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Breck Epic – Day 2 diary by Brandon Dwight

Day two of the Breck Epic is in the books and indeed it was epic. It wasn’t epic in the sense that it was one of those gnarly all-day rides where you are so spent at the end you can barely muster up enough energy to take a shower. It was epic in that the course was absolutely spectacular.

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By Brandon Dwight

2009 Breck Epic, day 2: Bags lined up for quick retrieval.

2009 Breck Epic, day 2: Bags lined up for quick retrieval.

Photo: Brandon Dwight

Day two of the Breck Epic is in the books and indeed it was epic. It wasn’t epic in the sense that it was one of those gnarly all-day rides where you are so spent at the end you can barely muster up enough energy to take a shower. It was epic in that the course was absolutely spectacular.

Today we raced on what has to be some of the finest singletrack in the world. Due to the unseasonably wet weather here in Colorado the trails are tacky, buttery smooth and lightning fast. There is virtually no dust and there are more wild flowers in bloom than I have ever seen in my 18 years in the Rocky Mountains. At one point in today’s race, I was traversing a rolling field of purple and yellow flowers and even though my legs were burning and my lungs felt like they were going to jump out of my throat, I was overwhelmed by the scent these wild flowers were emitting. Even at race pace, or at least my race pace, the smell was amazingly intense.

2009 Breck Epic, day 2: Such a sweet trail.

2009 Breck Epic, day 2: Such a sweet trail.

Photo: Brandon Dwight

The organizational logistics for feeding racers riding through the backcountry are quite detailed. All riders gets two race-issued bags with their race number written on the side. These are our aid station bags. One bag goes to the first aid station, the second bag goes to the second aid station. We are allowed to put whatever we want in each bag: water bottles, energy food, spare tubes, extra clothing. All the bags are laid out in numerical order so when you roll into the aid station all you have to do is find your bag, grab your stuff and go. It’s a little frantic because you want to get your food as fast as possible and get moving.

Squirt Lube is also providing neutral lube support at each station. Unfortunately for me I did not use Squirt Lube prior to the start of the stage and by the time I reached aid station two, my chain was squeaking like an antique rocking chair. As I rallied into the aid station, I yelled, “I need lube!” I’m not sure who it was, but before I even got my water bottles and food out of my bag, my chain was lubed and good as new. Only a Formula One pit crew would have been faster. What I could have really used was a little lube for my legs and lungs, too.

As far as the today’s race went, I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom: Do not try to hang with guys who get paid to ride their bikes for a living. I tried as hard as I could to keep pace with current race leaders Jeremiah Bishop and Travis Brown. I think they took it easy on me in the beginning and I survived for about 25 miles, but near the end my tank was on empty with no gas station in sight. Prior to coming unglued it was great to ride with Travis and Jeremiah. They are both such smooth riders. We were bombing down these twisty, bermed-out trails. It was like we weren’t even racing, just buddies out for a sweet ride. At the bottom of several descents we all remarked on how much fun we were having. Now for me, the climbs were an entirely different story, but let’s not dwell on the negative.

Up next is 37 miles with nearly 6000 feet of climbing. Sounds meager compared to what racers will do in some of this year’s Tour de France stages, but this stage is over some very rough terrain. Much more rugged than today’s buffed out trails. No worries, I’m sure it will still be a blast. Mountain biking always is.

2009 Breck Epic, day 2: The home town brew.

2009 Breck Epic, day 2: The home town brew.

Photo: Brandon Dwight

As I finish up this journal, I am taking my last sip of Breckenridge Brewery’s SummerBright Ale. It’s only fitting I review a beer crafted by a brew house named after the town where the Breck Epic is taking place. As you might have guessed by the name, SummerBright Ale is a seasonal beer. It’s described as a wheat beer, which I am not a huge fan of, but the wheat in this ale is very light and seems like a perfect refreshment on a hot summer day. Or, a great day of trail riding. Yes, I’ll have another.

This morning before the race my wife whipped up some delicious pancakes to get me ready for a long day in the saddle. I’m a sucker for good flapjacks and her cakes are to die for. I thought I would share today’s recipe with you.

Buckwheat-Apricot Gluten Free Pancakes
Dry ingredients
1 c. buckwheat flour
½ c. white or brown rice flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp xanthan gum

Wet ingredients

2009 Breck Epic, day 2: A way to get the day started.

2009 Breck Epic, day 2: A way to get the day started.

Photo: Brandon Dwight

2 tablespoons molasses, real maple syrup or agave nectar
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ c skim, rice, soy or almond milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted (or 1T butter and 1 T yogurt)
1 tsp. vinegar
1 whole apricot diced
1 whole apricot sliced for garnish

Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl. Lightly stir dry ingredients into wet, careful not to over stir. Fold in apricots. Let sit for a few minutes. Ladle onto a hot griddle. Roast sliced apricots alongside pancakes on griddle until slightly soft and brown. Makes 10-12 pancakes.

I know most of you are wrapped up in keeping up with the latest the Tour de France, so thanks for reading!

Brandon Dwight lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife Heather and chocolate lab, Oban, and is part owner of Boulder Cycle Sport. He is also the founder of Doperssuck.com. His sponsors include: Scott Bicycles, Crank Brothers, and Clif Bar.

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