Posts Tagged ‘#ridelife’


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!


Genevieve Evans Amazing 2015 Race Season

November 1, 2015

Evans 12015 was a little different for me in that my main focus of the summer was a one month long trip to Europe but I still was able to mix in my usual Xterra triathlons and endurance mountain bike races. As it was once again a low snow year, I began the season with my first ever Sea Otter XC race (3rd female 40 – 49). This was a great opportunity to meet other members of the team and get excited to make the switch from skiing to mountainbiking. Genevieve TrailXterra Tahoe City is one of my staple races as it is literally in my “big backyard”.

I felt great on the bike that day and ended up first woman. My busy weekend travel schedule only allowed me to participate in one Northstar XC race series but it ended up being a large Cat 1 field of great ladies (2nd female 40 – 49). The Leadville qualifier Tahoe Trail 100K at Northstar always brings together a large group of fun-loving, competitive mountain bikers and is one of my favorite local events. Last year I flatted, so I was happy to end up 4th woman overall and first woman 40 – 49.

X-Terra 2015 Championship

X-Terra 2015 Championship


Then it was time to pack my Liv Lust and head to Europe! The trip began with a 8 day run/hike around Mt. Blanc. The Alps are

spectacular and different from our Sierras in that Europeans have tamed their mountains with high alpine full service huts, no wild animals, cows with bells pleasantly grazing the hill sides and plenty of signage. Then it was off to the South Tyrol region of Alta Badia in the Dolomites. 2015-08-26 14.18.38It was here at the Bike Hotel Melodia Del Bosco where I unpacked my Liv Lust and prepared for 5 days of mountainbiking in the Dolomites. Again much different from Tahoe riding, trails went from nice old gravel farm roads to steep rooty unridable singletrack quickly and you need to watch out for both cows and cow patties! Bike specific maps were available but there was quite a bit of map reading going on. For 70 Euros I was able to buy a 3 day lift pass for all bike friendly lifts in the region. This allowed me to expand my touring area around the famous Sella Ronda massif with options to stop for an espresso, spätzle, or croissant almost anywhere along the way. The lift pass also gave me the option to session some of the “free ride trails” where pedestrians are not allowed but cows are!

The greatest challenge of the trip was to take 3 trains, Paris metro, taxi, and a ferry to get myself and my bike to Dover, England from Geneva. I spent nearly two weeks in southern England with my family after my sister’s successful swim crossing of the English Channel. 2015-08-25 12.07.51We were staying right near the white cliffs of Dover which offered a bit of slick singletrack with a view of the channel. Europe 294The entire reason for bringing my mountain bike to Europe was to participate in my first international Xterra. Xterra England doubled as the European Championships and therefore the fastest European ladies were on the start list. Totally out of my element. Europe 293It is true what they say about England. It does rain every day. The course was flat, twisty and muddy with off camber dips, turns and bumps. For most people it was more like a cyclecross event. Was surprised that I ended up 11th pro and about a minute out of the money.

My last event was Xterra USA National in Snowbasin Utah. This course suits me (more uphill then down) but I felt fatigued from the European vacation. Although everyone’s bike times were slower, I struggled on the bike with a much slower time that previous years. However, the fast European ladies weren’t there this year so I ended up 6th pro and in the money!


Looking back at 2015 with Amber Broch

October 13, 2015
NS MTB Team-09.12.15_-13I started off training for 2015 season in November, excited for the opportunity to race on the Northstar California Giant Mountain Bike Team.  My first opportunity to race came at the Big Sandy in Fresno in March, a 38 mile mountain bike race with over 6k of climbing.  Pretty brutal for an early season race, but I kept a moderate pace, and was proud to move from 4th up to a 2nd after hour 3 of the race! NS MTB Team-09.12.15_-12
Next up was Sea Otter Classic in April.  After a bit of a training set back due to illness, I wasn’t feeling particularly strong, and I decided to take some of the pressure off the XC race by doing the road race, too.  I ended up winning the Cat 4 road race, but definitely smoked myself and ended up a dissappointing 6th in the XC.
With not too many big races on the calendar between Sea Otter and National Championships in July, I turned my focus on the local race series, the Sierra Cup.  First on the schedule was the Nevada City Dirt Classic. I’d never done this one before, and the group out there puts on a great series that I’ll be adding to my calendar in the future.  The trails out there are super fun and are only a short distance from home in Reno. I was proud to challenge Julie Young to the finish, and finished a few seconds back from her after a sprint.
2015 National Champ
I had a bit of a setback in June after I woke up sick a few days before Riding High at the Ranch in Susanville, the next Sierra Cup race.  Since I’d already registered for the race, I decided to do it anyway and actually suprised myself and finished a strong second place.  However, I lost my voice in the process. Turns out, probably racing sick isn’t such a good idea.  I ended up on antibiotics, which I then had an allergic reaction. It took a good part of the month to finally get over that one, just in time to jump into the first XC race on the home turf at Northstar. Although the race didn’t go that great, I had a blast riding the lifts and doing a few downhill runs with friends and team mates after the race, and had an ear-to-ear smile the whole time.  Seriously SO MUCH FUN!
NS MTB Team-09.12.15_-46July brought about my primary goal for the season – National Championships in Mammoth Mountain, CA.  It’s hard to shake the pressure and nerves that come along with any big race, and I was SO nervous that I’d had too many set backs and illnesses during the season to be at peak form.  But, as it turns out, my team bike, the Giant XTC Advanced 27.5, was the perfect bike for that course, and helped me float up the climbs and carry me to the National Championship win!!!
And how did I celebrate?  By going to Disneyland, of course!!

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.


True Grit-Nathan Clark ~ Sonora, CA

October 2, 2015

There’s an old say, “if you ain’t getting hurt, you ain’t tryin'”.  Tenacity, resilience, motivation, and stoke are what drive Nathan Clark.  Enduring a frustrating and painful early season injury, Nathan paid his dues and is coming back on fire.  A true dh ripper, Nathan took spent his summer getting strong and fit already planning out his 2016 race season.  Here’s his thoughts on this season…


My 2015 Downhill season began and ended in Ashland, Oregon for the annual Spring Thaw. We arrived on Friday, May 15 after the five hour drive from Sonora, CA, and started shuttling after receiving race packets. Todd Renwick and I took several runs, and after debate on whether to call it a day or take one last lap, decided to take a final run—as luck would have it, I decimated my collarbone at the end of the Stage 1 track.IMG_0964

The following week consisted of scheduling and undergoing surgery at Memorial Medical Center, which was not how I had hoped or envisioned my 2015 season to go. I came away from the experience with a plate and six screws (and learned to never call your last run).


Recovery time ended up being the entirety of the season, and I would not be cleared to ride aggressively again until September.

When I finally got back on my bike again, the season was coming to a close, but I was happy to be able to get some late season riding in at Northstar before closing weekend, and on the trails in and around Tuolumne County. Duckwall3

I am currently getting back up to speed and gaining an early start on training for a successful season of racing Junior Expert in 2016.

Duckwall4I would like to thank Northstar California, Giant Bicycles, Fox Head Racing, Honey Stinger, and All Out Racing along with its affiliates for supporting me through injury this year.


Catching Up With Jordan Hartman

September 17, 2015
Jordan's weapon of choice-2015 Giant Reign 1 27.5

Jordan’s weapon of choice-2015 Giant Reign 1 27.5

The 2015 race season has been a roller coaster of experience for me. After placing second overall in the California Enduro Series in 2014 under the sport category I moved up this year and have had a series of up and down results. I have learned a lot this year about how to get in the proper mindset on race day, which has really helped my results in the second half of the season. So far I am 15th overall in the Expert category for the California Enduro Series. I have reached the podium twice this year at the local Northstar Enduro races and have had a ton of fun traveling the state and racing my bike.

NS MTB Team-09.12.15_-32

This season has really been about exploring new terrain. No only have I raced in areas I have never been before, such as Ashland and Mendenciono, but also have found hundreds of miles of awesome local single track. This has been my first full year of living in Tahoe and I love every day of it. I have explored many new trails that have really expanded my riding ability.

The trail options around Tahoe are endless.

The trail options around Tahoe are endless.

My off-season plans include a bunch of skiing and taking a nice break from the stress of travelling and racing. The plans for 2016 is to break the top 5 in the overall for the California Enduro series and to keep learning and expanded my riding abilities.


2015 Season Kick Off at the Sea Otter Classic

April 25, 2015

Now that the dust has settled at the 2015 Sea Otter Classic, we look back to celebrate one of the most successful Otter’s that Northstar California Mountain Bike Team has race.

The Sea Otter Classic is a four-day bike festival and exposition held annually at the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterrey, CA. Starting in 1991, the Sea Otter has become legendary for many reasons. The festival offers on-site camping surrounded by endless excitement with road, dh, enduro, cyclocross, slalom, xc, dirt jumping, pump track races going on the entire time. At the expo, just about ever vendor related to bikes, come to show the latest products, technologies, and information.   Northstar California Resort came to promote our incredible bike park (which opens May 22nd) and Giant Bikes USA debuted their 2015 bikes, info on their latest products, and opportunities to meet some of their elite factory and co-factory riders.

As a bike racer, the Sea Otter is the official kick off race for the upcoming season. Seven top riders from the Northstar California Mountain Bike Team made the pilgrimage to the Sea Otter this year. With the courses now empty and the festival silent, our riders left with great memories and incredible results. Great work Amber, Scott, Ryan, Lindsay, Genevieve, Jordan, and Joe!

Amber Broch

1st Road Cat-4

5th Cross Country Cat-1

Amber 1st Place Cat-4 Road

Amber 1st Place Cat-4 Road


Scott Leland

2nd Cross Country Cat-1

Scott 2nd Place Cross Country

Scott 2nd Place Cat-1 Cross Country

Genevieve Evans

3rd Cross Country Cat-1

Genevieve 3rd Place Cat-1 Cross Country

Genevieve 3rd Place Cat-1 Cross Country

Lindsay Chirdon

8th Cross Country Cat-1

Ryan Helmuth

2nd Cat-1 Dual Slalom

Ryan 2nd Place Cat-1 Dual Slalom

Ryan 2nd Place Cat-1 Dual Slalom

2nd Cat-1 Downhill

Ryan 2nd Place Cat-1 Downhill

Ryan 2nd Place Cat-1 Downhill

Jordan Hartman

12th Open Enduro

Joe Kolda

47th Open Enduro