Mountain Bike Season Update #5 | The Grand Junction Off Road

Leaving Prescott I stopped for a few days in Sedona then traveled on to Moab before landing in Grand Junction of a solid week of course previews. I then detoured through Durango to Cortez, CO for a weekend of racing 12 hours of Mesa Verde with two other ladies as teammates. After a successful campaign on the women’s 3-4 person open category and a well received break from smashy Grand Junction trail escapades I headed back through Moab to Junction to settle in for the big weekend.  

Often when I get through with cyclocross for the winter I excitedly hop on to my mountain bike just to find that much of my fluidity and effortlessness on the trails has been replaced with a hesitant, halting, and highly frustrating change in riding style. I attribute this yearly transition to the consequence of riding my cross bike on the trail, an activity I dearly love but one that also causes me to keep a sharp eye out for rocks that will flat the narrower tires or obstacles that might not be the best location to find yourself at speed on the rigid cross bike.  After a few rides of realizing that the fatter tires and suspension soak up the trail with ease, I relax, my eyes break their grip on the path immediately in front of me, and my ability to flow through the ride returns. 

The Grand Junction Off Road combines more technical trail features such as step-ups, drops, and complex rocky plunges with the need for rallying flowy cornering, maintaining good nutrition and hydration, a solid base of endurance, and certainly the mental capacity for…

Mountain Bike Season Update #4 | Whiskey Off Road

It was a quick turn around to leave Cali and head straight for Prescott, AZ.  I arrived in time for a beautiful evening pre-ride and course scout session. 

For a number of years I lived in the heart of America.  Locations that provided convenience for a job that consisted of flying airplanes over the coast – ANY coast – on any given day as they were all equally accessible.  I didn’t love these locations but like anywhere there is good to be found, if it isn’t in the terrain or weather then it’s the community.  My riding during these years consisted of cardinal direction roads in endless one mile grids, single track loops in redundant scrub oaks and sandy dirt, and hill repeats on waterway crossings.  Sameness plagued me and I traveled to race each and every weekend for countless hours of solo road trips to visit other places and have an excuse to ride new trails. 

While I definitely love where I now live, I have not lost the love to travel and race, the thrill of riding a new area, or the joy of becoming proficiently familiar with navigating areas not your own.  The Whiskey Off Road is impressive as many of the Epic Rides series races are in that you feel so far removed from the populace in such a short period of riding. The majority of the race gives you the impression you are out in the environment on your own with just your competitors for company.  The trails are flowing and fast and the climbing is properly challenging. 

With many trail options and plentiful connectors I typically split my Prescott pre-ride into two days, one day to ride the start and finish with a shortcut across in the middle, and another…