Category Archives: MTB

Austin Rattler Race Report

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Emily and Brittany escaped to the warmer temperatures of Austin, Texas to compete on the fat tires. They not only came away with new PRs, they also qualified for Leadville! Despite Emily’s illness, she still got 8th female overall! Here’s her recap. 

On the morning of March 29th Brittany Jones and I embarked on a 100km mountain bike race in Austin, Texas: The Austin Rattler. Neither Brittany nor I had ever ridden a mountain bike this far before so we were both nervous and wondering if our legs would hold out or if eventually they would just turn into jello. I was especially nervous because in the two weeks before I had had the stomach flu and bronchitis and ridden my bike just once. I had originally planned two weeks of careful tapering but I had opted to just give myself complete rest to see if that would get me better faster. The night before I was still hacking up a lung, but the humid air of Texas seemed to be doing me good and after dosing up on Dayquil, cough drops, and caffeine I felt ready to ride!

The start was slow and crowded as hundreds of eager riders vied for space. I managed to pass a ton of riders and settled into a fast group for the first lap. The riding was very fast; mostly fire road and smooth single track. There was one especially beautiful section where the trail wound through a giant field of blue wild flowers. Most of the riding was non-technical but there was a fun section near the end that was essentially a natural half-pipe. It was really satisfying as a woman to pass lots of men struggling to ride through this technical section!

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Each lap was 15.5 miles and after the first lap I realized I had gone out far too fast. I also had been so excited to be flying along I hadn’t spent enough time eating and drinking. I slowed things down a bit for the second lap and tried to drink and eat, although this proved hard because the pace was so fast and the trails were often bumpy and turned frequently, making it hard to eat and drink enough.

During the third lap, around mile 40, I hit the wall. My legs were constantly on the verge of cramping and I felt totally drained. I latched onto a group of faster riders and drafted behind them for the rest of the lap mentally talking myself through every pedal stroke. I stopped at the neutral feed station after the third lap and downed as much food and liquid as I could and took a few salt pills. Feeling a bit reinvigorated I began my final lap. I was totally fried at this point and knew it was a mental game. It was also becoming quite hot and humid as we approached noon, which I wasn’t used to. Plus, after mile 50 every pedal stroke I took was new territory since I’d never ridden more than 50 miles on my mountain bike. This lap was a test of my will power and I had to take all of the technical sections slowly because my legs were feeling so shaky, but I eventually could see the crowded finish line and knew I would complete the race!

My goal before I had been so sick was to finish in under 5 hours, I came in at a time of 5:02. Since I’d been so ill, I had just been hoping to finish and I was really excited that I had come so close to my goal while having bronchitis! I ended up coming in 9th overall for women and 2nd in the 20-29 age group. I actually qualified for the Leadville Race but had to turn it down because I’m starting medical school in Boston just a few days after and the timing didn’t make sense. Plus the idea of riding 40 more miles than I’d just ridden was mildly terrifying. Overall though it was an amazing race. I felt pretty awful after and on the way home I coughed up a bit of blood, which just goes to show I pushed myself to my limits. I’m really glad I did the race and I have all the more respect for endurance mountain bike racers!

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New Sponsor: The Feed

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We’re excited to announce our new sponsorship with The Feed! The Feed specializes in providing athletes with the best sports nutrition available to fuel their sport and life. Athletes work with a personalized nutrition coach to get one-on-one advice, form a nutrition plan, and build a fully customized box of nutrition from the best brands, delivered monthly with free shipping. Read more about The Feed, visit www.thefeed.com. Connect with The Feed on Facebook and Instagram too!

You’re 50 miles from home, you’re in the middle of nowhere and you reach in your pocket and suddenly realize you really should have stocked up on bars and gels or anything, because now you have nothing. Does grass have carbs?

This year we’re really excited to be working with The Feed. They’re a sport nutrition delivery company out of Boulder, Colorado that stocks all of our favorite brands in sport nutrition, ships them out every month (to keep you stocked) and works one-on-one with us to develop nutrition plans to support our training, racing and lives.

During training blocks full of long rides we may rely on more PowerBars, and recovery products to keep us going, but as the race season kicks in we’ll find more need for gels, and Brooks works with us to make sure we’re stocked up, and know exactly how, when and why to use certain products.

It’s one thing to have food in your pockets and electrolytes in your bottles, but to actually look forward to the the nutrition, can be a foreign concept to people. That’s where The Feed has been great. Nutrition Coach Brooks recommends products to fuel our training and match our varied tastes, so we’re never bored, never go hungry, and never fear dehydration (thanks Skratch Labs).

Check out the food that fuels the Naked Ladies in our team Feed Box: http://thefeed.com/nakedracing

Ride for Reading Denver Delivery – May 9, 2014

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Things get better with age-like our forth annual Ride for Reading delivery! Join Colorado Women’s Cycling Project (Naked Women’s Racing) for National Ride for Reading Week! See below for a quick synopsis of what Ride for Reading week is all about. 

What: Colorado-based women’s competitive cycling team Naked Women’s Racing will deliver thousands of donated children’s books by bicycle to Travista Elementary and Middle School Friday, May 9th for National Ride for Reading Week. Naked Women’s Racing partnered with the charity Ride for Reading, a non-profit with a mission to promote literacy and healthy living through the distribution of books via bicycle to children from low-income neighborhoods.

Who: Cyclists of all shapes, types and sizes! Commuters, mountain bikers, roadies, newbies, masters riders, trackies, unicyclists, tricyclists, bi-cyclists, juniors and more! We are looking for volunteers to join us in our delivery. It will be the most fun you’ve ever had on two wheels.

When: Delivery takes place Friday, May 9 from 8:00 am to 12 pm. We are collecting donations of books and/or cash donations for Ride for Reading from now until delivery date!

Why: In low-income neighborhoods, the ratio of books per child is one age-appropriate book for every 300 children. Reading is an integral part of education, and without books it is hard to build a strong academic base. Our children need materials to read at home and it is our goal to provide the means. And in the process, we can fight childhood obesity and nature deficit disorder through the power of cycling, too! Exercise the mind and body and lead through example.

Where: Trevista Elementary School located at 4130 Navajo Street Denver, CO 80211

Meeting Location: Turin Bicycles at 700 Lincoln Street. Join us at 7 am if you want free breakfast and coffee! Be ready to ride by 8 am!

Bike Route: It will be doable by any person of any fitness level on any bike! We assure you, so please join us. It’s only 4.5 miles! We’ll share the bike route the week of the event.

What to Bring: Bike (duh), helmet, backpack or panniers or some form of bag to carry books by bike. We could use chariots to load extra books so please bring if you have one!

Register: 

Eventbrite - Ride for Reading Denver Delivery

Also, if on Facebook we’ll be updating our event page with new information so join our event there too!

Can’t make the ride but want to help? Donate book at some of our many drop off points around Boulder and Denver! From the Denver Public Library to bike shops all around town. If you can’t find a drop off point on our list, you can also mail book or cash donations (checks made out to Ride for Reading) to:

Rachel Scott
902 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Clinic Schedule Released

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As a benefit of membership, Colorado Women’s Cycling Project hosts clinics each month in the off season and are led by leaders in the cycling industry on topics ranging from bike handling skills to nutrition to sports psychology. Clinics are organized by committee members Brittany Jones and Roberta Smith. If you would like to teach a clinic or have questions regarding a clinic, please email us to their attention.

Check out our calendar for more upcoming clinics and group rides!

Upcoming Clinics

Thurs, Jan 23: Advanced bike mechanics/maintenance – Turin, 6-7:30pm

Weds, Feb 5: Sports Psychology w/Julie Emmerman – QuickLeft, 6:30-8pm

Tues, Feb 25: Physiology Clinic w/Rob – Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, 6-8pm

Tues, March 4: Nutrition Clinic w/Ryan – Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, 6-8pm

Tues, March 11: Bike Fit Clinic – Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, 6-8pm

Fat Tire Flurry Recap

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Ingrid participated in the first (annual?) Fat Tire Flurry as a fundraiser with Cyclists For Jamestown. While it was a cold one, she and many others braved it in support for one of our favorite areas to ride that was destroyed by the Boulder floods in September.

I recently got the chance to pin one last race number for 2013 on, and for a good cause. I participated in the “Fat Tire Flurry”, a fun ride from the base of Lefthand Canyon to Jamestown. The roadway and much of the town was devastated by the recent floods, and as a result, closed to cyclists and non residents. The route up Lefthand to James Canyon was opened for cyclists for a few hours on Sunday morning, December 22nd for the brisk charity ride to raise more funds for Jamestown.

Only mountain bikes or CX bikes were allowed, so I dusted off my 1997 aluminum Raleigh, and stuffed my pannier with gear for the descent. It was about 25 degrees when I started, so I knew the descent on snowy and icy roads would be the most challenging part of the ride. A really nice guy in the parking lot offered me a few extra hand warmers which I gladly packed for later. I ended up placing them in between my bootie and shoe right above the foot vent for the descent. What a great idea that was! I’ll remember that trick for later.

Despite being really cold, I had a great time on the ride. I made a new friend on the way up, saw a lot of old cycling friends that I’ve known since I was a teenager. I also got to chat with Jamestown’s Mayor, Tara Schoedinger, an old co-worker of mine, and catch up a bit. Although my strength is track racing, the ride to Jamestown is one of my favorite rides, and has been since I was young. It was sad seeing the state of the roads. There were times when I’d look over and see some of the road paint peeking through the snow cover, noticing the normally center line yellow was now the edge—the entire east bound lane had been washed away.

It was great to see so many people braving the cold and coming together in support of both the residents of Jamestown, and showing respect for the roads we share.

If you’d like to help any of the communities affected by the floods, please visit the Community Foundation of Boulder County.

Gift Guide for Women who Ride

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If you want to buy the Naked ladies holiday gifts, here’s some hints about what we want! If you need some ideas for the cyclist in your life, definitely check out some of these products below courtesy of our team members.

Belgian TFU T-shirt from Handlebar Mustache 

There’s only one company that does a better job of supplying slogans for your suffering than Niner, and it’s Handlebar Mustache. “Everyone has their personal favorite, but mine is an easy choice: “Belgian the F*ck Up,” which are my personal words to live by when the temperatures drop below 10 on cyclocross race day.” — Emily, Boulder, CO

$26 men’s or women’s cuts

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GS Panache Women’s Bib Short

Their fabrics are luscious, their women’s cuts and chamois flawless and their designs either whimsical or elegantly restrained. The GS Panache 13 Women’s Bib Short is a great way to spoil a woman who spends a lot of hours in her saddle.

“Locally owned and operated, Panache is truly one a personal favorite for cycling apparel. Having worked with them in the past on a custom kit for a local women’s riding group, the process was easy, their feedback was truthful, and production turnaround time efficient. The fit and feel of their kits is outstanding and also durable enough to last any avid rider’s busy cycling season. Helmets off to Panache for making fantastic gear!” — Katey, Boulder, CO

$160 bib shorts

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Sufferfest videos

With short days and bad weather, it can be a tall ask to train anywhere but in your downstairs pain cave. While their name is well chosen, nobody makes enduring indoor training more enjoyable than Sufferfest, who makes training videos that put you inside the actual peloton in the Spring Classics and World Tours and have you chasing the wheel of the world’s fastest with specific workouts. “Well, I’m nose deep in Sufferfest videos at the moment. So… If you (or someone you love) have a crappy work schedule or crappy weather — or if you’re really unlucky, both — those are good gifts.” — Brittany, Boulder, CO

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Custom Pendilight from Zlux

Price: Custom quoted

The sky is the limit on what you could get custom cut and dyed for your flashing light-up pendilight. I might start with a cowbell, crank, chainring or chain link for a cycling enthusiast.

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Mad Alchemy Pro+ Chamois cream and Warming Embrocation

Mad Alchemy Pro+ Chamois Cream is a must-have, although should probably only be a gift to someone you’re close to. It lasts for hours and keeps your skin moisturized and rash-free. The women’s La Femme Chamois Cream is also specifically made for women’s needs and is just the right soft, non-sticky consistency.

Mad Alchemy Embrocation is made locally, and makes the locals’ extremities warm and yummy smelling “I’m a fan of the Cold Weather Medium Heat. Decreases dependence on Sufferfest videos.” — Brittany, Denver, CO

Best-Seller

 

Schwalbe mountain bike tires

Tearing through rock gardens as Colorado mountain bikers tend to do is not kind to mountain bike tires, and they need frequent replacement. Plus, the perfect tires make the ride. “My favorite tires would have to be Schwalbe Knobby Nic for the front with a Racing Ralph on the back of the mountain bike. It’s the perfect combo for better floatation and corning in front and less rolling resistance in the rear.” — Rachel, Boulder, CO

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Turin Bicycles gift certificate

Best and easiest gift: Support your LBS and get a gift certificate from Turin. Maybe the person you’re shopping for really needs a fatbike, some serious winter clothing, and a couple good lights so they can ride outside regardless of daylight or weather. Or a new bottle cage. Or a bottom bracket overhaul. Maybe they just really hate wrapping handlebar tape. Whatever their needs, trust me, they will know what they are.

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What to do if your bike is stolen.

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Sadly, one of our teammates’ bike’s was stolen last night, and this isn’t the last time a bike will be stolen either. So we put together some tips to hopefully help you recover your beloved stead and catch that dirty bike thief!  If you have any to add, let Rachel know. 

  • Scour Craigslist and eBay to see who is trying to sell it. You can also set up Google alerts or eBay search alerts with descriptions on your bike just to see if anyone posts something about it online.
  • Set up your own Craigslist ad and email it to all the bike shops in the area. Sometimes thieves and pawn shops are dumb enough to call a bike shop to ask about the value of a bike. If the bike shop is aware of your stolen bike, then they can reach out to you when it happens. This happened to a teammate of ours and she was able to recover her bike!
  • Pawn shops are another place to look. Call starting with your area and then expanding beyond.
  • To recover your bike, you have to show proof of ownership. You can get this from your bike shop if you didn’t keep your receipt assuming they have good records. They may also have your serial number. Take lots of pictures and one of you with your bike, too.
  • To the point above, because thieves can scratch off the serial number, etch the last four numbers of your social security number beneath your rear triangle. Most thieves are too dumb to look there and figure that out. It’s also undeniable proof the bike is yours if your bike is recovered by police and your serial number removed.
  • File a police report! Supply them with your serial number, pics of the bike and any other identifying/unique info. If you don’t have any of these items on hand, call your bike shop and maybe they can help with proof of purchase/serial number.
  • Get grassroots and make missing bicycle posters to hang around town, in coffee shops and bicycle shops. The more creative the more likely someone will be able to remember your poster and share it with others. Check out some of these posters. Include a unique but easy to remember hashtag!

Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

  • Encourage everyone to post/share your bike via social media. Create a hashtag so in case someone sees the bike, they can snap a pic, hashtag it, and post it on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram! The more eyes looking for your bike the more likely you are to find it. Make sure you include the area that you’re in, too, just in case the thief is stupid enough (because thieves are!) to ride it around in your area.
  • Get renter’s insurance if you don’t have it. You can file a claim and get a new bike. If you don’t have renter’s insurance, it’s only about $150-250 per year and absolutely worth it! Happy to refer you to my insurance agent who also sponsored our team for two years:)
  •  If you care about your bike, EVERYONE should register their bicycles with the police. Take pics of your bikes and serial numbers (usually under the bottom bracket). Boulder, Denver, and Golden reg is below. You can Google your “city” and “bike registration” if you don’t live in any of these local areas.

What do you have to add?

Amy D. T Shirts – All Proceeds Benefit The Amy Dombroski Memorial Fund

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Amy Dombroski was truly a special person.  A smile that touched everyone that met her and soul that will truly be missed.
All proceeds will be donated to the Amy Dombroski Memorial Fund.  Art by Zach Lee. T-Shirts by our sponsor Handlebar Mustache.
Slim cut, 100% Fine Jersey cotton construction. Durable rib neckband. The softest, smoothest, best-looking T-shirt you’ll find. Garments are printed in the U.S.A.

 Show your support, and get your Amy D. t-shirts here.

If you can make it to Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park, you can also join in a public memorial the Dombroski family is holding tomorrow from 6-8 PM. You can follow the Facebook page for more updates. Ride there if you can because parking will be limited. We’ll miss you, your smile and your fierceness out there on the road and in the dirt.

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10 Emergency Road Side Maintenance Tips for Cyclists

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Rachel has had her fair share of mishaps while riding in the dirt and on the road. Here’s her top 10 road side maintenance tips, and yes, they all have happened. Do you have any to add?

1.  Don’t PANIC! What’s done is done and you’ll get back riding much more quickly if you keep a level head. You can’t think clearly when you’re freaking out. I know, speaking from experience here.

2.  Know how to change a flat. Not that you’ve watched someone change one, but actually practice doing it.

  • Always have at least 1 size appropriate tube, CO2 w/dispenser or hand pump, and two tire levers.
  • Patch kit can be your best friend.
  • Stand with a tire between your legs to get some leverage to roll it back on. It helps, promise.
  • If you need to bum a tube from someone and it’s not the right size (too small or too big), some sizes can work in a pinch but not recommended.
  • If you rip your side wall of the tire, you can use a dollar bill, tire boot or a food item wrapper to plug the hole.
  • Always bring cash in case you need to buy something along the way. Also, many remote gas stations or markets only take cash.

3.  Check your spare tube occasionally. Don’t just stuff it in your saddle bag and fugetaboutit! Many times I’ve had flats, my spare tube was already punctured from having been in my saddle bag. Bummer:( This is why you need a patch kit.

  • To see if your tube is flat BEFORE you put in your bike, you can blow air in it. You should do this before changing your flat anyway so you don’t get a pinch flat when putting the tire back on.

4.  Multi-tool. Know it, use it. I’ve had cleats come off mid-ride, head sets come loose, bolts come loose, handlebars come off, derailleurs rip off, and so on. You don’t want this to happen.

5.  Weather. It’s Colorado and you always need to be prepared and dressed appropriately when it begins to snow/rain/sleet/hail etc.

  • Pearl Izumi makes a great protective barrier that wads up in a tennis ball size.
  • Rubber surgical gloves year round! Great for changing flats so you don’t get dirty or for warmth in a pinch. And pack really easy.
  • If you must, newspaper for an extra layer in your jersey and plastic bags on your feet make for great emergency layers.
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There’s no such thing as cold; only inappropriate clothing.

 

6.  Broken spoke. This one is a bit tough depending on the spoke count of your wheels.

  • You can use your knee to try to bend the wheel back in a less-wobbly position.
  • Open your brakes up to allow the wheel to spin through.
  • If you have a lighter rider with you, switch wheels so you can get back. The lighter rider will put less pressure on the weak spot in the rim and potentially prevent more spokes from breaking.
  • If you’re a serious randonneur, they do make spokes on the fly called Fiber Flight.
  • Check to see if your multi tool has a spoke wrench, and also, learn how to use it. (Youtube it or Google and practice on a spare set of junk wheels)
  • Low spoke count wheels are great if you have a team car and your paycheck depends on you getting to the finish ahead of the other guy/girl. Get a higher spoke count wheel, especially if you’re heavier.

7.  Broken Chain.

  • More applicable to mountain bikes but make sure to have a chain breaker, know how to use it, and a spare pin to reattach your chain.
  • You could also reuse the pin but make sure to not back it all the way out because you may lose it.
  • Remove broken link by removing 2 segments of the chain at the damaged end.  You need to remove 2 segments instead of 1 because the two types of segment alternate. If you just remove 1 segment you can’t re-attach it.  Fixing a broken chain is no more difficult than fixing a flat tire if you’re prepared.
  • You won’t be able to shift normally so make sure to not shift under a lot of load.  However having a derailleur allows you to remove links more easily. If you have a single speed, it’s a little different.
  • Get out those rubber gloves! This is a dirty job and you don’t want to mess up your sharp kit.

8.  Broken Cable (Coincidentally encountered this tonight).

  • If you have a geared bike, you can manually move your chain where it needs to go in the big and small rings (get out those rubber gloves).
  • If Rear Der. goes out, you can still shift in the big and small rings up front. No biggie.
  • Get cable replaced asap when you get back.
  • Could be an array of reasons why this happened, but take it to a shop if you don’t know how to diagnose or change your cables.

9.  Crash:( It happens.

  • Straighten whatever is crooked with your multi tool (seat post, stem, wheel, etc) and scope out your helmet to make sure you it’s not broken. If you crashed in your helmet and hit your head, replace your helmet. No ifs, ands or buts. Most have a crash replacement policy and they should be replaced every 2 years anyway.
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Also, don’t back over your helmet in your car.

  • If you have carbon bars, as much as this is a pain in the ass, you should unwrap and check to make sure your bar isn’t cracked. Never a better time to replace your bar tape, especially if it’s white.
  • If you’re missing clothing, use spare clothing to cover up revealing rips in your kit.
  • Make sure to scrub your road rash (you must) and buy some tegaderm! If it’s a BOGO, buy extra. (YES, that happened).

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10. Prevention is a great way to avoid road-side emergencies! It’s always a good idea to simply keep your bike clean, lubed in pivot points, make sure bolts are tight (with a torque wrench) and inspect each time you clean or crash for cracks.

  • “ABC Wheel Quick!” Make sure to check the following:
    • Air in tires
    • Brakes and Bars
    • Chains and Cables (nothing fraying or obviously out of place)
    • Wheel –check for trueness and spoke tension
    • Quick Release – Make sure it’s tight. Nothing worse than lining up for a race and you notice your front skewer just dangling.

 

King (Queen) of the Rockies

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After two years of injury, Susan has come back strong as ever. Great to watch her thrive in the dirt and on the road this season!

It’s the last race of the Winter Park series and I’m barely hanging on, suffering from burn out. I need to take a break from racing and I know it, but I decided use this final race as a way to better myself in the future.  It was cloudy and cool, but the sun was starting to come out the closer we got to the starting area. Today’s start is on a three mile dirt road section…

3-2-1-go and we are off.

I quickly tuck into the middle of the pack, bits of gravel are spitting up in my face and dust plumes are being kicked up by the mass of women racing down the dirt road. At the first incline the group splits up and I find myself dangling off the front group at my limit and I can’t hang.  I’m quickly joined by a few other racers; we work together to catch another racer who fell victim to the fast pace set by the Pro Women.

Somehow, I end up in the front pulling the pack right before the left hand turn onto the singletrack. While being on the front is typically a great place to be, the problem was I had spent too much time on the front and was tired. Every rider in my pack passed me as we started the climb up Morse pass.  Trying hard to not beat myself up; I told myself to ignore the little devil in my head, keep pedaling (even though I wanted to stop) and find a rhythm. I actually reached the top of the pass in a decent time.  I planned to stop at the top to let some air out of my rear tire. Before I stopped, I practiced it in my head how I was going to do it so I would not lose a lot of time.

I pushed myself on the Blue Spruce descent to make anytime I possibly could and was able to catch a racer. Next up was Flume and Chainsaw, two of the more technical parts of the course, and I rode it well. I pushed myself a bit too hard on the last part of Chainsaw, which is an energy zapping climb. I had enough left to get me through the Elk Meadow climb, but I was getting tired and starting to ride sloppy on the downhill part. The course was wet and muddy, with lots of puddles.

Right before the D2 climb there were two huge puddles and no way to avoid them. Right after that, I had to quickly downshift as the steep part of D2 was right in front of me. Unfortunately, my chain got stuck. It was jammed in there pretty bad, but after a few hard yanks I managed to get it unstuck.  This really deflated my mental state and I found myself unable to fight any longer. Typically, I can continue to persevere, but not today and not right now.  I finished the race and thought I was going to die a few times during the last few miles or so and of course I knew I certainly wasn’t going to die, but I wanted it to be over. I crossed the finish line with a smile. It was a victory smile, as I was proud of myself for sticking with it and never giving up (even though I wanted to many times). I finished 2nd overall in the Expert class 40-49 for Winter Park Series, not a bad way to end the mountain biking season.