Jesse Bernal, Racing Member
written by Jesse Bernal, Racing Member #IRideBikesGood

If you’ve ever ridden or volunteered for a Spinistry event you already know that Kevin Lee (Spinistry’s founder) is notoriously guilty of putting on some of the most grueling cycling events south of the Red River. Texas Chainring Massacre, Red River Riot, Hell on Wheels 100, and Midnight Massacre are just a few of the races in his repertoire; but none come close to the insanity that is the Sansom 66. To the untrained eye, the Sansom 66 looks like any other 60ish mile endurance race, but to the frequenters of this trail this is 66 miles of pure agony. Marion Sansom Park is 11 miles of rocky, loose, technical, and fast descending single track located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is also infamously known for having near the edge, fall off a cliff, super fast, flowy trail. If you’ve never had the chance to ride here, I highly encourage you to make the trip, preferably with someone that knows the trail.

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Earlier this year three of our very own Bearded Women Racing members Randy Davis, Braden Barnett, and I took on the challenge of the Sansom 66. However, being only mere mortals, we only signed up for the 33 miles option, which proved to be more than enough. The day started with cool temperatures and brisk winds that seemed to cut through even the best of windbreakers. As riders dawned their layers of long sleeve shirts and thermals the anxiety started to compound as it does with most race days. A few minutes before the race began, Kevin Lee gathered the racers around for the traditional racer’s meeting in which they gave a moment of silence for the late, great Ray Porter, a Dallas racing legend. In honor of Ray, his #1 race plate was retired from Spinistry events… a genuinely respectable act by Kevin.

Soon the race began with a short start loop that shot the racers straight into the racecourse. The degree of difficulty was quickly realized when racers began to bottleneck on technical sections and climbs that weren’t cleaned by the less experienced riders. Thankfully the field of riders was small and the traffic diminished within a few minutes. At this time, Bearded Women Racing was pretty well spread out. Braden and his Ti Lynskey bike were making great time and were in the lead pack. Randy was also doing well on his scandium/carbon Salsa and was staying competitive in the middle pack. Meanwhile, I was trudging along in the back of the pack on my Niner carbon single speed because of a flat tire late in the first lap. I eventually recovered from this and fixed my puncture, but never really got back into the race because I had lost so much time.

3 laps later our racers slowly started crossing the finish line looking beaten, but elated at the same time. Braden absolutely crushed the race coming in with a time of 3:57:07 which earned him a place of 17/28. Randy also had a strong showing earning a 22/28 placing with a time of 4:28:29. I, despite the mechanical troubles I encountered with two flat tires, earned a 25/28 place with a time of 5:10:50; respectable time for a single speed. Perhaps I would have had better luck if I had registered in the single speed category.

See ya at IDB! JB

Here are the overall results from the Samson 66 in Ft Worth, TX:

End of 2013 Team Party, Award Winners, Team Performance, and Community Outreach

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Early this month, the team celebrated completing it’s first inaugural racing season at the Bearded Lady on South Magnolia in Ft. Worth.  It’s a must go kind of place that has one of the most comprehensive craft beer selections in North Texas!

2013 Board Officers with Geoff

At the party, the team had the pleasure of having pro racer, Geoff Godsey, from Team Giant Southwest and DFW Active Life as a guest speaker, and assisting us in giving out our team performance awards.

Geoff turned PRO in 2000 at the age of 23, and has raced for several teams including TREK-Volkswagen Pro Cycling (Off-road & On-road), Ranch London (On-road), Specialized Factory Team (On-Road), Team Hotel San Jose (On-Road), Kenda-5hr Energy Pro Cycling (On-Road), GIANT Factory ON-ROAD Team (formerly GIANT Bicycles-SOUTH). His career includes both domestic and international experience (primarily Central / South American Tours).  He’s had 25 + Career Victories, Multiple Texas State Championship titles (includes current 2-time Masters State Criterium Championship).  Some highlights – (3) Stages wins at the International Cycling Classic, (4) Stage wins at the Ciclismo Internationale de Brazil, Top 20 Performance at the US National Championship ITT – PR 51min 37sec (40K)

Team Performance Award Winners

Our team supports two types of members, racing and riding.  Our racing members have the opportunity to compete for annual team awards to act as an incentive and motivation to perform well during the season.  We track races completed and placings, and assign a points system to them.  Based on the data, we have a pretty good objective way to award performance without any kind of subjective opinion.  Here are the 2013 winners:

Along with individual performances, we feel our team fared pretty well as a whole.  Here is a breakdown of our team performance from this past year:

Racing by the Numbers

The inaugural racing season saw 23 members compete in 8 USAC sanctioned, sprint and endurance mountain bike races for a total of 85 individual race entries completed.  20 members in Category 3 age group, and 3 in Category 2 single speed classifications. Total team membership reached 29 for the season and consisted of 23 adult males, 3 adult females, and 3 junior racers.

Racing Performance

Several of our racing members placed in the top ten and reached the podium in multiple races.  Here is the breakdown of our best results for the season:

MTB Sprint

MTB Team Endurance

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th – 10th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th – 10th
5 3 5 1 6 1 1 1 8

The team also had several top DORBA Fall Total Series placing’s, including 1st and 4th place for Cat 2 SS, 1st and a tie for 2nd place in the Cat 3 20 -29, and 1st place in Clydesdale

In addition to our racing performances, Bearded Women Racing is 100% focused on community outreach as well.  Here is a summary of what our team accomplished this past season:

Charitable Fundraising

carrrytheloadlogoIn May of 2013, Bearded Women Racing marched 91 miles in 17 hours and raised over $600 in honor of those fallen soldiers and their families at Carry the Load.  The team will make this an annual fundraising event each year!

Carry the Load is a non-profit organization helping people celebrate a meaningful Memorial Day by conducting a 20-hour event that honors veterans and active duty service members, law enforcement officers, firefighters and their families.

PedalPowerThe team was able to provide 20 adult, refurbished bicycles to those in need through this local organization located in Mansfield, TX.  Their mission is to provide low cost transportation options to students, micro-businesspeople, health care workers and others in developing nations and in our local community by recycling and reusing bicycles and their component parts

Pedal-Power is a non-profit 501©3 organization that recovers used bicycles, repairs them to working condition, and donates them to individuals locally and in developing countries.

The team helped to supply 480 NEW BALANCE sport t-shirts to Walnut Ridge Baptist Church for Samaritan’s Purse International Relief for Operation Christmas Child.

Mountain Bike Trail Maintenance

Dallas Off-Road Bicycling AssociationDORBAlogo

One of our team principles is giving our time back to the mountain bike community trails.  On Sunday, September 15 our members gave a hefty about of muscle and sweat to preparing Boulder Park for the upcoming but eventually cancelled DORBA Fall Series race.

24 volunteers and 120 man hours later, a new super-berm was erected, miles of trail were trimmed, plant beds were managed, and hundreds of yards of grass were cut!  BWR team members turned out in force alongside many other DORBA and local volunteers to make the effort a memorable one!  Trail Steward Cash Lopper and game day coordinator Todd Brashear led the effort alongside sponsors Bearded Women Racing and B & B Bicycles.

Also, a few team members spent 9 man hours at another trial maintenance day at Cedar Hill State Park.  A huge berm was repaired as well as a creek crossing.  The team will continue to work with local trail stewards and schedule work days as a part of our membership requirements, and obligations to our community trails.

The Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association is a 501c3 non-profit and its primary mission is providing access to great local trails.

DORBA Fall Series – Cedar Hill Reschedule

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What a spectacular inaugural season we’ve had!  The last race in what became a make up race ended our 2013 season with a bang.  We brought 10 racers and all did a great job finishing this fast course.

A couple of highlights include Braden Barnett ending his season with his first 1st place showing!


Brandon Schrader finished his year with 2 5th place, 2 4th place, and 2 3rd place finishes and the lead in the team overall points competition.  In addition, Nathan Delahoussaye and Wes Salas both finished in the top ten of the normally packed and competitive Cat 3 30 -39 category

With the majority of our racing members agreeing to comeback for the 2014 season, and the team looking to expand it’s racing roster, we can hope to see more successes in the future!  If you’re interested in applying for 2014 racing membership, we will open up the application process on November 11th.  For more information on team membership, read here!  *We have a limited number of spots available

Here are the overall results from the race:

Riding the NETT

Here’s a wrap up of a recent event called Ride the NETT 4 of our team members on Saturday, November 2nd. Two of them raced the DORBA race the following day and the other two completed the ride back for a total round trip of 130 miles!

Bike Friendly Oak Cliff

written by Jonathan Braddick

I love rail corridors that are no longer in service, have been rail banked, or abandoned for private purchase.  They have layers of history that end up over lapping with new ones when rail trails are developed, like a palimpsest does.  They provide a glimpse into our past when this form of transportation dominated our country’s landscapes, our industries, and was the most often used form of transportation.  In our area of the nation’s prairie land, we have a fair share of these rail corridors.  However, one in particular is special and provides a unique adventure unlike no other can in North Texas.

Last Saturday, I rode 50 miles of the 130 mile long, North East Texas Trail, starting at the western trail head in Farmersville, TX.  Located approximately one hour from Dallas’ city center, it’s a complete escape and contrast to our…

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Hotter Than Hell

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Everyone in Texas and across the country knows about the Hotter Than Hell 100.  Growing up in Collin County, it’s all I heard about at the local bike shop in Plano.  This year several Bearded Women members went up to the largest single day 100 mile bicycle ride in the nation – and possibly the world – to test themselves on the 60 mi or 100 mi course.

The event also has a half marathon and mountain bike race that athletes can choose to enter.  A few of our members rode both the mountain bike race and the 60 mi road route.  Even one, Kyle Adams, did all 3 events throughout the weekend to receive the Trifecta Award.  Nice work Kyle!

The history of the event is rather interesting, as their website says:

The Hotter’N Hell Hundred grew out of efforts to find a special way for Wichita Falls to celebrate its centennial in 1982. Roby Christie of the Wichita Falls Bicycle Club proposed a bicycle ride – 100 miles in 100 degree heat to celebrate 100 years.  The original HHH committee promoted the idea as a unique and fitting event to honor the spirit of Texoma and the people who first settled the area.  A consulting company from New York City had proposed a rocking chair marathon, but after lengthy discussion the Centennial Committee agreed with the HHH committee that early settlers were not rocking chair people.  Gritty people capable of riding 100 miles in Texoma heat was a more fitting symbol of the tenacity of our early settlers.  Mark and Jo-Alice Davis, now of Weatherford Texas, coined the name, Hotter’N Hell Hundred.  The rest is Hotter’N Hell History.  Some of the original committee members have moved on but Roby and many others remain involved in planning and implementing the event in each of its now 30 years.  The committee started with 7 people and is now in excess of 90.

During the first year of HHH, there were 1200 riders.  Endurance cycling was relatively new to Texas but 1200 riders celebrated the first year as the largest single day 100-mile ride in the nation.  The HHH committee has been a constant pupil in the school of hard knocks.  Rest stops during the first year were operated by members of the Good Sam’s RV Club.  On-board water, toilets and built-in shade made these RV land yachts appear to be the perfect mobile rest stop.  The bicycling event emptied the water tanks, filled the toilet tanks and wore out the small crew of volunteers.  Tired or not, the Good Sam’s remained an important part of road support for many years.

Ever wonder where the CamelBak hydration pack originated? Well, it was at the 1988 Hotter’N Hell Hundred right here in Wichita Falls, Texas! Click on the link to visit their site.

The early years of medical support would be a nightmare for current day medical volunteers.  There was one medical unit at the finish line.  Nowadays there are MASH units at each rest stop and at the finish.  Medical volunteers treat everything from bees embedded in rider’s ears, to emu bites, road rash, under hydration, over hydration and hard landings.

DORBA Fall Series – Rowlett Creek Preserve #2

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Team.  Defined as a group of people linked in a common purpose.  Mountain biking isn’t always a team sport.  You perform on an individual level, competing with other athletes in a sprint race to be first to the line.  This past Sunday, our team showed what it means to be linked together in common purpose.

At the DORBA Fall Series race at Rowlett Creek Preserve, our best overall showing of the season comprised of two 1st place finishes, two 2nd place finishes, two 3rd place finishes, and one 5th place finish.  We also fielded the highest number of entries with 14 Adults and 3 Juniors.

Our biggest highlight came with two racing members who didn’t even finish the race.  Brad Wendling, a team officer, was having a fast race when he lost control and crashed.  He was able to pick himself up and begin racing again when it happened a second, much harder, time.  He’s doing better today, but what happened after that crash is something pretty special.  Josh Merkel, an original member of the team, was racing in only his 2nd race of the season when he came upon Brad.  Instead of continuing, and finishing his race, Josh decided to DNF himself to help Brad out and back to the team tent so medics could check on him.  Josh sacrificed his own race for a fellow teammate.  Big kudos to him, and a reminder to us all that we’re pretty lucky to have such great teammates.

Sunday also marked another first for the team, when three junior racers stepped into their first ever mountain bike race!  Aiden Toombs, and brothers Jacob and William Wendling all competed and had lots of fun racing the 3 mile course.

As for those pretty impressive showings, Minh Nguyen and Keith McDonald finished what they couldn’t do the last race because of mechanical breakdowns, and ended up on the podium 1st and 3rd respectively in the Cat 3 40 – 49 division.  The largest division of the event at 49 racers!

In the Cat 3 19 – 29 division, newcomer Jacob Hollings, took 2nd place after a 1st place performance at LB Houston before joining the team.  Jacob’s new teammate, Braden Barnett, showed why he’s poised to grab a top spot soon by continuing to move up the rankings with a 5th place finish.

In a newly created division in Cat 3, Jonathan Braddick and Logan Davis competed in the Clydesdale division taking 1st and 9th respectively.

The results kept coming in the last race of the day in Cat 2.  Brandon Schrader has had quite the season in the SS division, taking multiple top 5 finishes, but in this race he finally saw the results of his hard work, taking a podium spot in 3rd place.  He also holds the top overall team points leader position.  The heat didn’t hold back his divisional teammate, Will Jiron, coming in 11th place.

And finally, the “most races completed this season” leader on the team, and oldest member (of which we like to remind him of this all of the time) superman James Henson completed his seventh race, and is a close 2nd in our overall team points leader competition.  He finished 2nd in the Cat 2 60 plus division.

Here are the overall results from the race:

  • Cat 2 60 plus
  • Cat 2 SS
    • Brandon Schrader, 3rd Place out of 14, 1:48:25
    • Will Jiron, 11th Place out of 14, 2:06:03
  • Cat 3 Juniors, 10 and under
    • Aiden Toombs, 11th Place out of 18, 0:16:36
    • Jacob Wendling, 12th Place out of 18, 0:16:43
    • William Wendling, 16th Place out of 18, 0:20:00
  • Cat 3 19 -29
    • Jacob Hollings, 2nd Place out of 21, 0:49:38 (new member)
    • Braden Barnett, 5th Place out of 21, 0:53:21
  • Cat 3 30 -39
    • Shane Walden, 12th Place out of 40, 0:53:10 (new member)
    • Nathan Delahoussaye, 19th out of 40, 0:55:20
    • Wes Salas, 20th out of 40, 0:55:22 (new member)
    • Brad Wendling, DNF, (crash)
    • Josh Merkel, DNF, (helped a teammate after crash, sacrificed his own race to do this!)
  • Cat 3 40 – 49
    • Keith McDonald, 3rd Place out of 49, 0:50:40
  • Cat 3 Clydesdale
    • Jonathan Braddick, 1st Place out of 9, 0:54:56
    • Logan Davis, 9th Place out of 9, 0:45:29 (new member)

DORBA LB Houston Workday, July 13th

DORBABearded Women always give back to their communities.  It’s part of our mission and equally important to our racing.  Here’s a great opportunity to give back to the sport of mountain biking in North Texas this coming Saturday, July 13th from 8:00 AM – Noon!

From the Dallas Off Road Biking Associations Facebook event:


It’s a GO!
Let’s make this the best trail day ever! Racers you need your pay dirt, so come on.

With the help of our lovely Elva Esparza and her love for DORBA, Progressive Insurance wants to help DORBA out at one of our trails. 🙂

Progressive will have 20+ helpers with us and will be providing lunch (food and drinks) for all volunteers.

Please come join hands with Progressive in helping our trails be that much more awesome. Bring gloves and any loppers or trimmers that you might have, eye protection and dress appropriately (you might want to wear light long sleeves or pants for the overgrowth scrapes)
We will be trimming back the spring growth to keep the trail safe and enjoyable for all.

ALSO-there will be a fun ride from 2-4pm, the Progressive crew has been encouraged to bring bikes and helmets to be introduced into the fun that is mt biking 🙂 RSVP Here!

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