"One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one’s greatest efforts." —Albert Einstein
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The Enduro World Series, Winter Park CO

What an event.  I knew my first big enduro (and my first international race) was going to be tough, but it was so much more difficult than I imagined – both mentally and physically!  Let me begin by thanking Matt for helping me get to the event, and Trek Factory Racing Enduro for the hospitality, you guys made this trip possible.

We arrived a few days early, allowing for some time to acclimate and check out Trestle Bike Park.   Unfortunately, I was knee deep in finishing a postdoctoral proposal, and needed to spend a lot of time at the computer throughout the event.  Luckily, I’m an early riser, and was able to get a few hours of work in each morning, as well as a bit of work done in the evenings.  Not a lot of time for relaxing or hanging out, but that’s the way things go.  Aside from riding Angel Fire for nationals last year, I had very little understanding of how the CO dirt would feel.  It’s almost like you’re riding in the mud, slipping and sliding around.  It was a struggle for me to trust my tires, but I made steady gains each day, so I’m happy with that.  It was obvious to me that racing this event was ambitious – I have not been racing much this season to focus on school, and as such my training is pretty limited.  In order to stay positive and not get too worked up, I tried to make small, daily goals and focus less on the event as a whole.  Easier said than done, but I’m satisfied with those small achievements and am excited for the next time I get to aim higher!

Day 1: Thursday – Practice Stages 1, 2.  Pretty chill day, got a few practice runs in on Stages 1 and 2.  I knew my fitness was limited, and the altitude made it feel like you were breathing through a straw, so I tried to minimize my riding time.  I was lucky to have such great support from SR Suntour, where Andrew and Dan were on hand to help with setting up my Auron.  Andrew actually spent several hours Thursday morning tearing my fork down and rebuilding it with some upgrades, while walking me through a detailed explanation of every single step.  Very grateful for the help and the lesson!  We got the fork set up perfectly for the weekend, and I think it helped significantly with keeping mitigating fatigue by day 4.  I was able to get some runs in with JoJo and her BMC Dirt teammate, Tyler.  It was great to have other riders to discuss lines (and push your limits).  I also tried to figure out my strategy for the weekend, like how to carry tools and water.  Clearly I had no idea – we Endurbrofied my bike with a bottle cage and taped on a tube.  If I wasn’t wearing a CamelBak, I shoved tools and food into the pockets on my shorts, and hoped for the best!  It looked goofy, but it worked.

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Photo: Matthew DeLorme

Day 2: Friday – Race Stages 1, 2; Practices Stage 3.  First stage today was a long jump trail with loads of pedaling.  I made my daily micro goal of hitting all the jumps on this Stage, something not all the women were able to do. Happy with that! Ended up 16th. Stage 2 used part of the DH track, which suited me, but I learned my lesson for being distracted by shiny things, like, say… an iPhone lying in my line through a rock garden. Squid alert ! After a solid 30 sec getting my bars straightened  and getting passed, I went full gas and caught two riders on the way down. Not the best result, but felt like my speed was there. After a break and some lunch, I headed up to practice Stage 3.  It required a small pedal to the start, but a decent pedal out of the valley from the finish.  A small hill, really, but the thin air left me wheezing.  The Stage was one of the most technical of the weekend, requiring you to really maintain speed through several rocky sections.  The top, big rock garden was full-on DH, and it took me about 3-4 tries till I felt I could hit the “big” line.  There was supposedly a “rotor rock” near the end of the main rock garden (never knew which one), but I felt comfortable that my line kept me safely away from that.  I made hitting that line my micro goal for Saturday.

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 Photo: Matthew DeLorme

Day 3: Saturday – Practice Stages 4,5; Race Stages 3,4,5; Practice Stages 6,7. Today tested me! A little more pedaling than I was ready for made fatigue my biggest factor, one I have yet to figure out how to manage properly. We started the day at 8am with a pedal up to the top to practice Stages 4,5 before the lifts opened, since the Forest Service only made these Stages accessible for 1 day.  Without shame, I just clicked into my big gear and spun up, trying to conserve as much energy as possible.  Stages 4 and 5 were raw and natural, with some crazy blind switchbacks.  We didn’t have much time at the bottom before heading back up to start the day’s racing.  I made my goal of charging the rocks in the technical Stage 3, but ended up with a taco’d rotor on the “rotor rock” while having to pass a rider on the safer line. Unfortunately, my speed on the open section on the rest of that stage was a wash after that, the rotor dragging and actually catching on the caliper each turn. Got the rotor back to a resemblance of a circle at the end of the stage (polygon?) and survived the remaining two stages.  Washed out in the dust of Stage 4, and at the end of Stage 5, there was an older lady on a beach cruiser out for a casual ride on the race track, who then got upset after me and another rider “scared her”. Can’t make this stuff up! Satisfied with making it to the end of a long day, each experience here is just another chance to learn and improve. Took a long break in the pits after to recover, was really feeling the exhaustion by this point.  My rotor was beyond repair and I ended up having to replace it.  Went up to practice the final two stages, and ended up riding the lift with a local racing in the Master’s category, who offered to show me around on the last two tracks.  Stage 6 was a bit of a letdown in the fun department, which heaps of long, flat pedaling sections.  It was actually part of the XC race course – leave it to America.  Nonetheless, the point of the EWS series is to find the best all-around MTB rider, and as such all styles of track are completely fair play.  The race director did allow for Stage 6 to be accessed by lift, however, instead of asking us to pedal back up to the top.  At altitude, I think most people were grateful.  Stage 7 was the full-on Trestle DH track, which was an absolute blast to ride.  It was pretty blown out by this time, and the little bikes got bucked around.  I really enjoyed practicing and racing this Stage.  There was a big creek gap in the lower section, which at the end of such a long day, didn’t feel terribly comfortable sessioning.  I decided I would make the decision to hit it in my race run at that time.

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Photo: Matt Wragg

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Photo: Matt Wragg

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Photo: Matthew DeLorme

Day 4: Sunday – Race Stages 6,7. As expected, Stage 6 hurt.  I caught my :30sec rider and together we entered the last section of the track, where we found a fellow rider down and out.  It looked serious, and there was a brief moment of autopilot trying to process what was going on with the race adrenaline pumping.  Huge thanks to Mal, who thought much more quickly than I did, directing me down to the finish to report the incident while she stayed at Brittany’s side until help arrived.   I sprinted down to the finish line, yelling at the marshals as I crossed to get on the radio and call for help.  I was relieved that they acted quickly, one asked where the rider was and immediately began to run back up the trail, while the other jumped on the radio.  There were several tense minutes as more riders crossed the line with worried looks.  We all stayed at the finish tent to wait for word that Brittany was getting the help she needed.  When the medics arrived, the race officials sent us on our way.  At that point, several of the men had already started down the course, and a big portion of the men’s class ended up with re-runs after a 90min delay.  The entire event was on delay, and the EWS director started making rounds to ask about whether the women would like to race or end the day.  Many people, including myself, were fairly shaken.  While injuries and crashes are just part of the sport we love, this one was very serious, and that weighs heavily.  Though a few women expressed a desire to stop racing, several riders who know Brittany personally said that she would be disappointed if we didn’t race on her account, and that she would want us to continue.  I think that speaks volumes about Brittany’s positive attitude and her value in the riding community.  Though the mood was somber, and everyone was feeling fatigued, we were all racing for Brittany on Stage 7.  With the uneasiness, I definitely kept my run conservative, not feeling comfortable really pushing my limits.  However, I had a clean run and even sent the creek gap blind, ending up 12th.  I felt a little validated that I had the DH speed, since the more physical stages hadn’t worked in my favor.

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Photo: Matthew DeLorme

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Photo: Matthew DeLorme

What a weekend! One of the most challenging and greatest learning experiences of my MTB career. All said and done, ended up Top 20 (19th) overall with two crashes, a bent rotor, and altitude.  Considering fatigue from three days of racing, including one of the longest days on a bike I’ve had, I’m really happy with that. I’m satisfied that I gave it my all this weekend, and fully understand the huge learning curve associated with this racing format.  It was hard, but that’s what makes a great new challenge to strive towards.  Looking forward to my next big Enduro!

**Recent updates on Britt say that she sustained a mild TBI along with pelvis fractures, skull fractures, and a broken tailbone. Her strength, drive, and determination has her making huge gains daily, and she’s entering rehab without needing surgery.  Please keep her in your thoughts and send healing vibes her way!**  

Thanks to Matt DeLorme and Matt Wragg for the shots!

Riding Forward Ambassador

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I’m very excited to announce that I am getting involved with Riding Forward as an athlete ambassador!

Our mission at Riding Forward is to advocate, educate, and develop today’s youths and communities to reach their full potential through partnerships involving two wheeled sports.

All of us at Riding Forward are very passionate about wheeled sports and realize that times are changing. Everyday more and more youth gain interest in cycling, motorcycles, or a number of sports other than the standard team sports they were introduced to in school. We want to harness that interest and teach them the life skills they will need to succeed in life, on and off the bike.

Riding Forward has four major initiatives:

Healthy Living and Mentorship

Bike Skills and Knowledge Clinics    

Parks Rehabilitation

Athlete Initiatives and FullRide Program

 

Head on over to my Riding Forward page to learn more about this amazing program and ways you can get involved!

 

The first ride – Mountain Creek Bike Park

The first day on a new bike always puts a lot of apprehensive questions into my head: will I like the new rig? what if I can’t get comfortable? will the new [insert component here] work/break/feel better? worse?… it turned out to be one of those rare days where I felt nearly up to speed right away.

Yesterday, Matt and I headed to Mountain Creek Bike Park; he to work and me to give the new trail bike a good shakedown on some real big bike trails.  Luckily, there was a ProGRT going on this weekend, so we got to catch up with lots of good friends that we haven’t seen since last season.  The TWR crew was here and a big thanks to Vance McCaw from the Trek Race Shop for helping me to get the bike dialed in (the dude shreds, too).

Long story short – I have a good looking trail bike that feels like a DH bike.  I’m over the moon!  We spent the first half of the day getting the suspension dialed in, and I’m so pleased with the adjustability and feel of the new SR Suntour Auron.  Instead of a handful of options for “soft” or “firm”, I’ve got full range of high- and low-speed.  We played with air pressure and compression until I got the DH feel I wanted; fast-tracking, stiff, and big-hit-taking.  By the end of the day, I didn’t feel hesitation letting the brakes go in the open, clearing step-downs, or hitting rock drops on a trail bike, because I knew it would handle it.

I should mention how many times someone commented positively on my Troy Lee Designs women’s gear; more than I could count!  I’m loving the retro Rev jersey designs, and I’ve never worn a pair of aggressive DH shorts that fit as well as the Moto.  No more cinching the waist of a pair of guy’s shorts that are too long and baggy in order to fit them over the bum.  Just trim shorts cut to fit some curves.  Highly recommended for anyone looking for women’s options.

Finally, this was the first big test of my Allsport Dynamics wrist braces.  As with my first ride, I’m still impressed.  I’m not exaggerating when I say, I feel absolutely zero pain.  Nothing.  No instability, no wrist fatigue.  Just solid, consistent, comfortable support all day long.  If you have even an ounce of discomfort from previous wrist injury, and especially if you’re interested in preventing future injury, you owe it to yourself to look into these braces.

It has been a great weekend.  I can’t believe how much I’ve missed my DH family!  Got a chance to ride with some old friends, and made some rad new ones.  20+ runs; my body hurts and my hands are shot.  It was especially great because Matt is home!   It’s his last weekend before heading to Europe for a 5-week tour.  Even though he was working, we got to spend a few laps riding bikes together :).  As usual, he couldn’t put the camera down, so I got a few bomber shots to share with you.

 

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2014 Trail Bike – Tangerine Dream

It’s here! I’m very excited to show you my 2014 trail bike, a 650b weapon that I’ll be racing on this season.  Shout out to Tom at the Bicycle Escape and to my buddy Dave Kalt for helping with the build.  As always, this bike wouldn’t have happened without the incredible support from Ray Waxham and Ross Rushin at Trek Bicycles, Deity Components, SR Suntour, and e*Thirteen.   Photos by Matt DeLorme.

2014 Trek 650b Remedy 9 with FOX float DRCV rear shock

Deity T-Mo carbon bars

Deity Mainline saddle

SR Suntour Auron RC2 150mm fork

Shimano XT brakes

Shimano XT cranks

SRAM xx1 drivetrain

e*Thirteen M 104 guidering

ODI Grips

FOX D.O.S.S. Dropper seatpost

Bontrager Rhythm Comp Tubeless wheelset

Bontrager XR3 tires 

 

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UNC Feature

…and now for a look into the other half of my life – science! The UNC Gillings School of Public Health Director of Communications happens to be a mountain biker, and put together this feature on me and my work. Check it out!

http://sph.unc.edu/sph-news/anne-galyean-world-class-trailblazer/

 

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In The Spotlight With Anne Galyean

Anne Galyean:

I recently got a chance to sit down with thegearnuts.com for a chat about all things bikes and gear!

Originally posted on The Gear Nuts:

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We caught up with 27-year-old Professional Downhill Mountain Biker Anne Galyean and here’s what she had to say about all things mountain biking:

TGN: Hey Anne! We want to start out by saying thanks for stepping into the spotlight and sharing your story with our readers. We have heard so many great things about you, mostly that you’re fast! So tell us, what is your main discipline or sport that you participate in?

Anne: Downhill MTB, though will be racing Enduro this year.

TGN: Awesome, so what part of the country do you live in?

Anne: Currently I live in Maryland, USA.

What It Takes

Anne

TGN: Our readers would really love to hear what it’s like to compete as a Downhill Mountain Biker at the professional level.

Anne: Words that come to mind to describe this: intimidating, thrilling, exhausting, rush, challenging, motivation, drive, goals, achievement, satisfaction, adrenaline, excitement, passion, community.

TGN: What made you decide…

View original 1,521 more words

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With all the crazy weather this off-season, getting outside on the bike has been difficult, to say the least.  A few weeks ago, a small group of us attempted a local ride and got to play around in the snow a bit.  Challenging, but definitely a fun time!  I got to try out some new 2014 TLD, Deity, and Allsport Dynamics gear, as well.  As usual, Matthew DeLorme with the photo credits.

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Pinkbike Interview

Thanks to Brice Shirbach of FatTireFests for putting together this interview as part of his new, “East-bound and Down” column on Pinkbike!  Click the picture below to check it out!

 

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http://www.pinkbike.com/news/anne-galyean-breaking-rad-interview-2014.html

Fall Enduro shoot with Matthew DeLorme

Some fun shots we got last Fall!

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2014 Season

For the 2014 season, I will be changing focus and training to begin competing in East Coast and National Enduro events with the ultimate goal of becoming competitive on the international Enduro circuit.  Enduro holds special appeal after several seasons racing downhill, and the thrill of trying something new is motivation for me to train harder than ever going into 2014.   As this is my last year of graduate school (graduation expected Dec 2014), my schedule will be more limited than in the past; school has always and will always come first.  I will, however, be racing when and where I am able.  I’m striving for at least 5 events: 3-4 on the East Coast and 1-2 out West, which will hopefully include the EWS event in CO.  One of my main goals this year is to be an ambassador for women in mountain biking by working towards my International Mountain Bike Instructor Certification (IMIC) and becoming involved with regional/national women’s skills clinics and events, like the Cleveland Ray’s MTB Park Women’s Weekend.

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome new sponsors to my 2014 Enduro program, as well as thank several who are continuing their support.  Cheers to you all for your support this season and I’m really looking forward to where this new adventure leads us in the future.  Check out what each of these fantastic companies can offer you by clicking on their logos below.  See you all on the trails!

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