxygen absorption by the blood.

Weather forecast the National Weather Service is calling for sunny skies Saturday in Durango and Silverton. The temperature is expected to be 52 degrees at 8 a.m. in Durango and steadily increase each hour: 60 degrees by 9 a.m., 65 degrees by 10 a.m., 72 degrees by 11 a.m., 77 degrees by noon and 81 degrees by 1 p.m. The high is expected to reach 84 degrees in Durango, according to the weather service.

Riders can also expect a light easterly breeze reaching no more than 7 mph through the morning.

<PARAGRAPH style="Subheads">Ride the route virtually not in the mood to pedal 47 miles to Silverton? Or maybe you’d like a preview of what’s to come?

Residents and visitors can watch an eight-minute time-lapse video showing the route from Durango to Silverton. Retired pro cyclist Todd Wells and sports psychologist Marisa Asplund narrate the video to tell viewers what riders should prepare for at various points along the route.

Durango Herald@DurangoHerald

We’re preparing to bring you great coverage this weekend of the @IHBC. Follow @jlivi2 @karltschneider @ryanasimono @awsemadeni and @jerryphotog as well as this account. And catch us on instagram at durango_herald.

Follow our coverage Starting today, keep up to date on stories and other information on our special Iron Horse Bicycle Classic page.

You can also follow us on social media.

We’ll bring you live Facebook coverage from several events:

7:10 a.m. Saturday: Pro race start line

7:40 a.m. Saturday: Citizen’s Tour start line

2 p.m. Sunday: Mountain bike race through Steamworks Brewing Co.

3:30 p.m. Sunday: BMX race

Follow our reporters on Twitter: @durangoherald, @karltschneider, @ryansimono, @jlivi2, @awsemadeni and @jerryphotog.

And see photos from throughout the weekend on our Instagram account: durango_herald

rsimonovich@durangoherald.com

Zia Town Series (HogsHead Enduro)

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Looks like the kick off race for the Zia Town Series was a hit!  66 racers showed up to take on "Skid Ridge".  Big shout out to all the sponsors and volunteers that helped make this race possible!  Results of the race: Hogs Head Enduro

To join the email list for detail on the races opt-in to  devotownseries@gmail.com

Races to come

May 16 Hogshead Enduro (great turn out)

May 23 Buckley Eliminator

May 30 Shocker Enduro

June 6 Ska Circuit Race

July 7 Purg Race (XC/Enduro)

August 29 Factory Trails STXC

September 5 Star Wars Enduro

September 12 Ewing Mesa XC

September 26 Raider's Ridge Enduro

No longer will endurance races be held exclusively in the spring, and enduro in the fall. Instead, we will mix it up each week. Additionally, new this season, we will have two different omniums. The first will be a one-day points based omnium for combined results at the Purg race. The second omnium will cover the Fall season and points will be ranked on a racer's best 3 out of 4 races.

A week before each event you will receive an email with registration times, locations and race info as well as a list of volunteer needs for the race. You are not required to volunteer but it always helps! Please note that all town races will have a $10 entry fee. And a friendly reminder, this series costs DEVO money to run, so please help support a program that is unique to our community!

Finally, a big thanks to all the sponsors of DEVO and this series: Zia Taqueria, Durango Urgent Care, Mercy Sports Medicine, and Fort Lewis College.

Credit: Grady

 

 

Christopher Blevins an all-around talent, on and off the bike

Mountain bike spot for 2020 Olympics in Tokyo Durangoan’s big goal

By John Livingston Regional sports editor

Monday, May 14, 2018

Will Christopher Blevins pick a road cycling career, or will he continue to race his mountain bike?

It is one of the biggest questions in American cycling. It’s also a question the 20-year-old from Durango is tired of answering.

“I get asked that a lot, more and more,” he said. “I think of myself as more of a bike racer than a certain kind of bike racer. Even more than that, I think of myself as a person who happens to be a bike racer.”

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Only two months after his 20th birthday, Blevins is at the forefront of American mountain biking and has posted results in continental road races at which his peers marvel. This year, he has won some of the biggest American mountain biking events against elite professional fields. Blevins also won a stage at the Tour of the Gila road race in New Mexico before going on to finish ninth overall and win the green jersey for the best sprinter. Blevins admitted he is much more accustomed to winning polka dot jerseys as a road race’s best climber, but the Gila showed the young phenom’s ever-growing prowess.

Blevins is the reigning under-23 cross-country mountain bike national champion and added the under-23 cyclocross national title in January, stunning a loaded field.

After each big result, the questions facing Blevins intensify. He is unfazed.

“I’m living year by year,” Blevins said. “I think the simple fact I’ve been doing it so long has helped me adjust and still balance it all this late now that I am in U23s. I think a lot of people were expecting me to have to decide as early as 17 to really focus on one discipline then. I think I have surprised people continuing on a mountain bike because there is so much pressure on the road bike with the money and the chance of having a successful career in Europe. But I love my mountain bike, and I think I can attribute Durango for that.”

“He loves riding a bike, and you can tell in the way he rides,” Howard Grotts says of Christopher Blevins. “He’s so playful, always looking at tricks he can do. He brings good energy to Specialized and any team he is on.”

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Blevins can thank Durango for growing up with some of the biggest names in the sport, from three-time mountain bike Olympian Todd Wells to his 25-year-old Specialized Racing teammate Howard Grotts, who have both been happy to see Blevins continue on the mountain bike.

“He can take it wherever he wants,” Wells said. “He’s awesome in all disciplines with so much success on a BMX bike, cyclocross, road and mountain. It’s up to him what he wants to do, and he’s doing it all well. He’s in a great position.”

Blevins’ biking beginningsBlevins was only 2 when he got his first bike from his parents, Field and Priscilla Blevins. He was anxious to keep up with his older sister of two years, Kaylee, who was quick to ditch her training wheels.

Blevins took to BMX racing by age 5 and made a name for himself in Durango. He grew up riding mountain and road bikes with the Durango Devo program, but it was the BMX track where he first starred.

“There’s never been a time in his life when he didn’t want to be on bikes,” Priscilla said.

Crashes are an inherent aspect of cycling, especially in BMX. Blevins always came away with bumps, bruises and scratches, but at age 10, he had a life-altering accident at an event on Father’s Day in Rockford, Illinois. He broke his skull, and it led to complete hearing loss in his left ear.

After getting his start in BMX, Durango’s Christopher Blevins is always looking to pull off tricks while riding with supreme style.

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

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“I frankly don’t remember it too much because I was 10,” Blevins said. “My parents were at first very hesitant to let me back into bike racing, but I loved it and there was no way I wanted to stop.”

When Blevins got home to Durango and saw an audiologist, the family got news of his permanent hearing loss. His mother thought it might be the end of her son’s cycling.

“That next day, he wanted to go for a bike ride,” Priscilla said. “I thought, ‘This is crazy,’ but he went around the neighborhood. I thought for sure he wouldn’t be able to balance, but he was absolutely fine, just fine.”

Over time, Blevins has learned to live with the hearing impairment. He tries to walk on the left side of people so he can hear them with his right ear, and he will try to do the same when riding in a peloton in road races. Sometimes, he admits, he won’t hear a teammate to his left when they try to pass him a water bottle, but he hasn’t let his loss of hearing slow him down.

The next time Blevins got on a mountain bike after his BMX crash and rode the Rim Trail around Fort Lewis College in Durango with Devo coach Chad Cheeney, he fell off his bike and broke his wrist. It was a trying time, but less than a year later, he was competing in his first mountain bike national championships in Vermont.

Blevins’ boomBy the time Blevins got to Durango High School, he was a rising cycling star. But his first love was basketball, and he played for two years under head coach Alan Batiste before the time requirement on his bikes became too much. While Blevins would make trips to Europe for junior world cup events, he made it a goal to spend as much time in classrooms as possible while largely avoiding online school until his senior year.

Christopher Blevins has been doing tricks on a bicycle since he first competed on a BMX bike at age 5.

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

“I would say the most extraordinary part about Christopher is he always has been able to keep balance,” Priscilla said. “He’s beyond his years, so to speak, when it comes to handling everything. It was important for him to be at school so he could be with his friends, play basketball and do as many activities as he could.”

In May 2016, Blevins pulled off two incredible feats in Europe. He won the Courde de la Paix (Peace Race) five-stage road event in the Czech Republic, then backed it up with a second-place result at the Ussel French Cup mountain bike race. A week later, he won an International Cycling Union (UCI) juniors mountain bike race in Albstadt, Germany. Blevins flew back the next day to attend his high school graduation, where he spoke to his class in an unforgettable spoken-word poetry verse.

A day after graduation, Blevins toed the start line at the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic road race from Durango to Silverton. He was involved in perhaps the most memorable finish in IHBC history, as he sprinted with Payson McElveen, Ned Overend, Benjamin Sonntag and Wells to the finish line before a horrific crash sent him to the pavement. Blevins picked up his bike and walked across the finish line with blood dripping down his eyebrow. He still has massive scars on his left shoulder from the crash he’d like to forget.

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“It is something of a rarity,” said Blevins, who a year later saw his Hagens Berman Axeon teammate Chad Young die from severe head injuries suffered in a crash during the final stage of the 2017 Tour of the Gila. “I think it is important to look at it that way rather than view it as something that could happen, because it is kind of a freak accident.”

‘A person who happens to race bikes’Beyond cycling, Blevins is an all-around talent. He is passionate about photography and poetry. In April 2017, he produced his own album, “Mile Markers,” a collection of rap and spoken-word poetry.

“There’s so many things I want to do beyond bike racing, so much I want to be able to learn and accomplish beyond bikes,” he said.

Christopher Blevins is also a musical talent. He produced his own spoken-word poetry rap album “Mile Markers” in April 2017.

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Thursday, Blevins bought a guitar that he plans to take with him when he leaves Tuesday for a stretch of races in Europe. He is going to teach himself how to play via online instruction.

On top of his musical prowess, Blevins is also a strong student at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, California. The university’s quarter system allows him to take classes September through March to give him more free time during cycling season to focus on racing. He is majoring in business with a minor in sociology.

Blevins said if he didn’t grow up in Durango, he likely would have attended Fort Lewis College to be part of its cycling program. But the move to California, much like that of his sister Kaylee, who attends Stanford University and will graduate this summer, has helped him grow.

“The guy is going to Cal Poly, which is an incredible school,” Grotts said. “To be doing well in school and racing bikes at the same time, it’s an incredible feat. He’s smart, he’s musical and kind of does it all, just like he does with bikes. He’s a well-rounded person, and I think that makes him a great cyclist as well by not being single-minded.”

At his young age, Blevins is embracing being a role model. Quinn Simmons, 18, of Durango said he looked to Blevins for advice when he has started to pursue his own road-racing career after years of success on a mountain bike.

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“After seeing what Chris did last year with his first year in elites, it’s pretty clear his star is rising,” Howard Grotts said of Christopher Blevins. “He’s just kind of the perfect all-around rider.”

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

Wells’ 4-year-old son, Cooper, calls Blevins his favorite cyclist. When in Durango, Blevins goes to the Durango BMX track to ride with his friend, “Coop.”

“He’s everything you would hope your kid would look up to,” Wells said. “I’ve been watching Chris since he was in BMX, since I grew up a BMXer myself. I’ve been telling anyone who would listen about this guy for a long time. He’s kicking butt.”

Tokyo is the goalWhile many expected Blevins to turn pro on a road bike by now, Blevins made it clear he is chasing a specific goal, and that’s a spot on the U.S. mountain bike team for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

“The big goal on the horizon is Tokyo,” he said. “I really want to give it all I can to be there, hopefully with Howard (Grotts). I will take the steps I need to do that in the next two years.”

Grotts competed in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Because of UCI ranking points, the U.S. men were allotted only one spot for men’s mountain biking. For 2016, nations within the top 12 in the UCI rankings could send two riders. For the 2020 cycle, nations must be in the top seven, making the upcoming task extra difficult. But Blevins and Grotts are determined to rack up UCI points when the cycle begins in June. They will need other riders to help gain those points, and Utah’s Keegan Swenson and North Carolina’s Luke Vrouwenvelder are likely those men. Swenson also has the goal of making it to Tokyo.

Christopher Blevins credited his surroundings in Durango for helping fuel his love for cycling. From Durango Devo, practice criteriums at Mercy Regional Medical Center to BMX races and the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, the town has always provided him opportunities to ride.

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

“We’ve talked about us both going, and it seems like Chris is really shooting for 2020,” Grotts said. “Right at the top seven is the hardest to get into, but we’re going to look at the calendar and try to make it happen.”

Blevins, who is on the USA Cycling national team, is working with coach Jim Miller, along with Swenson and Specialized Racing teammate Kate Courtney, a close friend of his sister. Blevins, the 22-year-old Courtney and Grotts form a dynamic team with mechanic Brad Copeland, and they are all pushing each other to the best results possible. For them, the best result is for all three to make it to Tokyo.

“I think we all motivate each other, and I’m truly lucky to be a part of it,” Blevins said. “It’s going to be difficult to get the points we need, but I think with the riders we’ve got right now, we’ve got a good chance, and we will fight for it.”

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jlivingston@durangoherald.com

DGOs wheeled wonders!

Durango is home to weirdos, outdoor daredevils, and creatives, so it isn’t surprising that badass bikes – cycles that are cooler, or faster, or more unique – have always been popular with locals. These function-meets-fashion bikes tend to mirror the rider’s personality and interests, and act as a rolling example of just how interesting your wheels of steel can be.

Here are a just a few of the unique bikes terrorizing Durango’s mean streets. Maybe next time, someone will let us ride on their pegs.

Paperboy ThrowbackRick Elliott opened up the Durango Cyclery bike repair shop in the early 1980s, but he’s been working on bikes since he was a teenager. The Hawthorn Hercules, a bike produced by the British bicycle manufacturer Hercules Cycle and Motor Company Limited, is one of the rarest finds he’s encountered over the years. The name Hercules was chosen for its durability and robustness, and only about 25 of the bikes were produced each week. Elliott was able to restore his Hercules into peddling condition, and these days, the English three-speed shows us how bike culture has changed over the years.

TELL US ABOUT THIS VINTAGE BIKE.It was imported to America by Hawthorne, who made a whole lot of cruiser, paperboy-type bikes from the days when people delivered papers on bikes in the ’50s and ’60s. I believe it’s a Hercules. Most English three-speeds are made by Raleigh. I have a mens and ladies version of it. The ladies version was abandoned in the alley over by the bike shop. It sat there for a long time. It had two feet of snow on top of it.

WHO WOULD PURCHASE THIS BIKE?These old English three-speeds are (a) little bit temperamental. You need to have a feel for them to work them right, so you don’t break them while you’re using them. And, also, you need to take care of them because the parts are getting more and more difficult to find. For those reasons, you gotta have to have a love for the old English stuff in order to enjoy one of those, because they are not the most practical vehicle.

SINCE YOU’VE BEEN REPAIRING BIKES FOR SO LONG, HOW HAS THE INDUSTRY CHANGED?Here in Durango, when we first opened up, mountain bikes were a specialization, and those days they were called the Outdoorsmans. The mountain biking thing hadn’t quite started. There were people who rode high-performance road bikes, but most people saw bikes as childrens’ bikes, and there were a few people who used bikes for touring – to load up with gear to ride coast to coast.

When we opened up, bikes were a family thing. Every Christmas, a lucky kid would get a new bike. Most adults viewed bikes as toys kids would use through their high school years, and then they got a car. Bikes have now become very serious adult performance, adventure, exercise, thrill-seeking vehicles.

Bike of SteelEric Tomczak has more bikes than most people have shoes. Growing up in Durango, he’s been surrounded by bike culture since he was a little kid, but it wasn’t until much later that he discovered his love of mountain bikes. These days, he makes custom bikes that are as rugged and beautiful as the Colorado terrain at his business, Myth Cycles.

HOW ARE MYTH BIKES DIFFERENT THAN OTHER MOUNTAIN BIKES YOU BUY AT A STORE?Probably the biggest difference is that they’re made here in the United States. (The majority of bikes) that you would see at a bike store are either made in China or Taiwan. It’s the concept of local manufacturing, buying local, and supporting the small business as opposed to the mainstream way of doing things. Also, the material I use is steel, which is not as common in the bike world.

SO ARE YOU SELF-TAUGHT?I went to school for welding over in Cortez – a vocational school over there. I’ve been working professionally as a welder for about seven years now, and I always had the intent to build bikes at some point. I got a job with a guy in town named Ron Andrews, who makes (King Cage) water bottle holders that go on a bike. His thing is really, really high-end water bottle holders. It’s the nicest water bottle holder you can buy.

He was a toolmaker for a lot of the old bike factories back in the ’90s, when a lot of manufacturing was still in the United States. So over the course of working for him for, like, five years, I picked his brain and I built my first frame at his shop. He taught me a lot about the frame-building process, and from there it’s been a lot of (learning) on my own.

HOW MANY BIKES DO YOU OWN?N plus one. N plus one is a joke in the bike world. I have a collection of about probably eight bikes right now that actually function. My wife probably has that many bikes as well, so our tiny house has a lot of bikes in it.

Towering Two-WheelerZach Counter is a metal worker at Durango’s Carbon Form Design, where he churns out everything from custom furniture to electrolysis art. As an avid cyclist, Counter like to blend his metalworking skills with his passion for bikes to make Frankenstein bikes, including the crowd-pleasing tall bike, which is much what it sounds like... but cooler. Tall bike fanatics construct bikes that are much taller than normal from an amalgam of spare parts, and typically attach two conventional bicycle frames with one on top the other. The drive train is then connected to the upper set of pedals, and the controls are moved to the upper handlebar area. Got all that?

TELL ME ABOUT TALL BIKESThere are bike clubs in New York and Quebec and bigger cities. C.H.U.N.K. 666, which is the name of one bike club out of Philly, has been building them for a long time. Some of the first people who may have built them (in 1999) are these these dudes called the Zenga Bros. They are Canadian. They lived on a farm. They were really rural, and they were building tall bikes just because.

HOW DO YOU GET ON ONE?Like a horse – depending on the height – but like normal double-decker, (you use) a nice fluid movement.

TALL BIKES ARE NOT PRACTICAL. WHAT’S THE PURPOSE?Fun. Pure enjoyment. They’re really fun to ride, and once you get on them, it rides like a normal bike. It’s just pure entertainment. It’s really fun to bring it somewhere in the summer where there’s a bunch of people and letting everybody try it. They smile and laugh or eat shit. Some guy was insistent upon riding when he was super hammered on St Patrick’s Day one year. He ran into a car.

DO YOU SELL THESE?It’s a cultural thing that I can’t sell. It’s like, to ride them you gotta, like, be part of it, you know? Ride it, sure, but I’m not selling. I would never sell one as a product. Like, some Chad from Fort Lewis College, who is like, ‘Oh bro, I’ll pay you a bunch of money.’ It’s your mom’s money. No.

Custom StyleYou’ve probably seen Seth Shank behind the barista counter at Ernie’s, but bike enthusiasts will recognize him by his custom J. Livingston bike, which is often parked right outside the coffee shop as he pulls shots and makes pour overs for the morning caffeine rush. Shank’s J. Livingston bike is a stylish custom commuter bicycle made in Bend, Oregon, from repurposed steel bikes that were built in the ’70s and ’80s. It’s a rare find, especially in Durango.

CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE J. LIVINGSTON?It’s a company out of Bend, Oregon. They recycle old frames, so they take trek frames for cruiser frames or anything and they put new parts on it. They re-powder coat it, re-paint it, put their logo on it, and then they make it their own. So it’s all, like, super customized to their specs. You’ll see one every once in a while, but not too often.

SO NO TWO ARE THE SAME?Correct. So every time you see a J. Livingston bike, it’s always different. There’s not another bike out there like it.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE BIKE CULTURE?I grew up in Salida, Colorado, and Salida is very bike-friendly. It’s a small town, and you get to ride your bike anywhere, everywhere. Basically, I went like three months without ever driving in my car, so whenever I can ride my bike, I will. I love riding, especially in the mornings.

DO YOU USE IT AS A NORMAL MODE OF TRANSPORTATION AROUND HERE?Definitely, yeah. This summer, it’s a goal of of mine to ride my bike 90 percent of the year. It’s just a handful of days driving. I can ride my bike to work. It’s about six miles a day, seven miles a day.

DOES YOUR BIKE REFLECT YOUR PERSONALITY IN ANY WAY?I hope it does. I like more adventurous bikes. I like being fun with it, customizing it to match your personality style. Yeah, I think it’s fun.

The Lemonade bikeThe gold-painted, black-polka-dotted cruiser is a bubbly reflection of art teacher Shannon Cruise’s personality. Both Cruise and her bike, which she’s coined a “Frankenbike,” are wild yet functional. Her love of bike culture started back in college, when she had an old cruiser that she would take with her everywhere. She’s stuck with the bicycle lifestyle ever since.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR BIKEIt’s an upgraded generation of the one that I had in college. I got a bike from the (Durango) Cyclery. It’s one of the lemonade bikes that Jon (Bailey) put together for me. People drop off old bikes and the cyclery makes Frankenbikes. They take all these different parts and put them together with new chains, new housing, and all of that. They try to make them cost effective for people who don’t have a lot of money. You can get a pretty nice bike for $200.

DID YOU NAME YOUR BIKE?My mountain bike’s name is Wanda (from the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”). She’s a middle-age lady who tries to break out of her patterns and try new things, so she nicknamed herself Wanda. That was her power name. I see my mountain bike as that because I want to do crazy stuff, but, ‘Oohh, that is kinda scary I could break my arm.’ So being wild, but under the guise of still wanting to be a responsible adult.

DO YOU THINK YOU RIDE A CRUISER BECAUSE OF YOUR LAST NAME?I would guess that is true. I have a little tattoo of my (college) cruiser bike. It was my get around for most of college. Rain, snow, or shine. We had a close relationship. That one was Old Blue.

By: Jessie O’Brien, intro by Angelica Leicht 

Photography: David Holub

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collegiate road nationals!

Fort Lewis College Cycling Announces Road Nationals Team

 

The FLC Cycling Team has just finished the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC) road racing season at it’s home race, the Squawker Road Classic and has put together the team that’ll represent Fort Lewis College at USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals May 4-6 in Grand Junction, CO.

 

The Cycling Skyhawks finished third in the RMCCC standings behind CU Boulder and CSU. “Our season was a bit different this year by attending a couple SWCC Conference early in the season, some off weekends and a cancelled race because of weather. We adapted by doing some inter-squad racing and practiced our Team Time Trial quite a bit. We worked well together as a team during the season and are quite confident that we’ll see some stellar performances in Grand Junction.” said FLC Cycling Director, Dave Hagen.

 

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The FLC Cycling staff has spent most of the last weeks mulling over this season’s results, past results and the character of the large pool possible student athletes to represent. The following student athletes will compete in the Road Race (RR) Friday, Team Time Trial (TTT) Saturday and Criterium(CR) Sunday in and around Grand Junction. It is the second year the championships have been held in the Grand Valley. The men will look to repeat a team win in the RR and look to do better in the TTT and CR. The Women’s team has been riding well all season with a win in the TTT and with Charlotte Backus in the Squawker RR.

 

“Picking a Nationals Team out of so many deserving riders is one of the toughest parts of the job but I think we did a great job of picking riders best suited to the courses and conditions while also working well as a team. We have many riders returning from last year’s squad”, said Road Coach, Ian Burnett, “things have been coming together for the team this Spring and if the breaks go our way we have a good shot at the team title. James Hilyer has been riding very well this spring and has a great chance to get on the podium in the RR and CR. We also have strong supporting cast that will help keep our strongest racers near the front and some CR specialists that will perform well. Our ladies team is very deep and have been riding/working well together all year. Charlotte won our home race but any of the other women have a chance for a strong finish and hopefully they can keep the momentum from their dominating Squawker TTT performance.”

 

Men

Dillon Janda - RR

Peter Behm - RR, TTT

Matthew Turner - RR

Noah Schlosser - CR

James Hilyer - RR, TTT, CR

Skyler Mackey - CR

Emmanuel Gagne - RR, CR

Nik Johnson - RR, TTT, CR

Thomas Gauthier - RR

Andre Bos - RR, TTT, CR

                               

Women

Emily Abraham - RR, TTT, CR

Charlotte Backus - RR, TTT, CR

Savannah Adams - RR, CR

Kira Payer - RR, TTT, CR

Tristen Musselman - RR, TTT, CR

Sophie Russenberger - RR, CR

 

Wish the team luck at Nats and for the latest on the action be sure to keep an eye on https://www.facebook.com/FLCCyclingTeam

and Instagram/twitter: @flccycling.

 

More info on USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals can be found at:

https://legacy.usacycling.org/2018/collegiate-road-nationals

Credit: FLC, Dave Hagen, Ian Burnett

Best Summer Cycling Camps for Kids | Bicycling

Devo made the top ten list for summer cycling programs for kids!

School is out, and if you’re like most parents, you’re trying to find some distraction for your kids this summer—and hoping that they’ll be able to start riding bikes with you soon. So why not send them to a bike camp that focuses on building skills in whatever discipline suits them—or you—best, while having fun? We looked at camps across North America, from road to mountain to even kiddie bike-packing camps and chose a few of our favorites. 

 

Kroka Expeditions

Want to develop your child’s sense of adventure? Try Kroka Expeditions, a nonprofit wilderness school in New Hampshire. “Kroka's mountain biking program is a wilderness expedition. Rather than finding the smoothest, bermed single track, we take students into the forest to find the path less traveled,” says Emily Hughes, Director of Outreach. Kroka Expeditions is committed to awakening in young people a connection to nature and a capacity for conscious living, and they've found that focusing on teaching skills for bike packing and mountain biking is a great way to accomplish that.

Skills: bike-packing and mountain biking

Ages: 11 to 13

Location: Marlow, New Hampshire

More info: Kroka.org 

 

Durango Devo

“In a town known for its mountain biking pedigree, young rippers from preschool to high school hone their mountain biking skills in Durango Devo's youth development program,” says Team Unify’s Tracie Holcomb. The group holds summer camps at nearby Purgatory mountain that offer younger riders a chance to explore cool terrain while being coached by many of the nation's top mountain bikers who live in Durango. "These camps create memories that last a lifetime; The kids never forget the feeling,” Holcomb says. A separate camp held at the Durango Power House Science Center combines mountain bike exploration in the mornings and bike-related hands-on science each afternoon, so your kids get exercise and some bonus learning. The Durango Devo crew also hosts a camp in a more natural setting at a ranch near Vallecito called Wilderness Trails Ranch, which incorporates trail building, exploring the wilderness on bikes, a camp out, and pool time. 

 

Skills: mountain biking, trail-building (with some of the camps)

Ages: Preschool to 14

Location: Durango, Colorado

More info: www.teamunify.com

 

Wheel Kids Bicycle Club

Wheel Kids is an adventure and exploration destination for kids,” says owner Tim Hurley. “That means that while we emphasize skills development and safety instruction, we do so in a way that makes cycling fun and encourages kids to want to do it again—today, tomorrow, the rest of their lives. In truth, what's most unique about Wheel Kids is that there's nothing else like us, anywhere.” For younger kids, the Two Wheelers Club is designed to teach 5-to-8-year olds how to ride their bike using flat, traffic-free areas and a low coach-to-kid ratio.

Skills: basic riding skills, road riding

Ages: 5 to 15

Location: San Francisco, California

More info: www.wheelkids.com 

 

El Grupo Youth Cycling

Instructors at El Grupo’s Youth Summer Bike Camp program work to teach children bike-based confidence and skills in peer-led environment.  The most unique angle of the camp is the peer-led portion, says El Grupo’s Danielle Diamente: “We have youth teaching and empowering other youth. Total win-win!” Activities focus on developing safe-riding skills, mechanical knowledge, and bike handling for each skill level, as well as exposure to health and wellness, environmental stewardship, air-quality issues, and recycled art through a series of hands-on experiences.

Skills: basic riding skills, road riding

Ages: 7 to 13

Location: Tucson, Arizona

More info: www.elgrupocycling.org

 

Lumberyard Bike Park Summer Shred Academy

The Summer Shred Academy offers half-day camps throughout the summer with morning and afternoon options, as well as full-day programs all summer long. “The bike skills kids learn in Lumberyard camps can then be applied to all types of biking, whether it be out on the trail or in their driveway,” says Program Director Rachel Jones. “Also, our facility allows kids to be coached in a controlled environment, before adding in variables that come into play with trail riding.” With over 70,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor riding space, the Lunberyard has enough options to make sure campers of every skill and age have a blast.

Skills: bike handling skills, mountain bike, BMX

Ages: 4 to 14

Location: Portland, Oregon

More info: www.lumberyardmtb.com

 

Cascade Bicycle Club Camps

Cascade Bicycle Club offers summer camps at Seattle's beautiful Magnuson Park that teach campers bike-handling techniques and rules of the road. This year, the group also will offer an all-girls camp that will be taught entirely by female staffers who will teach basic and important bike skills, including using gears, pedaling efficiently, fixing flats, improving bike-handling skills, and following the rules of the road. “In addition to daily rides, off-bike time includes lessons on ecology, natural history, and advocacy,” says Community Education Program Manager Josh Miller. 

Skills: road riding, bike handling skills, girls-only camp option

Ages: 6 to 15

Location: Seattle, Washington

Info: www.cascade.org 

 

Mt. Tam Bike Camp

Mt. Tam Bike Camp coaches mountain biking year-round, focusing on connecting kids with nature, building confidence, and shredding on bikes. Transporting campers to new ride destinations each day keeps things fresh, diverse, and developmentally appropriate, and kids will explore some of the top trails in Marin County and practice everything from proper body position, braking, and shifting to wheel lifts and bunny hops. “We don't just go for a ride, but really focus on coaching mountain biking skill sets, trail etiquette, and a respect for trails, nature, and each other,” says Camp Director Ryan Loften.

Skills: mountain biking

Ages: 8 to 14

Location: San Francisco, California

More info: www.mttambikecamp.com 

 

Mountain Bike Adventure Camps

Grafton Ponds offers week-long day camps loaded with exciting outdoor adventure, mountain biking and lots of hands-on learning. The environmental camps promote physical fitness, personal responsibility, and teamwork. “I have 15 years of experience running mountain bike camps,” says Daq Woods, the director of Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center. “I’ve had campers from years ago come back as young adults to ride with the kids, telling me they will never forget how much fun they had years ago when they camped.” Programs focus on mountain biking techniques and exploring the natural environment, and daily rides take riders to through some of Vermont’s most scenic landscapes . Other camp activities include swimming, adventure games, orienteering, canoeing and kayaking, and pond and stream explorations.

Skills: mountain biking

Ages: 5 to 16

Location: Grafton Ponds, Vermont

More info: www.graftonponds.com

 

Mammoth Mountain Bike Camp

With proximity to Yosemite and other natural wonders, Mammoth's Kids Summer Camp is a great opportunity for kids to experience California's Sierra Nevada mountains. Each camp teaches skills for downhilling and cross country riding. “Campers will build confidence and skills throughout the week, and with the support of our coaches they will be exploring all levels of bike park trails in no time,” explains Mammoth’s PR Manager Lauren Burke.

Skills: mountain biking
Ages: 8 to 15
Location: Mammoth Lakes, California
Info: www.mammothmountain.com 

Credit: By MOLLY HURFORD 2015

Blaze the ride!

This year’s tour kicks off on Saturday, September 29, with a cannon blast and a police escort. All three ride options are followed by a party on campus.

The Fall Blaze is not a race -- it's a chance for FLC community members, supporters, friends, alumni, students, staff, and anyone else who just loves to ride to enjoy a fun and safe scenic group tour through the autumn colors of southwestern Colorado – all while supporting the student athletes on the nationally ranked Skyhawks cycling team.

The Fall Blaze is open to cyclists of all skill levels and abilities, offering tour options of 37, 60, and 100 miles. All three fully-supported rides set off from campus and include food and aid stations, support vehicles, and a party at the finish line back in the center of campus.

All proceeds benefit the Fort Lewis College Cycling Scholarship, awarded to men’s and women’s cycling team members with at least a 2.50 GPA and who are also active in the community. Awards range from $500 to $1,000.

Come join us on a cycling adventure to remember while becoming a part of the FLC cycling family!

Credit for photos and words: Fort Lewis College and Rick O'block

Hell on Two Wheels Is Howard Grotts | Outside Online

Words From Devon Oneil

Midway through last summer’s 24-mile U.S. national championship cross-country mountain-bike race at Mammoth Mountain, California, Howard Grotts, 23, tagged a rock. Air hissed out of his rear tire. He considered changing the wheel but instead ducked into the pits for a shot of CO2, gambling that the pressure would hold through the race. When he started again 30 seconds later, he’d dropped from second place to sixth.

Then Grotts showed why he’s Amer­ica’s best hope to someday win an Olympic mountain-biking medal. He accelerated so explosively that another racer said it felt like Grotts was moving twice as fast as everyone else. The fact that he accomplished this at 8,500 feet, where the thin air makes decisive bursts hard to produce, only amplified the shock among competitors and spectators. “Everyone kind of gasped at his speed,” recalls Ned Overend, arguably the greatest mountain-bike racer in U.S. history. 

 Photo: Jay Schultz

Photo: Jay Schultz

Grotts made up the gap in minutes, then took the lead for the final eight miles, which were by far his fastest of the day. He went on to win by more than a minute, becoming the youngest national champion since 1988.

“His anaerobic ability is amazing,” says USA Cycling national-team manager Marc Gullickson. The win at Mammoth was by no means a fluke. Two years ago, during the race for the U23 title in Norway, Grotts vaulted from 38th place to third—the first medal in a world-­championship event by an American man since 2001. 

To succeed on the biggest stages, however, the Durango, Colorado, native will need more than just a good engine. He’ll need tactics. This year is his first racing in the World Cup’s Elite division, and he’s struggled with the raucous mass starts. Still, he could notch the best-ever U.S. men’s ­result in the Olympics.

For Grotts, however, the joys and challenges of reaching the highest levels of the sport have been accompanied by family tragedy. What do you do when the climactic moments of your career collide with unimaginable sorrow?

Grotts in the family cabin near Durango, Colorado. (Jason Frank Rothenberg)

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rotts never would have started mountain biking if not for his older brother, Donnie. When they were kids, their father, Don, a veterinarian, took them to compete in the local Four Corners Cup series. Howard was six years younger and idolized Donnie’s technical skills on a mountain bike. Howard’s childhood coach, Chad Cheeney, says that he thought Donnie would become the star competitor, not Howard. 

But by the time Howard started racking up wins in local and regional races as a young teenager, Donnie had lost interest. Around the start of high school, he stopped riding and started experimenting with drugs—first marijuana, then heroin. He moved out at 18, and Howard and his parents felt Donnie gradually slipping away into addiction. 

It was hard on Howard. He pined for brotherly adventures but coped by building a wall between himself and his brother. “The addiction was too much for me,” he says. No one ever saw them together. If Cheeney asked about Donnie, Howard’s reply would be curt: “He’s still using drugs, still making bad decisions.”

Racing provided Howard with an escape into a predictable routine as Donnie spiraled downward. ­Starting in 2013, Donnie overdosed at least five times and was revived at Mercy ­Regional Medical Center in Durango. 

June 9, 2015, was Donnie’s 28th birthday. His mother, Debbie, and Don both called to wish him well, but neither got an answer. The next day, Don received a call from his sister: someone had posted “RIP Donnie” on Facebook. Soon a Durango detective confirmed that Donnie’s roommate had found him several hours earlier, dead of a heroin overdose.

Nine days after viewing his brother in the mortuary, Grotts entered the 18.6-mile Missoula Pro XCT, a U.S. Cup race in Montana. His strategy is usually to bide his time and make a move late. But that day he broke from the pack immediately. “Everyone knew two minutes into the race that we were riding for second,” says Payson McElveen, a hometown friend and pro who took 13th. Grotts rode the entire race alone, accelerating up until the end. He won by nearly five minutes, a huge margin in such a short race. 

“It was one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen,” McElveen says. Afterward, Grotts told the Missoulian, “Everything I did out there, the race, everything, was for him.”

Grotts has long been known as a lone wolf when it comes to training. “He’s not looking for me to validate him,” says his coach, Ben Ollett. He also doesn’t study his power meter or count calories the way other elite riders do. During the last off-season, he stayed in shape by climbing peaks around Durango, pedaling 2,400 miles solo from Colorado to San Diego and up the California coast, and hitting the trails in winter for 25-mile runs.

Of course, others doubt whether such a freewheeling approach is best. Christoph Sauser, Grotts’s Swiss colleague on the Specialized team and the 2008 world champion, says Grotts “is a superclimber.” But, Sauser believes, he doesn’t train his weaknesses or focus enough on racing. “For lots of Americans, it’s difficult to transition to racing in Europe and really be eager to be world-class and not just American-class,” he says. “Howard has to change his head.”

Grotts concedes that his approach is unconventional but insists that it works for him. Last January, I met him for a mountain-bike ride in Tucson, Arizona, where he was training for the World Cup season. There’s more muscle on his five-seven, 130-pound frame than you might expect in a cyclist. Earlier that morning, he had intended to join a road ride with ­local pros, but he’d ­overslept. 

 Grotts in the family cabin near Durango, Colorado.&nbsp;(Jason Frank Rothenberg)

Grotts in the family cabin near Durango, Colorado. (Jason Frank Rothenberg)

So he drove to a popular 4.8-mile trail that climbs 3,300 vertical feet, laced up his ­running shoes, and set a new ­record on ­Strava, shaving five minutes off the 46-minute KOM.

After our ride, Grotts and I sat in his car as he fought back tears and talked about how Donnie’s death has affected him. “There’s no ‘What if I’d talked to him more?’ It would’ve had to come from himself to change,” Grotts says. “But obviously you always wish that you could’ve… just been with him more. Even if he was going to die no matter what.”

Leading up to Rio, Grotts has been living with his parents in the log and cinder-block cabin at Lemon Lake where he grew up, 18 miles northeast of Durango. Debbie always held out hope that Donnie would get better and that he and Howard would reconnect on a long ride through the mountains. “That was my dream,” she told me. “I know Donnie would have loved that.” When Howard’s career took off last ­summer, the family found themselves wedged between celebration and heartbreak. “It’s all very bittersweet,” Debbie says. 

It’s been 25 years since an American man won the cross-country World Championship. (The last was John Tomac in 1991.) ­During that time, plenty of prodigies have burned out, while others chased better paychecks in road racing. Grotts will never leave trails for asphalt, he says, but he also isn’t sure how long he intends to compete. That’s one result of his brother’s death. “It makes you want to listen to what your heart’s really saying, rather than just maybe what the logical thing to do is,” Grotts says. Which means this could be his only Olympics.

Grotts graduated in 2014 with a 4.0 GPA from Durango’s Fort Lewis College and talks about teaching middle school math ­after bikepacking through South America. “He feels like we have bigger obligations than trying to go fast on a bike,” says McElveen.

As for his Olympic chances, Grotts wants one thing made clear: he was a good bike racer before Donnie died, and his motivation still comes from the same place—­within. “I race to do the best I can,” he says. “But it’s not like I live to win.”

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Grotts was selected for the U.S. team. 

From Outside Magazine, August 2016

Results of the FLC Dead Elk TTT

Fort Lewis is known for its cycling team!  The program is a big hitter in developing some top notch athletes.  The Dead Elk TTT race that they put on in the spring really amps the riders for their national races.  Here are the results from this years race series. (words from Dave Hagen).

Yet another fast day out there with a couple more course records for the FLC TTT Men and Women (the ladies crushed it!). They are very primed for Nationals, wish them luck. Thanks to all who participated in the series this year. Next year we are going to track down prizes for community TTT teams!

 

18 FLC Dead Elk TT #4, 4/11/18, 65F, Winds light and variable out of SW.

All riders Merckx unless noted.

1. FLC Men TTT – (McGeough, Turner, Behm, Johnson) – 27:03 New Record beating last week!

2. Griffin Easter – 303 Project – 27:07 (Full TT)

3. Rolando Gonzales – 303 Project – 27:17 (Full TT)

4. Cullen Easter – 303 Project – 28:00 (Full TT)

5. FLC Men TTT – (Nunes, Eagan, Vargas) – 29:20

6. FLC Men TTT – (Maissel, Marasco, Callahan) – 29:27

7. Andre Bos – FLC – 29:40

8. Robert Kyper – DWC – 30:47 (Full TT)

9. FLC Women TTT (Mussleman, Backus, Payer, Russenberger, Abraham) – 31:26 New Record!!! Beat last week’s record by 1:28!

 

18 FLC Dead Elk TT #3, 4/4/18, 60F, Winds light and variable.

All riders Merckx unless noted.

1. FLC Men TTT – (McGeough, Behm, McKey, Turner, Hilyer) – 27:06 New Record! (the old record was on full TT gear)

2. Steve Morozowich – DWC – 29:15 (Full TT)

3. Cullen Easter - 303 Project – 29:25 (TT Bike)

4. FLC Men Duo – (Marasco, Eagen) – 30:20

5. Griffin Easter – 303 Project – 32:08 (TT Bike)

6. FLC Women TTT – (Mussleman, Payer, Abraham) – 32:54 New Record!

7. Sam Ghalayini – FLC – 34:53

 

DEAD ELK HISTORY

Course Records: 

Marisa Asplund – DWC – 30:29

Ian Burnett – Competitive Cyclist – 25:27

Merckx - Payson McElveen – FLC – 29:47

Men TTT - McGeough, Behm, McKey, Turner, Hilyer – 27:06 (Merckx) Old - Kuhl, Schmidt, Thompson, Burnett, Singer - 27:22 (4/18/07) (Full TT)

Women TTT - Mussleman, Payer, Abraham – 32:54 Old -  Backus, Musselman, Campbell, Lundberg – FLC – 33:08

 

18 FLC Dead Elk TT #2, 3/28/18, 53F, 10-20mph wind out of North

All riders Merckx unless noted.

1. Griffin Easter – 303 Project – 28:55 (TT Bike)

2. FLC Men TTT (NJohnson, Janda, Behm, Turner, MacFarlane) – 29:35

3. Nick McKey – FLC – 29:41 (TT Bike)

4. Steve Morozowich – DWC – 30:52 (Full TT)

5. FLC Men TTT (Gagne, Mariano, Maissel, SGhalayini) – 31:30

6. Cullen Easter – 303 Project – 31:52

7. FLC Women TTT (Backus, Musselman, Russenberger, Abraham, Payer) – 34:05

8. Colby Simmons – DWC – 34:22

9. Brian Miller – 34:43 (Full TT)

 

18 FLC Dead Elk TT #1, 3/21/18, 58F, Light wind out of North

All riders Merckx unless noted.

1. Griffin Easter – 303 Project – 28:20 (Full TT)

2. FLC Men TTT (Behm, MacFarlane, ZGhalayini) – 29:17

3. FLC Men TTT (Gagne, Nunes, Janda, Turner) – 29:42

4. Steve Morozowich – DWC – 29:58 (Full TT)

5. Cullen Easter – 303 Project – 30:24

6. FLC/Devo Men TTT (SGhalayini, Freeburn, Vargas) – 30:35

7. Robert Kyper – DWC – 32:25 (Full TT)

8. FLC Women TTT (Backus, Mussleman, Payer) – 34:45

 

 

2017 Dead Elk #3 4/12/17, 70F, wind 5-7 out of south

Merckx unless otherwise noted

Men

1.       David Preston – Natural Grocers – 30:13 – TT Bike

2.       Matt Turner – FLC – 30:26

Jake Marasco – FLC – 30:26

3.       Caden Hopkins – Bermuda Jr – 30:48

4.       Malik Mariano – FLC – 31:36

5.       Keith Ashmore – Colavita SW – 33:22

6.       Jean Paul Wright – Pagosa – 35:39

7.       Julain Maissel – FLC – 35:45

Women

1.       Ladies TTT (Backus, Musselman, Campbell, Lundberg) – FLC – 33:08

 

 

2017 Dead Elk #2 4/5/17, 60F, wind 5-10 out of south

Merckx unless otherwise noted

 

1 Steve Morozowich – DWC – 27:51 Full TT

2 David Preston - Natural Grocer - 29:45 TT

3 Rotem Ishay – Jamis - 30:32

4  Julian Maissel – FLC - 31:24

5  Mike Carroll – Stan’s No Tube - 31:27

6  Jake Marasco – FLC - 31:30

7  Thomas Gauthier – FLC - 31:33

8  Zach Ghalayini – FLC - 31:41 

9  Malik Mariano – FLC - 31:56

10  Gaige Sippy - Iron Horse - 32:04

11  Keiran Eagen – CRC - 33:08

12  Kobe Freeburn – Devo - 33:24

13  Jay Eagen – DEVO - 37:37 First TT Ever

 

Women

1 Charlotte Backus - FLC - 34:03 TT 

2 Camren Sippy – CRC - 35:28 

 

2017 Dead Elk #1 3/29/17, 57F, 5-15 wind out of north 5-15mph

Merckx unless otherwise noted

Men

1.       FLC Men TTT (Rowton, Turner, Bos, Behm, Gagne) – 29:11

2.       Steve Morozowich – DWC – 29:40 – Full TT

3.       FLC Men TTT (Callahan, Maissel, Johnson) – 30:58

4.       Levi Kurlander – RBA/DEVO/Trek – 32:55

5.       Chad Cheeney – FLC/DWC – 33:03 – TT bike

6.       Gaige Sippy – IHBC – 33:59

7.       James Ianni – FLC – 37:28

8.       Ian Kutzleb – DEVO – 38:18

9.       Ivan Sippy – DEVO – 41:15

Women

1.      FLC Women TTT (Backus, Campbell, Lundberg, Musselman) – 37:13

2.      Camryn Sippy – DEVO/CRC – 38:32

3.      Maddie Jo Robbins – DEVO/Bear Development – 39:04

 

 DEAD ELK HISTORY

Course Records: 

Marisa Asplund – DWC – 30:29

Ian Burnett – Competitive Cyclist – 25:27

Merckx - Payson McElveen – FLC – 29:47

Men TTT - Kuhl, Schmidt, Thompson, Burnett, Singer - 27:22 (4/18/07) (Full TT)

Women TTT - Missy Erickson, Magen Long, Sage Wilderman, Stephanie Falls – FLC – 33:11 (4/14/10)

 

2016 Dead Elk TT #1 3/30/16, 37F, 0-15mph wind out of North with snow flurries

Men

  1. Seaford/Kurlander – FLC – 34:00 Merckx
  2. Joel Richards – DWC – 36:03 Merckx
  3. David French – DWC – 41:13 TT

Women

  1. Erin Quinn – FLC – 43:40 Merckx

    

15 Dead Elk #4 – 4/15/15 @49F Cold variable wind 0-10mph out of the SW (average speed day)

(TT = TT Bike or TT helmet or all, M = Merckx)

  1. Steve Morozowich – DWC – 28:45 TT
  2. Adam Goubert – Wooly Mammoth – 29:17 TT
  3. Spencer Compton – DWC – 31:27 TT
  4. Joel Richards – DWC – 31:42 TT
  5. David Silviera – DWC – 36:42 M
  1. Team 6 Pack – Bratsch, Bodine, Sonora, Rosenthal, Ashmore, Diz – 31:16 M
  2. FLC Ladies – Hynes, Gomez Villafane, McPherson – 34:57 M

 

15 Dead Elk #3 – 4/8/15 @58F Wind out of SW 10-20mph with gusts to 35 (kinda fast day)

(TT = TT Bike or TT helmet or all, M = Merckx)

  1. Steve Morozowich – DWC – 28:20 TT
  2. Rolando Gonzalez – CRC Cannondale – 29:40 TT
  3. Kirby Bryant – San Juan Cycles – 29:47 TT
  4. Spencer Compton – DWC – 30:08 TT
  5. Bob Kyper – DWC – 30:51 TT
  6. Joel Richards – DWC – 31:22 TT
  7. Joel Bratsch – DWC – 31:53 TT
  8. Tom Ober – DWC – 32:19 TT
  9. David Silviera – DWC – 36:21 M
  1. Ava Hachmann – Naked – 37:00 TT
  1. DWC TTT – Sonora, Kneller, Rosenthal, French – 31:07 M
  2. FLC Ladies – Gomez Villafane, Edmonson, Chaves, Hynes – 33:38 M

 

15 Dead Elk #2 – 4/1/15 @66F variable 0-10mph wind out of SW (fast day)

(TT = TT Bike or TT helmet or all, M = Merckx)

  1. Steve Morozowich – DWC – 28:45 TT
  2. Rolando Gonzalez – CRC Cannondale – 29:49 TT
  3. Ryan Standish – FLC – 30:22 M
  4. Joel Richards – DWC – 30:40 TT
  5. Spencer Compton – DWC – 30:54 TT
  6. Joel Bratsch – DWC – 31:59 TT
  7. Tom Ober – DWC – 33:45 M
  8. Tino Sonora – Colavita SW – 34:59 M
  9. Michael Henderson – Ciclistas del Rio – 36:04 TT
  1. Ava Hachmann – Naked – 37:25 TT
  1. FLC TTT – Noonan, Haas, Gagne, Burnett – 28:15 M
  2. FLC TTT – Meeker, Rowton, Thilen, Behm – 29:04 M
  3. FLC Ladies TTT – Gomez Villafane, Chaves, Edmonson – 34:36 M

Course Records: 

Marisa Asplund – DWC – 30:29

Ian Burnett – Competitive Cyclist – 25:27

Merckx - Payson McElveen – FLC – 29:47

Men TTT - Kuhl, Schmidt, Thompson, Burnett, Singer - 27:22 (4/18/07)

Women TTT - Missy Erickson, Magen Long, Sage Wilderman, Stephanie Falls – FLC – 33:11 (4/14/10)

 

 

15 Dead Elk #1 - - 3.25.15 @65F Wind out of NW 5-10mph

  1. Adam Gaubert – Wooly Mammoth – 30:28 TT
  2. Kirby Bryant – San Juan Cycles – 32:07 TT
  3. David Preston – Alister – 32:32 TT
  4. Bob Kyper – DWC – 32:37 TT
  5. Joel Bratsch –  DWC - 34:27 M
  6. Jeff Chamberlain – DWC – 35:19 M
  7. Peter Behm – FLC – 35:28 M
  8. Joe Burtoni – DWC – 36:55 M
  9. Walt Axthelm – DWC – 39:50 M
  10. David Silviera – DWC – 40:45 M
  1. Stephanie Falls – Alister – 38:10 M
  2. Ava Hachmann – Naked – 38:39 TT

 

14 Dead Elk #1 – 3.26.14 @46F Gusty swirling winds 5-30mph out of SW, snow flurries

 

Men

  1. Steve Morozowich – DWC – 29:53 (TT)
  2. Alister Ratcliff – FLC Alum – 29:56 (TT)
  3. FLC Men TTT – 31:45 (M) - Griffin, Zach, Max, Natan
  4. Bob Kyper – DWC – 32:54 – 32:54 (TT)
  5. Brett Kohlhardt - FLC Alum – 33:58 (TT)
  6. Peter Behm – FLC – 35:16 (M)
  7. Andrew Cunningham – FLC – 36:58 (M)

 

'13 Dead Elk #2- 4/3/13 @60F 7-12mph wind out of North (Slow day)

(TT = TT Bike or TT helmet or both, M = Merckx)

Men

  1. Jon Delacy – DWC – 31:11 (TT)
  2. Dean Haas – FLC – 31:21 (M)
  3. Steve Morozowich – DWC – 31:35 (TT)
  4. Griffin Easter – FLC – 32:18 (M)
  5. Bob Kyper – DWC – 32:52 (TT)
  6. Skyler Trujillo – FLC – 33:18 (M)
  7. Sam Warford – FLC – 33:46 (M)
  8. Stewart/McWhorter – FLC – 35:59 (M)
  9. Ryan Standish – FLC – 43:00 (M) (Flat Tire)

Women

  1. Dana Shinn – DWC – 34:25 (TT)
  2. Sofia Gomez Villafane – FLC – 38:08 (M)
  3. Rebecca Kaufman – DWC – 38:13 (M)
  4. Leila Carrillo – FLC – 41:38 (M)

TTT

  1. Easter, Maia, Canale, Haas – FLC – 29:49 (M)

 

'13 Dead Elk #1 – 3/27/13 @ 60F variable W/SW wind 5-7mph

(TT = TT Bike or TT helmet or both, M = Merckx)

Men

  1. Ian Burnett – Jelly Belly – 26:32 (TT)
  2. Griffin Easter – FLC – 28:24 (TT)
  3. Jason Quenzler – Sport Systems – 28:39
  4. Aaron Canale – FLC – 30:26 (M)
  5. Josh McDowell – FLC – 30:50 (M)
  6. Sam Warford – FLC – 30:51 (M)
  7. Joel Richards – DWC – 30:54 (TT)
  8. Troy Meeker – FLC – 31:02 (M)
  9. Bob Kyper – DWC – 31:40 (TT)
  10. Skyler Trujillo – FLC – 31:42 (M)
  11. Natan Cavalca – FLC – 31:52 (M)
  12. Rob Bergstrom – DWC – 31:57 (M)
  13. Matt Ozvat – NoTubes – 32:03 (TT)
  14. Andrew Cunningham – CMU – 32:51 (M)
  15. Adam Digby! - FLC – 35:09 (M)
  16. Walt Axthelm – NoTubes – 35:23 (TT)
  17. Donovan Caputo – FLC – 36:42 (M)
  18. Cullen Easter – CMU – 38:28 (M)
  19. George Clark – FLC – 41:20 (M)

Women

  1. Rebecca Balboni – Exergy 2016 – 32:08 (M)
  2. Lauren Catlin – FLC – 34:31 (M)
  3. Martha Iverson – DWC – 36:35 (TT)

TTT

1. Trujillo, Cavalca, McDowell, Lindlau – 30:55

2. Easter, Maia, Canale – 31:11

3. Catlin, Kane, Villafane, Crawford, Krantz, Carrillo – 34:15

 

12 "Always 100% Effort" Dead Elk #3 4/11/12 @ 65F Gusty S/SW wind 10-25mph, light scattered showers

Men:

1. Ian Burnett - Competitive Cyclist - 25:27 - New Record!!!!

2. Spencer Compton - DWC - 29:33

3. Joel Richards - DWC - 29:55

4. Steve Morozowich - DWC - 30:05

5. Jordan Barnett - FLC - 35:17 (Merckx Winner)

Women:

1. Betsy Richards - DWC - 36:32

2. Brittany White - FLC - 50:40

Teams:

1. FLC - Ishay, Easter, McElveen - 27:28

2. FLC - Llewellyn, Stalker, Murray, Zellmer - 28:14

3. FLC - Fortune, Stucki, McDowell, Brooks, T. Smith - 30:28

4. FLC Women - Erickson, Sturm, Kane, Robison, Crawford - 33:50

 

12 "Always 100% Effort" Dead Elk #2 4/4/12 @62F 5mph wind out of NW

Men:

  1. Michael Carroll – Stan's NoTubes – 29:11
  2. Joel Richards – DWC – 31:07
  3. Spencer Compton – DWC – 31:30
  4. Mark Oliver – DWC – 31:33
  5. Mike French – DWC – 31:41
  6. Rob Bergstrom – Colavita SW – 31:56
  7. Michael Henderson – Ciclistas de Rio – 33:34
  8. Jim Barnes – DWC – 34:45
  9. Walt Axthelm – Stan's NoTubes – 35:39
  10. Andrew Cunningham – DEVO – 35:41 (Merckx Winner)

Women:

  1. Betsy Richards – DWC – 34:42

TTT:

  1. FLC Men (Zellmer, Rotem, Howie, Robbie, Llewellyn) - 29:12
  2. FLC Women (Sturm, Erickson, Catlin, Kane, Robison, Tilly, Allie) - 33:04
  3. Emsky/Stewart – FLC – 40:55 (More of a Talking Time Trial)

12 "Always 100% Effort" Dead Elk #1 3/28/12 @64F light wind out of SW

 

 

Men:

1. Ian Burnett - Competitive Cyclist - 27:25

2. Willy Zellmer - FLC - 29:05

3. Payson McElveen - FLC - 29:47 (Merckx Winner)

4. Griffin Easter - FLC - 30:02

5. Rotem Ishay - FLC - 30:40

6. Ryan Cleveland - FLC - 30:41 

7. Spencer Compton - DWC - 31:08

8. Alex Howard - FLC - 31:21

9. Aaron Canale - FLC - 31:47

10. Bob Kyper - DWC - 32:04

11. Kenji Fortune - FLC - 32:30

12. Greg Carpenter - FLC - 32:35

13. Michael Henderson - Kokopelli - 32:53

14. Liam Wholly - FLC - 34:03

15. Joel Richards - DWC - 34:42

16. Andrew Cunningham - DEVO - 35:27

17. Andrew Llewellyn - FLC - 37:02

18. Jordan Barnett - FLC - 57:01 (Also did Shalona!?)

 

Ladies TTT - 33:53

 

11 Dead Elk #2 WED 4-13-11 @60F, slight wind out of SE
 
Women:
1)    Molly Hummel– DWC - 31:56
2)    Betsy Richards – DWC - 32:45
3)    Dana Shinn – Colovita NM - 33:42
4)    Lauren Catlin – FLC - 34:00
5)    Martha Iverson – DWC - 35:55
6)    Sarah Sturm – FLC - 36:46
 
Men:
1)     Neil Coleman – Swindon - 27:29
2)    Ben Kneller – DWC - 29:07
3)    Rolando Gonzales – Directory Plus/Trek - 29:29
4)    Dale Kneller – DWC - 30:09
5)    Griffin Easter – FLC - 31:00
6)    John G? - ? - 31:02
7)    Cody Stephenson – FLC - 31:09
8)    Brian Morra – FLC - 31:10
9)    Joel Richards – DWC - 31:17
10)  Garrett Alexander – FLC - 31:25
11)  Jesse ? - ? -  31:58
12)  Michael Henderson – Osprey - 33:46
13)  Rich Bagienski – DWC - 33:49
14)  Walt Axthelm – 100% - 34:41
15)  Parker Whitehead – Yeah - 38:47  (13 yrs. Old)

Teams:
1)    Keith Ashmore/Sean Peck – Colavita NM - 28:54
2)    Luke Ramseth/Ian Gordon/Rotem Ishay – FLC -  29:04
3)    Brittany Clawson/Tilly Field/ Nathalie Krantz – FLC - 40:55

‘11 Dead Elk #1 – 4/6/11 – 58F North Wind 5+/-

  1. Russell Brown – FLC – 28:24
  2. Ian Gordon – FLC – 28:33
  3. Chris McGovern – FLC – 30:27
  4. Michael Carroll – DWC – 31:25
  5. Brian Morra – FLC – 31:38
  6. Sean Peck – Colavita NM – 32:09
  7. Joel Richards – DWC – 32:10
  8. Joe Mastoras – DWC – 35:15
  9. Michael Henderson – Ciclistas del Rio – 37:20

 

  1. Betsy Richards – DWC – 34:18
  2. Lauren Catlin – FLC – 34:59
  3. Dana Shinn – Coloavita NM – 35:10
  4. Martha Iverson – DWC – 36:12

 

  1. Griffin Easter/Eric Emsky – FLC – 32:25
  2. Tyler Brickle/Aaron Canale/Casey Roberts – FLC – 36:23
  3. Courtney Ott/Tilly Field/Nathalie Krantz – FLC – 36:23
  4. Missy/Sarah/Catlin/Taylor/Kaila/Jimmy – FLC – 38:55


‘10 Dead Elk #1 – 4/14/10 – 67 degrees, 3-10mph SE wind

  1. Andrew Llewellyn – FLC – 27:07 (New Record – Old 28:00 Matt Shriver)
  2. Ian Gordon – FLC – 28:02
  3. Russell Brown – FLC – 28:16
  4. Ian Burnett – FLC – 28:41
  5. Jesse Dekrey – FLC – 28:52
  6. Neil Coleman – Bahati – 28:55 (merckx)
  7. Ben Kneller – RMCF – 28:59
  8. Eric Malone – DWC – 29:03
  9. Spencer Compton – DWC – 29:32
  10. Sean Peck – Colavita NM – 30:23
  11. Sam Simmons, Ryan Cleveland – FLC – 30:48
  12. Keith Ashmore – Colavita NM – 30:50
  13. Eric Burris – DWC – 30:51
  14. Garrett Alexander/Chris Parker – FLC – 31:08 (merckx)
  15. Joel Richards – DWC – 32:10 (merckx)
  16. Zack Kurka – MPS – 33:01 (merckx)
  17. Jonathon Craig – DWC – 33:22 (merckx)
  18. Rob Bergstrom – DWC – 33:38 (merckx)
  19. Bob Kyper – DWC – 34:00
  20. Walt Axthelm – DWC – 34:07
  21. Cully Brown – DWC – 35:02 (merckx)
  22. Andrew Scarbourough – DWC – 35:36 (merckx)
  23. Reid Ackerman – Great Divide – 36:06 (merckx)

 

  1. Marisa Asplund – DWC – 30:29 (New Record – Old 33:15 Marisa Asplund)
  2. Missy Erickson, Magen Long, Sage Wilderman, Stephanie Falls – FLC – 33:11 

   3.   Betsy Richards – DWC – 35:02 (merckx) 

09 Dead Elk #4 – 4/8/09 – 50degrees Wind – SW 5-15mph

  1. Michael Carroll – DWC – 29:31
  2. Sean Peck – DWC – 32:24
  3. Beau Savage – DWC – 33:16
  4. Jesse Bondracek – DWC – 33:40 

   5.   Joe Burtoni – DWC – 34:22

09 Dead Elk #3 – 4/1/09 – 40degrees Wind – N 5-20mph (very cold)

  1. Ian Gordon – FLC – 31:20
  2. Brandon McNellis – DWC – 37:45
  3. Joel Richards – DWC – 38:12



09 Dead Elk TT #1 3/25/09 - 47degrees, WSW wind 5-10mph (variable
direction)
1. Ian Gordon - FLC - 29:20
2. Neil Coleman - GWR/Swindon - 30:18
3. Matt Shriver - FLC - 30:51
4. Jesse Dekrey - FLC - 31:15
5. Russell Brown - FLC - 32:22
6. Kenji Fortune - FLC - 33:44
7. Eric Burris - DWC - 33:51
8. Jesse Vandracek - DWC - 34:10
9. Robbie Jones - FLC - 34:52
10. Beau Savidge - DWC - 35:40
11. Joel Richards - FLC - 35:41
12. Michael Henderson - DWC - 36:14
13. Bruce Liddiard - DWC - 36:25
14. Walt Axthelm - DWC - 37:00
15. Brandon McNellis - DWC - 37:30
16. Steve Morozowich - DWC - 38:15

08 Dead Elk TT # 3
March 26th 5:00 pm
Weather: Sunny 58 degrees/Wind ssw 5-12 mph

1-Alister Ratcliff                                 28:44
2-Michael Carroll                               29:28
3-Brandon Emmart                           29:45
4-spencer Compton                          30:14
5-Jordan Gazit                                   31:00
6-steve owens                                   31:21
7-Keith Ashmore                               31:30
8-Marisa Asplund                              31:39
9-Joe Burtoni                                     31:47
10-Andrew Ferguson                        31:53
11-Blake Voges                                33:07
12-Molly Hummel                              33:34
13-Rich Baginski                              33:41
14-Martha Iverson                             34:46
15-Walt Axthelm                                34:53

08 Dead Elk #2 - 57F Wind out of SW at 5-12mph
1. Gaige Sippy - IHBC - 29:21
2. Michael Carroll - DWC - 29:27
3. Lee Rosenthal - FLC - 30:34
4. Richard N Wetherald - FLC - 30:35
5. Spencer Compton - DWC - 30:41
6. Dylan Stucki - FLC - 31:18
7. Joe Burtoni - DWC - 31:36
8. Steve Owen - CPT - 31:50
9. Eric Burris - DWC - 32:03
10 Daniel Sullivan - FLC - 32:04
11. Trevor Downing - FLC - 32:05
12. Russell Brown - FLC - 32:48
13. Ben Kraushaar - FLC - 32:57
14. Blake Voges - DWC - 33:05
15. Andrew Wagner - FLC - 33:28
16. Addison Bain - FLC - 33:57
17. Mark Oliver - DWC - 34:09
18. Richard Bagienski - DWC - 34:33
19. Walt Axthelm - DWC - 35:16
20. Martha Iverson - DWC - 35:39

08 Dead Elk #1, 3/13/08, Cloudy 50F 10-15 mph wind out of North
1. Jonathon Kranzley - FLC - 30:33
2. Alister Radcliff - FLC - 30:37
3. Gaige Sippy - DWC - 30:49
4. Yarden Gazit - FLC - 31:25
5. Michael Carroll - DWC - 31:30
6. Dicky Dub - CPT - 31:34
7. Addison Bain - FLC - 34:00
8. Russell Brown - FLC - 34:11
9. Andrew Wagner - FLC - 34:59
10. Ben Kraushaar - FLC - 35:11
11. Sean Peck - 3D - 35:15
12. Dylan Stucki - FLC - 36:17
1. Martha Iverson - DWC - 36:33

07 Dead Elk #5 4/25/07. 63F w/ 5-7mph winds out of south
1. Noah Singer               28:05
2. Mike Schmidt            28:31
3. Jared Pitroski             28:53
4. Marisa Asplund          dnf


07 Dead Elk #4 4/18/07 - Very windy (20-25mph w/40mph gusts) and mild - 61F
1. Ben Kneller             28:06
2. Grant Barry             28:45
3. Alister Radcliff        28:52
4. Rolando                  29:19
5. Michael Carroll       30:12
6. Steve Owen            32:57
7. Walt Axthelm         36:10
- Marisa Asplund       --
- Dicky Dub               --
TTT - Kuhl, Schmidt, Thompson, Burnett, Singer - 27:22

07 Dead Elk #3 4/11/07 - Windy (10-15mph) and chilly - 52F
1. Troy Wells               28:41
2. Alister Radcliff         28:57
3. Ben Kneller              30:22
4. Michael Carroll        30:52
5. Gaige Sippy             31:31
6. Marisa Asplund       33:15
7. Steve Owens            36:20
TTT - Kuhl, Schmidt, Thompson, Burnett, Singer - 28:39

06 Dead Elk #5 4/20/06
1. Matt Shriver - 28:00 !!!!!
2. Joey Thompson - 29:01
3. Grant Barry - 29:04
4. Chris Kuhl - 29:08
5. Mike Schmidt - 29:14
6. Troy Wells - 29:18
7. Mike Wilk - 29:43
8. Ryan Bartel - 30:13
9. Adam Mik - 30:46
10. Zach Valdez - 32:31
11. Scott Deforest - 33:05
12. Rich Bagienski - 34:02
13. Martha Iverson - 35:36
14. Jason Smallheer - 36:19

06 Dead Elk #4 4/13/06
1. Andy Guptill - 28:27
2. Andrew Ferguson - 30:05
3. Dicky.Noah/Ryan - 30:19
4. Will Cromwell - 30:40
5. Alex Ferrero - 31:01
6. Connor/Brian - 34:35
1. Molly/Onawa - 37:35
2. Ingrid Malberg - 38:55

06 Dead Elk #3 4/5/06
1. Chris Kuhl - 29:48
2. Mitch Moreman - 30:10
3. Troy Wells - 30:28
4. David Harris - 32:36

06 Dead Elk #2 3/29/06
1. Mitch Moreman - 30:26
2. Lee Rosenthal - 30:59
3. Mike Schmidt - 31:39
4. Mike Wilk - 31:47
5. Ryan Mele - 32:02
6. Zach Valdez - 34:04
7. Will Cromwell - 34:09
8. Alex Ferrero - 34:31
9. Rick Crawford - 35:32
10. Juan Pablo - 35:36
11. Jay Rush - 36:36
1. Irene Mercer - 34:46
2. Onawa Pelham - 37:10
3. Chantel Shoemaker - 43:35
Teams-
1. Ransom/Dub - 29:20
2. Trevor/Jesse/Chops/Ian - 31:18

06 Dead Elk #1 3/1/06
1. Andy Guptill - 29:08
2. Ransom/Singer/Cromwell - 29:11
3. Chris Kuhl - 29:29
4. Joey Thompson - 29:43
5. Michael Carroll - 30:19
6. Chops/Birdman/Ian - 30:38
7. Trevor Downing - 31:38
8. Joe Burtoni - 32:21
9. Troy Wells - 33:05
10. Eric Burris - 33:24
1. Molly Hummell - 33:35

The Hawks fly on Durango

Info from David Hagen with Fort Lewis 

FLC Cycling Squawker Classic Soars into Durango

 The Fort Lewis College Cycling Team will hold its annual Squawker Classic road racing events Saturday April 21st and Sunday the 22nd.  Collegiate cyclists from the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC) will descend upon Durango for one of the toughest weekends of racing before USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals in Grand Junction, CO May 4th, 5th and 6th. It is the 6th RMCCC conference race weekend of the spring season offering up a Team Time Trial, Criterium and a Road Circuit race for rivals University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado State University, Colorado Mesa University and the rest of the RMCCC. The race is also a USA Cycling Collegiate Regional Championship with schools from the Southwest and Inter-Mountain Conference also competing. For the 4-Corners region there are also USA Cycling categories for the Individual Time Trial, Criterium and Road Circuit race.

 

 Same details for 2018

Same details for 2018

The action will begin 8am Saturday morning April 21st with the “Morehart Murphy Team Time Trial.” Four-person collegiate teams and individual racers will start the intersection of River Road and CR 213 (La Posta) at one-minute intervals, turning around 13 miles later in Bondad just before Highway 550 and returning back up to CR 214 for a 32 kilometer (19 mile) course. The USA Cycling category Individual Time Trial starts at 9am and uses the same course.

 

The “Zia Taqueria Neighborhood Criterium” is back for racing action that encompasses 4th-6th Aves and 7th-10th Sts. The start finish will be at 4th Ave/8th St on a course with 6 turns and highlighted by the 6th Ave hill. Five collegiate and four citizen categories will speed around the course for varying amounts of time based on experience and ability. The action will be fast and fun! Racing starts at 11:30am and finishes at6pm.

 

Racing concludes on Sunday April 22nd with the grueling “Carver Brewing Co. Road Race,” starting at 8:00am on Rim Drive in front of the Education Business Hall. Travelling clockwise on Rim Dr. the course turns left on North Rim Drive (CR239) passing Hillcrest Golf Course then right on North College, through the roundabout, down Goeglein Gulch Road (CR238) and right on East 8th Avenue back to Rim Drive, completing the super tough 5-mile circuit.  The number of laps will be based on category ranging from 3-9 laps.

 

The official race flyer can be found here: https://legacy.usacycling.org/events/getflyer.php?permit=2018-1076

 

Online registration is available and encouraged to avoid $5 race day late fee

 

To stay updated and keep up with the race day action on the team Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FLCCyclingTeamhttp://cycling.fortlewis.edu will have all the info, course maps and the flyer.

 

Come watch your Skyhawk cyclists in action against our regional foes. The RMCCC conference schedule, results and standings can be found at http://www.rmccc.org/ and info on collegiate cycling is here: http://www.usacycling.org/collegiate/

 

Volunteers will gladly be accepted - 60+ are needed for course marshals. Contact Dave Hagen at hagen_d@fortlewis.edu if you would like to help

Criterium Saturday April 21st, 2018 – Meet at 4th Ave/8th St

11am-2:30pm Marshals         Need 11

2:30pm - 6pm Marshals         Need 11

Road Race Sunday April 22nd, 2018 – Meet at Education/Business Hall Parking lot at FLC (Start Finish)

7:30am-1pm Marshals         Need 40

 

Traffic information:

Time Trial on Saturday from 8-10am there may be short delays on CR 213 to allow riders to start and turnaround please use caution if travelling that direction.

 

Criterium on Saturday from 11am-6pm East 4th Ave and East 5th Ave will be closed between 7th and 10th Streets and East 6th Ave will be closed between 9th and 10th Streets. Accordingly, 7th and 8th Streets will be closed between 4th and 5th Aves and 9th and 10th Streets will be closed between 4th and 6th Aves. There will be no parking on the course and any vehicles on the inside of the course will need to exit at 5th Ave/10th St.

 

Road Race on Sunday to ensure a safe event for participants the following roads will be CLOSED to vehicles from 8am to 1pm:

  • Southbound Goeglein Gulch between the Ft. Lewis Dr. roundabout and 8th Ave.
  • 8th Ave. between College Dr. and the Rim Dr. traffic signal
  • Rim Drive between 8th Ave stoplight and Education Business Hall parking lot
  • N. Rim Dr. (CR239) from N. College to Hillcrest Golf Course both directions, except resident access

 

Residents and businesses of Skyridge, Hillcrest, Hillcrest Estates, Hillcrest Apartments, Silver Peak Condos, Ferringway, Valle de Merced and residents of Goeglein Gulch Rd., Hillcrest Golfers and Fort Lewis College Students, Faculty and Staff please take note:

 

The only way off the College Mesa is via North College to Florida Rd. and the best way up is Goeglein Gulch (College Dr.).

 

Also, drivers that use N. College and Geoglein to access South Durango should use Florida Rd. to avoid getting turned around at the roundabout.

April Events

It's in the works!  Here is what we have going on for April and we Keep adding!  I have not ever seen all the cycling-centric events or activities compiled into one place before here in Durango!  It was fun and eye-opening to see how much is going on in April which makes me excited for this summer!  Many great events hapening this year! 

Pedal Durango.jpg

If you hear of any event or don't see one on our list that you think should be, just submit it on our events page!

Why I bike...

My first bike was a red 18".  I had no idea that a bike could be so much more than just a steel frame, chain and some knobby tires.  Looking back now it was expression and freedom.  

 Training for the Iron Horse Classic

Training for the Iron Horse Classic

High school was when I first found out how much peace a bike could bring.  Freshman year of high school I nearly found myself behind bars.  Luckily being too young I had a second chance to choose the bars i wanted to be behind.

While many of the kids in school were focused on popularity and they fit in at school, I found myself fitting in at the skate park.  Learning what I could really do on a bike!  I started to feel a sense of belonging.  That was all the motivation I needed to push myself to go bigger and get more technical.  At one point during high school I pushed a little too hard and broke both of my wrists. Some still know me as the kid riding with two casts and still sending it.  Though I felt i had found my place and where I could really shine, I was torn between where I wanted to go and where others expected me to go.  Other than when I was on my bike, I was lost.  

 Biking should be fun!

Biking should be fun!

Events more recently in my life forced me to reevaluate what truly brings me joy.  Pedaling hard and pushing my body and mind on bike is where that joy is at! Getting in the air at the skate park, blazing down Star Wars or even pushing a fixed gear bike over the top of Molas pass racing the train are all so gratifying when you're done!  Wanting to share this joy with the amazing biking community that Durango has, sparked Pedal Durango!

Lets go for a ride!

-Tony Hermesman