Monthly Archives: June 2009

Breck Epic



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 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! 

Mark Wiggins, Jeff Kobriger, Jake Quigley, Shannon Galpin, Steve Recca, Mona Merrill, Lauren Ross


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Team M2M

Mountain to Mountain was founded by a mountain-lovin’ girl, in a high altitude mountain town, to benefit mountain communities halfway around the world, by uniting mountain communities at home through our common mountain culture.  

It was my desire to start an organization that didn’t take itself too seriously despite the seriousness of the issues facing the communities we aim to help.  I love mountain living.  I seem to thrive in the thin air.  I love trail running, mountain biking, and the crisp mornings that greet me when I leave in search of morning caffeine even in the middle of summer.  Could I start an organization that would raise money for other mountain regions by tapping into what makes my own mountain town thrive?

It literally started with the idea for a trail race, Race for the Mountains.  It grew into the desire to include mountain sports of all types as a way to raise awareness and money for our projects.   This year sees that desire take another step forward as we continue Race for the Mountains, become a non profit beneficiary of two elite mountain bike races and one randonnee ski race, and the creation of Team Mountain to Mountain (Team M2M).  

Team M2M is a mostly women’s mountain sport team.  Team M2M aims to tap into the energy and drive of mountain athletes to raise awareness and raise funds through racing, networking, group rides, and online fundraising. is a fantastic fundraising tool for athletes to set goals and share their story and our mission with friends, family, and colleagues.   

Launching at this year’s inaugural Breck Epic mountain bike extravaganza, this ‘mostly women’s team’ will compete alongside some of the best mountain bikers in the country during a 6 day stage race.  As race director, Mike McCormick states, “If this course was a person, it would be dressed in black leather and brandishing a whip”.  It is a not a race for the faint of heart.  But if Mountain to Mountain was founded by the faint of heart we wouldn’t be working in Afghanistan….we’d stick to the safety of Iceland.   

I say, mostly women, because there are a few good hearted, and strong legged, men on our Board of Directors, staff, and supporters that want to get involved.  So while we target women, we include our male counterparts.  In the case of the Breck Epic, estrogen and testosterone will ride together in coed teams united under the Team M2M blue and pink bike jersey.  The only difference?  The men’s say “domestique” across the back!  So we’ll have two, maybe three, teams of Board Members, staff (including yours truly), and racer friends to represent.   Each five person team will ride one or two stages of the race, while Advisory Council member, and hardcore racer Heidi Volpe, is competing the entire six day event with her teammate in the 2 man coed team division!  

Now, that’s not to say that Team M2M is full of elite athletes only.  We encourage women of all levels to get involved.  Beginner racers taking part in their first mountain bike or trail running race are as much a part of the team as elite racers striving to come in first.  Its about building a community of support through the sports that unite our mountain towns.  One of our very own Board Members set up a fundraising page at Firstgiving to raise money for her involvement in this year’s Race for the Mountains in the 5km race.  Having dealt with a debilitating case of lupus for two years, she is on the mend and wants to use the race as a training goal and as a way to garner support by her friends as volunteers, pacers, cheerleaders, and fundraisers.  She set a lofty goal of $5,000 and looks set to reach it!

Bikers, runners, skiers, rock climbers… come one come all.   The only requirement is a strong desire to get muddy, sweat, and support M2M while you do it!

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