Category Archives: Team Members

Info. about team members.

Snow time

Here (South-West of France), snow appear rarely, and most of time melt in the same day. This year she decided to stay.

So we learn and approved snow riding.

Some hot tea in the new bottles received, lower pressure in tires (geax aka make good job on snow) and you can appreciate  a cotton ride.

A few kilometers into silence, with only some ice crackles and bird songs.

unfortunately the temperatures back, and it will be in a few day the mud kingdom …

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Winter Base Miles in Greece and Germany

Just thought I would share a few photos of my winter rides so far.  I kicked off the off-season with 2 weeks in greece over xmas where it was colder than in Germany, but sunny.  I managed to get in a handful of rides in the hills on the 3-speed steel Hercules.  I forgot my pedals so i just rode with flat work boots.  I love riding in Greece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rides in Greece set me up to feel good start of January and I have been in Berlin finding new off road routes with my GPS and  http://www.velomap.org/de/download/ base data.  The weather is grey and its sometimes hard to tell which way is north but the gps opened up the new routes imported on the google map below.  Just trying to put in as much as I can and looking forward to the CremaCycles shorttrack in Berlin!

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The Loooooong road ahead…. our team and the Tour Divide race

Our little (and growing) international team sports some pretty decent talent. None of us are pros but we do o.k. Mat & Jochen in Switzerland, Jelle & David in Holland, Ed in Italy a couple of the guys in France and when Longo is feeling well, he can really crank out the speed and all of the rest of us. The list goes on…and keeps growing. Each of us does well more often than not. Plus,  we all have our good days and our bad days. This post is about a few people on the team that are doing something that still has a very small list of competitors and it really helps if you have about 3 weeks of back to back “best days of your life.” It seems that this year might be a record year with 45 participants signed up to try for that string of fantastic days.

Before I tell you what I’m rambling about I want to share something with you. A fact about our team that I find most interesting is that on our little team there are at least three of us planning to do one of the longest and most difficult mountain bike races on the planet in the next 3 years. That race is called the Tour Divide.

If you don’t know about it or have never heard of it click on the links that I’ve provided to go to the web site and look around. There’s a lot of info. there and I’ve shared some of it below.

Pulled directly from their website, here is the info. on the race.

The Race

Tour Divide was born of inspiration from John Stamstad’s watershed `99 Divide ITT, and the US border to border challenge known as the Great Divide Race (ca.`04). TD observes all the historical Divide racing controls save length. It pushes the envelope further by staging opening day racing from the top of the GDMBR in Banff, AB, where MTB-legal wilderness in Banff National Park serves as an immediate test of mettle. The Canadian section adds only 10% more trail, yet rewards riders with unforgettable geology, rugged terrain, abundant wildlife, and an international flair cycling has come to expect from grand tour racing.

A little about the route….

The Route

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The GDMBR is the world’s longest off-pavement cycling route. It’s highlighted by long dirt roads and jeep trails that wend their way through forgotten passes of the Continental Divide. The route travels through Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the United States of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico (map). By route’s end a thru-rider will climb nearly 200,000 feet of vertical (equivalent to summiting Mount Everest from sea-level 7 times).

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Divide racers must not only be conditioned to endure weeks of consecutive 16+ hour days in the saddle, they need to bring other skills to the trail. The route is unmarked and circuitous, requiring navigational acumen. It travels through remote backcountry with Grizzly and Mountain Lion density. Intervals between services are frequently 100+ miles and demand calculated food/water resupply – or else. Riders must also find shelter each night or bivouac trailside. In minutes the Rockies’ dynamic mountain weather can wreak havoc on route surfaces, skewing even the most near-term travel projections. Of course, it wouldn’t be a grand tour without the geopolitics of negotiating the, albeit lower-security, international border crossing at Port of Roosville, Montana.

If you’re interested, check out the rules. I think that you might be a bit surprised.

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Anyway…. Phil is doing it this year (lucky number 13) and will be our Guinea Pig (not the kind you eat). Next year is Davids turn and then in 2012, the year that I turn 50 it’s going to be my turn. Why do it? Well, I think it’s probably very different and possibly very much the same reason for each of us (that actually makes sense if you think about it). For me (as I can’t speak for the others), it’s about pushing my limits to the edge and beyond. Along with that, it’s about the adventure. I only get to go around once so I might as well freakin’ explore every possible avenue while I can. No?  My 3rd reason, is that my friend David Guillot has heard me talk about this race for years and last summer he challenged me to do it with him in 2012 for my 50th. I love him and hate him for that, by the way.

I know that Phil has been doing an immense amount of training in the past because I’ve read his blog and he mentions it on our team email list. David is an endurance cyclist as well and he’s doing the 24 Hours of Finale solo and from recent reports, it sounds as though he’s riding from Holland to the race on the edge of France & Italy and the ocean. I suppose, that means that this might be about my last ‘play year’ before I seriously start training, loosing weight and gathering the supplies, guts and who knows what else to be able to pull it off.

Two things that you can do as an interested spectator is to follow along via podcast and/or watch the racers progress transmitted from their SPOT emergency transmitters.

Also, if you’re really interested, there’s now a movie out about the race. I would guess it will be available to buy as a DVD soon but for now….

For upcoming screenings refer to their web site http://www.ridethedividemovie.com/screenings/

Ride The Divide Movie Trailer from Ride The Divide on Vimeo. Check the previous links for movie previews. It gives me chills watching these. I suppose that’s a good thing.

There’s a page with Letters of Intent to race. Phil’s is done in classic Phil Fogg panache….

I’m in.
Phillip Fogg
Age, 45
Gelnhausen, Germany

So, like I said, Phil is first up and we’ll all be watching and cheering him on from the ‘safety’ of our office chairs, couches and bikes seats. We wish him well and next year David as well.

Phil… good luck buddy, we’ll be thinking about you a lot and cheering you on the whole time!

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Growing and Changing in 2010

This post is loooooong overdue…

As some of you know, 2009 was a big year for us in many ways. We added a few new members from various parts of Europe. Those new members went on to do some pretty awesome events and also earn some damn impressive results along the way.

It looks as though 2010 is going to be equally as exciting in that we’ve added some new members and some more are reported to be joining as well. We’ll announce them as soon we are able.

For now, our new members are:

Eric Fogg (Phils son) – Germany

David Kleinjan – Holland by way of New Zealand

Wilfred Beaumes- France

Romain Colletgiusto – France

Christian Voelkl – Austria

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As far as sponsors go, we’ve made a couple of changes and also kept many of our 2009 sponsors as well.

We LOVE our sponsors. Thanks in advance for helping us have a great year!

New for us for 2010 are:

Independent Fabrications Germany

Carbo Rocket

… and back for another year are…

Biciclista.it

FRM

Geax

Singlespeed.nl

Supernova

Sock Guy (via our American team)

Specialized (via our American team)

We have people competing in some really great events for this year (i.e. The Great Divid Race, SiS, 24 Hours of Finale and so many more). Our goal on this blog is to keep our friends, family and sponsors updated on our activities. We’ll do our best to accomplish same. So, keep checking back for updates.

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I’ve arrived on the Blog

At long last I can post something on the BWR-E blog.

The first race of the season is upon me and this Sunday, I will duel it out with Jelle, my extra tall Dutch team mate. The warmer climes have greeted us in time to dry out the course, but the forecast is for more rain this weekend. The first Berg Race of the year takes place in March, and I have only ever known it to be wet and slippery. It’s going to be a great day never the less.

Ride report to follow on Sunday.

Give us a wave!

Give me a wave!

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Andre’s First

Andre rounding the corner

Andre rounding the corner

So this was it. My first mountain bike race. OK, I did a couple of 24 hour races back in the states, SSWC 2005 and of course SiS. But this is different. It is my first race as a member of BWR and this race should be my starting point for next step in my mountain biking life. In the last couple of years I would have never thought, that I will join “normal” races besides SiS and SSP-Events.

How could that happen?

In 2003 I started with singlespeeding. In the beginning it was nothing else than a other form of training for me, something that I could do with my wife. It soon changed after I discovered how much fun it was and that I could ride all the trails I did geared.

Five years later I pedal higher gears and it is still fun, especially 2009, in which I got to ride a lot and really felt the progress which comes with constant riding and a little more training.  So this race should be a test for me how much is possible – on a twentyniner singlespeed.

The race took place in a small village near Augsburg. It was organized by the Veloclub-Lechhausen. You could choose from 1, 2 or 3 rounds each 34 km long and with 600 hm elevation change. I went for the 68km 1200 hm Halbmarathon – it should be a test – you remember? The course resembles a lying eight on the map. The first part has really nice singletracks, uphills and rooty downhills. The second part consists mostly of forrest roads.

I went with my normal gear: Niner Sir9, built up with parts from FRM and Geax. The dry weather in the last couple of weeks made me initially go for the Barro Race tires, which I absolutely love for fast rolling forest roads. A night ride in the rainy weather we have lately made me to rethink my decision and I changed back for the Saguaros, I rode the most part of last year. I feel absolutely confident with these tires. On all surfaces they roll the line I chose, be it gravel, rocks or loose forest ground. It proved to be a good choice.
Sunday 9.30am. I arrived at the location. Picked up my race package put on the number and went for the starting line. There I stood between all the others. Some faces turned to my frame, but nobody said a word. I think they have never seen a twentyniner before. Moments later some saw the SSP-setup, the looks on their faces – priceless! And it stopped to rain just before the start, finally.

10am- off we went on a stretch of road before we turned right into the forest. I started with a moderate pace, I didn’t want to go faster, sometimes there were cues on the trails. And then it was up and down some nice trails with a steep downhill at the end. My glasses were all foggy, so a root got me at this trail and I crashed, but I could go on. On the flat parts the riders I passed on the uphills rode by again, before I got them at the next hill. Also on the rooty parts I had the advantage of the big wheels. Even the fullsuspension bikes seemed to have more problems to go over the wet roots. Again no problems with the Geax tires.

After 20 km we turned into the start/finish area, went over a bridge to go on into the next loop of the first round. Thanks for the warm tea and the bar. This part was mostly fast rolling. Back at the start, it was time to refill my bottles and grab some bananas. Now the course looked empty since many riders went with one round because of the conditions. My bike was all covered in mud, I couldn’t read the decals any more. There was a constant murmur from underneath, the chain was also clogged up with mud, but Connex chains have never failed me. On the course I passed a lot of riders, experiencing problems with their drivetrain, chains fallen off or even broken. Lucky me to ride singlespeed!

But the finish was still one round to go and it should be a long one. Just before coming back to the finish area the third time I had the first cramps going up a hill. They went by and I rode on. But they came back again. But I was not the only one. Some other riders going a similar pace, were riding with me and also fighting the pain. This made it a little easier. After holding back the last 3/4 of the race I tried to put all I had left down on the pedals. And it worked. I could leave some riders behind me and even closed the distance to one rider before me. After all it was a race. On the last long uphill of the course I passed him and the finish was before me. With the sign 200 meters to go I knew I had done it. My first marathon.

In the end I even fulfilled my expectation: finishing in the middle third, although at the end of it.

For pictures go to http://www.veloclub-lechhausen.de/mtb/index.html

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Eigerbike, marathon racing in the shadow of the big swiss mountains

Sunday was swiss  “Eigerbike” day. With briliant weather, a bit hot with up top 30-32°C, but blue skies and marvelous sights it was just great. If you are high up at 2100m and you see the glaciers up at 4000m, you feel like heaven and hell are very close.

Mother of all Uphills, this Race is hard. I knew that would be tough, beeing the swiss race with the steepest uphills and the highest climb/km ratio. And I got my share of suffering, thats for sure. I have done the smaller 55km already 2 or 3 years ago and was  fully cooked after that one then, so I knew I had to start slow, otherwise I wouldnt make it. Start was fine however, the first 1000m climb was good and I felt well. During the second steep uphill then I have got foot pain, back ache, head ache and my stomach didnt accept anything, so I reduced the pressure and took it slowlier. My collegue went away then and was 16min faster overall. Somehow I recovered then, and felt ok after the first 60km.

Being not done yet, a third climb of a little more than 1100m awaited me. Meanwhile it was really hot and sunny. And it was a long uphill, but finally I made it. The time was anyway no issue, but I was really happy to finish in 8.04h, loosing only 3 hours to the first in my age category!! Before the race I changed my gears to 22/36 to 11-34, but I nearly only used the small granny, being to big for some parts still. I really missed my 20t granny, but I am getting to much chain sucks with the 20t. Some problems with the rear shifter didnt let me put pressure on any gear beside the 3 smallest without chain hopping, but these three were anyway what I used 90% of the time.

However, it worked out finally and I am happy. And it was fun! The trails were better and more challenging than I thought and remembered. Still a lot is done on tarmac, it could be better with some longer downhill sections, buts thats like it is. Currently I am a bit tired, but all, legs, brain, stomach, works, so I am fine. Depending on the weather to come, it might be that the race was my seasons highlight and I can only recommend it to everybody not knowing the area yet. We had a LOT racers from Holland, Belgium, Britain, Spain and so on and the camping (called “Eiger Nordwand”) was really great.  See you next year?

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