The Race: August 12-17, 2012 (unless you want the 3-day jobbie – that’s Aug 12-14.)
Adventure racing. Extreme backcountry mountain biking. An expansive riders compound offering camping, medical support, massage, showers, organically-grown (& slaughtered never fear, lovers of protein!) food from local farmers, mechanical support and killer coffee. The Breck Epic is a shared mountain bike slugfest that directly underwrites open space. And now in its second year, the BE3, a 3-day version for the Epicurious.
Are you tough enough?
We’ll be the judge of that. The Breck Epic is a 6-day ultra-endurance mountain bike stage race held in the sprawling backcountry surrounding the Victorian mining town of Breckenridge, Colorado. Truth of the matter? You DO need to be tough, but you don’t necessarily need to be fast. You see, Breckenridge, while nestled at a bit over 9,600 feet, sits smack dab in the middle of the leftover remains of a century-and-a-half old mining trail network that needed to be serviceable on foot, wagon and mule. therefore our trails have mostly gentle(ish) grades with long climbs and ripping descents that have you stepping all over your big ring and grinning like a fool.
Any fool can ride it. And some have, although to be fair we’ve been blessed with some really decent folks over the past couple of years.
We’ve been asked over and over again how we’d describe our course “compared to The BC Bike Race or The Trans Rockies?” Our answer? Honestly, we don’t know. If we had to guess we’d say that it’s somewhere in between in terms of difficulty (but much closer to the BC race), but second-to-none in terms of quality. If you want our take on it, head to “The Course” page – we’ve tried to honestly answer that question there.
A benefit for open space? And Willa’s Wheels?
Yup. All revenue from the 2012 event (and all of it from subsequent Breck Epics) will be donated to two local trail maintenance organizations, the local IMBA chapter (which actually predates IMBA), The Summit Fat Tire Society and a newer multi-discipline group called Friends of the Dillon Ranger District. We’re also constructing a significant fundraising element for a team called Willa’s Wheels that raises money for the Raymond Wentz Foundation. Why? Because my 2nd son (Tavish) was born in respiratory distress and needed to be med-flighted after a series of worst-case scenarios all came to pass.
SFTS has been around for about 30 years. Much of what we have here in the county in terms of trails and connectivity we owe to them. The FDRD although the new kid on the block has put together a stunning body of work over the past 5-7 years.
We’re giving them the money from the race in the form of a restrictive grant that dictates it be used for trail building and maintenance. As far as we know, this the only event in the country that exists solely to fund the trail network it uses.
And Willa’s Wheels? Stay tuned – more info coming…
An ADD-friendly course primer.
Also unique to the Breck Epic is the cloverleaf format. Most stage races are point-to-point and require set-up and tear-down of camp every day. Not so with the B.E.. One of the many attributes of our community is a trail network whose sprawl and magnificence is difficult to comprehend. Each stage will begin and end within 1 mile of the riders compound which is located right in the heart of our town, a stone’s throw from some of the best coffee, sushi, beer, game and beef that CO has to offer.
Attention Weekend Warriors.
if you’re the type of guy who likes to give yourself one extreme challenge once a year…well, this is probably not the event for you. The courses will be long. They will be difficult. 90% of the terrain will be above 10,000 feet. Cut-off times will be strictly enforced. You could end up seriously hurt, having to sell what’s left of your bike and pay off your hospital bills by inspecting socks and underwear with your one good arm. At night.
If it rains you might end up dead. Seriously. Rain here is no joke. Especially the lightning-y parts. Sizzle! Getting fried will take your mind off the discomfort and uncontrollable shivering that come with a nice dose of hypothermia though. See? The glass is half full!
Back to weekend warriors – you guys can’t come. Then again, the architect of this event is a drooling fat-ass whose pinnacle of athletic achievement was reaching the exalted ranks of the middle of the pack of the Expert field. And he (OK, “I”) could make the time cut-offs if I had to, and I’d put myself optimistically in the middle of the Sport class right now.
Bottom line? If you’re a lunch bucket Sport-class rider you CAN do this. And it’ll be awesome. If you’re prone to complaint you may want to bite off something a little more pedestrian. There’s a zany Herb Tarlek-looking dude with a nice little race about 10 miles west (as the crow flies)…
To register, check out the maps, etc!