This Sunday sees the start of the newest mountain bike race on the scene. The Breck Epic. A tour de force that starts, ironically, the day after the roadies start Le Tour across the pond. Both are stage races, both are torturous, only one requires backcountry first aid knowledge and bear repellent.
The Breck Epic has partnered with Mountain to Mountain this year and we look beyond the inaugural year for a sustainable and fruitful partnership, it seemed only fitting that we field a team. Thus… two five-person teams were quickly assembled to share the load of this six day stage race extravaganza.
Only one of our motley crew has opted for the entire beast. Advisory council member, Heidi Volpe and her teammate signed up early in the spring to compete as a co-ed team. The rest of us are taking advantage of Mike’s desire to expose Mountain to Mountain to the masses by letting us assemble a team that can race in stages. One of our teammates doesn’t need this advantage, local world champion adventure racer, Monique Merrill stepped up to help us handle two of the toughest legs of the course quite happily and my bets are that she will saunter up to the start line without a second thought to the hill climbing in front of her. Quite accidentally, she is pitted against Board chair, Steve Recca. Steve also willingly agreed to take on the same two legs, not realizing at the time who we’d be pairing him up with.
Two front range racers and friends face off on the Wednesday leg, Mark Wiggins and Jeff Kobriger. The sparks started to fly via email when they realized that while they are both racing under Team M2M banner, they are on different teams. Let the trash talk begin!
Mel Evans-Glenn, of Boulder’s Conscious Coffees (a free trade coffee roaster with common passions of empowerment and grassroots development in mountain communities) is joining us for the Tuesday leg and looks to be paired against yours truly. As I’m the only singlespeeder this time around I will do my best just to hang in, with the knowledge that next year we’ll put together a whole team of singlespeed riders.
Development director, Jake Quigley, is taking on the Thursday leg against local, newbie, female racer, Lauren Ross. He is simply hoping to race on his own bike since the mechanics at the dealership drove his car into their garage with his bike still on top – wrecking the bike and the bike rack in one fail swoop. So he’s been training on borrowed equipment, and dare I say borrowed time? Lauren’s teammate for the Firecracker 50 for the Sunday time trial and is keen to pick up more mileage should we have any body or bike issues that arise. Knock on scandium. He’ll face off against one of Monqiue’s female racing friends yet to be determined, regardless she’s bound to be a ringer!
All this to turn sweat, blood, and potentially tears (mine I’d guess) into awareness of Mountain to Mountain, Team M2M, and our projects in Afghanistan. Each rider will have an online fundraising page with Firstgiving.com with a goal to help Mountain to Mountain raise much needed cash for projects and operations!
Here are the ones already set up, we’ll add to them as the others get their butts in gear! Some have offers of reciprocal donating to your cause of choice, others promise window washing or other favors. Some offer simply the chance to cause a little suffering in the name of charity!