Linda Guerrette Photography: Blog http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog en-us (C) Linda Guerrette Photography (Linda Guerrette Photography) Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:26:00 GMT Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:26:00 GMT Women Stroke Gravel http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2016/7/women-racing-gravel womenracegravel-2567womenracegravel-2567

Women and men equally stroked gravel, pedal stroked that is, in the 2016 DK200.  They endured the stones, the heat and the wind together. They supported each other to the end. It turns out you can be the best racer on paper, have the best sponsorship package but when it comes to the DK200 everyone is an equal. The Flint Hills and its gravel welcomes everyone the same way. At this event, unless you win the race, people don't ask you for your time they simply ask if you were able to finish. In this year's race, the women's finishing rate was 56% and the men had a finishing rate of 58% virtually equal. No matter who you are the race becomes about stroking gravel, all 200 miles of it.

The number that isn't equal is the participation rate, which may not be a reality, but it's certainly a number that can and should be higher in the future. Currently the number is 10%.

Before the race I was trying to come up with a shooting angle that would make the race interesting to capture and interesting to view for the participants and organizers. I chose to focused on the women competitors in the entire mix of riders. I was interested in watch how they rode, how they would handle the conditions etc. There were water crossing, heat to wilt most things, winds strong enough to destroy morale, darkness both outside and inside so definitely elements to test ones entire being. It seems as more and more women ride bikes they are also stepping out of their comfort zones and entering events like DK200, which also offers a 100 and 50 mile course as well. The appeal of riding gravel is varied but there's a sense of adventure dating back to the early settlers exploring wide open spaces as well as the raw organic nature of the surface that offers challenging riding without the technical aspect of single track. 

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Men and women rode alongside each other in hopes of getting to the finish. I think Bobby Wintle is on to something with the unlearn pavement concept. He says, "Removing the barriers that keep us from achieving the legendary. To unlearn pavement is to follow your imagination into the wild, and to realize the true potential of the unexplored. Find yourself, and crush the limits you thought existed."  Gravel racing is an adventurous spirited ride governed by grassroots ethics. It's about finding your limit and pushing it a bit further regardless of gender.

Women like: Rebecca Rusch, Amanda Nauman, April Morgan, Danielle Musto, Wendy Davis, Andrea Cohen and many more are very interested in growing the sport of gravel racing/riding. In their minds more women should race Dirty Kanza because of everything it offers the rider during and after the ride. The DK Production team which is made up of men and women are focused on making this event challenging but also equally are rewarding. Susan B Anthony once said. "she who succeeds in the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life." I believe the DK Production team had this philosophy in the back of the minds when they designed the event.

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Along the gravel roads I found these beautiful flowers that appear to be dainty but are as tough as nails. They made me think about the women riders out on course, there is something that thrives within all living things, a force that drives us to want to live over anything else. We all feed on the glimmer of hope. The gravel community gives the racers that glimmer of hope because it is very encouraging, supportive, inclusive, and doesn't care about ones riding background. The people are all about riding and exploring on the bicycle. 

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There were 18 recognized racers on the start line, 5 of them women and 13 of them men, that number is impressive. I was surprised to see how many other women lined up right behind them. It made me realize this is a different kind of bike race. People respect each other for being on a bike and signing up for this event because it's the real deal. A lot of the women are inspired by the likes of the women that were called out: Rebecca Rusch, Amanda Nauman, Andrea Cohen, Lynn Bessette, and Kristen Legan because they are real women with real lives like them, they just happen to be badass babes. These days Its cooler to be stronger and fit in fact, healthy is attractive. The follow images are of some of these real women; confident, relaxed and ready to have a great time pushing their limits stroking gravel.

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The race course is full of challenges but all can be handled with a smile.

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The finish line was probably the biggest eye opener. The community of Emporia, the DK200 Production team and all of the racers embrace the moment other racers come through the finish chute marking their arrival. ALL racers are greeted and recognized with lots of high fives, a huge hug and a firm welcome home handshake. Everyone that crosses that line has been changed for life, they realize that they can tackle and conquer what may have looked like the impossible at times, but like the dainty flower they thrived to live and stroke gravel another day. The twinkle in the eyes and the spontaneous smile is etched in everyone's mind that witnesses it.

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Andrea Cohen summed it up perfectly. She recently said this about this image @lindaguerrettephotography captured what I was left with after 207 miles of gravel. A smile. That grin. Happiness. Pure and simple.

Now I have to ask why won't more cyclists, women cyclist in particular, want to have a similar experience. The 2017 DK200 awaits you. Come out and stroke the gravel for a whole lot of stoke in exchange. The Dirty Kanza family is preparing your celebration don't be late to the start. I look forward to creating a new photo angle for next season.

Get your gravel on.

 

 

 

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2016/7/women-racing-gravel Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:05:15 GMT
Deep Connections http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2015/11/connections I’ve thought about writing this blog entry for some time, I felt it needed the right context and there is no better context than Veterans Day.

In 1978 the restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

This day touches all of us on a personal level. I think it’s safe to say we’re all connected to someone who’s served our country whether they're family members, friends, friends of friends or neighbors. There is no escaping reflection on this day.

This past August I had an assignment from RedBull to photograph Rebecca Rusch, one of their athletes, racing in the Leadville 100 MTB race. I showed up a few days early to meet with Rebecca and hopefully the Phoenix Patriot Foundation Cycling Team member that she’d ride alongside with during the race. Her goal was to help this athlete meet his goal, which was going to be a PR for him.

Rebecca met all of the PPF team members and learned that Matt DeWitt, a double-armed amputee, would be her riding partner for the race. She was as nervous about the meeting him as he was to meet her. I truly believe connections are made through shared passions and respect so they had nothing to worry about. Matt is a veteran from Iraq and Rebecca’s dad is an MIA veteran from Vietnam. They had respect for each other in abundance and then of course passion for cycling goes without saying. In fact, I think cycling gives them a sense of balance in their lives.

The visual story I choose to recount in the following images took place during those few days prior to the race. Time is precious before the race so only quality time is available which assists in deepening the connections. 

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The highly anticipated meeting of these two is celebrated with a warm embrace and smiles. 

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Rebecca was leading a training ride for another fifty people when the PPF riders joined them at the bottom of the Powerline Climb. 

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This would be the first and only ride together before the actual race. 

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If there was ever any doubt the Phoenix Patriot Foundation team was riding for a higher purpose it became real at this point. After their group ride they rode to a large Veterans Memorial is located in Leadville's historic Evergreen Cemetery. The memorial salutes all veterans as well as specific memorial to Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Edgar McWethy, U.S. Army and LCPL Nicklas J. Palmer, USMC.

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Rebecca was honored and humbled when presented with a her new riding kit for the race. 

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Matt and his PPF teammates are being recognized for his service and courage during a rider get together the evening before the race. When vulnerability is opened strength is born.

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At the memorial they were greeted by Niklas Palmer's parents to honor of their son and all other veterans. It's moments like this moment that heighten the awareness that we need to celebrate Veterans Day every day.

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 Remarkable humans being not just humans doing. RESPECT!

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Mission accomplished a PR time for Matt and a connection for Rebecca that will never grow old. A reminder to always strive to be a better version of yourself.

Hug a Veteran today and every day you can.

 

 

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2015/11/connections Wed, 11 Nov 2015 15:34:07 GMT
Experience the Flint Hills -DK200 http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2015/6/experience-the-flint-hills--dk200 DK200bikesscenery2-15DK200bikesscenery2-15 There are probably many ways to "Experience the Flint Hills" but perhaps none better than going to the DK200 especially on the 10th anniversary year - Decade of Dirty. The plan this year was to capture the race with some other photographers. I try to not set too many expectations prior to an event because it takes on its own shape once I'm immersed in it. I knew the race was on because Facebook said so. I knew it was going to be gritty and dirty based on all of the moisture the Flint Hills area had recently received so I was excited to see where that would lead to as far as the race experience for the racers and crew.

Driving into Emporia it was difficult to not know the DK200 was happening by the out pouring of support from the businesses in town. Every store front on Commercial Street had their own unique way of welcoming the racers. The DK200 is to Emporia, KS as is the Leadville 100 to Leadville, CO - A BIG DEAL. Everyone in town helps out in some way which gives the event a sense of community that everyone wants a piece of, it's enticing and addicting. 

Practically every car on the street had a bike rack with multiple bikes on it. There was a buzz in the air. Everyone involved with this event had put their heart and soul into preparing for the race on May 30, 2015. You shouldn't go into DK200 unprepared. It takes a monumental commitment. The race is serious that way. Perhaps that is what draws us in. The DK200 forces us to take risks and make sacrifices. We're willing to do just about anything to find the perfect cocktail of anticipation, exhilaration, wonderment, and inspiration. In exchange for some discomfort we gain the access to "experience the flint hills." The goal is to find a balance between adrenaline and perfect tranquility out in the maze of gravel. I know this because I've raced here, this year was no different but it would take place behind the lens. I strived to capture the essence of the race for racers and non racers alike. 

My goal for the following visual story is to draw out sensations shared by all riders pros or weekend warriors alike. Everyone was striped naked in the Flint Hills. Digging deep was not an option, it was a necessity. At the awards breakfast Yuri Hauswald was given a stand ovation for his incredible sprint finish leaving every ounce of effort out on the course. Everyone I witnessed out on course did the same thing so the stand O should be for everyone who raced on May 30, 2015. No one was spared this year, the DK200 humbled everyone. Stand tall and continue to do epic stuff. This collection of images may help you share your story with others because after all great adventures, make greater stories.

Enjoy.

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Another DK200 in the books. See you next year.

 

 

  

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2015/6/experience-the-flint-hills--dk200 Tue, 09 Jun 2015 15:18:31 GMT
Be Prepared for Anything http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2015/5/how-to-prepare-for-anything From time to time we're reminded Sport is Life. Through the lens I observed masterful mountain bike coaches work their magic in their own unique way with one common goal, getting MORE WOMEN to RIDE MORE and have MORE FUN doing so. Rebecca Rusch, Leigh Donovan, Linsdey Voreis, and Sara Jarrell shared their enormous passion for riding bikes. The women attending the third stop on the 2015 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour were certainly the winners at this year's Outside Magazine Bike and Brews Festival in Sante Fe.  The two days where action packed with riding in the morning and hands on indoor sessions on technique, equipment and nutrition in the afternoon. For both rides their were 40 women in attendance with a waitlist. WOW!

Mountain bike riding by nature is adventuresome. Setting out on an unknown trail can be daunting but for sure it will be exciting. Exciting in ways that are predictable as well as unpredictable such as; having to adjust to different weather conditions, broken equipment, or being out there much longer than anticipated. Rebecca Rusch knows first hand about unpredictability from her experiences being a professional adventure racer, rock climber, mountain biker and firefighter. She has trained herself to be prepared for anything. This is one of the elements she helps women gain confidence and comfort in during her SRAM Gold Rusch Tour events held throughout the country.

The Dale Ball Trailhead parking area was the place to be on May 15 and 16. The ladies met the coaching staff, got there bikes looked at by the SRAM specialists for any last minute tweaking or just simply inflating their tires. As it does weather happened. On the first day the women set off in the pouring rain. All of the coaches were immediately impressed buy the grit and determination these women had to spend time with them and to ride their bikes. 

A common thread the coaches shared with the women was that they need to take charge of their bikes, they need to tell their bikes what they want it to do. The nuisances in terrain are external details that can only be handled successfully by how the person behind the handlebars handles the internal choices. Work on becoming the best bike rider possible to allow your bike to have the most fun possible.

The second day weather happened again this time in the form of snow but as it was the coaches and women were grateful and accepted the moment for what it was and rode while learning together the meaning of being prepared for anything.

The following is part of a visual story from third stop of the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour in Sante Fe during the 2015 Outside Magazine Bike and Brew Festival.

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Rebecca Rusch's all star team - Colleen Quindlen, Leigh Donavan, Lindsey Voreis, Sara Jarrell, Andy and Scott from SRAM.

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Rebecca greeting everyone before heading on the trails.

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Leigh Donovan showing the importance of ou will go where you look so be selective. Goldruschtour#3-38Goldruschtour#3-38 Lindsey celebrating with this lady her successful ride up the rocks.

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Sara Jarrell was coaching out on the trail and sharing the tools of the trade indoors - basic bike maintenance.

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Lots of great schwag was handed out during the raffles.

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Pedal selection with assist the rider with ease and comfort on the bike - flats are in.

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Some of the ladies showed up with shower caps over their helmets on the second day turns out they were the smart ones.

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Lots of smiling going on...

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If a measurement of success is the size of the smile then I would say The Queen of Pain is feeling successful with this SRAM Gold Rusch event.

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Being ready for anything starts with what fits in this helmet. 

 Go out and ride your bike and have fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2015/5/how-to-prepare-for-anything Tue, 19 May 2015 18:57:06 GMT
Proud to be a member... http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2015/2/proud-to-be-a-member I recently had the privilege to spend a day following some talented skiers/coaches/teachers as they put their game to the test in the first selection round for the PSIA-Rocky Mountain Alpine Team. This was made possible by the Jerry Berg Fund. Jerry "Bergie" Berg was always up for a challenge especially those that would make him raise the bar on performance and being a better person for the planet. Many of the candidates knew Bergie before he left us entirely too early. The others know of him and realize the impact he's had and is still making on the ski teaching/coaching profession and the ski industry as a whole. RESPECT is the word that comes to mind when his name is mentioned. That word also depicts the 2 day process held at Aspen Highlands on the 26th and 27th of January.

On a perfect crystal clear day the group was addressed by Weems Westfeldt and Mike Porter, past PSIA National team members, they both spoke to the importance of doing your best, skiing relaxed and having FUN in order to demonstrate adaptability. The candidates would be rated on how well they performed the 4 selected tasks. They performed these tasks on a perfectly groomed piste then they had a freeski run down Sodbuster, a very long, steep, bump run. After a long day on the hill they had a 10 minute indoor presentation. Without a doubt the candidates and selectors had a jam packed day witnessing athletes doing their best on the white canvas. The level of camaraderie, passion, talent, professionalism, and organization shared by all helped make this day one to remember and certainly a reason to be a Proud Member of the Rocky Mountain Division.

The following is a photo essay of yet another memorable day at Aspen Highlands.

 

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2015/2/proud-to-be-a-member Wed, 18 Feb 2015 02:45:00 GMT
Kids Racing Bikes... http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/11/colorado-cycling-league IMG_5933IMG_5933

Bike racing in high school is a reality for Colorado High Schoolers along with some of their peers in 14 other states. Because of one passionate, determined Kate Rau and some like minded people that understand the positive gains behind handlebars, Colorado kids can tick this wish off their wish list. Mountain Bike Racing in Colorado is real and it's here to stay.

It's been said that learning to ride a bike is a classic rite of passage and a skill that, once acquired, is never forgotten.

The Colorado High School Cycling League was established first by developing a solid foundation that resonates with many people and communities alike supporting getting more kids on bikes. The League created motivations followed by these commitments meant to develop character and sustainability.

  • Promote the sport of mountain biking and the benefits of mountain biking as a healthy, low impact, outdoor recreational lifestyle;
  • Promote athlete skills development, excellence, teamwork, professionalism and respect for the community and the environment;
  • Create an environment in which they may discover new friendships and find role models;
  • Develop an awareness of what it is to be an amateur athlete that is both gracious and respectful to their community;
  • Guide students towards learning new skills and disciplines, and spread the foundations of mountain bike racing across the U.S.;
  • Foster a responsible attitude toward the use of trails and wilderness;
  • Advocate for the environmental conservation of natural areas and parklands, mountain bike trail access, and the development of sustainable trail systems.
  • Promote the value of cycling to our community as a mode of transportation and as a life-long sport.

In 2009, the League had it's first race with 140 mountain bike racers toeing the line and in five short years 613 racers tackled the super fun and fast Haymaker Course at the 2014 State Championships in Eagle, CO. During the race season the race arenas are filled with energetic racers fueled by Kate Rau who connects with all of them and their supporters. This League would not have become a reality without the following: grit, courage, and determination. The kids are recognizing that those are the same ingredients that will get them success on the race courses. The caliber of racing is extremely high as many local pros who volunteer to be the sweep rider for the different categories have attested too. All racers get to hit the dirt and not sit on the sidelines.

Below is a photo essay of some incredible action by skilled high school mountain biker racers in Eagle, CO during the largest high school bike race in the state.

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​As the racers quickly leave the valley floor and head up the hillside all they leave is a plume of dust behind them.

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The first group of girls heading out on their first of three laps.

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This first chase group is clearly on a mission to catch the lead racer.

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A quick smile for the camera but eyes remained focused on the singletrack. 

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Kate Rau's dream becomes a reality as kids on bikes come out of the woodwork. It's a beautiful sight.

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The League is determined to develop as much character and sustainability as there is in this beautifully, weathered tree the racers go by on the Haymaker course.

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Christopher Blevain is looking for speed with every pedal stroke. 

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Every rider is racing for themselves but for team points as well.

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Racer drop of of the plateau down to the race arena. In the background there are racers heading out for another lap on the amazing Haymaker course.

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At times the competition is tight, intense, dusty but always always FUN.

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Racer's bike handling skills are put to a test as they weave their way down all of the corkscrew sections in the course.

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The races would never take place with the hard work of the devoted volunteers.

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Kate Rau is beaming with joy to introduce another racer to the podium after a win. She is definitely getting more kids riding bikes.

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Until next season...

 

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/11/colorado-cycling-league Mon, 03 Nov 2014 02:35:20 GMT
It is about the bike... http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/10/it-is-about-the-bike IMG_3294IMG_3294

The connections I've made while riding or simply talking about riding are too many to count. These connections have been life changing. One of those meaningful connections took place this past weekend. I had the privilege to shoot at OuterBike in Moab during the SRAM Gold Rusch Tour held by Rebecca Rusch. The SRAM Gold Rusch Tour was designed by Rebecca Rusch to get women of all ages outdoors and on their bicycles. The tour features seven unique events with the goal of increasing women’s participation in mountain biking and cycling by offering fun, social, and non-intimidating venues that educate and empower. Outerbike was one of those stops. The nice thing about this stop was the women could try different bikes and join the groups to hone their skills. A win-win for everyone. 

Rebecca Rusch known as "The Queen of Pain" is also all about making connections through riding and sharing stories about riding. For three days she and her team  coached women on proper bike set-up, basic bike mechanics, and riding in the high desert terrain around Moab. They rode on the Brand Loops and Mag 7, a combination of technical sections in the Gemini Bridges region. 

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Rebecca Rusch picking up her freshly tuned steed, a Specialized Women Era, from the Specialized tent before meeting the women joining her for the first day of her SRAM Gold Rusch Tour at OuterBike in Moab.

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Rebecca and Susan Robinson greet riders as they come to sign up for the day clinic. Ladies are all smiles - it's going to be a great day.

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First things first coaches help riders assess their tire pressure...

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their bike suspension...

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have a few laughs along the way. Bike riding is FUN!!!

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Rebecca reminds everyone of what to bring with you on a ride: sunscreen, tube and pump, liquids and food along with a good sense of humor and adventure.

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The Magnificent 7 trail system offers up plenty of beauty a challenge.

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No doubt these riders brought their sense of humor and adventure as they head done Gemini Bridges Road towards Mag7.

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Sandi Hagel riding on the Bull run section of Mag7.

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Jennifer Biondi and two other riders ride through a Moab postcard scene.

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Rebecca riders among the women riders on the North 40 trail in the Brand Loop trail system.

 

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At times training sessions take place in the cools spots.

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RIders honing their bike riding skills before heading out on trail.

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This rider is feeling pretty successful with this empowering fist punch. Mission accomplished.

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Rebecca can now add author to her list of many accomplishments. Inspired by riders like the one in the previous image she has crafted a truly inspiring and motivational book that will leave you planning your next adventure - Rusch to Glory

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This rider celebrates the days ride with Rebecca and fellow coach Jennifer Biondi.

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Rebecca Rusch is all smiles as she gets to make impactful connections with women riding bikes. Life is good!!! Check out her clinics next season at www.rebeccarusch.com but before then pick up her book Rusch to Glory. Enoy the ride.

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/10/it-is-about-the-bike Wed, 08 Oct 2014 19:11:50 GMT
Long Rides http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/9/long-bike-rides  

What defines a long bike ride? For some people it's around the block and for others it's to points unknown and distances undeclared. Katelyn Vonfeldt is on the later.  She left Kansas with a few defined points but otherwise simply set out to ride her bike and explore the western parts of the country from the best vantage point, her bike seat.

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I find it ironic that the people riding around the block may have a heavily padded bike seat while people traveling mega miles have no padding. Hmmm. 

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Colorado was certainly on the list of places to ride thru on her way to another defined destination, Ketchum, Idaho for no other reason than to go ride her bike in Rebecca's Private Idaho a a challenging but spectacular Gravel Grinder Grand Fondo. She lined up with 300 like minded cyclist in the early hours to go explore the wide open spaces above and beyond Trail Creek Summit.

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Her business card sums it all. I wouldn't necessarily say that she's soul searching as many think when people take a long solo journey, although she is making lots of discoveries, for instance how to look at ordinary things in an extraordinary way.  Kateltyn has actually been riding with other cyclists on similar excursions. She is looking to live life to it's fullest while trying to make it happen on $10 a day. 

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As the sign says over Rebecca Rusch's left shoulder "Wake Up and Live" which is what Katelyn continues to focus on as she leaves Ketchum, ID for point northwest.

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/9/long-bike-rides Fri, 19 Sep 2014 19:33:20 GMT
Rebecca's Private Idaho http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/9/r Many cyclist in the Midwest have experienced the joys of riding gravel grinders, now cyclists around the country are discovering the appeal of these events as well. These events that take cyclists in cool areas they may never explore otherwise should not be overlooked. The road surfaces vary largely from maintained country roads to very rough jeep trails. They make for great adventure which in turn makes for even greater stories. Ketchum, Idaho is familiar with wide open spaces etched with many gravel roads making it a perfect setting for a gravel grinder, at least Rebecca Rusch thought so. In 2013 she launched her own event, Rebecca's Private Idaho, on the same gravel roads where she continues to hone her world class endurance skills. This terrain is very special to her and she wanted to offer cyclists of all levels coming from various riding platforms whether road, mountain biking, or cyclocross the experience of riding in this soul feeding location. After this year's Labor Day weekend there are 300 more cyclists that share Rebecca's sentiment that Ketchum, Idaho is a perfect place for a gravel grinder. The following is a photo essay of this incredible ride and destination that landed itself on the National Geographic's Ultimate Adventure Bucketlist.

Rebecca's Private Idaho is a race for some and a ride for others whatever the choice it will meet your expectations

Rebecca greets the riders with gratitude and well wishes during the second year of Rebecca's Private Idaho.

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Rebecca Rusch,"The Queen of Pain" leaves the start line with cyclists from various riding backgrounds Robbie Venura, Josh Berry, Dan Hughes, Neil Shirley, Yuri Hauswald, and Burke Swindleburst. Riders in this event saddle up on different steeds, the winner of the event, Josh Berry road his road racing machine. He later said "Although he would not recommend this choice it worked for him this year."

Cyclists fill the winding road up the Trail Creek Summit, the first and biggest climb of the day. This climb is where "The Queen of Pain" does her interval training. Ouch!

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Rebecca enjoys sharing pedal strokes with riders throughout the day.

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The road surface this year was smooth and fast.

Two cyclists dwarfed in the enormous landscape.

The cattle pay no attention to this lone cyclist as she makes her way through the Copper Basin.

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The event is capped of by some Gelande Qualffing which is as competitive for some cyclists as the actual race itself.

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When you layout your future training plan for this event make sure to include training for the entire event start to end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/9/r Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:40:14 GMT
A Different Kind of Win http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/8/a-win-of-a-different-kind A Different Kind of Win

The Queen of Pain’s usual mode of operation heading into the Leadville 100 MTB race is being well trained, rested and ready to give 110% when she toes the line in the wee hours of the morning on race day. Her game face says it all, she's riding to win.

This year as she packed her car and headed into the thin air of Leadville she was looking for a different kind of win. 

Instead of focusing on her coach’s well developed, and organized training and race plan she spent countless hours, 9 months actually, writing a book, Rusch to Glory. This experience put her in a much different pain cave and flying without a specific training plan for this endeavor.  She knows to well the importance of dedicated time to train and plan for this very special race.  Finding herself short on time to prepare to challenge for a conventional win she wanted to help others achieve new PRs. A coveted PR is the sub 9hr mark. She teamed up with Lisa Nelson aka The Hammer to do just that. This was going to be Lisa's 10th Leadville 100 MTB and she was really gunning for the sub 9hr, her previous PR was 9:27:00. Lisa was hopefully that being able to tap into Rebecca's knowledge of the course and other logistics that she would finally ride away with the big gold belt buckle. The duo crushed the previous PR and crossed the line with a time of 8:39:38. 

Rusch to Glory is not due to be released until October, but Rebecca wanted to share it with her Leadville family first. It made perfect sense since she was going to be an open book very soon why not do a pre-release in Leadville where she knows people understand and share her passion for endurance riding.  She held book signings and a heart felt book reading at the Tabor Opera House. Selene Yeager co-author was also in the audience and toed the line on race day, for the first time, finishing under the sub 9 hr mark. Rebecca’s winning ways suit her well on and off the bike evident by the standing ovation at the end of the evening.

Most often winning is equated to getting across a finish line first, but honestly winning is achieving a goal. It's safe to say that Rebecca Rusch left Leadville with a few different wins. If I was a betting girl, I would lay odds that this year's wins will lay a foundation for The Queen of Pain to dig even deeper in the Race Across the Sky for a fifth win.

The 2014 Leadville 100 MTB race was all about bikes, books, and celebrations for Rebecca Rusch and her co-author, Selene Yeager.

Book signings have not been on the pre-race agenda in the past for the 4X winner of Leadville but this year they became a highlight as it gave her time to connect and get inspired by all of the other racers in the Race Across the Sky.

The historic Tabor Opera House was the place for laughs and tears as Rebecca shared the stage with Selene Yeager and Elden Nelson, the Fatcyclist during the book pre-release and readings. 

The race plan that Lisa and Rebecca adopted was one that highlighted each others strengths. As they descended Powerline Lisa was attentive to Rebecca's line down the narrow spine.

The Queen of Pain used her adventure racing background to pace Lisa through all of the different sections of the course. At times the coaching words were to "Let It Rip" like in this smooth flowing singletrack section of Pipeline.

Rebecca would check in with Lisa by riding side by side to exchange a few words of encouragement. She was also was checking Lisa's body language which could indicate how far in the pain cave she was or could she push her a little harder to reach their sub 9hrs goal.

The pain train had only one destination in mind the infamous red carpet at the finish line.

The Powerline climb is often times where racers lose a large chunk of time Rebecca took the lead to ensure the pace would remain brisk and steady.

Sweet taste of victory crossing the line at 8:39:38. This was truly a team effort, together they were able to get Lisa her coveted sub 9hr mark and the large gold belt buckle. 

 

 

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/8/a-win-of-a-different-kind Mon, 18 Aug 2014 06:09:31 GMT
RESPECT - Faces of the Leadville 100 MTB http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/8/some-of-the-faces-of-the-race-across-the-sky RESPECT - Faces of the Leadville 100 MTB

The Leadville 100 MTB known as the "Race Across the Sky" certainly holds a deep admiration by those who have ridden it.  The racers, the terrain, and the race itself hold a profound spot in people's soul. Ken Chlouber, the race's co-founder, refers to the racers as the "Race Across the Sky" family. The racers refer to themselves as belonging to the "Race Across the Sky" family. Undoubtedly, there must be something to this idea. The concept of belonging to this family is what drives people from all over the world to spend countless hours training and sacrificing a great deal, at times, that's precious family time. Spouse and partners may or may not understand the obsession to this race. For those that have not ridden the race they're captivated by the sheer magnitude of the task. Then there is always to proverbial WHY?   

There are probably just as many different reasons and motivators to do the race as there are racers. One commonality is that, at some point, the race will strip all of the racers of their ego. They will be left draped across the handlebars with only their true essence. It maybe cliche, but true, that the circumstances don't define us, it's how we respond to the circumstances that define us. One of Ken's coined phrases is "Dig deep into the inexhaustible well of grit, guts, and determination." The willingness to shed the ego will allow the "digging deep" journey to begin. Knowing that you are among others going through the same breaking and rebuilding process promotes a kinship.

This race is won with guts and worn with pride regardless the color of the belt buckle. Or even if don't got a belt buckle. Everyone gets the pleasure of getting naked and re-dressed, so it doesn't matter whether you've won world cup races, wear a national jersey or ride the race on the same bike you rode in your first "Race Across the Sky" 21 years prior, everyone has to pedal the same course and go through the same exercise. 

The race is a human equalizer.

Photographers often get asked, "did you get the shot." The usual response is we'll see. This image is one of those, at first glance not a bad image of Alban Lakata, 2X winner and LT100 Course record holder, coming through the aid station at bottom of Columbine climb pressing hard toward the finish line for hopefully another win. At a second glance, the guy on the right going in the opposite direction is Ricky McDonald, going through the same aid station except he's heading up the Columbine climb. This will be his 21st LT100 and I might add he's riding the same bike he on his first LT100.   Finish times - Alban Lakata 6:29:51 Ricky McDonald 11:26:51. These guys are brothers in the "Race Across the Sky" family.

 

The following images are of LT100 racers. I believe any racer will recognize themselves in them whether it is a photo of them or not. 

Dave Wiens 6x winner and ambassador for the LT100 greeting riding pre start at 5:45am.

Brett Donnelson is in deep thought about what lies ahead. Finishing Time: 8:28:42

Jennifer Smith - StansNoTubes is smiling all the way to the start arena in hopes of a great race. She finished 2nd with a time of 8:06:27

A sea of humanity is coming up behind this from row of racers. Heading off to battle the LT100.

The drone gets a bird's eye view of the racers below battling it out on the dusty, straight, and narrow section off of Powerline.

The LT10 is not all punishing it does have some fun, fast, and gorgeous sections. Rebecca Rusch 4x LT100 is not racing for herself this year she is pacing a friend to hopefully a new best PR under 9 hrs. Success Lisa Nelson crushed her previous time and is now a proud owner of a large, gold belt buckle. Finishing time of 8:39:38

Luck was not on Christoph Sausser's side this year. He flatted once and got lost once which he says, "I promise it is not easy to keep up the concentration in this thin air!"

This racer checking in with himself before heading back up Powerline - digging deeper is about to happen.

Mark Webber and Patrick Clark are in the same outdoor space at the moment. It doesn't matter what you have accomplished before.  These two guys are managing their own pain and stuck with it. Finishing times: Mark Webber 8:31:56 Patrick Clark 8:32:51

Catherine Williason staying as compact as she can as she climbs back up Powlerline. She cam over form the UK to race LT100 and BreckEpic  Finishing time: 831:34 Double OUCH 

Selene Yeager looking up the Powerline climb accessing the distance and figuring out how to get up there. This was Selene's first time racing LT100. She came out to the thin air of Leadville to support, her friend, Rebecca Rusch during the "Rusch to Glory" book launch. She had her reservations about the race. Selene recently posted the following on her blog: "I was wrong. Really wrong. Leadville is actually all that it’s hyped to be and maybe then some—brutally hard, amazingly beautiful, very humbling, a bit of a road race, more of a mountain bike race than you think, and the kind of experience that seeps under your skin and becomes a little (or for some folks a big) part of you."  Finishing time: 8:39:19

Get the party started. All of the racers are in it together. Powerline is testing everyone of them. 

Sally Bigham wins another LT100. She takes a moment in the finish area before facing the press to let out a sigh of relief, take in a few extra breaths and perhaps pays a bit of respect to the LT100 course. Finishing time: 7:23:58

Mark Webber comes through the finish line with tons of respect. This is what he posted after the race: Leadville Trail 100 - 165km mountain bike marathon, 3,450m elevation gain, climbing up to 3,786m in 8.5hrs, finishing 163rd out of 1283 entries - sore but still smiling #AussieGrit

Anthony Rice from Australia elated to has his son cross the finish line with him. Something tells me that this little guy may do the race some day. Finishing time: 8:14:55

The embrace is worth all of the trials out there.

For Scott Kelley it's all about personal family, race family and the satisfaction of a finishing time of 8:39:08.

Dave Wiens is in the finish area passing out hugs because he knows the importance of that human connection after a tough individual struggle. 

All of the racers are rockstars regardless whether that's real life or just for finishing the LT100. Greg Martin, Tim Commerford, Rebecca Rusch, Ben Bostrom, Dave Zabriskie

The phrase may be "Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever"  but I'd like to change that up a bit  to "Pain is temporary, the smiles last forever." In the finish area there are a lot of glazed looks but racers are quick to smile. Lisa Nelson (the Hammer) Elden Nelson (fat cyclist)

TOTAL RESPECT TO ALL OF THE LT100 RACERS

 

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/8/some-of-the-faces-of-the-race-across-the-sky Wed, 13 Aug 2014 19:15:31 GMT
Delivering the Goods http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/8/delivering-the-goods Delivering the Goods

For the 6th year in a row, Rebecca Rusch was coming to Leadville to race her bike in the LT100. This time it would be very different. She spent the last 9 months writing her first book, "Rusch to Glory." This daunting task was all consuming not allowing her enough time to train to give 110% in a race that she respects immensely. Recognizing that she may not be fit enough to challenge for the win but knowing she has the goods to help someone else reach their PR of under 9hrs giving them the coveted large gold belt buckle. She approached a friend who has tried 9 other times to meet this goal with no avail. The idea was that she would pace them throughout the race. So a few weeks before the big race, Lisa Nelson (aka The Hammer) was the lucky guinea pig. In some ways, Lisa felt like she had won the lottery. In other ways, she wasn't exactly sure she was up to the challenge, after all, her past PR was 9:27:00. Where would she shave off 30 minutes? She already felt that she had been on the ropes to achieve that time but Lisa was game to make this the magical year.

Rebecca was also coming to Leadville for two other reasons: to deliver some training clinics mostly on logistics that can certainly change the event for anyone. Her sessions focused on pacing, nutrition, hydration, climbs, flats and everything in between to reach the finish line as quickly as possible.  Her other purpose was to launch her book "Rusch To Glory" coming out in October. Leadville holds a very special place in her heart, so she wanted to do a pre-release of the book to people that know her and understand her passion for riding a bike.

Both of those events went very well, therefore the only goods left to delivered was getting The Hammer across the finish line with a sub 9hr time.

Many people were anxious and very excited to watch the race unfold. Something was telling me that if The Queen of Pain teamed up with someone that goes by the name of The Hammer, something special would transpire. 

It's safe to say, if anyone can "deliver the goods" The Queen of Pain can. The following is a photo essay on how the day unfolded.

Just a reminder of The Queen of Pain's task for the day. 

In years past, Rebecca would have gotten the wheels rolling at the sound of the shotgun. This year was going to be different. The smoke from the shotgun would be completely gone before she would even think of rolling the bike forward. 

The front end of the race is heading up the first rise and the Red Corral group where Rebecca and Lisa are starting from is still sitting on main street. Not being in the front means the racers really need to pay attention not to end their race before it even begins by entangling handlebars and going down.

The Queen of Pain descending with confidence enjoying herself in this year's "Different Leadville Experience.

The Hammer looks quite comfortable chasing after Rebecca down the spine of Powerline. Apparently descending is one of Lisa's weakness, it looks like she took great notes during some of the training sessions. 

Who do you think is having more fun, the guy flying the drone or the racers making their way through heavy traffic in a dust cloud?

With this look it may be obvious where The Hammer got her name.

Riding bike is always fun. #ridelikeagirl

The Queen of Pain enjoying the ride.

Gorgeous!!!

Aid Stations/Feed zones can be a huge time sucker. When the duo got to Twin Lakes they were right on the time split for that portion of the race, no time to waste. Rebecca and Lisa had different crews helping them. The very experienced Greg Martin is always Rebecca's right hand man so he has the feed zones dialed to the T. Rebecca's job during the race was to manage the pace. The most challenging time to do that is when riders are off their bikes and in different locations. 

They got it all sorted out fairly quickly. Lisa headed out and Rebecca was quick to realize that had happened and tracked her down to head up the Columbine climb. 

Having gained some time going up and down Columbine the duo quickly goes thru this feed zone without stopping. Rebecca does sense that Lisa might need a few encouraging words as they head off to Twin Lakes. They have no time to waste if the sub 9 is to happen.

Rebecca drops back a bit so they can ride side by side and regroup for the next little climb to Twin Lakes and beyond.

Inbound Pipeline climb is a deceiving little stretch, not super steep, but enough to task the already tightening legs. It is also the only single track section on the cross so it requires a bit more focus. Lisa is a solid climber so she leads the pain train. Selene Yeager has now joined in on the action. Selene is a very good friend with Rebecca and co-author of "Rusch to Glory." This is her first LT100 and she broke the 9 hr barrier. Nice work Selene.

The word was out that Rebecca and Lisa were working on the sub 9 hrs so racers around them were glad to see them since they were striving for  the same goal.

Inbound Powerline climb which Lisa and Rebecca can both ride their bikes up it without getting off and that ladies and gents is not a small feat. Riding through this bottle neck was not really an option.  At this point in the race the body is pretty beat up so mental toughness is what needs to really kick in. A hiccup like this bottleneck can be the cracking moment, fortunately it was not, but it would need to be managed correctly.

The Hammer is one tough cookie. She musters up a smile before digging way deep again. The smile is good because it allows the body to relax for the moment. 

Task at hand is digging way deep and keeping the legs moving.

The Queen of Pain's experience in adventure racing is being put the test. She not only has to manage what her body is feeling like at this point but also needs to keep The Hammer pushing hard as they will be forced to walk up Powerline instead of ride. The Hammer has been riding deep in the pain cave for some time now. The eyes behind the Smith Optics are different than in the past when the look has been #IWILLWHATIWANT and now it's more a look of strategizing the next move to keep them on track time wise. For instance, where to pull over and regroup with Lisa? Knowing that it's important to give Lisa some space as she is working though the halls of the pain cave. Also knowing that although space is important, not too much space, because as teammates in endurance situations its always important to feel a sense of contact.

Rebecca is working through her own pain while the pain cave is full behind her. 

Wondering how steep Powerline is, IT"S STEEP!!!

Contact being regained but not much is exchanged just some encouraging and action words are shared.

There is a bit of a relief in the pitch but it just keeps going. OUCH

The Moment of Truth - they crushed the sub 9 coming is at 8:39:00. It was an unbelievable day of perseverance and realizing when you think you can't, you can do a bit more. The Queen of Pain knows that very well, that's why she was confident that she could deliver the goods if whoever she worked with wanted the goods bad enough. 

The smiles will be cherished, pain is temporary but the satisfying feelings of giving it your all last forever. 

Truly a "Different Leadville Experience" for both of these ladies. They achieved their goals and in the end they both delivered the goods. Congratulations!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/8/delivering-the-goods Tue, 12 Aug 2014 06:19:04 GMT
Join the Rusch - Leadville Experience - Pipeline http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/8/rusch-tour Learning from simply the best, the "Queen of Pain."

The Leadville 100 is no small endurance feat. Racing your mountain bike at 10,000+ feet is ridiculous to most people but a "Bring It On" challenge to others. Riders enter this race for many reasons but mainly to test themselves adjusted any limits. They spend all year focusing and preparing for this event. Most enlist the expertise of a coach to get them through the many weeks and miles of training required to get to the start line which includes going to a qualifier or being lucky enough to get in through the lottery. 

In steps Rebecca Rusch, she is a four time winner of the Leadville 100 and a World Champion to boot. She knows endurance racing, specially she know the Leadville 100 course inside and out. She knows where you can gain speed, lose speed and simply lose it all together. The race is filled with challenges around every corner. The beast will wear you down from the St Vrain climb, to Powerline, the infamous Columbine climb, but Pipeline which is the midsection of the course often times gets over looked because there is not a lot of vertical gain. It may be remembered because it does contain a section single track. In many ways, this section can make or brake your race; this is where you want to be mentally tough, trying to hook up with other riders to draft, take on board some fuel and hydration as well as prepare for what lies ahead in either direction.  

The stars and planets aligned during the last few days for about thirty or so riders to get Rebecca's insights on each section of the course. They rode the sections individually. 

The following is a photo essay of some of the riders on the Pipeline section of single track.

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If you look closely you'll see riders on the hillside coasting down the single track portion of Pipeline. Standing in the distance I could hear the buzzing of the finely tuned freewheels and the occasional coaching words of Rebecca encouraging riders to let the bikes roll.

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   The riders were all smiles and thumbs up today but I'm sure Rebecca has coached them on the game face for race day. Not that there is anything wrong about smiling while riding.

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Early morning ride with the "Queen of Pain" what could be better a few days before the big day.

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Lisa (aka The Hammer) is looking forward to race day where she will ride under 9hrs. I look forward to seeing that smile come across the finish line along with her coach Rebecca.

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The 'Queen of Pain" in her in element - Sharing the Leadville Experience!

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The Leadville 100 is a big race in a huge playground.  Enjoy the journey and the scenery.

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Something tells me that one of the riding tips today was to ride relaxed.

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After a short but effective pep talk the group saddled back up to return to the Pipeline feed zone.

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Reba is shepherding her team up the singletrack climb which seems like no big deal except...

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the climb is relentless, it just keeps pitching upward. The track has enough little twists and turns to take you off course if you are not paying attention.

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Just a few more corners to go before the false summit. OUCH.

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The views are grand no matter where you look on this course. If these riders can mimic Rebecca's pedaling style they will certainly come out ahead. Smooth and powerful.

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Coaching tips and support from the "Queen of Pain."

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More coaching and encouragement from Rebecca. There is no question when these riders are digging deep during the race remembering moments like these will be helpful. The "Queen of Pain" will be there right with you. You have earned yourself a coach and a fan.

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Lots of determination gets these riders to where they are right now. 

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Riders in the sky!

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These legs and World Champion stripes will be missed in the front row for the 2014 Leadville 100 but honestly they are serving a much greater purpose taking these riders up Pipeline and other course section this year. You are not only the "Queen of Pain" but also the "Queen of Hearts."

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Ride On!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/8/rusch-tour Tue, 05 Aug 2014 00:29:03 GMT
Women of Enduro http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/7/women-of-enduro Women of Enduro

by linda guerrette

 

 

The fifth stop on the Enduro World Series was held in conjuntion with the Colorado Freeride Festival in Winter Park, Colorado. The best MTB enduro racers in the world were poised to experience oxygen debt and dry fast dirt, which for some would be different than the European riding they've grown accustomed to. The 7 stage event was held on sections of the Trestles Bike Park as well as other regions of the Winter Park ski area. The racers were challenged with fast and flowing courses with plenty of craggy rock and root gardens, steeps and tight trees were also thown in the mix. In the end, this type of riding was received with mixed reviews but everyone enjoyed the adventure. 

 

The women’s field was stacked with heavy hitters with the likes of Anne Caroline Chausson, Tracy Moseley, Anneke Beerten, Heather Irmiger, and Kelli Emmett. Big Mountain Riding is more about being one with your bike than where you’re riding or for that matter, what your riding. Some of characteristics needed to meet the Big Mountain Riding challenges are razor like focus, physical/mental strength, bike skills, tenacity, unshakeable confidence, and a sense of adventure. The Women of Enduro posses all of these as well as adding finesse and agility. They exemplify ‘power through grace.”

 

The Women of Enduro can certainly hold their own with the guys and the Big Mountain challenges but they choose to "Ride Like a Girl."

 

Sarah Rawley, Heather Irmiger, Syd Schultz riding from stage 6 to stage 7

     Sarah Rawley, Heather Irmiger, Syd Schultz riding from stage 6 to stage 7.

Anneke Beerter enjoying the smooth flowing bits of the course on stage 2

     Anneke Beerter enjoying the smooth flowing bits of the course on stage 2.

Tracy Moseley was looking for speed everywhere but in the end Anne Caroline Chausson was a few seconds fast on 7 stages.

    Tracy Moseley was looking for speed everywhere but in the end Anne Caroline Chausson was a few seconds fast on 7 stages.

Under threathening skies Sarah Rawley leaves a trail of dust as she uses finesse in this swooping bend.

    Under threathening skies Sarah Rawley makes quick business of getting through the big swooping bend at the top of stage 2.

Ines Thoma is all buisness off of the steep and gnarly section on stage 5

     Ines Thoma is all buisness off of the steep and gnarly section on stage 5.

Riders heading out to meet the challenge of the mountain.

     Riders heading out to meet the challenge of the mountain. 

     Brittany Clawson with lazer beam focus matched with mental strength charging her way down stage 5.

     Isabeau Courdurier know her way around bike maintenance a well as a challenging singletrack. 

    Tracey Hanna didn’t miss a beat after being launched off a rock by keeping her focus and solid bike/body connection to pull this acrobatic maneuver. 

     With no room for error, Kelli Emmet uses her compact style and excellent bike handling skills to thread the needle around jagged rock cropping on stage 5.

     Valentina Macheda used her finesse all weekend to make the best of the flowing tracks and getting around all of the rocky sections of the stages.

    In the end, Anne Caroline Chausson, the queen of speed, takes the win with a quiet confident style and love for Big Mountain Riding. 

 

 

    Results for Enduro World Series #5:

 

    1-Anne Caroline CHAUSSON Open Women Ibis  00:50:01.966

    2-Tracy MOSELEY Open Women Trek Factory Racing Enduro  00:50:13.645 

    3-Anneke BEERTEN Open Women Specialized Racing  00:51:06.041

 

To all of the women who competed in this year's Enduro World Series # 5 congratulations on some incredible riding and more importantly for being a role model to all of us, women and men. 

 

 

Full results can be found here

http://www.enduroworldseries.com/downloads/results/2014/Colorado%20all.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2014/7/women-of-enduro Tue, 29 Jul 2014 01:42:15 GMT
Blog is coming soon http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2013/12/hallowed-be-the-mundane  

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(Linda Guerrette Photography) train http://www.lindaguerrettephotography.com/blog/2013/12/hallowed-be-the-mundane Mon, 23 Dec 2013 08:13:00 GMT