Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Three weeks prior to the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo I looked on the race facebook page and saw someone looking to give up a solo spot.  I took it and started riding the trainer with a few February Gunnison road rides mixed in.  I showed up in Arizona only to see if I could finish a 24 hour MTB race without stopping.  Turns out I ended up racing and surprising myself....
I hit up Joe from Primus Mootry the week before the race to pick up the new frame... Beautiful by the way.  Then stopped by Wheels Manufacturing on my way home to borrow some lights from Ed and talk shop with Dave (Wheel's big Dog) to see what new stuff they have coming out.  That place was impressive.  Only a few days later and I was on the road thursday 5am.  I found a camping spot no more than 5 feet from the race course.  It was amazing how crowded the place was by thursday late afternoon for a saturday noon start time.  If you are coming down with an RV you better get there early for a good spot.  With a small tent you can basically find a spot anywhere at any time.  I wanted room for a large standing room tent and my Element.  It's close quarters, and I camped between a very helpfull guy from Arizona and a group of great local guys.  Yes, I already forgot everybody's name.  I spent friday working on my laptop all day at a local Diner, then pre-rode the course friday afternoon.  Pre-ride was the first time on the new wheels.  Definitely something off (Just my stupidity... I'll get to this).  And man it was stiff compared to last years Epic Evo.
I got up saturday morning and started preparing all of my stuff.  
Here's what I prepared that was useful.... 
-Honda Element backed up to the race course as my pit
-10 water bottles filled and ready to go (I would have done more if I had more)
-shamy cream
-Aleve (I took 5 throughout the race)
-chain lube and rag (3/4 the way through I switched from oil to wax based, wax based lasted 3-4 times as long)
-food. 1 Cooler of cold food, 1 cooler of non-cold, 1 bag of bars (bananas, PB&Js, Potato chips, yogurt, tortellini, coke, anything easily shoved into my mouth)
-Water, 3 gallons (2 water bottles/lap during daylight, 1.5/lap during night. And drinking at the car each lap)
-clear lens glasses for night
-tool box (I grabbed my chain tool and a link when I realized the lube sucked)
-lights (helmet with Dinoette light mounted, L&M 300 dual with 3 sets of batteries each. I ran each on medium all night, 12 hours.)
-Clothes for cold.  Tights (very thin), long sleeve (lightly insulated), my PI wind breaker, and wool socks
-Spare bike (2011 Epic)
Here's what I prepared that was not useful....
-extra bibs, jerseys, and socks (I raced in 2 pair of socks only because I wanted warmer socks for night)
-baby wipes (I thought for SURE I would need to keep things clean down there, but no baby wipes used and no issues)
-cygolight and night rider lights (thanks Ed, but I never needed them)
-food to heat up
-5 hour energy, monster, & redbull (I did drink some Monster and 5 hour energy for the last lap, it was pointless)
Here's what I wish I had...
-Ergon handlebar grips (I have grip shifters and Ergon grips, but they don't work together)
-more coke (I only had 1 can)
-headphones (I didn't listen to music, but at 2am I sure wish I could have.  We even had 3G coverage, I could listened to Pandora or a 2am pep talk on the phone with the right headphones)
-more bars. (I went through 1-2 bars/lap)
The course is 16.1 miles, fast, no sustained climbs, twisty, rocky (but not technical), and covered with cactus. You have 2 options, one bypasses 'The Bitches' with a single track, but it is 0.2 miles longer. The other option is a dangerous but not super difficult 10-15' very steep rocky descent that saves you about 15 seconds. 90% of the time I took the faster options. Basically it was a very fun course, I liked it.  Here was my goal going into the race.... Cruise for 12 hours. At midnight if I feel good then pick it up. Do not stop. Finish. That's it.The race is a Lemans start.  I crowded into the middle somewhere and we took off at a jog.  If you want to run fast you MUST start in front.  I ran slightly faster than the middle of the pack.  The first lap is slightly changed so we start on a very hilly power line road appropriately named 'The Bitches'.  I started the race on my Epic.  As you can imagine the first lap is crowded but not horrible.  The road really spreads you out.  I was in just the right spot to where I was cruising at a moderate pace and passed only a handful of people that first lap.  It was fun riding at this comfortable pace.  No stress, no worries about passing (there was a lot of passing), no close calls, just cruising.  By the third lap things were spread out completely and I was feeling really comfortable. I also decided to give the Primus Mootry a go for one lap.  Turns out I just needed to turn in the handlebars, I didn't hop off of it untill the finish.  By the fifth lap things were spread out completely and I started passing a lot of people.  Passing on this course was easy.  My pit stops at the Element were almost every lap for about 1 minute. Basically I would grab new water and food, apply shamy cream, and wipe and lube my chain every few laps.  You get 6 hours of daylight which go by very fast compared to the next 12 hours of darkness.  Once midnight came and I was still feeling good I decided to start pushing the flats, but I kept taking all hills at a moderate to easy pace.  Pushing it down those twisty trails at night was a blast. Sometime around midnight the guys camped next to me checked my number against the race results and told me I was in 8th.  I was surprised.  Of course now I want to move up a couple of places.  So now I'm taking the flats and downhills fast.  By 5am I am vocally asking the sun to rise.  About this time both of my lights would not come out of low.  I think the Dinoette bulb can only go 10 hours on medium, then it's stuck on low.  Low is worthless.  The second L&M battery went quicker than expected, so it was stuck on low too, but that's no such a big deal. You really need a bright helmet light so you can scan the trail ahead and prepare to corner.  6am Finally LIGHT!!  From midnight until now I kept telling myself that if I feel good when the sun comes up I will just start gunning it and see what happens.  Well I felt great at 6am. When I came in to pit the neighbor guys were up and they told me I moved up to 6th.  So now I've got 6 hours of race left, I feel great, and I moved up two spots from midnight.  Now I'm racing.  I started gunning everything, then die at the end of the lap.  Then do it again with a new boost of adrenaline for each lap.  Sometime around 9-10 am the guys told me I moved up to 4th.  What sucks is I had no idea who I was racing. By this time everybody in a kit was 3rd place.  I felt amazing for laps 16 and 17.  I was trying to make the noon cuttoff to get in one more lap, thinking maybe 3rd would be right in front of me. I made it by 20 minutes.  What I did not know is that I passed him somewhere in lap 16/17 and he wouldn't finish until after noon, which means I was good.  Lap 18 was hell.  Seriously. I was beyond exhausted, everything hurt. I made it 23 1/2 hours feeling great, then my body just fell apart. I crawled across the finish sometime after 1.
Looking back I think I would do it just the same. Friends, wife, support, etc.. would have been much more fun over the weekend as a whole.  Starting slow I think was good to keep my motivation up through the entire race.  If I attempt another I will start faster, but I will definitely take all hills easy untill at least the halfway point.  I was surprised at how long you can keep up a mod/hard pace.  I thought for certain I would have a hard time staying awake, but that was definitely not a problem.  I was in ok shape, but not riding much didn't seem to make that much of a difference.  That all said... I would like to race another one. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

24hrs of old Pueblo

So our mountain man member Jason Michalak has been busy down in Arizona. He wrapped up racing the 24hrs of old Pueblo yesterday (sunday). He raced solo with no support crew! He made his own adventure by suffering through a very tough race. He kept it clean, consistent, and strong from start to finish and pulled out a very impressive 3RD PLACE in the solo male division riding 18 laps! I talked to him after his impressive podium and he quickly informed he was treating himself to a hotel, shower and ordering a pizza. Stay tuned for a full race report and recap.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Collective

Proudly introducing the adrenalin project roster for 2013. Learn more about the amazing crew we assembled.

Will Kelsay is a professional off-road athlete specializing in XTERRA triathlons, mountain biking and trail running. If it's adventurous, dirty and fun, you can expect to find Will there with a smile on his face and dirt in his teeth. Since 2000, he has earned 18+ overall career wins and 70+ top 5 overall finishes. In 2012, Will finished 3rd American at both the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship and the XTERRA USA Championship. In the XTERRA USA Pro Series he is ranked 4th American (6th overall). This year Will plans to tackle 15+ races around the world including endurance mountain biking, trail running races, XTERRA triathlons, adventure races, and more!

Jason Michalak is a professional Xterra triathlete who has been spending the last couple years branching out with an assortment of endurance racing and adventures.  Last year consisted of multiple backcountry 100 mile mountain bike races, running the Grand Canyon rim to rim to rim, winning the Moab Adventure Xstream adventure race with teamate Luke Jay and tons of Colorado backcountry adventures.  This year he plans to focus on Xterra, racing the entire US pro circuit and the Xterra world championships in Maui.  This will leave plenty of time for more adventures like racing mountain bikes for 24 hours, running unsupported across the pristine and massive Weminuche Wilderness, flying across Arizona with his teammates in a 300 mile continuous mountain bike race, attempting his own Colorado backcountry ironman distance triathlon, and a many more days in the mountains.

Trapper Steinle  was born and raised in Colorado, as a youth he rose to the ranks of State Champion in Alpine skiing and defended that title.  Born with the spirit of competition, skiing was just the bacon on the end of the stick.  More recently Trapper has focused on the multisport world and completed nearly 60 triathlons of varying distance, and stood on the podium at many races.  Trapper's modest demeanor and "never fail" attitude has dubbed him "creeper" by many of his friends and competitors.  He earned a coveted spot in the 2010 Xterra world championships from a stellar race at the Xterra Mt championships in Colorado.  Trapper went on to compete in the last year the race would be held at the iconic and sacred Wialea venue.  After that race, Trapper narrowed his focus to XC and endurance mountain biking. Trapper has finished the Leadville 100 MTB race three times under 8 hours with his most recent time at the 7:30 mark.  Trapper earned his international pro license in 2011 and plans to continue racing at an elite level until he can pass the torch to his sons Talon (4) and Triston (new born). 

Luke Jay has been competing as a top amateur athlete in Xterra triathlons, and cycling over the last several years. In 2008 he was Xterra national champion (age group). Since then he has remained focused on Xterra as well as competing in multiple endurance races and epic challenges. In 2012 he ran the infamous Grand Canyon R2R2R(44miles). As a true all around endurance athlete Luke excels in long events with multiple disciplines. He was 3rd place pro in the Ultimate Mt Challenge at the 2012 Teva Games which included kayak, trail run, mtb, and cycling. He and teammate Jason Michalak have also won several adventure races (Moab, Summit). For 2013 he is tackling the AZT300, and the incredibly tough Leadville Leadman in which he will attempt both the 100mile mtb and 100mile run only a week apart. You can find him chasing his two rowdy boys (age 5 & 2) for extra training.

Jason Hilgers has been competing as a top amateur athlete in Xterra and on the mountain bike over the last several years.  He competes in running, mountain bike, and triathlons events including the Pikes Peak Double (marathon and ascent), Leadville marathon, Leadville Trail 100 MTB, Bailey Hundo, Firecracker 50, Laramie Enduro, Xterra triathlon series as well as local Colorado events.  He was the Xterra Mountain regional champion in 2011 and has finished consistently in the top 10 amateurs at the Xterra National Championship.  In 2012, Jason finished on the podium in the pro field in several local Colorado mountain bike races, finished as the second singlespeeder overall in the Baily Hundo 100 mile mtb, and within the top 100 of the 2000+ field in the Leadville Trail 100 mtb race.  For 2013, Jason will continue his diverse racing schedule with a primary focus on the Breck Epic 6 day mtb stage race, Bailey Hundo, and Xterra race series. 
 Sean Fey has competed in a handful of Xterra races and several ultra distance mountain biking events during his brief time on a bicycle. A former motorcycle racer, he has quickly found a passion for the "self propelled" version of the two wheeled sports, and has a number of podium and top ten finishes to his credit..  His main focus for 2013 will be the Breck100 and Breck Epic mountain bike races, while encouraging others to tackle their own adventures through his bicycle shop Adrenalin Cycles.
 Patrick Valentine started his athletic endeavors with the sport of swimming before the age of 5! He then went to college at Purdue University and was a “walk-on” to the swim team and continued on to swim 4 years as a varsity swimmer. He tried his first triathlon at age 14 was hooked. While in college he a member of Purdue University cycling club and triathlon club. Since moving to Colorado in 2009 he worked his way up the ranks as a consistent top amateur triathlete finishing as 20-24 age group National Champion, and then earned the  honor of making the switch to a pro triathlete. At any given you can find him involved in everything from Xterra triathlon, Adventure races, and just about any other activity that involves the great outdoors.

Monday, February 11, 2013

seek and enjoy

Here at the adrenaline project we love to mix it up...two of our team members are doing just that.
Will Kelsay just competed in the dirty dozen 12hr mtb race and Jason Michalak recently tried his hand at some fat bike racing in Crested Butte. Out of the people that I know and love  (and don't love) I will say these two guys love racing no matter what it is. 100 miles or a 5k...they are down to suffer. A couple years ago we called Will last minute to come race with us during the adventure racing national championships. He got back from Xterra worlds the day before....drove to Moab...slept 3 hrs...and then raced his face off for 26hrs with us, and was pretty much stoked the whole time! He did fall asleep once on his bike but luckily i was "towing" him so he didn't even crash. Jason is the hairy beast that doesn't shave (like most endurance geeks) but will crush people...he loves being in the mountains and will literally giggle with little girl excitement at any cool race or adventure. He is always hatching plans for crazy epic rides and runs. Keep it up dudes and thanks for kicking off 2013 proper.

Read about Will's 3rd place finish in Texas here...http://willkelsay.com/2013/02/a-mental-battle/

Some cool video from the race (not him)...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

support these brands

So as we are getting geared up and finalizing our plans for a rad season of racing and adventures we want to take a moment to tell about three great brands. We believe in these products and wouldn't use and trust them if we didn't.

1. Champion System  is a great company that makes the very best in custom apparel. They got you covered for cycling, running, triathlon, and anything else you are doing and need to look rad. We are very proud to have them outfitting us for 2013. Go check them out for all your custom needs!

2. Giro makes incredible helmets, shoes and gloves. We will be using a solid mix of Giro products and couldn't be happier. Look for their CODE mtb shoe! A classic brand that we happy to support.

3. LIFEPROOF cases. This is seriously one of the coolest gadgets money can buy. Fully waterproof cases! for Iphones, Smartphones, and Ipads. You can toss in your jersey or bag and not worry about getting wet or ruined. You can take amazing photos and videos underwater if you feel crazy. These are perfect for the "rough" lifestyle we live and love.

4. Adrenalin Cycles is the very best shop in the entire Denver metro area. Top of the line gear but more importantly a killer staff that are chill, helpful, and smart. Great mechanics and the owner is a bad ass mountain biker.