We are proud to announce our sponsorship of the DORBA Frozen Endurance Series. As a sponsor for the series, we will be providing breakfast at the Frisco race for volunteers only. At the Northshore and Boulder races breakfast will be provided for all. So please come out and support DORBA by volunteering or racing, we guarantee a good time will be had by all!
Terra Firma Racing puts on an amazing race and this is one you need to consider for next year. The Dirty Dozen is a 12-Hr or 6-Hr mountain bike race for solo riders and relay teams on a 7ish mile single track course (Bluff Creek Ranch in Warda, TX). The vibe, the company of great people, and the Fireball makes this one totally worth it!
Warda is about 3 1/2 hours away from DFW, so most of our members showed up Friday, Feb. 5th. It was a chilly evening spent around the fire, drinking beverages, and chowing down on some of Mr. Castro’s finest foods. After a good night’s rest, we were charged up and ready to throw down on Saturday morning. With 30+, that’s right – THIRTY PLUS, members in attendance, we were prepared to dominate. Everywhere you looked, there was a red jersey in sight.
Everyone gathered for the pre-race meeting and then the race quickly started with a Le Mans start. Racers dashed into the woods twisting through the pines and over the roots. Team members as well as other racers cheered and supported one another as the day continued. One of the best parts of this race was approaching the BWR heckle corner where teammates cheered on racers (er – something like that), handed up shots of Fireball, and jammed out to some sweet tunes.
Just as we had hoped, many of our BWR members finished strong. James Beas placed 4th in the 12-Hr Solo Open Male category. Marcus Gillespie placed 4th and Brad Wendling placed 7th in the 12-Hr Single Speed Male category. Marcus Mendoza placed 4th, Randy Davis placed 6th, David Deery placed 8th, Nathan Delahoussaye placed 10th, and Greg Campbell placed 13th in the 12-Hr Solo Sport Male category. James Henson placed 2nd in the 12-Hr Solo Grand Poobah category. The Richard Gears, Mark Thompson and Braden Barnett, placed 5th and the Dirt Dudes, Wes Salas and Mike D’Aurelio, placed 7th in the 12-Hr 2 Person Male category. In the 12-Hr 4 Person Male category, Jonathan Braddick, Mando Zermeno, Logan Davis, and Dennis Vollmer placed 5th. Moreece placed 6th with his team in the same category. Bearded Women Racing Rockstars – Melissa Dalton, Brittany Smith, Reba Becker, and Lauren Lay – placed 1st in the 12-Hr 4 Person Female category. Kelly Hart, Judge Rucker, and Kate Castro placed 2nd in the 12-Hr 4 Person Coed category. Sadly, Dylan Garrigan didn’t get to race with them as he injured his finger right before the race began. In the 12-Hr 4 Person Masters category, Minh Nguyen, Daniel Johnson, Eric Swarvar, and Blake york took home 3rd place. Nick Castro, Mike Carroll, Shane Woodhall, Riley Moore, and Clint Fenske earned 2nd placed in the 12-Hr 5 Person Grande category. Last but not least, Brad McDaniel placed 18th in the 6-Hr Solo Sport Male category.
“Giddy up, y’all!” was the feeling at Texas Chainring Massacre. The brisk 30 degree temps didn’t keep the Bearded Women away. We had a showing of over 7 members getting out and riding the gravel. Spinistry put on the best route and had a huge turnout of people.
Big shout out to Raul, Brad McDaniel, and Brad Wendling. New member, Russell Scott went out to accomplish 50 miles on his MTB. At mile 20, Russell’s derailleur blew up and was found stranded. Teammates, Raul and Brad, stopped and fixed him up as a single speed. Russell pushed on and completed the whole route with the badass support of Brad who reserved his ride to help out a fellow teammate.
Riders, Judge Rucker and Mando Mex, took on the feat with one gear! They took on climbs and distance and battled the grueling temperatures to take 2nd and 3rd place in the category. What a great day for Bearded Women Racing!
Several beards took advantage of the beautiful weather on January 31st and raced at the Overdose @ OCNP endurance event put on by Lonestar XC. What made this day extra special was that it was the first race for Nicolas Gauring, James Beas and Marcus Mendoza as BWR members.
Overdose offered several racing options 1 lap dash, 2 lap sprint, 4 lap marathon, and the ultimate test of an 8 lap ultra-marathon. Blake York put in an amazing performance and took 2nd place in the ultra-marathon finishing in 5:35:34. James Beas battled severe cramping by the 4th lap, but he persevered and finished strong, finishing 8th. Randy Davis was feeling great throughout the race and took 13th.
The competition for the 4 lap marathon was intense as 4 riders fought for the top spot, one of which was our very own Nicolas Gaurin. The leader attempted to lose him throughout the race and Nicolas would reel him in every time, getting within 1 second on the 2nd and 3rd lap. Nicolas ultimately took 2nd with a time of 2:26:13. Marcus Mendoza took advantage of his day off from being a bike cop by riding his bike 32 miles and placing 53rd. David Deery put in a stellar performance and finished 90th overall and 7th for the mature gentleman division of 50+.
Our very own team captain, Nick Castro, competed in the 2 lap sprint and came in 107th overall and as the only Clydesdale he dominated that category, taking home a 3rd place flask for the sub-categories. He reported receiving several slaps to his bottom from teammates and may be permanently scarred.
A special thank you goes out to Minh Nguyen and his family. They showed up to offer moral support and the use of their cooler.
The Frozen Series is an endurance series with the option of 6 hours (solo or relay team) or 4 hours (solo only). The series kicked off at a chilling 28 degrees at Erwin Park in McKinney, Texas. We started off the morning with a small group of high performance, dedicated endurance athletes. First things first, cheers to the 2015 season! To start things off on the right foot, we slammed a few shots of spiced Jägermeister (super gross) and stood around for half an hour for a delayed race start. Luckily, we had some team members hook it up with the propane heaters and 2 gallons of smoking hot apple cider. It was helpful, but still very cold. The race start was your typical endurance Le Mans dash with your typical group of dude-bro racers sprinting to their bikes and the “Too Cool for School” crowd casually jogging behind. I’m not so sure the Le Mans start was very helpful in spacing out the crowd, because many of us got stuck behind the parade on the first lap with a major bottleneck at every turn. It’s all good though. This is endurance racing, you’ve got all day to catch up. I saw some more Jägermeister shots going down and cheeseburgers being eaten between laps. Nothing sets the tone for endurance mountain bike racing like a party in the pit! It was a good time!
The good times continued at the second race at Northshore with a not-so-frozen day! The temperatures could not have been better. Hey, 70 degrees in the middle of winter? No complaining here. As we waited for the start, there were more shots being taken and blueberry pancakes were being devoured as BWR got ready to take on the day. After the usual racer’s meeting, everyone sat their bikes down and found their spot on the rail for the usual Le Mans start. The signal was given and the racers were off. The first part of the course was a lot of fun with some fast, flowing sections followed by a few switchbacks here and there. As we got to the second part of the course, let’s just say the more “technically-savvy” excelled as there were multiple rock gardens, some rocky climbs, and one tough cliff face climb. All in all, it was a great day for racing and we walked away with only one small injury (Sorry, Michael). 🙂
The third and final race was at Rowlett Creek Preserve. Rowlett Creek Preserve is a trail that most of us have ridden numerous times. It’s where a lot of events, races, and group rides take place due to its reputation for being more of a beginner trail. This is the mindset that many had going into this portion of the Frozen Series. Then, it was announced that the course was to be ran backwards! BWR still had several members that were up for the challenge.The course was much more challenging and interesting than expected. Since it was backwards, even those very familiar with the course got disoriented. The beginning was full of good drops, steep climbs, and some fun dips while the middle had a couple of longer climbs that kept the heart rate going, while the end had some interesting obstacles to keep things exciting. A wonderful course combined with perfect weather made for a great day!
All in all, we would like to thank DORBA for organizing the Frozen Series. We know this would not be possible without your hard work and dedication. We are looking forward to next year!
Back to where it all began, the team amassed the largest showing at this annual Terra Firma event to date. Two 3-4 person co-ed teams, one 2-man 12 hour team, one 4 man team, one 6 hour solo, and two 12 hour SS solo made for the largest team at the event. Period.
The forecast the entire week was well, rain. Fortunately, the rain held off until the afternoon, and the pit tent was active with the best support a team can have! Hot soup, snacks, and food and water throughout the day made our racers feel invincible.
The two man team of Jonathan Braddick and Marcus Gillespie already won their category the second the race started, because know one else signed up for that category. That didn’t change anything, as they end up with 11 laps due to weather.
The two co-ed teams battled for the top spot all day together, along with another team. One was a three person team, Brad Wendling, Melissa Dalton, and Mike D’Aurelio end up in third behind Judge Rucker, Kate Castro, Micheal Shannon, and Corey Fawcett who ended up in second place.
The solo troopers were the big highlight of this 12 hour endurance race! Jesse Bernal (12 hr SS, Nick Castro (12 hr SS) and Brad McDaniel (6 hr) all did an amazing job. Nick completed 5 laps on a broken bicycle and is first solo 12 hour, Brad also completed his first solo endurance race, and Jesse was the superman on the team for the weekend. He completed 10 solo single speed laps, and finished in 2nd place overall!
Here are the final results and pictures from the fun!
12 hr Solo SS
Jesse Bernal, 2nd place
Nick Castro, 5th place
6 hr Solo
Brad McDaniel, 16th place
12 hr Co-ed team
Judge Rucker, Micheal Shannon, Kate Castro, Corey Fawcett, 2nd place
Brad Wendling, Melissa Dalton, Mike D’Aurelio, 3rd place
12 hr Four Man
Minh Nguyen, Evan McGinely, Nathan Delahoussaye, Moreece Griffin, 6th place
The end of our second season racing caps a tremendously successful, and exciting 2014 for our team. The year has been fruitful, rewarding, tragic, and very special for all of our members. Here’s a look back at the season, including our 2014 team performance award winners, Jacob the Great, and what we accomplished:
Jacob the Great
On January 16, 2014 we tragically lost one of our own right as the new season was starting. Jacob Hollings joined our inagural 2013 squad as a mid-season addition at 20 years old, and quickly shined, winning multiple races and finishing the season on a very high note.
While his passing was very sad and difficult, we remember Jacob, not only through our own encounters with him, but also first hand through his father, Phil Hollings. Phil pledged to his son, posthumously, to race in Jacob’s place. He had never ridden a mountain bike before, and in his first race, he got 1st place, just like Jacob! We are so thankful to have Phil on the team, racing for himself and in Jacob’s memory. Read more about Jacob here.
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 2014 winners:
2014 team awards made by ReGeared
2014 Best Overall Performance, Eric Swarvar
2014 Best Accumulated MTB Endurance Team Race Placing, Braden Barnett and Dan Smith
2014 Best Pit Crew Teammate, Phil Hollings
2014 Most Improved Rider, Logan Davis (accepting – Brady Davis)
2014 Most Races Completed, Moreece Griffin
2014 Best Team Beard, Ken McClure
2014 Best Accumulated MTB Sprint Race Placing, Keith McDonald
2014 team gifts made by ReGeared given to all team members
The 2014 racing season saw 34 out of 49 members compete in 43 unique sprint and endurance bike races for a total of 247 individual race entries logged by both racing and riding members, up 65 % from 85 logged in 2013.
By far our most represented Category is CAT2 (SS included) and 2nd most popular is CAT 3. There were 105 XC Races logged, and 62 Endurance type races. BWR was represented at a race in every month of the season in 2014!
Total team membership reached 49 for the season and consisted of 1 life time member, 32 racing members, 12 riding members, and 4 junior boys. The team became more gender diverse with 7 women on the team, 3 who raced consistently the entire season. We had 37 men, respectively.
Several of our racing and riding members placed in the top ten and reached the podium in multiple races during the season. Here is the breakdown of our best results:
5th – 10th
That put’s a Bearded Women on the podium 84 times out of 247 individual race entries, a 34% podium achievement rate!
Click on a race to read each summary (not all races attended were summarized):
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:
Aside from racing, our members are expected to participate in various community service events throughout the season. This past year, 22 members volunteered their time at 26 local events. Here are some of the events Bearded Women Racing was at:
For the past 2 years, Bearded Women Racing marched in honor of fallen soldiers and their families at Carry the Load. Here’s recaps from 2013 and 2014.
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.
This was the first year the team participated in DORBA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. Three trails celebrated TKMBD on Saturday, October 4, 2014. Bearded Women Racing (BWR) volunteered at two of those events: Horseshoe (Grapevine, TX), and the NW Community Trail (Frisco, TX).
Horseshoe jointly conducted a DORBA (dorba.org) Beginner’s Clinic on Saturday, and they drew a total of 44 adults and 10 kids to the event. Eight BWR members were on-hand to assist with set-up, the clinic, leading/sweeping rides, encouraging the kids, and grilling up some grub to wrap up the day’s festivities.
In Frisco, seven BWR members came out to help check fit on the kids’ bikes and helmets, change flats, lead/sweep rides and cheer the kids on. Frisco drew 15 smiling, happy kids to their event and many laps around the trail were taken by all.
This season, each member was challenged to complete at least 8 hours of trail work for the year. The team requires members to give back in various ways, and putting in trail time is one of the main activities we do. We had 36 members work a total of 462 trail hours at 17 different trails! We hope to double that amount next year.
At the end of November, we wrapped up the DORBA Fall Series with a final race at Frisco NW Community Park Trail. The week prior to the race, BWR was sitting in 3rd place for the Overall Team award. The bottom line was we needed teammates to sign up for this race, so we could move up in the rankings. Teammates encouraged one another to sign up, and the BWR turnout that day was awesome! We had a whopping total of 25 racers ready to take on the competition at Frisco!
This final race was a bit different than the rest. Each lap was only about 4 miles, so Cat 3 racers did 3 laps, Cat 2 racers did 4 laps, and Cat 1 racers did 5. This trail also has very little tree covering, so much of the race was out in the open, which made it fun for the spectators.
The race began on a jeep road that went directly up a hill, quickly separating the leaders from the rest of the pack. Once we got up the hill, we went through an old barn and jumped right onto the single track. If you simply look at Frisco NW Community Trail, you would think it looks fairly flat. Guess again. There are few sections of long sustained climbs that definitely get heart rate elevated. The rest of the trail has a smooth, non-technical flow with some whoop-de-doos and tight turns.
It was so cool to have so many teammates, old and new, there to end the Fall Series. We are definitely looking forward to next year. We appreciate the work that goes into the production of these races. Thank you, DORBA, and volunteers!
Here are the full team results and photos from the day:
Written by racing member, Evan Blackard Rudolph’s Revenge is a 30-mile or 40-mile mountain bike race held on the Ray Roberts Greenbelt Corridor, the road between the FM455 Greenbelt access point and Isle du Bois State Park (FM455), the road in Isle du Bois State Park (from the park entrance to the DORBA trailhead), and the DORBA Trail at Isle du Bois. This year, it was held on Saturday, December 20th, with a start time of 9:00 A.M. Temps were in the low 40s and it was overcast and damp.
The 30-mile version began with a mass start from the red bridge at the FM428 access point of the Greenbelt Corridor. The start was very “low-key” compared to many XC races, with very few sprinting from the onset. Even those that did, quickly realized that the open areas of the Greenbelt trail would be better experienced in a drafting pack, and let the main group catch up. Drafting was very important on the greenbelt and the initial road portion of the trail. Riders that did this well had significantly more energy reserves for the upcoming single track and the return on the road and Greenbelt gravel.
After riding the Greenbelt and some road (around 9 miles) from the FM455 access point to the park, into the park, and all the way to the trailhead, the single track portion of the race began. Isle du Bois is a demanding trail both technically and aerobically, although more so technically. It is very well balanced with climbs and descents, and doesn’t have an abundance of “lung-busting” extended climbs or open flats to “pound.” The technical aspect of the trail is largely due to the short, rocky climbs and descents in the D and E loops of the trail. There are many and they are tricky. I walked 3 or 4 sections after putting a foot down. I got the impression that increased familiarity with the trail would help with that, although it would be technically difficult nonetheless.
The Isle du Bois trail is around 10 miles and is fantastically fun. It’s a great place to destroy your legs because you’re having a blast while you’re doing it.
The road and gravel on the return was NOT fantastically fun. It was the identical route you took to get to the trailhead but in reverse, except this time, there was no one to draft with. It was punishing for everyone, but particularly for those who were better in the trees than on the road (like me). It seemed like it went on forever and it was just flat-out suffering (I got reeled in by a rider that I had put around a minute gap on in the single track). Painful. 😊
The 30 mile version and the 40 mile version race the same course, but the 40 mile version did the singletrack TWICE. (Ouch… Ask Ben.)
Shawn McAfee and his family provided pancakes and coffee, and The Sock Guy provided some free socks for the riders. Shawn also used your entrance fee to work an arrangement with the state park to cover all the riders entries to the park. There were about 50 total racers in the 30 mile and 30ish in the 40 mile.
BWR had three participants:
Jesse Bernal from BWR is the trail steward at IDB and does an amazing job. There was rain leading up to the event that threatened to move the race to its backup date, but in the end, the race was a “go” and the trail was in fantastic shape. Thanks, Jesse.
I would highly recommend this race: multi-discipline, higher than average XC milage, in a “race void” time of year, held on a fantastic trail, and staffed by some really friendly people.