Posts Tagged ‘Northstar California Resort’


Looking back at 2015 with Scott Leland

November 19, 2015

2015 Northstar Mountain Bike Season recap

NS MTB Team-09.12.15_-14

The 2015 mountain bike season on the Northstar team was a blast. After a season off the bike due to various injuries my goals this year were rebuild my endurance, rep the giant/northstar brand and have fun racing with the team… and maybe climb up onto a podium or two. It was a winter tailor made for the early season racer with spring like temps and almost no snow from November through March. What is one to do but start racing in March when the mountain bike gods bike gods bestow gifts like that upon us!

Big Sandy

The Big sandy was a first time race for me. It’s a 38 mile xc race with about 6k of climbing. I had been training hard up to this point and had excellent legs. The course also had a nice technical dh which played to some of my strengths. The course was very fast and was a perfect fit to the fast rolling 29er wheels on the Anthem X. After a little over 3 hours of racing I crossed the line in first for the cat 1 race!

NS MTB Team-09.12.15_-35


2 weeks after The Big Sandy I was lined up behind Levi Leipheimer at the brutal Sonomas XC race. This race offered up 36 miles and 7k of twisty, steep trail circumnavigating Lake Sonoma. I had a great race but unfortunately pulled a muscle in my low back with about 6 miles to go. I dropped from 3rd to 6th by the time I crossed the line and missed the podium by a hair. OUCH!

 Sea Otter Classic

The Sea Otter XC course was in its 2nd year on the new short course. We no longer had to flog ourselves on the 2 lap 38 mile race. I had another very good race and was happy to end up 2nd behind perennial winner Bob Letson .

That’s me in the green shirt!



Scott 2nd Place Cross Country

Whiskey 50

The Whiskey 50 was a first time race for me and I will definitely go back. Epic rides puts on this race and it is definitely epic! It was 50 miles of awesome trail, good music and beer. I had a rather hard time during the race however. I bonked hard at mile 35 and dropped from 6th to 25th on the long skull valley climb. I started slamming calories and eventually got the engines going again. I clawed my way back to 11th out of 562 racers and made a mental note for my management of this race next year.

NS MTB Team-09.12.15_-22

The Tour of the White Mountains

The Tour of the White Mountains was another new race for me. This was the 20th running of the race held high in the mountains of northeastern Arizona. Good thing we live at altitude because this 51 mile XC race starts at 7100ft! The race went off without a hitch and I held on for 12th out of 140 in the open race. It is a miracle I finished. After the race I realized I had snapped the inner cage of my rear derailleur and also snapped my rear axle of my Mavic Crossmax SLR clean in half!

NS MTB Team-09.12.15_-19

I had a great time racing for the team this year. Next year I plan on doing the 4 xc races Epic Rides puts on, sonomas, big sandy, Ashland enduro, and hopefully the Tahoe 100. Offseason training will consist of skiing and lots of it!


Lindsay Chirdon~A Breakthrough Season in XC, Endurance, and Enduro

October 6, 2015


2015, what a season! This season I set out to test my technical skills and endurance. From the hardest downhills I’ve ever ridden (much less, raced) in Scotland at the EWS Tweedlove Enduro (8th place) to the grit and pain of the Leadville 100 MTB (9th place in age group) and many adventures in between including CES Mendocino (7th place-Expert) & China Peak (5th place- Expert), Sea Otter XC (8th place- Cat 1), Tahoe Trail 100K (2nd place in age group), and Downieville All Mountain (2nd place DH/3rd place overall-Expert) –


Enduro World Series @ Tweedlove 2015

I am happy to say I accomplished my season’s goal! 2015 was one hell of an experience; I had so much fun, met so many awesome new people- including some rockstar lady rippers! Seriously, have you noticed the women out there- we’re getting to be a stronger presence, it’s awesome to be a part of it & it kept me energized all season.


Lindsay Chirdon and Genevieve Evans at the starting line of the 2015 Tahoe Trail 100k

I was super stoked to represent Northstar, Giant/Liv, Fox and Honey Stinger along the way this year. Looking forward to 2016 I am focused on continuing to improve on my technical skills and in the enduro scene.  With the days getting a little shorter now, I am charging up my lights & getting pumped for night-riding season!


Lindsay race the on the 2015 Liv Lust Advanced 0 27.5

I am planning to get a routine together this off season for yoga and the climbing gym to work on grip, upper body strength, balance & flexibility. , really hoping this el nino thing shapes up for CA’s sake and will find myself enjoying some freshies, pow pow and wedeln turns this winter.


4th Round of Oregon Enduro by Tim Evens

July 27, 2013

July 14th marked the 4th round of the highly competitive Oregon Enduro series with a stop in Camas’ Larch mountain. Its been three years since riding these trails and I was excited to see how the Cold Creek cycling group had managed to shape their new trails. Before ever seeing the course there was plenty of hype going around the blog-o-sphere about the technical and dangerous nature of the two trails we’d be racing. full face helmets being REQUIRED is uncommon in pacific northwest enduros and gave a pretty good hint to the dangerous trails we’d compete on.


Although I’ve been riding with some Northstar team Alumni on a regular basis i was excited to finally get to meetup with a team member and do some practice runs. Patrick Romano made his way up from Tahoe to try his hand in the competitive Junior field. Over the years there has been a steady influx of talent through the Northstar program and its been amazing to watch team riders take what they’ve learned in the Northstar team program and continue on to highly competitive ranks.


Friday was to be my only day of practice, which was not ideal as it would pay off in spades to memorize the extremely technical course. I setup my Giant Reign with some serious fresh rubber, Schwalbe Muddy Mary’s, and dialed in suspension for a true beating. Rarely do i need  to wear body armor but after some of the hits I’ve taken this season I decided why not…. Having buddies like Adam Craig can sometimes save you from a trip to the ER. And he even washed the armor so it would smell spring-time fresh BEFORE i used it. Less so after a weekend of sprinting in 90 degree heat.

Within 3 minutes of beginning the first practice run I’d witnessed my first casualty as I witness Hood River native David Carr proceed to grade 4 (requires surgery) seperate his shoulder off the first of a many rock drops. Nothing like watching your friends squeal in pain to get you pumped up….

The course consisted of two major trails broken up into 5 stages. The first two involved some unreal rock gardens. Visualize riding 20 mph through a field of grapefruit to cantelope sized rocks with zero dirt. hilariously fun. Stages 3,4, and 5 would reward those willing to send huge jumps and carry massive speed through some of the best (albeit beat up) DH trails around.

The next casualty I witnessed involved my buddy Santa Cruz pinner, Scott Chapin. He knows how send jumps but on this day he’d enjoy a massive endo off a table top. Nothing like a concussion to get you pumped up. Needless to say my practice was spent with far too much time helping buddies scrape themselves off the hillside.

The Oregon Enduro series’ most endearing quality has always been the folks who ride/race these trails. Race day was an awesome time with friends pumping each other up, cheering each other on, and motivating each other to take their game to the next level. I love coming up to a trail/jump that scares me and using the screaming crowd to get that extra little boost. Enduro is about riding/racing your favorite trails and spending time with buddies. In the end I didn’t impress the clock but I did impress myself as I hit every obstacle that scared with with complete composure. And that was my real goal.



Time to Build that DH 2013 Foundation with Timmy Evens

October 25, 2012

Now that the 2012 mtb season is essentially behind us its time to lay the foundation for a 2013 race season. If you truly aspire to grow as a competitor then you must look at your season objectively and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.


Think back to when you felt strong and those times you came unravelled under the stress of competition.  You might see room for improvement on a number of components. where would you like to see yourself improve? high speed? technical flow? jumping/air? short duration intense fitness? endurance? or is it something more esoteric like your competitive mindset?


Are you someone who “freaks out” the morning of a race and never seem to ride as well in practice as competition? I encourage you to focus on where you want to see the most improvement and come up with an off-season plan.   Now find another sport venue to practice.   We can become stagnant when we drill the same rides/training into our bodies/minds over and over. Whether you’re an XC racer looking for improved output at lactate threshold or a DH racer looking to improve your focus at high speed I encourage you this winter to take up skiing.


Ask yourself what it takes to be an excellent DH racer…intense strength, mental focus, lack of fear, etc…etc, buying a season pass at your local ski hill might be the best thing you ever did for honing your body/mind for the 2013 race season.

I’m going to outline 3 reasons training on alpine skis, and to a slightly lesser extent snowboards, will transfer to better performance on a DH bike:

1. Comfort at speed

DH’ing your favorite course/run may feel like you’re going supersonic but odds are your max speed is nowhere near what you would attain on a clear day of skiing groomers. It’s not uncommon for seasoned skier’s to reach 50mph on a corduroy run. It may feel like you’re going 70 on your DH run but I assure you its very uncommon to reach 40mph on a dh race run. By getting use to seeing lines much farther ahead and anticipating a bigger line you can change your perception of speed. Powder days are the ones we really remember but skiing clear groomer is when we really get to play with speed. Of course I have to remind you to be safe! Careening high speed through a grey haired old lady is a good way to lose your pass and potentially end up in jail.


2. Edge control

Think of the last time you really surprised yourself on a DH run. Having perfect edge control of your tires is something we can all appreciate. To be a serious skier/boarder you must be intuitively weighting and unweighting your front and rear edges to hook up with the perfect arc. If we slow down video of alpine racers and dh mtb ers you can find similarities in the way they use hip strength to feel the terrain and adjust. by simply having fun on ski’s you are prepping your body to develop a better connection between you the bike and the trail.


3. Muscle Strength/Endurance

A typical DH race/enduro stage is somewhere between 2 and 10 minutes. In that time we go from pumped and strong to fatigued, erratic, and potentially out of control. Doing 10-15 runs on your local intermediate/advanced run is a great way to practice being strong and stable with your form. When we fatigue our form changes and control suffers. Be strong and controlled on your ski’s and we not only exercise our minds but develop FUNCTIONAL STRENGTH that we transfer to the bike. Squatting a 5 rep max 2x a week will make you strong but it might not transfer well to sport.


Marathon National Championships – Words by Karin Edwards

October 10, 2012

Race Report: Marathon Nationals – Bend, Oregon
By Karin Edwards  

Women’s 30-39 Podium (from left to right): Karin Edwards, Heather Lyman, Rachel Hadley, Erin Alders, Claire Duncan  

Yet again, Bend lives up to its reputation as ‘Bike Town, USA’.  What it lacks in Tahoe granite, it makes up for in hundreds of miles of fun, smooth, fast singletrack, with more being built every year.

In addition to being an all around awesome town, Bend is a cyclist’s playground – no wonder a contingent of Giant riders live there, including some of our own Ride Giant-Ride Northstar athletes.  I had the opportunity to spend the week before the race hanging out in Bend – and let me tell you, come race day, my legs were probably more tired than they should’ve been (but happy) from playing on the trails all week.

The Marathon Nationals race course itself was a treat.  It was one big figure eight-ish loop between town and Mt. Bachelor, designed to maximize the singletrack with a minimal amount of fire roads used as connectors.

The race was well attended by the who’s who of mountain biking and you could feel the excitement in the air as the gun went off for the pro men and women’s races.  My field – women 30-39 – had some stiff competition, including a few familiar faces from Northern California: Heather Lyman (2nd overall women, XTERRA Amateur Nationals) and Erin Alders (3rd pro women, Downieville All-Mountain).  The pace started fast and just got faster as we pelotoned along a forest service road before crossing the highway and hitting the singletrack.  Knowing that I had 50+ miles left in the day, I finally found my rhythm and spent the next 5 hours grinding away on the climbs and fully enjoying the killer downhill segments with a small group of ladies.  Other than a closer than desired run-in with a manzanita bush, the day went without a hitch, and I ended up placing 5th.  It was a long, challenging day on the bike, but a super fun and well-organized race.

Thanks Bend for a great week!  – Karin Edwards


It’s That Time – Submit Your Cover Letter & Resume

August 28, 2012

Tahoe 100 Race Report | Leadville Here I Come! By Team Rider Karin Edwards

August 9, 2012


I was reminded of three vital elements of racing at the Tahoe Leadville Qualifier:

  1. The importance of having fun. 

  2. The beauty of being inspired.

  3. The value of being goal-oriented. 

My 2011 race season did not begin smoothly.  During the Sea Otter XC race in April, I was ambulanced off the race course, an experience that really shook me up.  After that trip to the emergency room, I took a step back from racing and just focused on having fun on my bike.  The Leadville Qualifier at Northstar was one of my first races back since the Sea Otter debacle and I went into it telling myself, ‘No pressure Karin – stay hydrated, eat enough food, have fun, and just see what happens.’  I followed my own advice and my race went surprisingly well!  I beat my time from last year by almost 20 minutes and placed 3rd in my age category – which automatically qualified me for Leadville.

Lesson #1: I race better if I am having fun.  So, remember to have fun!

Now to be honest, I had no intention of signing up for Leadville.  I really enjoy long mountain bike races and as history shows, the longer the race, the better I tend to do.  But 100 miles at 10,000+ft elevation?  This is where inspiration comes in.  See, the race organizers are smart – they make you decide about Leadville when you are up on the podium receiving your award.  Maybe it was my post-race endorphin high, or maybe it was the fact that 500 racers – including 3-time Leadville winner and current record holder Rebecca Rusch – were cheering me on as I hemmed and hawed on the podium, deciding whether or not to accept, but I accepted with a smile.  How could I say no?  I was inspired.

Lesson #2: Be inspired to get out of your comfort zone.  You are stronger than you think you are.


So now what?  The great thing about signing up for Leadville 2013 is now I have a very concrete goal to work towards over the next year.  So how am I going to prepare for Leadville?  My current training regime is the following: Ride. Often.  For long periods of time. Mostly hills. This generally works for me now, but Leadville is no joke.  I will have to become more scientific about my training and will rely heavily on the experience of my Giant/Northstar teammates and coaches. The following are a few examples of things I plan to incorporate into my training over the next year: racing cyclocross this fall to improve my power and technical skills, skate skiing in the winter to maintain my endurance, and following Tim Evens’ plyometric/balance workout.

Lesson #3: Leadville is no joke.  Be intentional about your training, but don’t forget to have fun and stay inspired!


See you in Leadville! – Karin