RTR Cross Camp Vid

Check the Guns Grits and Gravel action at RTR.  

Real Earth Productions.

Music courtesy of the Rambling Shadows.

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RTR Cross Camp Recap


When you schedule an event in advance there are variables.  When you do anything there are variables.  In the case of the Guns, Grits and Gravel Cyclocross Workshop, beside the logistical planning that comes with the turf there is the fact that the professionals lined up to instruct are what the whole thing hinges on.

Both our experts not only had races to do leading up to GGG, they had major stage races.

For Joe Dombrowski of Trek Livestrong, it was the Tour of Utah, a five stage event one week prior, while Jeremiah Bishop of Cannondale was defending his title in the high altitude Breck Epic in Colorado, a six stage mountain bike endurance test that finished the day before our cross camp.

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Raw  Talent Ranch in conjunction with CycleLife USA is proud to announce the ‘2010 Guns, Grits and Gravel Cyclocross Workshop’  August 28th and 29th.   This is a fully supported two day extravaganza offering detailed instruction in a relaxed and expansive setting.

Last weekend after an extensive field recon analysis session with young expert and instructor Joe Dombrowski we were fortunate to secure a 25 acre multi terrain area that includes high meadow, low meadow, a very green virtual rain forest section, a pond, a stream and a route the overseer as well as musician made famous in the Rapha video likes to call the ‘Tarzan Trail.’

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Team Snapple /Tris at Barn

The DC based national level Tri-athlete squad Team Snapple brought their full athletic agenda to the barn this weekend.

For me it was an opportunity to get a glimpse and greater understanding of a discipline I have not competed in.  Being unable to run due to intricate leg hardware and already knowing of my water shortcomings after a youth spent at the beach but not necessarily in the water, with later attempts to pool cross-train in the winter (I had to use flippers to even get a work out!) my temptation to join in is low.

Maybe that makes my appreciation greater.  Coming from different places and varied styles, but sharing certain application, execution and focus components means there is familiar ground even if the degrees don’t overlap completely.

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Philly on the Mountain

The timing was good.  While MABRA was running the Jefferson Cup the PA calendar was quiet and the boys had Battenkill on their minds.  Dirt was specified and I knew where to find it.

Day one was a teaser but no joke.  A late afternoon arrival gave them enough time to do an around the mountain loop with two big climbs including the steep hard pack ascent back to the barn.

I skipped this one.   I had lumber to haul, gravel to shovel and wood to chop.  For real. Not just some macho move even though it is, but these things had to happen.  A stack of fresh live random width rough cut pine had been dropped in front of the barn that morning.  3000 board feet soon to be walls and floors in the upper section.

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Harley at RTR

Battley Harley, number one U.S. Amateur squad in ’08 and perennial East Coast power house showed up on the mountain in Lost River for their annual training camp and tune up before the MABRA calendar kicks off next week.

It is maybe not a surprise that they go deep.  Who is on form, who is not, and who is new will be revealed soon enough.  How the latest line up gels will be tested when the numbers are pinned on and the kilometers wind down.

Clear for now is that lots of Hardy County (as well as Grant, Pendleton and Mineral Counties) was covered in four days.

NUMBERS: 291 miles

29,181 feet elevation gain


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RTR Camp Guinea Pigs

This weekend was the first big training camp of the year and fortunately the first truly nice riding weather.  Winds not savage, temps not brittle and sun in abundance.  Deep blue sky sharpened by quantities of resilient mountain snow.

Three days, three routes, three moves.

Saturday was the planned ‘big day’ and a chance for me to test out an exciting new RTR route.  I ran it once solo and again with guinea pig # 1, the ‘Soda’ and on both occasions, the length/scope felt right and invigorating.

Now it would be weathered under load with the Haymarket Home Vista Elite Race Team.

The loop is atypical for Lost River with long sustained river valley sections.  After the steep six mile backside descent from the barn the riders head south for almost 30 miles with very little elevation change.

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