Biketoberfest at the DORBA – 2015 North Texas XC Series on September 26th at Boulder Park!

HanzYa, this iz Hans from ze Motha’ land ya!  I’ve journe’d all ze vay from my home of Hamburg to invite you to ze Bearded Vemon Vacing’s Zecond Annual Biktoberfest ya!  I had zuch a great time last year I dezided to return in zearch of zis mountainz you zpeak of. It’z a Nagelschlagen guaranteed to be ze best time you’ll have on a mountain bike!

What iz zis mountain bike, ya?  Ve have real mountainz back in Duetschland!  Ver are ze mountains in Texas, ya? No matter!  Vear your most favorite Duetsch costume to vin a prize, or try to beat me at ze arm wrestling or bike throwing contests, and other bike games, ya!

I’ll also be opening my personal Beirgarten with mama’s traditional bratz and ze cold root beer, free for everyone to enjoy.

*First come, first zerve.  Limited supply. Donations accepted.

Also, to check out my swag bag full of excellent Bearded Vemon Vacing merch, and listen to ze excellent sounds of ze Polka and Deutsch rock and roll! Can’t wait to meet all of you there!

Auf Wiedersehen!

HERE ARE ZE DETAILS: XC Mountain Bike Race

DORBA – 2015 North Texas XC Series will take place on September 26th, 2015 from 8:30 am – 4:30:00 pm at Boulder Park in Dallas, TX. Register to race

Root – Biergarten – Our sponsors provided great prizes!

Listen to Hans and visit his Biktoberfest Biergarten featuring free brats and cold root beers, one per person, first come first serve.  Hang out with fellow racers, take your hand at the arm wrestling or bike tossing contests, or buy a BWR tee shirt, kozy or water bottle to help support the team!  Prizes from our sponsors, Rudyproject, Kind Snacks, Oskar Blues Brewery, Cadence Cyclery Highland Village and Regeared.

Cash at the race or Paypal donations to are generously accepted.


It’s not a race without more competition, and this won’t be USAC regulated!  Hans loves’ to win so try to beat him at the caber bike toss, arm wrestling, pogo competition, Dance off and more!  Festivities get underway once Cat 1 racers have finished the race.


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DORBA Fall Series – Frisco

Michelle Blackard tearin’ it up!

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!

Racing member, Will Jiron
Racing member, Will Jiron

Here are the full team results and photos from the day:

Cat 1 Men 60+

Cat 2 Men 60+

Cat 2 Men 35 – 39

Cat 2 Men 19 – 29

Cat 2 Men Single Speed

Cat 2 Women 30 – 39

  • Michelle Blackard, 1st

Cat 3 Men 50 – 59

  • David Deery, 13th

Cat 3 Men 40 – 49

Cat 3 Men 30 – 39

Cat 3 Men 19 – 29

Clydesdale Men

Cat 3 Women 40+

Cat 3 Women 19 – 29

Athena Women

Rudolph’s Revenge

Written by racing member, Evan Blackard
IMG_2128Rudolph’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:

Benjamin Leach, Nick Castro, and Evan Blackard.

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.

Rudolph may have had his revenge…

but I’ll be back.


30 Mile

  • Evan Blackard, 2:28:52, 13th
  • Nick Castro, DNF

40 Mile Singlespeed

  • Benjamin Leach, 4:10:19, 5th


Sansom 66

lKevin from Spinistry is at it again with the infamous Sansom 66. The Sansom 66 is an endurance race with a 33 mile and 66 mile option. As Kevin said, “many people will attempt it, but few will complete it.” Sansom is not your “typical” DFW trail. There is approximately 1500+ feet of elevation per each 11 mile lap. The terrain is tough with tons of loose rocks, an abundance of climbs, fast descents, and maybe one straightaway to recover. This trail can be very fun, but also very challenging, and guess what? The racers did every bit of it!

A few of our teammates signed up for this torture, ahem, race. Braden Barnett, Daniel Smith, and Evan McGinley registered for the 33 mile option, which is pure insanity in itself. Yavor Gerenski and Brad Wendling did the unthinkable and signed up for the 66 miler. The race morning started out as any other except it was a bit chilly and drizzly. Kevin gathered the racers for the usual racers’ meeting and then the riders anxiously took their spot on the starting line. Within a few minutes the racers were off! Brittany, Melissa, Jonathan, and Emma were on standby for support. The ladies immediately took off on foot to find a good spot to take pictures of our teammates and offer them a cheer or two. We won’t mention how they didn’t actually ever find the racers… That’s beside the point. They were still great to have onsite as they were ready with nutrition and water as BWR came through on each lap.

Yavor and Evan were the first to come through on the first lap. Not far behind them was Brad, then Braden, and then Dan. All of them were looking very strong as they immediately jumped into their second lap. As everyone came through for the second time, you could see a mixture of emotions on their faces. However, they were all determined to show Sansom who was boss. One lap later our 33 milers crossed the finish line. Evan killed it with a time of 3:14:46. Braden came in next with a time of 3:52:20. Dan also finished with a very solid time of 3:57:11. Any person who has ever attempted to ride Sansom knows that 33 miles of that place is absolutely nuts and a HUGE accomplishment. Way to go, guys! You totally rocked it!

As time passed, the BWR pit crew (Brittany, Melissa, Dan, and Braden) continued to wait, help, and cheer on Brad and Yavor. Brad even got a leg massage in between laps. Talk about service! Both continued to look strong as they pushed on. After the fourth lap, Brad decided to throw in the towel due to some wicked leg cramps. We still felt so proud of him! Did I mention that he did all of that on a single speed?! Four laps out there on a single speed earns him bragging rights for a very, very long time.

We still had Yavor out on the course and we could not even believe he still had enough gas in the tank to keep going. Braden, Dan, and Brittany waited anxiously for Yavor to complete his final lap. As soon as they spotted him towards the end of the course, they ran over to him and began yelling and cheering for him. You could see the excitement on his face (I know, hard to believe). HE DID IT! He finished the grueling Sansom 66 with a time of 6:42:28. As he crossed the finish line, Kevin handed him his payout and everyone congratulated him.

After the day came to an end, Yavor posted this on his Facebook:

“It was a great experience today, definitely a tough race! Just wanted to thank the team for supporting me during those painful miles. Braden, Dan, and Brittany did a really good job helping with my nutrition and keeping my bike in good mechanical condition…. but what I’m most thankful for is the way they cheered me up every single time I crossed the start/finish line. Having such a supportive team definitely makes a difference. Thank you guys!”

Way to represent, BWR! Y’all did an amazing job! n

Here are the full team results and photos from the day:

Solo Half (33 Miles)

  • Evan McGinley, 3:14:46, 4th out of 21
  • Braden Barnett, 3:52:20, 11th out of 21
  • Daniel Smith, 3:57:11, 15th out of 21

Solo Elite SS (66 Miles)

  • Brad Wendling, DNF

Solo Elite (66 Miles)

  • Yavor Gerenski, 6:42:28, 4th out of 7

Support Local and a New Team Sponsor | Oak Cliff Cargo Bicycles Kicks off Campaign! – Sponsored Post

One of our new team sponsors for the 2015 season has just launched a crowd-sourcing campaign on Kickstarter.  The owners, Jonathan Braddick and Brennen Bechtol, are friends of the team and Jonathan just finished his term as Team Manager.  They’re grateful for the opportunity to share their wonderfully crafted, hand-made cargo bicycles, and would like to use the funds to design and build a new scratch built frame to compliment their recycled frames.  Please share this with your friends, and look for more news regarding their successes soon!

Launch to View Kickstarter Campaign!

ns13Bearded Women Racing continued its successes in the DORBA Fall Series on September 21st at the Northshore Trail on Lake Grapevine.  Our members spent many hours at Northshore leading up to the race to pre-ride the course, which was definitely evident when it came to the awards!  The trail consists of several miles of challenging terrain guaranteed to challenge any rider.

I think it is safe to say that Bearded Women Racing was well represented on the podium. Phil Hollings won 1st place in Cat 2. Brandon Schrader took home a well-derved 2nd place in Cat 2 (Single Speed). Mike D’Aurelio placed 2nd in Cat 1. Melissa Dalton, Brittany Smith, and Keith McDonald all made the podium in their age groups for Cat 3. Our members are continuing to train hard and are looking forward to the next race, Biketoberfest at Rowlett Creek Preserve!ns12



Here are the full team results and photos from the day:

Cat 1

  • Mike D’Aurelio, 2nd, Men 60 +
  • Eric Swarvar (open), 5th, SS

Cat 2

  • Brandon Schrader, 2nd, SS
  • Phil Hollings, 1st, Men 60 +
  • Daniel Smith, 8th, Men 30 – 34

Cat 3

  • Moreece Griffin, 6th, Men 30 – 39
  • Armando Zermeno, 14th, Men 30 – 39
  • Brittany Smith, 2nd, Women 19 – 29
  • Melissa Dalton, 3rd, Women 40 +
  • Keith McDonald, 2nd, Men 40 – 49
  • Daniel Smith, 13th, Men 30 – 39
  • Chris Torrez, 29th, Men 30 – 39


DORBA Fall Series – Boulder Park

The first race of the DORBA Fall Series was huge success for the team.  Our members have been putting in a lot of time for training and it showed on one of the more difficult trails in the DFW area.  Boulder Park can be quite tricky with quick, steep ascents, and rocky, loose descents.  DORBA had 245 racers in attendance with the intent to conquer it’s southern trail, and many quickly found out you need a lot of cardio and some fearlessness in being able to make your way around the 8  mile course.

Keith McDonald, Racing member

Bearded Women Racing continues to improve and gain podium and top ten places in several of the Cat 3 categories, but also has racers in Cat 2 and Cat 1 showing they’re capable of obtaining high placing.  Racing member Keith McDonald and new Riding member Melissa Dalton took 1st respectively in their categories.  Mike D’Aurelio and James Henson also took 1st in their categories.  Other notable podium makers where Moreece Griffin, Brandon Schrader, and Jonathan Braddick.

Melissa Dalton, Riding Member








Here are the full team results and photos from the day:

Cat 1

  • Mike D’Aurelio, 1st, Men 60 +

Cat 2

Cat 3

  • Moreece Griffin, 3rd, Men 30 – 39
  • Armando Zermeno, 6th, Men 30 – 39
  • Nathan Delahoussaye, 9th, Men 30 – 39
  • Jonathan Braddick, 2nd, Clydesdale
  • Melissa Dalton, 1st, Women 40 +
  • Keith McDonald, 1st, Men 40 – 49

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24 Hours in the Canyon

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What an excellent venue for mountain bike racing. Let me be the very first to say that Palo Duro Canyon is one of the most spectacular destinations in all of Texas and easily as scenic as our best National Parks. So it goes without saying that the whole experience of doing a 24 hour mountain bike race in such a venue is impressively unique.

The weekend started off excellent, easy 5hr drive, beautiful weather, etc. etc.. We started setting up the pit area around 5pm on Friday and we were fortunate enough to be joined by Damon Williams from Cadence Cyclery (Highland Village) who had donated his time and skills to wrenching on peoples bikes for the race…. Not just Bearded Women or Cadence bikes, but everyone who needed mechanical support, Damon was there to help. This actually provided a lot of entertainment and comedic relief. It’s kinda funny to see some of the stuff that happens to peoples bikes before during and after a race. But it’s even funnier to hear them explain the problem or how to fix it to the mechanic. And we had a front row seat for the whole show.

The race went off without a hitch. We sent Brad out of the gate with one goal: Do the 1st lap as fast as possible, then we will start with the two lap rotations at a sustainable pace. The start line was two miles down the road in a separate campground from the pit area, so the rest of the team was just kinda hanging out waiting for Brad to come in and not really knowing what to expect from a timing standpoint. The initial lap had a lead out and lots of congestion so we were guessing lap times, 1hr, 55 minutes, 50 minutes… etc.. As you can imagine, we were pretty shocked when he rolled through with a 41:15 on the first lap! And then BAM! Eric goes out and puts down back-to-back 42 minute laps, almost identical. I think we knew right then and there 30 laps was going to be easily attainable. Jesse came in off his first set around 3pm and handed off to me and he was like “dude, it’s way hot”… and man was he right. I rode from about 3ish to 4:30ish and it was super hot and super dusty… I’m talking border line RCP backwards 2013 DORBA Fall Series hot and dusty. If you were there you know what I mean.

After the first full rotation we were locked in on auto pilot. We were watching the clock, making sure our teammates had water hand-ups when they came through, basically running like a well-oiled machine…. Unlike some of the bikes Damon was wrenching on in the meantime.

Nightfall came and once again we were in a position where we didn’t really know what to expect from a timing standpoint. Jesse came in with his lights on, but I started the first full dark lap so when I came through in 46 minutes on the 1st lap I was in disbelief. I thought for sure nightfall would have us well into the 50 minute range. But we were flying and we were more than halfway to our goal.

For me… this is where shit got real. 3am, I had been asleep for about an hour and half, Eric wakes me up and says “Jesse just did a 45 minute lap! You need to get up and get ready”. OK. So I put on some clean bibs and my sweaty jersey and I start trying to wake up and get excited to go ride in the desert all alone in the middle of the night for about 2 hours. Sounds awesome right? I hope you reading this realize that so far I have been screwed on this riding schedule. 1st set in the absolute hottest part of the day, 2nd set as soon as it gets dark, and now the 3rd set in the most lonely, most sleepy, most quiet, most eerie, most you name it part of the night. I think I fell asleep on the 1st lap of this set because I looked up and I was already ¾ finished… I thought, man this aint too bad… but then for some reason I woke up and the 2nd lap lasted an eternity. I was literally talking to myself, “once you finish you can go to sleep, keep pedaling and you can go to sleep, don’t walk this section, you can finish faster and go to sleep”. Then I started thinking to myself “shit, you were supposed to wake up Brad when you finished your first lap. You forgot to do that!…. What if he isn’t ready to go?. WHAT IF I HAVE TO DO A 3RD LAP!!!!????” Anyways, I roll up and that dude is awake and ready to go… High five, hell yeah, I’m going to sleep.

Well while I was asleep the good times kept rolling, except for Eric who flipped over the handlebars and for Damon who had to fix Eric’s bike in the dark at 5am (more on that in a minute). Lap times remained well under 50 minutes for the most part and by the time I woke up at 730 all we had to do was crank out three more laps and we were at 30. Jesse was on his final lap, I put in number 29 and Brad closed it out. We could have done 31, but we decided to save some for next year 😉

All in all we had 1 mechanical and no serious injuries. Eric’s rear brake pad separated from the metal backing and he had to finish GSL (the most technical section) with only a front brake… That’s how he ended up going over the bars.

This was a great experience and the team of guys couldn’t have been better. Nothing beats getting a 1st place trophy on your very first 24hr mountain bike race! Looking forward to next year!

-Dan Johnson

Spring time  XC racing in DFW has been a rarity in years past. From February to August the only racing we saw was the occasional TMBRA race in Big Cedar, which went as quickly as it came. Even so, there was a large void that could only be filled by a Spring XC series. This year however, Shawn McAfee (Texas Mountain Bike Trails) in collaboration with Kevin Lee (Spinistry) have put together a very exciting grass roots XC series that focuses on hometown racers that can’t, or don’t want to travel to TMBRA races.

The first race in this series was held at Northshore trail, one of the most popular trails in DFW. Brad Wendling, Moreece Griffin, Randy Davis, and myself all competed in this series opener.

Here are the results:

Brad Wendling(35+ Advanced Class): 26 of 37, 1:53:39  (Single Speed)

Moreece Griffin(35+ Sport Class): 6 of 30, 1:08:26

Randy Davis(35+ Sport Class): 9 of 30, 1:10:38

Jesse Bernal(Under 35 Advanced Class): 9 of 12, 1:56:55 (Single Speed)

The second race was held at Marion Sansom Park, easily one for the most demanding trails in North Texas. The course was short, 2 or 3 laps, 5 miles each, but deceptively difficult. That didn’t discourage team BWR. Especially racing member Daniel Johnson who earned a first place finish in advanced/intermediate under 35 class. Racing member Moreece Griffin also had a good day on the saddle with a 4th place finish in sport class. James Henson took 16 of 22 in 35+ sport class which was quite the feat in itself. I managed to squeeze out a 4 of 6 (2 racers DNS) place finish in 1+1=1 single speed class. I was just happy to finish.

Here are the results:

Daniel Johnson(Under 35 Advanced Class): 1 of 4, 1:43:41

Moreece Griffin(35+ Sport Class): 4 of 22, 1:16:11

James Henson(35+ Sport Class): 16 of 22, 2:11:01

Jesse Bernal(Under 35 Single Speed): 4 of 6, 1:59:13


The next race in the series will be held at Erwin Park. See y’all there!


#beardedwomenracing, #iridebikesgood, #lonestarxc

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