Who ‘invented’ the mountain bike? Where was the birth of dirt? Who was the first to throw a bike down a hill? A bunch of hippies from Marin County California, that’s who. Here, Outer Edge magazine speaks to Joe Breeze, one of the so-called Godfathers of mountain biking. Apart from being one of the original Repack racers, Joe is widely recognised as having built the very first mountain bikes with full rigging. Joe talks about how the mountain biking movement came about, the riders, and why a mountain called Mt Tamalpais in Marin County is considered the spiritual home of mountain biking and why and a race called Repack is the genesis of the sport. Interview: Chris Ord, Outer Edge magazine, 2010.
I’m back from MTB Marathon Nationals near Augusta, GA, and while my weekend didn’t quite go as planned, I am happy that I raced. I had to call it a day after the first 30 miles with a hip/leg issue. I didn’t want to get another 10, 15, or 20 miles in and risk injury. I put in a lot of time preparing for this race, and although I didn’t finish, I did come out of the race with some positives. My cardio fitness is very good for this early in my season. My technical riding is very good, and that’s after not being able to spend too much time riding trails with all out snow we’ve had this year. My time in from the first 30 miles was very close to my plan (within 10 minutes). And my Hammer Nutrition fueling plan was right on for me, for my ultra-endurance events. I fueled with a 3 to 1 mix of Perpetuem to Heed and took Race Caps Supreme, Anti-Fatigue Caps, Endurotytes Extreme every hour. Other than my leg issue, I felt great.
Next on my race agenda…The New York State MTB Series kicks off in three weeks with the William’s Lake Classic. I follow that the following week with the first of two Leadville Race Series events that I will be racing, the Wilmington/Whiteface 50K event.
Sometimes things just fall into place. I never thought that I would actually buy a Fat Bike. I looked at them, I rode one, I thought they were kind of cool, but never thought that I would buy one. Well, during the winter, I did just that. I bought an On-One Fatty rolling chassis and built it using spare parts that I already had. So I ended up with a pretty high end bike on the cheap.
Then, while I was building the bike, I came across a posting on Facebook that mentioned Duro Tire had come out with the Duro Big D 26×4.0 fat bike tire. Well, being a Duro sponsored rider, I naturally wanted a set of these tires. After contacting Duro, I did manage to get a set of the Big D’s.
My first impression was that I liked them. The tread pattern wasn’t overly aggressive like some. Sure, that might not be great in deeper soft snow, but I thought that it would be better for an all around type of tire. I installed them, and right away went for a ride. And as luck would have it, it was snowing. So I was able to ride in about 3 inches of fresh snow on top of packed snow. The tires handled very good. I didn’t slip and slide all over the place, the tires held the ground pretty well.
The next weekend I went to Grafton State Park to ride the trails there. There are miles and miles of groomed snowmobile and cross country ski trails. The park is also very mountain bike friendly. I wasn’t sure what to expect riding on the varying trail/snow conditions that I new would be there. What I found was that the Duro Big D fat bike tires handled pretty good overall. Some of the trails had very soft, deep snow from the snowmobiles churning up the snow. That was difficult to ride and I slid a lot and couldn’t get much traction and I couldn’t really handle the bike well. But that is also because of the deep soft snow. Most of the riding was on trails that only had one or two snowmobile passes, snowshoe prints and ski print. In other words, packed powder. The Big D’s handled those trail conditions superbly.
I also had the opportunity to ride at Pineridge XC Ski Center after their XC season had ended. The snow conditions were mostly packed frozen granular with some spots of packed powder. I was pretty confident that my Duro Big D’s would handle nicely. I wasn’t wrong. With about 8 psi, the tires stuck to the trails. There was no slipping and sliding in the turns and there was no hesitation descending. Again, the Big D’s held the ground.
Overall, I think the Duro Big D fat bike tires are a solid entry into the marketplace. They are not designed for deeper/softer snow, but if you are riding packed, groomed trails and snowy dirt roads, this is a great tire to have. And outside of winter conditions, The Big D tires will be a lot of fun on my local singletrack.
WINDHAM MOUNTAIN RESORT, N.Y. (August 8, 2014) – A lift serviced mountain bike park is being developed at Windham Mountain Resort for riders of a wide variety of skills, ages, and interests. Windham is the only US stop of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and intends to build on the momentum generated from hosting three World Cup events, including its 4th World Cup Event this weekend (Aug. 7-10). The Mountain Bike Park will feature flow style trails accessible from “A Lift,” a detachable quad serving the peak of Windham Mountain. New intermediate level terrain will complement the existing UCI World Cup and Race The World trails. The bike park will also include a pump track, rentals, lessons, guided tours, retail and food and beverage.
Windham has partnered with Gravity Logic, best known for developing the Bike Park at Whistler –Blackcomb in Canada. The highly respected firm is the leader in the design of safe, sustainable, progressive, mountain bike parks. “We chose to partner with the best in the industry,” said Chip Seamans, Resort President and General Manager. “Our Mountain Bike Park will develop and grow over the next few years as trails and amenities are added. Each trail requires time and attention; therefore, creating a park that will be unmatched in the east.” David Kelly of Gravity logic said, “We are very excited to work with a resort so close to New York City, Windham has a clear focus and the resort is a perfect venue for our design and style.”
The Bike Park is an important part of the Resort’s ongoing commitment to transition to a year round destination. Known as a family friendly winter resort, Windham will now offer summer recreation for all ages and abilities. The Resort’s Golf Course has undergone extensive renovations in the last two years and a year round spa and treatment center will open this winter.
The Windham Mountain Bike Park is also part of a larger vision for the community of Windham. A network of existing cross country trails is being expanded to provide 2-wheel access to restaurants, lodging properties, other attractions, and of course Windham Mountain. Visitors will be able to park their car for the duration of their visit and experience all the community has to offer.
For more information, visit www.windhammountain.com
Well, we’re certainly in the dead of winter. Days and weeks at a time of single digit or sub zero temperatures. This does make training a bit challenging. Riding the exercise bike indoors isn’t nearly as efficient as an outdoor bike ride, but at least it’s something. Getting outside is hard, but I do brave the bitter cold once in a while. I really can’t wait until we have temperatures in the 30’s again…or warmer. But in the mean time, this is what my on the bike training looks like…
- Red Rock Canyon Fat Tire Festival 50k – Las Vegas, NV
- Singlespeed-a-Palooza – Montgomery, NY
- Fat Tire Classic – Farmington, CT
- USA Cycling Marathon National Championships – Appling, GA
- Wilmington-Whiteface 50K – Lake Placid, NY
- Blackfly Challenge – Indian Lake, NY
- Tahoe Trail 50k – Truckee, CA
- Race The World-World cup Weekend – Windham, NY
- HRRT Easter MTB Race – Schenectady, NY
- Vermont Senior Games Mountain Bike Championship – Rutland, VT
- Capital District Endurance MTB Race – Schenectady, NY
- Wildcat 50K MTB Race – Warwarsing, NY
- Hardcore 24 – Napels, NY
- ADK 80K – Lake Placid, NY
- Tour of the Battenkill Gran Fondo 22 – Cambridge, NY
- Kirkland CX – Clinton, NY
- Adirondack Cyclocross – Johnstown, NY
- Uncle Sam Cyclocross Gran Prix #1 – Troy, NY
- Uncle Sam Cyclocross Gran Prix #2 – Troy, NY
- Saratoga Spa:CX – Saratoga Springs, NY
- Wicked Creepy Cyclocross – Bennington, VT
- Bethlehem Cup – Delmar, NY
**Planned races are subject to change as schedules permit**
With 2014 coming to an end, I look back at what I accomplished. I race some races that I haven’t before. I raced some categories that I haven’t before. And I had some results that I could only imagine before. 2014 was a very successful season for me. Here is a brief statistical rundown of my season…2014 totals: 26 mtb/cx/road races, 13 top 5 finishes, 9 podiums and 5 wins! And the wins…were something special too. I won the 50k singlespeed races at both the Wilmington-Whiteface and Cedar City UT Fire Road Cycling Leadville Quilifying Searies races, and I won my category race at the USA Cycling Cross Country National Championships. Although the Nationals race was not for a National Championship, it’s still possible my proudest I’ve ever been about a race.
Another accomplishments that that I didn’t really expect were a road race win at the Vermont Senior Games. It was a day of racing that qualified me for the 2015 National Senior Games in Minneapolis/St Paul, in road race and time trial. No, I don’t plan on participating, but it’s still a pretty big deal to me that I did qualify.
2014 included a few more ultra-endurance mountain bike races than I have done in the past, and more singlespeed racing too. As I get older, I enjoy the longer races more than a cross country race, and singlespeed is just plain fun. However, I did race the full New York State MTB Series, finishing 7th overall Cat 2 50+. Those races, for me, were more for the love of mountain bike than anything else. I finished up the mountain bike season with a 40k singlespeed win at the Vermont Cycling Challenge.
In 2015, I will continue to race for Hammer Nutrition, with Duro Tire, Rudy Project, ProGold and AXO also returning with support. I am still putting together a race schedule, but I do have some pretty big plans for 2015. The biggest race that I am planning is the May 2, 2015 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Marathon National Championships in Appling, GA. I will be racing other events before that, but everything that I do through the winter and spring will be for that event.
Highlights of my planned 2015 schedule: Red Rocks Canyon MTB Festival 50k – Las Vegas (tentative), NV, USA Cycling Marathon National Championships – Appling, GA, Wilmington-Whiteface 50K – Lake Placid, NY, Tahoe Trail 50k – Truckee, CA, Hardcore 24 – Napels, NY. There will, of course, be other mountain bike races and the NYCROSS Cyclocross Series in the fall. Overall, I’ll be racing fewer races, but more ultra-endurance races.
So, here’s to a successful 2014 season and looking ahead at another successful season in 2015!
Remember Fat City Cycles? Yep, they have been gone for a while. Well, great news, they’re back! Here is the statement from Fat Chance Bicycles founder, Chris Chance:
It has been a long time coming, but Fat Chance Bicycles is back. We have been in hibernation for a while, but the day has come for the rebirth of Fat.
Words can not express how much I appreciate the encouragement of Fat fans all over the world. You have been a huge influence and continue to be an inspiration to me. Thank you to each and everyone of you for keeping Fat alive.
My creative juices are flowing and I couldn’t be more excited about launching FAT 2.0. My plan is to pick up where we left off and build from what has been before taking Fat to new levels. My commitment to the legacy of the Fat brand is unwavering and I intend to continue with the Fat you love and expect.
So don’t say goodbye to your classic Yo Eddy or Wicked, just make room in your herd for a new and updated Fat!
I’ve probably have put in more laps at Windham Mountain than any other place that I have ever mountain biked.
I’ve been riding and racing there since 2008 when they held the old NMBS East Coast National. That race made Windham my favorite place to race. I have raced there every year since 2008, and have put in countless laps on the same very challenging race course. I’ve had some great races and results at Windham and some not so great. In 2014, a 15th place result isn’t want I was looking for, but I rode strong with what I call the really fast old guys (Cat 2 50+ Masters). For me, better than the result, was that I turned in a personal best on the same course that I’ve been riding and racing on since 2008.
As always, thanks to Hammer Nutrition for keeping me fueled, to Duro Tire for the awesome tires that were flawless on this course, and to both Rudy Project and AXO Cycling for keeping my head, my feet and my hands protected.