Biking Mt Mitchell

15 - the aptly named blue ridge mountains

Few scenes in nature match the splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Unseasonably warm temperatures across North Carolina made for an early spring thaw in the mountains and a perfect opportunity to ride up Mt Mitchell before the crowds arrive.

To more fully immerse myself in nature and avoid vehicle traffic, I rode up from Marion to the Blue Ridge Parkway on Curtis Creek Rd, a gravel alternative to the more common Hwy 80 route. Continue reading

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Race Report: 2015 Xterra USA Championship

Coming off the mountain into T2 on the spectacular Xterra Utah course

Coming off the mountain into T2 on the spectacular Xterra Utah course

The Xterra Tribe gathers annually in Ogden, Utah on the last weekend of summer. The Xterra off-road triathlon USA Championship brings elites from around the world and top age-group athletes from across the United States to celebrate the season together in an epic battle in the Wasatch Mountains. The race begins with a mile-long, open water swim in the Pineview Reservoir, followed by an 18-mile mountain bike with two arduous climbs and thrilling descents, and a 10k trail run on the slopes of Snowbasin Resort. After a two-week homestay with a wonderful family in Ogden, I was as ready as I could be. Continue reading

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Xterra USA Championship – Trail Run Preview

Early fall color on scenic and challenge Xterra USA championship run course

Early fall color on the scenic and challenging Xterra USA championship run course

The Xterra USA off-road triathlon championship course is a legitimate test of mental and physical strength. Held each year just outside of Ogden, UT, the race starts off with a mile-long swim in Pineview Reservoir, followed by 18 miles of mountain biking with 3,400 ft of elevation gain. The final challenge athletes face is a 10k run on technical singletrack climbing, traversing, and descending on the slopes of the Snowbasin ski resort. Continue reading

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Xterra Utah: USA championship bike course preview

A view of the swim venue near the top of the bike course at the Xterra USA championship course in Ogden, Utah

A view of the swim venue near the top of the bike course at the Xterra USA Championship course in Ogden, Utah. Needless to say, you’ll need your climbing legs for this one.

The Xterra off-road triathlon USA championship bike course is the embodiment of Xterra’a #livemore motto. Starting at the Pineview reservoir, just north of Ogden, UT, the course climbs through canyons, up peaks, and along rolling singletrack replete with stunning mountain views.

In one week, I’ll toe the line here with a deep pro field and fight for a spot on the podium.

Continue reading

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Race Report: 2015 Xterra Mountain Championship

Back on the podium with four stars of the sport at the Xterra mountain championship. Photo credit: Xterra

Back on the podium with four stars of the sport at the Xterra Mountain Championship. Photo credit: Xterra

After a few weeks of solid mountain training in Park City, Utah, I was eager to toe the line at the Xterra Mountain Championship in Avon, Colorado. Despite my Iowan upbringing and flatland existence in North Carolina, I race best when the elevation profile tilts upward. With 3,800 ft of climbing on the bike, and 1,000 ft of vertical gain on the run, the this race is right up my alley. Continue reading

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Epic Road Cycling: Guardsmans Pass – Park City, UT

A view from the upper slopes of Pine Canyon Road, at an elevation of about 9,500 ft, near Park City, Utah

As the only IMBA Gold-Level ride center in the US, Park City is a mecca for mountain biking. The body can only take so many days in a row of off-road pounding however; sometimes a road ride is a welcome break from the dirt. Fortunately, the road riding opportunities in the area are fantastic as well. My favorite route by far, is up Pine Canyon Road to Guardsmans pass. Consistently rated as the toughest climb in Utah, it’s a can’t miss ride for any serious road cyclist visiting Park City. Continue reading

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Altitude Training: Park City Mountain Resort

Wasatch Crest loose dirt trail winding around the mountain, overlook of mountains in the distance and clear blue sky

A view of the Wasatch Crest trail in stunning Park City, Utah

After a very successful altitude training trip last year, I decided to take full advantage of my remote working privileges for another sojourn to the high country. This time around, thanks to fellow Xterra off-road triathlon pro Emma Garrard and the Garrard family, I’m staying in Park City, Utah. Though I’ve only been in town for a days, I’ve already bagged a handful of truly bucket list mountain bike rides and trail runs. Click through to experience the majesty of Park City Mountain Resort’s summer hiking and biking trails.

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Race Report: 2015 XTERRA East Championship

XTERRA RVA Buttermilk Trail Bike Shot

Fully focused heading towards the “Rock Face” on the Buttermilk Trail in the James River Park System at the 2015 Xterra East Championship in Richmond, VA. Photo Credit: Andy Thompson / Richmond Outside

The Xterra East championship in Richmond, VA is easily my favorite stop on the US Pro tour. Taking full advantage of Richmond’s status as the best river town in America, the swim, bike, and run are in and along the James River. The race is equally challenging from a mental, technical, and physical standpoint and is arguably the most exciting and dynamic triathlon on US soil. Continue reading

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Race Report: 2015 XTERRA Southeast Championship

The spirit of XTERRA triathlon racing captured in one photo.

Hopping over some rocks and roots on my way to 7th overall in the pro men’s division of the 2015 XTERRA Southeast Championship. Photo Credit: XTERRA

With IMBA epic mountain bike trails weaving through Alabama’s largest state park, Oak Mountain is the perfect venue for the XTERRA Southeast championship, which doubled this year as the USAT off-road triathlon national championship. Continue reading

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EC Velo Bicycle Post Mountain Bike Trails

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Living in the moment, charging the trails under the sparking tree canopy.

Just outside of Greenville, NC the EC Velo Bicycle Post Mountain Bike Trails offer up 11 miles of challenging and exhilarating single track with ample shade as a respite from the heat. The trails are built and maintained by the East Carolina Velo Cycling Club and are featured twice on the Coastal Carolina Off-Road race series. Continue reading

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