Zach’s Training Diary: Alpine Loop Training Ride

It’s time for another update from Zach, one of the web merchants here at our home office, who has been training all season to get ready for Jeremiah Bishop’s Alpine Loop Gran Fondo in Virginia. Zach has been working hard to get his training rides in around work and family life (1 year old twins keep you busy), but he’s got his work cut out for him to get fit for the hardest Gran Fondo in the US – 104 miles featuring 11,000 feet of climbing and two dirt road climbs! Last week he headed up north for some course recon to see if his training has paid off.

Last weekend I headed up to Harrisonburg, VA to get a sneak peak at the course for the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo (which takes place for real in three weeks).  I headed up with Ross, one of the other merchants here at Performance, on Friday night and we had dinner with Jeremiah and some other riders there for the training ride.  Friday night was great, as Jeremiah told us all about the history of the Fondo and Harrisonburg.  We talked about everything from dodging deer on your road bike during descents to the latest Lance drama. JB was a great host and being that this was the first time I had met a professional cyclist, he set the bar very high with his friendliness and honesty.

We started the training ride at around 9:30 on Saturday morning – in store for us was an 80 mile ride that went over the hills of Virginia and West Virginia.  There were four total climbs, the last of which was a 10 miler with a gain of 3,000 feet on gravel roads called “The Backside of Reddish.” After Reddish we had a 15 mile descent and then a few more miles of rolling terrain until we got back into Harrisonburg.

It was a great time to test my legs and see if I was ready for the real deal.  I felt very prepared for it, but despite eating a lot of food and drinking tons of fluids throughout the day, I started to fight cramps at the start of the last climb up Reddish. Not sure what the cause was (other than the 60 miles and 5K ft of climbing we had already done) but it was definitely a red flag for me. I was able to get some extra salt in me and fight through the cramps after 45 minutes or so.  I definitely thought about throwing in the towel and hopping in the sag wagon, but quickly dismissed that thought.  As painful as it was, I kept on, fought through them, and made it to the summit.

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Over the next few weeks I’ve got a good gameplan provided by Jeremiah.  This week is some stong muscular endurance building and hill repeats along with some off-the-bike exercises.  Next week is a little more mild with a few hard efforts, and the final week is active recovery, and tapering for the fondo.

Overall I’m feeling great about the ride.  The training over the summer has helped a whole lot!  I’ve lost close to 15 lbs, logged 152 hours, 2,307 miles, 137 rides, and 82 personal records (data provided by Strava).  As long as I get my nutrition dialed in, I think I’ll be golden! Plus I’ve even been able to raise some donations for the Prostate Cancer Awareness Project.

All this definitely wouldn’t have been possible without my wife Haley, my training partner Ken, Jeremiah Bishop, and the great company I work for, Performance Bicycle.  Just over two weeks, and it’s go time!

Leadville Race Report: Tom from Performance Bicycle

Our team has recovered from the altitude and exertion of the fabled Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race, and has finally had time to get some coherent thoughts down on paper (or on the computer, in this case). This year Performance Bicycle sent a crew to Leadville to find out what the race is really like, and we found that our friends at Lifetime Fitness have built upon the tradition that race founder Ken Chlouber started 30 years ago – this is a race where you have to “dig deep” just to cross the finish line. In addition to our 3 racers (Chris, Tom and David), Performance Bicycle also supplied the only official neutral support mechanics for the race – our expert team of Spin Doctor mechanics, Kyle and Jeff. Check out our video below to see a few of the sights and sounds from the race, and read on below for Tom’s take on the Leadville experience.

I’ve always had a thing for endurance sports.  As a kid I idolized Rocky movies; I loved the idea of pushing the human body beyond what was considered possible.  I used to dream not of the first several rounds, but of the last – what it would feel like to be on the verge of collapse, yet still be able to push on and persevere. It’s the punching in the face part I can do without. Fast forward several years and instead of slugging it out in a ring I gravitated toward long course triathlons and marathons.  I made up silly long endurance events for my birthday each year and invited friends to complete them just for fun. So when I first heard of the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race, I knew it would end up on my bucket list.

I’m a cycling fanatic and for years I cheered on Lance, Floyd, Jan, and others with great joy.  When Floyd, then Lance, then Levi targeted the Leadville Trail 100 I had just re-discovered my love of mountain biking and I was instantly captivated.  I bought and watched the Race Across the Sky films as if they were homework.  Names like Ken Chlouber, Ricky McDonald, Rebecca Rusch and Dave Wiens became mythic.  I read everything I could find about the race, the area, and the event.  So when I learned that my colleagues and I had finally received invites to Leadville, I was thrilled!

Preparing for the LT100:

Once I learned I would really be going to Leadville, I became very serious about seeing the dream through to the finish. Right away I acquired a bike more suited for the race, as opposed to my typical trail-riding style.  I bought a GT Zaskar Carbon 29er Pro hardtail mountain bike and rode it exclusively every day.  I decided that every ride I would do would be on this bike; I wanted it to become a part of me.  My rides became all about Leadville.  I now had a mission and that was, above all else, not to crash and hurt myself.  I knew that getting to the start line healthy was half the battle, and did not want anything to interfere with my goal.  Training became more about long endurance rides than about speeding through single track. I took to riding alone more than I was accustomed.  My focus was singular – build fitness and endurance while working on my nutrition plans (and NOT CRASHING).  I won’t lie… I was a bit obsessive with my preparation.  I read everything I could about the race each evening.  I visualized the racecourse while going to sleep.  I watched Youtube videos showing the course, and must have watched the two “Race Across the Sky” videos 6 times each.  I obsessed about minor details with my riding buddies Chris and David constantly (and frankly was perhaps a wee bit annoying).

Our home in North Carolina is very hot in the summer, and we live and train barely over sea level.  Leadville, Colorado, sits at 10,200 feet and the out-and-back Leadville course reaches a high point of around 12,600 feet.  There is more than 13K feet of elevation gain and loss during the race, which we had little chance of emulating in our home environment.  The best we could do was long rides in intense heat followed by short intense bursts of single track.  I would typically ride 4 or 5 hours (often in temps over 100 degrees) on the road and finish up with an hour or two of single track riding with a buddy who would meet me along the way. Generally I rode up to 180 miles a week (including my daily round trip of 18 miles of commuting) preparing for the race.

The Race itself:

Chris, Tom and David from Performance Bike at the start

After the traditional shotgun start at 6:30 AM, there is a neutral roll-out that lasts a few miles before you actually hit dirt roads. But once you do hit the dirt, the pace slows immediately – an 1,800 rider bottleneck on a narrow dirt road. Since your starting position is based on previous finishing times, first time riders like us start at the back of the pack. If you complete Leadville in 9 hours you’ll earn a large silver and gold belt buckle, and for under 12 hours a smaller but still significant buckle. While we all wanted to do well, knowing that since we were queued in the back of the pack, we had to have more realistic goals – simply to complete the race in 12 hours.  I highly recommend taking it easy and not setting too ambitious of a goal for your first LT100.   The difference between stressing out and pushing too hard at the beginning and relaxing into the race will be minor in terms of finishing times, yet major in terms of energy wasted.  Energy becomes a very valuable commodity after 10+ hours in the saddle!

After around 10 nervous minutes watching the wheels around me, we finally hit dirt.  We came to a halt immediately, and the climbing started shortly after.  The St. Kevin’s (pronounced “Keevins”) climb is around 3 miles, but at this point it was so crowded that it was difficult to pass, let alone go the pace I wanted to. Your best bet is to simply gear low, try to not touch wheels, and maintain your position. The next 2 hours are more or less like that – after climbing Sugarloaf Pass the pack thins out a bit, yet it is still very crowded and you are generally having your pace dictated to you until the first major descent of the day, which is by far the most dangerous (mainly because of the actions of others). The Powerline descent is around 4 miles of rutted steep drop offs with a lot of people trying to make up for 2 hours of bottleneck. By taking huge risks, you might make up 3 minutes during the whole descent, or you might crash out of the race you’ve spent 6 months obsessing over (or, even worse, cause others to crash).

Tom at Twin Lakes

Following the Powerline, the course is relatively uneventful until you reach the Twin Lakes aid station at mile 40.  This was the first aid station I planned to use. Our whole support team was there, and I was delighted to see them, take on supplies, and drop off some clothing.  As I had read, this was where the real race began. Up until that point, everything I had done was simply to set myself up to finish on time.  The cut-off to arrive at Twin Lakes was 4 hours – I did not push the pace, and in hindsight I wish I had.  I arrived in 3 1/2 hours, which was about 30 minutes longer than I had hoped!  I planned to make up time now that the bottle neck was behind me, yet this was not a risk-free plan. I planned on the next 20 miles taking only 3 hours, but it was way harder than I had imagined.

  The Leadville course is an “out and back” course, with a terminus at nearly the 50 mile mark on the top of the Columbine Mine Climb.  The Twin Lakes aid station sits at miles 40 and mile 60 – meaning it is 10 miles to the top of the Combine climb, and 10 miles back.  The climb itself is about 8 miles long and the elevation gain is approximately 3,500 feet – my time for this section ended up being another 3 ½ hours. Not long after starting the climb I saw the leaders come streaming down in the other direction.  They were flying on the descent – because of the 2 way traffic, if you wanted to pass on the way up, you took the chance of a collision with someone on the way down.  After 5 or so miles you make it above the tree line.  After this point, riding was futile. There was a long line of people walking up little more than a goat path at high altitude. My walking pace was 2 miles an hour, riding was 3.  Either way your heart rate is above the anaerobic threshold – above 11K feet your body does not process oxygen at anything like its normal rate. Amazingly, race founder Ken Chlouber was there by the trail, encouraging everyone on the way up. I finally reached the top, where I found a completely stocked aid station and enthusiastic volunteers ready to do anything it took to help you get back down the mountain strong.  They had warm soup, fruit, energy drinks and food.

But the idea is to not spend much time at 12,600 feet, and get down as quickly as possible.  Getting down meant at least a ½ hour descent with your brakes smoking, arms rattling, and your fingers numb from the cold and braking.  At last you arrive back once again at Twin Lakes. With your water and nutrition re-stocked, you are now on your own to complete the race within the 12 hour cut-off.  There are more aid stations, but you’d better not plan on staying too long.  The hard part of the race is just now beginning.  The Columbine climb was by far the most difficult thing I had ever encountered, but the Powerline climb, at mile 80, would prove to be even more difficult.

I took some solace in the fact that all along the course the views are amazing.  I kept looking around at the mountains and getting emotional about how lucky I was to be here, in this amazing place, doing what I loved with the support of people I cared about.  At last, the Powerline climb began.  Right away the pitches are steep and everyone, top pros included, got off to walk. By now I had a little over 3 hours to cover the last 20 miles to the finish.  Basically it became a never-ending mind game.  Every time you think you are done with the hard stuff, a climb you did not anticipate presents itself.  Even with 3 miles to go in the race, you are faced with “the Boulevard” – a seemingly benign pitch on your normal riding days that becomes a formidable climb after 10+ hours in the saddle.

In the end you simply want to finish.  But it’s not until you turn back on to 6th St that you can sense that the end is near.  You can hear the announcer and feel the energy. I had thought about this very moment more times than I care to admit… almost every day for months, yet the reality was far greater than I had imagined.  By now my wife, who was extremely worried as she expected a much quicker finish, was waiting for the first glimpse of me down the road.  There were only 30 minutes left to officially finish the race within the cut-off and she never imagined I would be so close to that cut-off time. Finally I came into view of the finish and there were my people, the finish line, and everything I had imagined for the last several years. They literally roll out the red carpet for the finishers, and Merilee, the race director for the past 30 years, was there to hang medals the neck of each finisher. It was finally time to soak it all in (although all I really wanted to do was go to bed).

Tom and his wife at the finish line

Stuff I am glad I used:

  • GT Carbon Zaskar Pro 29er hard tail mountain bike.  It was an awesome bike, and has replaced my other bikes as my go-to ride.  I love this bike.
  • Performance Ultra Max Bib shorts.  I never thought once about my shorts.  They were that comfortable, all day.  Just what you want in a pair of shorts.
  • Osprey Viper 7 hydration pack.  Just the right size to carry the stuff I needed, not too big and super comfortable.
  • Bento box. I know… it’s left over from my triathlon days, but it was awesome to have.
  • Stan’s No Tubes tubeless system… enough said.

Some lessons learned that may be useful to anyone considering the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race:

  • Do this race.  It is a special place and an incredible event – but be prepared to suffer. You definitely get what you paid for.
  • Try to meet, and take a picture, with Ken Chlouber.  He is a legend, and I believe it when he says you are a part of his family.  He has a way of making you want to be a part of his family.  Make sure you thank him for creating such an amazing race series.  You might just see his eyes water and this is one tough hombre.

Tom with race founder Ken Chlouber

  • If you recognize some of the race celebrities, say hello.  They are all incredible people, and very gracious.  We had the privilege of meeting Rebecca Rusch, Ricky McDonald, Jamie Whitmore, Ken Chlouber, Elden “Fatty” Nelson of FatCyclist.com, and several others.
  • Read everything you can from Fatcyclist.com about Leadville.  Search for Leadville on his blog, read up, and believe everything he says (including the part about chicken and stars soup).  He knows what he’s talking about.
  • Do not think that because his nickname is Fatty that you can gauge your time off of his.  He is most likely faster than you.  His wife is most likely faster than you.  There is no shame in that.
  • Watch the “Race Across the Sky” videos, and get to know the characters.  It will keep you motivated.
  • Try to meet Ricky McDonald.  He’s done the race 19 times on the same bike, with the same front tire, same helmet, and his father’s old blue service shirt (with the name “Fred” written on it). You can’t miss him.  He’s larger than life.  Meet him before the race because during the race he will be faster than you too… I don’t care that his bike is old, or that he says “I’m not fast”.  He is fast, he is tough, and very humble.  This guy is a legend.

David and Tom from Performance Bike, with Ricky McDonald

  • Eat or have a drink in the old Saloon on Harrison Avenue.  The place is unbelievable.
  • Speaking of eating, take in at least 300 calories every hour.  Too many and your body won’t be able to absorb and use the calories.  Don’t be surprised if everything tastes horrible to you during the race.  You might want to resort to “real” food, which was the case for me.  My nutrition I used in training tasted a lot different during a race and at altitude… this is where I failed.  I should have listened to Fatty and had more of that soup!
  • Go tubeless.  I saw so many people with flat tires.  Even at the very end, when people were pushing the cut-off times I saw poor people with flats.  Go tubeless, but bring an extra tube plus the stuff you need to fix a flat, a broken chain or other minor repairs.  The peace of mind is worth the added weight.
  • Don’t bring a belt for your buckle.  Buy it after you earn your buckle… just to be sure.
  • Speaking of don’ts… on a personal level I plead with you to please leave the compression socks for after the race, and under your pants. I mean it.
  • Try to do one of the Leadville Race Series qualifying events from Lifetime Fitness.  It might be your best bet to get in to the race.  My prediction is that this race series will continue to grow.  It is to mountain biking what the Hawaii Ironman is to triathlon, so your best chance to get in will be from one of the qualifying events.  That or move to a foreign country.
  • Look around while you’re racing.  It’s easy to get caught up in the other racers, or in your own suffering.  Pick up your head now and then, look around and be thankful.

Photo courtesy of Zazoosh

Community Events: 2012 USA Pro Challenge

The USA Pro Challenge has already begun, and “America’s Race” is already living up to it’s billing. Winding its way among the majestic Colorado Rockies, this year’s route takes some of the best cycling pros in the world over a 683-mile course with more than 42,000 ft. of vertical climbing – through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. With more than 1 million spectators in 2011, the USA Pro Challenge is already one of the largest cycling events in U.S. history, and the 2012 edition promises to be even bigger and better.

With 7 Performance Bicycle shops in Colorado, we couldn’t miss out on this exciting event. Look for a Performance Bicycle tent at the finish line expos of Stage 5 in Colorado Springs, Stage 6 in Boulder, and Stage 7  in Denver (August 24-26). We’ll have friendly store associates there each day talking about Performance, handing out free water bottles, and giving away a free bike each day! Drop by and say hello if you’re in the area (and did we mention we’ll be giving away a free bike each day!)

Of course we’ll also be at the final weekend of the USA Pro Challenge to check out the racing action and share it with you – we’ll post our behind-the-scenes photos and videos on Facebook and Twitter, plus right here on the Performance Bicycle Blog. We’re especially excited to see Team Champion System in person on their Fuji Altamira bikes. To catch the racing action live, head over to the USA Pro Challenge Tour Tracker (or download the app so you can watch it on the road), or watch the NBC Sports Network daily coverage.

Jeremiah Bishop, Sonya Looney and Bryson Perry at the 2012 Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race

The 2012 Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race may be in the books, but we’ve got a few video interviews to share from our time racing and wrenching above 10,000 feet in Colorado. Performance Bicycle had 3 riders from our home office riding in the race, and 3 Spin Doctor mechanics providing expert neutral support to all of the racers, but our first interviews are with a few of the pros who battled it out at the front of the race.

First up is Jeremiah Bishop, a veteran racer and multiple-time US National Champion for the powerhouse Cannondale Factory Racing Team. Jeremiah mixed it up in the lead group all day at Leadville and finished in 3rd place overall with a time of 6 hours 41 minutes (even with a detour that added and extra 6 miles to his race!) But Jeremiah was really excited to talk about hosting his upcoming Alpine Loop Gran Fondo back in his home town of Harrisonburg, VA on September 15 – we’ll be there too, but we’ll leave the Strava King of the Mountain assault on Reddish Knob to JB:

Next up is Team Topeak Ergon’s Sonya Looney, who was the 6th woman across the finish line, even though she was still sporting a cast on her wrist from an earlier mountain bike adventure! Sonya’s teammates didn’t fair too badly themselves during this year’s Leadville race, with Alban Lakata taking the win, Robert Mennen in 7th, Yuki Ikeda in 17th and Sally Bigham in 2nd place in the women’s race:

Finally we’ve got a pre-ride chat with a former 2-time champ of the Leadville Trail 100, Bryson Perry, who completed the race this year to earn the coveted “Plata Grande” – the giant belt buckle awarded to the select few who have successfully finished 10 Leadville races:

Wordless Wednesday

Tour Devinci, Build a Bike Giveaway Factory Visit

Last week the lucky winner of our Tour Devinci, Build a Bike Giveaway, Kaden (from Ann Arbor, Michigan), got to live out his dream to visit the place where his new bike was designed, built and tested. So we packed up our own suitcase to go along for the ride to find out what the guys (and gals) at Devinci are up to up north.

The first thing we found out was just how far north Devinci‘s factory really is – scenic Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada is about 2 1/2 hours drive north of Quebec City (if you drew a straight line across, the latitude of Chicoutimi is about the same as the North Dakota/Canada border). So why Chicoutimi? It’s easy – aluminum. Chicoutimi (and the surrounding Saguenay region) are a global hub for the aluminum industry. With a deep water harbor on the Saguenay River, huge cargo ships carrying bauxite (the principal ingredient of aluminum) unload their cargo to feed the aluminum factories of Rio Tinto Alcan. Once the aluminum ore leaves the ship, it never travels more than a few miles from the Devinci factory in Chicoutimi before it is turned into the durable hand-crafted bikes that Devinci is famous for.

Chicoutimi is part of the city of Saguenay

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit – let’s start at the beginning of our journey to Canada. As soon as our trip winner, Kaden, arrived in Chicoutimi, Julien, our Devinci guide for the next few days, ushered him to the local ski hill for a little taste of Canadian downhill mountain biking. Once Kaden got a handle on how to ride up the T-bar (which is harder than you would think), he was having a blast on a loaner Devinci Dixon mountain bike. Devinci sponsored the trails, and it seemed like the entire Devinci factory turned out to ride on this Wednesday evening. As we came to learn, everyone who works at Devinci has a passion to ride – and ride really fast! Folks were shredding the downhill runs, but they still took the time to wait up for us from time to time – since that also gave them the chance to take in the view over La Baie.

After a rousing few runs, and just as we were getting the hang of riding the T-bar, the sun was setting and it was time to grill. The post-ride hangout is the same everywhere – everyone was dirty and tired, but still basking in the glow of some great riding while recapping their greatest runs (although there was definitely more French spoken than at our usual trailhead). After some tasty grilled hot dogs and chips, it was off to bed after a long day.

The next day, we were up early with Kaden to get the factory tour started. The Devinci factory sits in an unassuming industrial park outside of town – the only indication of what was going on inside was the near universal bike rack on the back of the cars in the parking lot. But once inside, it was more than clear that what was going on was bikes, bikes and more bikes. We started our tour in the Devinci offices, where the bikes are dreamed up and designed. Every office had a Devinci road or mountain bike leaning against the wall, ready for the requisite lunchtime ride – their creations have to tested in the real world, of course. We learned about the Devinci design process, from the initial meeting to start the ball rolling, through the computer-aided design and testing (where all of the bikes are put through their paces virtually before any metal or carbon is ever used), to the first real prototypes where the final designs start to take shape. Their mantra is to test, test and re-test – Devinci strives to create innovative bike designs, but also well-thought and thoroughly tested bikes.

Once we left the offices, we moved into the hubbub of the Devinci factory floor. While the space isn’t huge, it was full of activity, material and bikes in various stages of construction. Our hosts walked Kaden through all of the steps of the bike building process, from shaping the raw tubing, to CNC machining, to welding, heat-treating, and ultimately painting and assembly of the finished bike. A lot of experienced hands touch each bike as it makes its way through the construction and testing process.

At the time we visited, their assembly line was busy cranking out BIXI bikes –  the world-renowned bike share system currently in use in London, Minneapolis, Washington, DC and other cities around the globe. As you can see below, the current fleet of bikes under construction was for New York City’s new bike share program – you’ll soon see thousands of these big blue bikes at bike rental stations across the city, every one of them built by Devinci in Chicoutimi. Since Devinci has such an experienced bike-building team, BIXI contracts with them to build these rugged bikes – they are a far cry from Devinci’s own line of mountain and road bikes, but the BIXI bikes are built with practicality and reliability in mind above all else.

Of course the real fun part of Kaden’s trip to the Devinci factory was in getting to try out the steps of the bike-building process first-hand. Up first was electrostatic spray painting – after a few quick words of advice from Devinci’s in-house paint expert, Kaden fired up the spray gun on a new Devinci Atlas frame. His painting mentor said that his first effort was pretty good – although that could have just been a friendly translation from French that meant “he wouldn’t have been immediately fired from a job as a painter”.

Next up was the real fun task, welding. When welding together a bike frame, the first step is to have an apprentice welder tack the shaped tubes together as they are held in a jig to maintain their alignment. Only then does an expert welder step in to finish the frame, in a carefully choreographed series of buttery welds. It’s vital that the welder have a steady and skilled hand to end up with a bike frame with perfect alignment – Devinci welders apprentice for over a year before they are entrusted with creating the smooth finish welds on a bike frame. Needless to say, we weren’t exactly ready for a real frame, but everyone in our group had fun testing out their arc welding skills (even Julien, our Devinci guide).

Running the CNC machine was a less skill-intensive task (since most of the work is done in the computer beforehand), but it was neat to see the before and after results. Into the machine would go  a basic metal shape, and moments later out would come an intricately carved and shaped bicycle frame component.

Once Kaden had seen every step in the design and build process, he wanted to check out the finished product, of course. Overlooking the Devinci factory floor was the storage area with all of their new 2013 bike models, including the sweet new ride that Kaden had won – a Devinci Atlas RC 29er mountain bike. With 110mm of Devinci’s patented Split-Pivot suspension and a 29″ wheel platform, Kaden’s new Atlas is perfect for ripping the trails back on his home trails in Michigan.

And we did mention that the folks at Devinci love to ride, right? After our factory tour was over, we literally headed out the back door to hit the trails that Devinci bikes were born to shred. Just a few minutes ride from the factory was a great local trail network – full of twisty singletrack, rocks, roots and bridges. If there was ever a spot to test out a mountain bike, this was it – since their bikes are designed to stand up to these trails, the guys at Devinci know that their bikes can take whatever abuse you throw their way (and which is why their bikes are guaranteed for life).

Speaking on behalf of our contest winner, Kaden, we had a blast visiting Devinci‘s factory and hometown – whether riding or welding, everyone at Devinci was friendly and fun to hang out with. When you ride a Devinci bike, you can know that not only are you getting a machine that was designed and built by experienced craftsman, but also by folks that are passionate about their brand and love to ride as much as you do. It’s an old adage, but at Devinci they really do work hard and play hard, and it shows in their bikes.

Our thanks go out to Devinci for this amazing opportunity – you can find more photos from the trip on the Performance Bike Facebook page and you can find your own Devinci bike on PerformanceBike.com.

Wordless Wednesday

Leadville Trail 100-Twin Lakes Aid Station

With less than 10 days to go until the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race, Performance Bicycle is getting into gear to provide mechanical support for the riders. Each year, 2000 riders compete in one of the most grueling endurance tests in mountain biking, and this year’s race marks the race’s 30th anniversary.

We have lined up some of our best Spin Doctor mechanics at the Twin Lakes Dam Aid Station to offer mechanical support for all racers. Jeff and Kyle will be at the Performance tent along with our friends from Lifetime Fitness. We can promise that this year’s aid station is going to have everything you need to keep you rolling on race day. After 40 miles of racing, it will be nice to see a familiar face waiting to tune up your bike.

Jeff brings 7 years of experience as a bike mechanic and countless hours on the trail. He once sold a bike to Robin Williams and is pretty funny himself. If you see him race day, ask to hear his stand-up routine. When he isn’t busy finishing college, Jeff loves ripping single-track or tearing up the bike park. His tip for keeping your biking running smooth on race day? Keep your chain clean and lubed.

Kyle claims he has been a mechanic since birth. This BMX Street style king has 5 years of experience as a bike mechanic and more advanced training than an astronaut. He has trained at Barnett’s Bicycle Institute, SRAM Technical College and of course, is Spin Doctor Certified. His tip: Learn how to change your own flats (unless you’re tubeless, of course).

The Twin Lakes Aid Station is at Miles 40 and 60. Stop by our tent for a quick repair or adjustment and make sure to keep an eye out for the Performance kits on course worn by our associates in this year’s race, Chris, David and Tom.

Wordless Wednesday

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