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2014 Breck Epic: Final Day!

0 2014 Breck Epic

Yesterday was the final stage of racing at the 2014 Breck Epic for Amy Thomas. Catch all of her stage recaps here!

It’s really hard to believe today was the last day. While I am relieved to no longer sleep in compression tights and eat boatloads of sugar throughout the day, I am really sad it’s over. This week of riding I will never forget, in part to not just the amazing amounts of hard riding, but to this great community that has formed over the week. I hope to ride again with so many new friends.

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Breck Epic: Keystone Aqueduct

0 2014 Breck Epic

Daily race reports of the 2014 Breck Epic from Amy Thomas of the Yeti Beti MTB Team.

Over the hump!

Day 4 is a monster loop that brings us from Breckenridge to Keystone and back with a few big ridges in between. Today we rode about 42 miles and 6500′ of climbing and was reminded that “it ain’t called the Breck Epic Tickle Fight”.

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2014 Breck Epic: Circumnavigation of Mount Guyot

0 2014 Breck Epic

Daily race reports of the 2014 Breck Epic from Amy Thomas of the Yeti Beti MTB Team.

Three down, three to go!!

While the major goal of this week is to get through all 6 stages, there was one stage in particular that has caused some PTSD since 2010. As the name suggests, the Circumnavigation of Mount Guyot is not the shortest point from A to B. It’s a BIG day, lots of steep, unrideable (for most of us) climbing, with some of the gnarliest technical descents in the county. On fresh legs, these trails are brutal. Coming on day 3, it makes it all the much more trickier to not make mistakes.

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2014 Breck Epic: Colorado Trail

1 2014 Breck Epic

Daily race reports of the 2014 Breck Epic from Amy Thomas of the Yeti Beti MTB Team.

Day 2 of Breck Epic defines the perfect pairing of ebb and flow. It’s the Colorado Trail stage and that name says it all. If you only have ONE trail to ever ride in Colorado,  ride ANY section of the Colorado Trail. It’s all amazing and you will be rewarded for your efforts.

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2014 Breck Epic: Pennsylvania Gulch

1 2014 Breck Epic

Daily race reports of the 2014 Breck Epic from Amy Thomas of the Yeti Beti MTB Team.

After what seemed like an eternity of waiting for Breck Epic to start, it finally happened. With a record attendance of over 400 racers, the start was definitely a little nerve wracking. One of the cardinal rules of the Breck Epic is “don’t be a dick”. With everyone gunning for good position on the initial singletrack descent with only a 2 mile road climb to spread out that large of a field, I can happily say everyone (at least within 10 riders of me) was really respectful.

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The 2014 Breck Epic – Prologue

0 Amy Thomas Breck Epic

Amy Thomas, of Yeti Beti Racing, is tackling the 2014 Breck Epic with full determination. She has the motivation from recovery of a shattered pelvis last year and the inspiration of riding with the memory of a friend who has passed away earlier this year from cancer.

Follow along and cheer for Amy during the 2014 Breck Epic 6 day, high alpine, mountain bike stage race.

After last year’s Breck Epic ended, I got an idea. I was inspired by my teammate Natalie and her husband Sean duking it out all week for the Duo co-ed win. I thought, If I can suffer in a hospital bed for 6 days from a shattered pelvis, I can suffer through a 6 day stage race in the high alpine altitudes of Breckenridge, CO.
Now that the race is only a couple weeks away, I’m thinking I must have still been high on pain meds when I schemed this grand plan.I didn’t show for Day 4, the Queen Stage, in 2010. After 3 hard days and a tactical error on Day 3 when I thought I was going to freeze to death off French Pass, I was mentally exhausted, physically spent, and had had enough. I locked myself in the bedroom so no one could talk me into starting the next day. Something happens when you combine 10,000 feet altitude with at least half that climbing per day. You make stupid (read really stupid) decisions. The stages sound short at 35 miles each day, but anyone who has raced up high knows each day can be good, bad, or ugly. I was in the the UGLY. I now regret my decision of not starting Day 4. For me it took something like a big injury to make me  realize how quickly things change. One minute I was fine, the next minute I couldn’t  walk.

Perspective is a gift and now I have it, whether I wanted it or not. After last summer’s #SPT, Shattered Pelvis Tour, which was me racing at the end of the season to prove to myself that I wasn’t permanently injured, the real training started. I joined a local Crossfit gym to continue to strengthen my weaker leg. I started adding up the miles in late February after a long mental break from #SPT. The last 11 months have been all for this: a bucket list check and a “finish what you didn’t finish” 4 years ago.Not everything in life is a high point but eventually the lows rebound to even higher. My greatest strength now is knowing that I can do this because I have come back from far greater things. There are people that don’t get that opportunity and for that, I am humbled my what the human body can endure despite its own best efforts to try to knock you down.

Spring is Here, Are You Ready?

0 Spring Cycling Tips

It is hard to believe that we are in the last week of April and May is knocking on our door. I don’t know about you, but other than #30daysofbiking I haven’t done much in off-season pedaling to be ready for the long miles this season. In order to stir up some internal motivation, here are some tips to jump start your spring cycling.

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Tips to Get You Rolling After a Long Winter

12 Get Ready for Spring Cycling

It is currently mid-March in Colorado and the weatherman is giving us more good days than not. I don’t know about you, but  I’m itching to get back into a rhythm of riding. What that really means is I’m trying to build back up the confidence of being on a roll and feeling the comfort of routine.

Sorting out the kinks after a long winter can be a challenge, but don’t let it trip you up or keep you from being excited about blue skies and two wheels! Here are the tips I’m taking over the next week to be ready for spring and many of miles with my bike before the weather is picture perfect.

1.) Get your bike ready

This could be a full service tune up or simply pumping up the tires, lubing the chain and giving it a once over. Either way, get your bike ready for that next warm day!

2.) Get yourself ready

This weekend an action item on my to-do list is to sort out my bike clothing. This includes being ready for some not so perfect days, but knowing where my gloves, shoe covers and possibly rain jacket is. That way I’m not searching for my left glove 15 minutes before my group ride is supposed to leave!

3.) Short trips are better than no trips

If you need motivation, ride to the coffee shop or friends house. Your first rides back on the bike don’t need to be epic, they need to be easy and familiar.

4.) Motivate yourself

Maybe you need a new gadget for your bike, or maybe you need to outline your cycling goals. Either way, put a carrot in front of yourself and bring on the motivation!

5.) Do it

Seriously, just get on your bike. You’ll thank me later.

Bike Buying: What are Your Goals for Biking?

7 Biking Goals

Photo credit: Jonathan Cohen

The first step in buying a new bike is to figure out what your goals are for biking. As a new cyclist this can be difficult since you might not know all the possibilities! You may be looking to bikes because a friend of yours is getting you hooked, or maybe you want to get your family riding and your trying to figure out where to start. Regardless of the reason, I’m excited to be apart of your journey of cycling!

Now, let’s take a step back and ask a very important question.

Where do you want to go on your bike?

Some ideas to prime your pump:
Do you want to go on long road rides with 5 of your best buddies?
Do you want to get to work easier?
Do you want to keep up with your 11 year old?
Do you want to explore the backwoods?

What are the pieces you can measure?

Most humans need to have the ability to measure and compare to rate success. It is why most Americans have scales in their bathrooms, because their jeans don’t have hash marks for measurement! Let’s now figure out something you can strive for that is measurable to define success of your biking goals.

Examples:
Riding x days per month with your spouse or child
Miles or days ridden a week
Improving your average MPH
Lost weight
Wearing out your first chain/tires (under normal wear!)
Learning to bunny hop
Not getting dropped

Now, put it all together – what are your goals for biking?
“I want to go mountain biking and learn how to bunny hop.”
“I want to ride to work 2 times a week.”

Put in the comments!

Now, get ready to answer the next question in your bike buying research “What type of riding will you be doing?