Ready To Race (Sort Of)

I wish I was getting ready to go race tomorrow, as it is I am getting ready to go to a race, just not to race it (sad face).


Yep, me and my posse of cameras and tripods will be driving down to Grand Rapids, Michigan (Rapids El Grande) tomorrow morning to shoot some video and pics from the Farmer’s Fat Bike Race (race #1 in the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series). While it sure would be fun to race, I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a kick out of hanging out and taking pics. (Media whore?)

Sadly, it seems that the weather will be very UN-fat bike like as all the snow we had in these parts will most likely be gone come Saturday a.m. and temps will be in the 50s with some possible sun (more sad faces). It looks like it could be a very muddy race. I hope so, that makes pict-cha taking fun. Funny thing is that by Sunday the cold temps and snow moves back in. Maybe it will come early? (Like a premature sno-jaculation!)

I am also hoping that Sir Rick Plite (Mr. Barry-Roubaix/Mr. Lumberjack 100) is there, I’d like to heckle him if possible. Not for any real rason, just ’cause I like Rick and it would be fun to shout obsenities at him.  If not I’ll have to settle for heckling Danielle Musto…. Not sure I can bring myself to do that though, as she is too nice. I have to go with her hubby Scott. Then again Scott might kick my ass… hmmm… I better just keep my mouth shut and take photos.

Anyway, sorry for what seems like lot of fat bike coverage her on the site as of late, it’s just right now there is a lot of it going on and XXC can be a bit of a slut when about racing and has little prejudice about tire widths. As long as there is SOME sort of dirt (or snow) under those tires!

Enjoy the weekend, check back next week to see if ANYthing I shot turned out. Ha!



Pre El-an Back

This weekend XXC’s friend in the U.K. Paul Errington is headed to Wales to take on the 2013 El-an Back presented by the fine folks at Bear Bones Bikepacking.

As you can see here, Paul has chosen to take on this bikepacking race time trial event on his singlespeed Salsa Mukluk (dear God man!)


If you would like to see more about the El-an Back, check out some of the other Bear Bones events or just see what our bikepacking friends on the other side of the pond are up to visit

XXC wishes Paul and all the racers the best of luck on their adventure this weekend, enjoy some “post race tea and cake” for me! Can’t wait to hear how it went.

I’m just hoping at some point Paul can find out how to pronounce the name of the school that serves as the event’s start/finish line.. Ysgol Llanbrynmair junior school. Yikes!

Photo outright stolen from Paul Errington.


Ghetto Mod

You can call it ghetto, you can call it frugal ingenuity, but mostly you can call it some corrugated drain pipe cut in half and used as a rear fender on my friend Napper’s fat bike.



Sub-9 Death March Venue Change

New Venue Announced for 2013 Sub-9 Death March

Sub-9 Productions announced several changes to the upcoming Sub-9 Death March including a brand new venue for the 2013 event. The 3rd annual race, held on Saturday, March 9, is moving its start/finish to the Midwest Trail Ride Horseman’s Camp and Outpost in Norman, Indiana. The change in venue opens the doors for more riders to participate as well as adding several new cemeteries to the list of check-points.


The Sub-9 Death March is a race for 2-person teams to be the first to reach a select list of historical cemeteries using a combination of gravel forest roads, unmaintained county roads and some pavement in and around the Hoosier National Forest. Teams race to five mandatory check points, two of which are randomly drawn and announced the morning of the event. Check points can be reached in any order, using any route. A digital picture taken in front of each cemetery sign is proof of reaching the check point. Teams may earn bonus time by visiting additional check points along the way.

The 2013 event’s start/finish will be at the Midwest Trail Ride Horseman’s Camp and Outpost located on the western edge of the Hoosier National Forest. Participants now enjoy ample parking, primitive tent camping, RV electric hookups and both rustic and deluxe heated cabins available for rent onsite. Camping is available both Friday and Saturday night the weekend of the event. Midwest Trail Ride will be open starting the last week in January for reservations.

In its first year the Sub-9 Death March brought in 95 teams from across the region and more than 150 teams took part in the second annual event. The 2013 race is open to 350 teams competing in four categories; Men, Women, Co-ed and Tandem with more than $2000 in cash and prizes available. Visit for more info and a link to register.

Sub-9 Productions is a grassroots mountain bike event promotions company run by husband and wife team, Jonathan and Tania Juillerat. Sub-9 is dedicated to growing the sport of mountain biking and providing fun and unique cycling events in the Midwest.

Photo:Two Pedals Photography

Note: for a recap of the first Sub-9 Death March take a look at XXC Magazine #11


2013 Dirty Kanza Update

Update from Jim Cummins, Executive Director of the Dirty Kanza 200

To all Dirty Kanza 200 Friends and Fans,

This is just a quick reminder that registration for the 2013 Edition of Dirty Kanza 200 is just around the corner. Registration will open this coming Saturday, January 12th at 8:00 am Central Time. Participation in Dirty Kanza is on a pre-registration basis only. And last year we sold out in 2 1/2 hours. So if you want in the dance, you gotta set the alarm clock and get out of bed early.


So… what happens if you oversleep but still want in? Or what can you do if you want to give this thing a go, but feel you need a little help along the way with your preparations? Well, our good friends at Carmichael Training Systems may have the solution you are looking for. Dirty Kanza 200 is now an official CTS Epic Endurance Bucket List event. What that means is you can now have the full resources of a professional coaching staff and support crew at your full disposal. Not only can the CTS staff help you train and prepare for DK200, they will be onsite on race day to support you. Here is what Lelan Dains of CTS has to say…

Registration for Dirty Kanza 200 is fast approaching! Why hassle with online registration? Carmichael Training Systems can not only get you entry into the event, but support you at every step along the way. As you may be aware, a support crew is vital to succeeding in the DK200. Team up with CTS and have professional support seeing you all the way to the finish. On hand will be pro mechanics and support members that will tend to everything necessary so all you need to worry about is pedaling your bike! We’ll also help you prepare, as you will have access to pick the brains of former DK200 champions. Training tips, nutrition, bike setup, tire choice? Let us clue you in on what it takes to get through this grueling event. For more details follow the link [HERE].

So there you have it friends. We hope many of you will log onto the CTS website and check out the CTS Epic Endurance Bucket List program. And we hope to see all of you at Dirty Kanza 200 in the spring.

Jim Cummins
Executive Director, Dirty Kanza 200

Photo by Michael McColgan first appeared in his XXC Magazine 17.