Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sun Valley Super Enduro

Start at the top of MT Baldy. 9,150ft. Everyone waiting to start stage 1
Sun valley has been a stop on the race calender for 3 summers now. I look forward to the trip every year. The views are amazing, the riding endless and no shortage of terrain to challenge yourself on. This year I raced 2 weekends. The first race was the Sun Valley Super Enduro followed by Marathon Nationals the next weekend.
The Super Enduro lived up to its name and was an excellent event. The trails, timing and overall organization of the event was well thought out. The Timing system was dialed and everyone knew their placing the second they crossed the finish line. The Enduro that took place over two days and 4 timed stages as well as an optional 2 lap plus potato peel finish pump track race on Saturday night in which the top 5 received time bonuses for their overall race time. Being the "Super" Enduro the stages were much longer than any so far this year. The first stage took about 30 min to finish! Starting at the top of Mt Baldy for 3 stages it was a good mix of trails for all riding abilities. Nothing real gnarly or technical just fast flowy exposed steep side hill single track with some long patches of loose rocky shail. It came down to how comfortable you felt going 30+ mph on the side of a hill with the possibility of missing a turn and launching yourself off the edge.

Heading up to the top of day 2. Looking back at the Valley. Bummer we had to ride all the way down every time.
A strong field of riders turned up, Geoff Kabush, Aaron Bradford, Mark Wier and Giant's Carl Decker to name a few. Wrapped up the weekend with an hour and a half of racing under my belt and took 9th overall which turned out to be my best Enduro finish of the year. I rode 4 solid stages and got 5th in the pump track challenge for an extra time bonus. My pump track run wasnt anything amazing but it turns out I've spent a few hours in the kitchen and am no stranger to vegetable peeler. I had a clean race not making many mistakes, crashes or have any mechanicals. But Enduro is about taking chances and letting it all hang out there so next round I need to ride a little less conservative. Carl Decker ended up taking the overall Win showing that skinsuits aren't just for TT bikes and that you don't need baggy shorts and jerseys to ride your bike like a hooligan downhill. Nice work Carl!
Above is a video of my run on the pump track. Next up after the Enduro was a week of hanging out in SV and Marathon Nationals the following weekend. More on that here soon.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Cascade Chainbreaker

Photo: lasala images

Two years is enough time to forget.

To forget the dust, and the heat, and the fact that the course has no place to rest.

The downhills aren't steep enough to stop pedaling, the uphills aren't long enough to get into a rhythm.
Full gas, all the time.  

I had not done Cascade Chainbreaker, aka Cascade Soul Crusher, in two years.
Two years is also long enough to forget how much fun it is.

Read more >>>

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Whiskey 50: A small town race, with a world class field.

Photo: Cycling Dirt
Whiskey 50 talked a big game, and did not disappoint. Held in Prescott, Arizona, the Whiskey 50 is one tough race. Starting on Friday evening with the fat tire crit and concluding on Sunday with the 50 mile cross country race; 50 miles and 7,000 ft of climbing. Ouch.

I had high expectations for this race. I wanted to place in the top ten. Looking at the results from last year, I knew this was possible. Then the start list was released for the 2013 edition. The field was stacked. I would be racing against the best in the world. This race would include the deepest women’s field of any race in the US this year. What an awesome opportunity to test myself against the best. This was a challenge I was thrilled to take on and my goal remained the same, top 10.

Read more

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Whiskey 50 Race Report

The Whiskey off road 50 proved to be an event not to miss in the future. Prescott AZ is a pretty cool place to ride bikes. The town has an old west feel to it with saloons and pubs that line Whiskey row where the race starts. Wish we would have had more time to check out all the town had to offer but the 3 short days we had packed with pre riding racing and trying to stay rested just wasn’t long enough.

Friday Serena and I arrived in Prescott just in time for the mandatory rider meeting downtown. Right after we set out to pre ride the first 25 miles of the race course which turned out to take much longer than anticipated, almost causing us to miss our starts for the Fat tire crit downtown which would have resulted in a 8 min penalty for our race on Sunday. So good thing we made it! Crits are usually my least favorite event to race mainly because to me they are nerve wracking but Prescott sure knows how to bring the crowds and hearing everyone cheering I soon forgot about being nervous and really got into it. It felt more like a cross race with all the fans, costumes, horns, cowbells, beer and some good heckling.  The course was awesome and painful. It had a two part stair step climb with a ripping fast descent back to the bottom. Looking at my Garmin file we hit 45mph on the steepest section right into a 90deg turn.  I held on with 3 laps to go in the crit and ended up 29th.

Saturday Serena and I met up with Giant off Road factory rider and fellow Bendite Carl Decker to do some last minute course recon and make sure we had all of our lines dialed for tomorrows morning. 2 hours of riding on Saturday probably wasn’t the best idea and proved to be more than what my legs needed but felt good anyway to rip some trails.

Sunday morning came fast and before I knew it we were lined up at the start waiting for the gunshot. A helicopter was buzzing over our heads at the start line. BANG! The gun went off and we were on our way. The energy of all the spectators, racers and helicopter was awesome. Not every race you have a Helicopter buzzing over head. I quickly forgot about my tired legs and focused on working up to the front of the group so I could get the best position possible for the single track. I was off to a good start hitting the trail around top 15ish but on the first main descent I suffered a good crash sending myself over the bars and landed pretty hard on my back, Luckily the water bottle in my jersey took most of the force, puncturing it and lost all my water. Quickly recovering I grabbed my bike and started chasing riders back down so I would have a group to work with on the 9 mile fire road descent to Skull valley which was the lowest part of the course 25 miles in. That’s when you start the 12 mile climb back to the top of the course at 7000ft so having a group to work with meant everything if I had any hope of finishing near the front. I was able to catch back on with a group of 4 and we bridged the gap to the main chase group starting the climb out of Skull Valley. This is where my race went from going well to going backwards fast! I didn’t manage to take in enough food 2 hours into the race. I had a hard time putting any gel or food down which was a big mistake and I paid for it big time! I fell off the group half way up the climb and completely unraveled. From there on I was on my own to the finish. Thanks to a flat cold coke at the last aid station I started to feel a little better.  It wasn’t until the last 5 miles of the course (which were conveniently downhill) I started to feel alright and finished strong.Far off the pace of what I was hoping to but at least crossed the line and finished 36th for the day. It could have been worse besides not feeling so well I didn’t suffer any mechanical or a flat tire issues which is always a positive for 50 miles.

Looking forward to next year and giving the Whiskey 50 another shot. Going back with a better nutrition plan, being better hydrated and more rested should make for some steady improvement at next year’s race. For now it’s time to throw on the baggies, knee pads and pull out the Trance X29 and start getting fast throwing myself downhill for a season of Enduro. Oregon Enduro starts in Hood River OR May 25-26 so time to start practicing!

Brennan Wodtli

Saturday, April 27, 2013

All Access Photo Shoot with Lasala Images

Photo: Matthew Lasala
Big thanks to Matthew Lasala, of Lasala Images for capturing a fews shots of All Access Racing along the Deschutes River Trail.  Check out the whole gallery here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mudslinger Mudfest - Finding the Podium!

All Access Racing just wrapped up the first race of the year at the 25th edition of the Mudslinger in Blodgett OR.  Mike Ripley (Mudslinger Events) sure knows how to put on a fun weekend of racing.

Brennan took on the 2-day challenge, a three event  stage race including a hill climb and super D on Saturday and the XC race on Sunday. The lowest combined times of all 3 takes the win for the weekend. The weapon of choice: The Giant Trance X 29. It climbs with the enthusiasm of a full blown XC whip and eats up whatever you can throw at it going down with its supple trail bike plushness.

Brennan’s recap of his winning weekend:

Saturday felt good to reacquaint my legs to the burn of racing and testing my skills on the valley’s greasy muddy descents.  I managed to secure the overall time for the hill climb and super D for the day and was feeling good about being back on the mountain bike. Sunday the rains and the mid 40 deg weather delivered a chilly epic day of racing. The Mudslinger is a great race. It has a mix of hard logging road climbs that seem to just get steeper and longer as well as some seriously fun slippery singletrack descents that keep you on your toes. After about an hour and 40 minutes of riding in the pouring rain and sliding around in the mud I crossed the finish line. Couldn't feel my hands or feet but I had a muddy smile I couldn't get rid of. My bike worked perfectly I stayed upright and ended up with the win for the day. A successful first race out!

Thanks to Mike Ripley for capturing Brennan's finish line interview!

Serena raced the XC event on Sunday and showed up to win.  At the start line, she knew this was going to be a tough day and wondered if her legs could keep up with her Giant Anthem. The first long climb felt good as she sat patiently on Alice’s wheel.  And then, it was time to go.  Taking the lead and getting a gap, Serena charged up the next climb, knowing she had to put in some meaningful time on Alice if she was going to hold the lead on the next long decent.  Two-thirds down the greasy single track, Alice made the pass, and it was back and forth from there on out.  Serena was climbing stronger, but Alice was railing the downhills with incredible speed.  In the end, Alice took the win by under 20 seconds.  Serena crossed the line in 2nd.

We are excited about the season and looking forward to our next race the Whiskey 50 in Prescott, Arizona.

A big thanks to our Sponsors for making this season happen. All Access Racing, Giant Bicycles, Easton, Shimano, Fox Racing Shox, Troy Lee Designs, Clif BarSmith Optics, and Schwalbe.

And thanks to Oregon Velo for some classic photos:
Brennan on his way to the Win!

Charging Hard


Tuesday, March 19, 2013