Posts Tagged ‘lake tahoe’

Epic 3 day Mountain Bike stage race at North Star, Lake Tahoe. 11-13 October

Epic mountain bike race Northstar Lake Tahoe Specialized Epic 29er Conrad Stoltz

Love riding challenging trails and single track?  Tahoe and NorthStar trails, majestic views, blue skies, woods, thin air and yes, lactic acid! Mind boggling single track, stunning scenery and the camaraderie of a team mate.  Sounds good?  The Epic mountain bike race is for you!

This endurance orientated event is aimed to be a 5 star experience:

– 5 Star course:  3 days of trails that will take your breath away.  Literally and figuratively.  (I recently rode them at a leisurely pace in 2 days and was exilharated – yet thuroughly pooped – at the end.)

Stages 1 & 2 are about 35 miles each and stage 3 is about 25 miles. Long enough to knock the stuffing out of you, but not so long that you couldnt face a few beers and share some laughs afterwards. (Maps available on the website) The course features a mix of mostly fire roads and jeep track but also a fair amount of some of the best single track I’ve ever ridden. There will be wave starts to spread the field and the opening miles will be fire road to thin the herd. Be prepared for plenty of climbing. About 3500ft to 4500ft of  climbing per stage. Fortunately, what goes up, must come down – always something to look forward to.

This event is aimed more towards endurance riding, rather than hours of bone and bike crunching single track. You dont need advanced skills or a hard core trail bike for this event. DO bring a descent level of fitness for the 6400 ft (2000m) base altitude. And remember- everything goes up from there.  Also bring a few layers of clothing for the crisp fall temps.

Epic Endurance MTB race, Tahoe, North Star, Conrad Stoltz, Day 2

Stage 2 is mostly fire roads with some good, long sections of fast, flowing single track like the one above.

Epic Mountain bike race trails North Star Lake Tahoe Conrad Stoltz

Plenty of space to overtake early on.

Epic Endurance MTB race, Tahoe, North Star, Conrad Stoltz, Specialized Sworks Epic 29er, Command Post, sawtooth single track

Stage 1 features awesome single track – including the infamous “Sawtooth”, “2 Beavers and a Bear” and

Epic Endurance MTB race, Tahoe, North Star, Conrad Stoltz, bridge

“Twin bridges”.  This is one is the baby of the 3…

Epic Endurance MTB race Tahoe North Star Conrad Stoltz, Specialized, rocky singletrack

Leave the lightweight tires and tubes at home… I recommend going tubeless with a strong sidewalled tire like the Specialized Fast Track Control 2.2.  If it stays very dry and loose that time of the year – a more knobbly Ground Control 2.3 / 2.1  front / rear combo in the Control casing – or something similar will give you grip in the corners and help you float on top of the loose stuff. If it rains (or in the rare case, a light sprinkle of overnight snow) – this sandy course will be fast and packed down nicely.

A dual suspension bike is nice, but not a must – there is a single speed category (a category also known for its love of fully rigid bikes and curious facial hair).  XC bikes – like Specialized Epic 29er  – and modern trail bikes (with a good pedal platform)  Stumpjumper or similar – will work well.

– 5 Star accommodation:

Like it says – 5 star experience. Think Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe for $225 a night…

Just roll out the door to the start line.

Epic Endurance MTB race, Tahoe, North Star Ritz Carlton, Conrad Stoltz,

Enter the special pass code on the website  for the $225 Ritz Carlton per room per night sponsorship deal.

Ritz Carlton LakeTahoe Epic ride

Plenty for the family and kids to do – Adventure camp, bungee trampoline, geocaching, gem panning, Strider& Roller skates, fly fishing, wine walks and the list goes on…

If both parents are riding, the Ritz Kid’s programme will entertain your kids with an adventurous and educational programme at a minimal cost.

Also, check the website for more affordable NorthStar condos and even “luxury camping” (you get your own tent and a thick inflatable air mattress) for as little as $25/night.

– 5 Star Dining: Then there is the weighty matter of Food: In this case, more accurately referred to as “Nutrition plan.”

The menu is carefully designed by the OSMO Nutritionist to promote recovery after stages, fuelling before stages and everything in between.

I quote from the website: Say, Friday night dinner…

Friday Dinner   
shrimp curry

  • Thai style salad, rice wine vinaigrette
  • Build your own noodle/rice bowls
  • Yakisoba noodles, rice noodles, brown rice
  • Roasted Tri Tip, Chicken and Shrimp
  • Steamed Vegetables
  • Pho Broth, Coconut Green Curry, Kung Pao Sauce
  • Sprout Bar, bean, radish, broccoli, etc
  • Cashew and peanuts

I wonder if the above options are “and” or “or”.

Aid stations will also be 5 star- stocking products like Clif Bar.


– 5 Star Experience: Ride with a team mate and create memories to last a lifetime.

Epic Chix

Epic Race caters to women unlike any other mountain bike race

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 1.55.49 PM 

Hey Ladies, 

Ski season may be coming, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to hang up the bike.   Call up your riding partner and end your riding season with the Epic Race!     And in case you think you can’t, we’ve eliminated every excuse so that you can!    Just get to Lake Tahoe and we’ll take care of everything – all you have to do is show up and pedal.  Catering to women unlike other events, we’re providing an experience for you and a friend to join in on the fun.   Cross the finish line with your team mate and enjoy all the comforts of our Ladies Lounge.     A shared experience is priceless.

Race includes:

Women’s own start time(s)

Bike Valet waiting at the finish line (clean / tune and ready for the next day)

Ladies Lounge includes:

Wind trainers for cool-down

Post race massage / rub down

Recovery foods, rehydration

Eucalyptus Action Wipes – next best (immediate) thing to a shower!

Post race / cool-down with yoga

– If you’re a racing snake, check out the prize money page– this race has one of the biggest prize purses for any MTB event in the country. Pros, Amateurs, Industry Cup and Single Speed category leaders jerseys and prize purses.

Epic leaders jerseys

I pre-rode Stage 1 with Andy Buckley from NorthStar his friend and self supported ultra racer Blake from Truckee. Some cool GoPro footage to come soon.

Epic Endurance MTB race, Tahoe, North Star, Conrad Stoltz, Andy Buckley, Blake

“You go first. No, you go first. I insist…”  The course features a good amount of Epic single track – Andy and Blake heading into 2 Beavers and a Bear trail on Stage 1.

Epic Endurance MTB race, Tahoe, North Star, Conrad Stoltz, Andy Buckley, Blake, fire road

Single track is for whooping and fire road is for story telling. Or chasing your breath – whichever way you like it.

Epic Endurance MTB race, Tahoe, North Star, Conrad Stoltz, Lake Tahoe view

Lake Tahoe view.

Epic Endurance MTB race, Tahoe, North Star, Conrad Stoltz, Truckee Meadows view

Truckee Meadows view.

Todd Wells London Olympics 2012 Epic race

I’m riding with legendary Todd Wells on the Specialized Racing Team.  Who are you riding with?

Register now and benefit from various sponsorship options.


A race report from 2004 where Steve Larsen pushed me to the outer limits of Paindom


2003 XTERRA USA Champs: Steve smashing it…

2004 Xterra USA Champs- Lake Tahoe

When: The night before the race.
Where: Hyatt, Lake Tahoe.
Who: Steve Larsen and myself.
What: Watching TV.
Which show? 2003 Xterra USA Champs, Lake Tahoe.

The year old images on TV brought back strong memories of last years’ epic battle. Steve Larsen, Mountain bike legend, Ironman champion and kicker of my ass at our previous meeting (Xterra Keystone 2003) was tearing up the bike course, setting off alarm bells in my head. I rode as hard as I could to keep him within striking distance, throwing all caution in the wind concerning pacing, the 500ft cliffs, the trees and the rocks whizzing by. Even my “if all else fails, I’ll catch him on the technical down hill” theory got blown out the window. I started the run 90seconds down- a tall order, even on a good day. The dueling on the bike was so fierce; we dropped the rest of the field by more than 6 minutes.

Once in my running shoes, I took off as if it was a 5k. Hoping to gain time quickly and trick Steve into thinking it’s my 10k pace. The pain was immense, the atmosphere was heavy with suspense, and the crowd went nuts. TV loved every second of it. The race for USA Champion was really close, and until the final moments nobody knew who was going to win*. Reality TV can only dream of this stuff.

Here we are, one year later, Steve, now my sports agent, and I, the athlete, sitting (very) upright in bed, (each his own, thank you) reliving last years’ epic dual. Who would have dreamt the turn of events in one year? From fierce rivals to team mates in 364 days.

For me, the 2004 edition of Xterra USA Champs was much less spectacular. My form lacking from too many months of racing (a common disorder known as Olympicqualificationiitis) and too few months of training, plus an almost comical “broken” collarbone scare**, 5 days before the race. I did what I could to work a small miracle. In order to win my 4th consecutive USA Series title, I had to win the race, and Sylvain Dodet had to place no better than 4th. I put all I had on the line- Lost a little time on the swim, a little on the bike and slipped from 3rd to 5th in the final kilometers of the run. Finishing 5th in a sport where one has had a 2 year winning streak is no fun, 3rd place in the series standings is just not good enough, but those are the realities.

I played the cards I had.

* I won.

* * Out of curiosity, I did a lap of this cyclocross race I was watching Steve and home-stay Michael race. On the football field there were two knee high barriers to negotiate, I approached them at all of 10mph, and dismounted cyclocross style to run the barriers, only problem was, the release angle on my new pedals was bigger than usual. I couldn’t get my foot out of the pedal in time and next thing earth was coming closer fast. I remember Ned’s advice- “Tuck and Roll” so I tucked and I rolled, but didn’t have enough speed to finish the roll, so I landed on my upper back and neck- bones crunching and joints popping. The crowd went wild- there were about 150 cyclocross racers and fans watching. I had broken a collarbone before -also falling on my back- and I know what it feels like. This thing felt broken. Within 30 minutes there was a huge lump and we were off to ER. X-rays showed no break, but the doc said it’s probably dislocated, with or without torn ligaments. Perfect preparation, 5 days before one of biggest races of the year. Next morning the swelling went down and it turned out nothing was broken, nothing dislocated or torn- just a big hit. Note, it was a big hit on a grassy football field, going 10mph, in front of 150 people. Funny, earlier that same day I was going 30mph down a rock strewn mountainside, weaving between trees, jumping logs, on an a trail I’ve never seen before.

XTERRA USA Champs. Plumbed the deapths of empty legs, but won 6th XTERRA USA Series title

conrad stoltz xterra nevada 2008 by rich cruse
photos by Rich Cruse photography


by Rich Cruse

What a weird, weird day.

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Death on the Flume Trail. Well, almost…


The Flume Trail- Lake Tahoe

I pre rode this weekends’ XTERRA USA Champs course here at Incline Village, Lake Tahoe.  I’m in full taper and the legs are great- I churned the big chainring as I effortlessly glided along the most scenic trail I have ever ridden. The Flume Trail.

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