The Man in the Rear – Tandem Mt. SAC Race report

Two weeks ago, RL and I raced at the Mt. SAC Fat Tire Classic on a tandem bike. What was interesting about this race is we were the only ones in our CAT with a tandem bike. Traditionally Mt SAC has had a class for tandems however since they are now aligning with the other races of the Triple Crown, they did away with the tandem class. Without knowing this, RL purchased a used tandem bike just a few weeks before the race. In total we had a whopping ONE ride to practice which was just a few days prior to the race.

Unsure if we were even allowed to race the tandem, RL and I fired off several emails to the powers that be at Mt SAC. Closer to the race day we received a response that we can however we’ll have to race in our age group. Being that RL registered us, we raced in this group which was Beginners 27-34… bunch of fast-er guys.

At the line-up we were greeted with cheers from both racers and spectators. Many of our friends from the racing circuit cheered us onto the starting line! Man, we were like mountain biking celebrities!!! :). Not wanting to impede the other racers in our CAT, we lined up in the back. Off the bat we knew what our chances were, we didn’t have high expectations on placing. Our goal was NOT to finish last!

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RL and I walking our bike towards the back of the pack.
Below is a video from the Stoker’s POV. You’ll see us doing really well in the first lap. As a matter of fact we passed or kept up with many racers on the flats. Up the first hill wasn’t bad, we made it up with out any problems. Approaching the switchback climbs we started encountering problems within the singletrack. We had a hard time maneuvering through this. On the other side of the switchbacks I got off the bike and ran to the bottom where it flattened. You’ll see me in the video (fast forwarded) running through the trail waiting for RL at the bottom. I’m glad we didn’t ride through here as there were at least three different people that went down. RL however managed to ride through here smoothly.

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Onto the third hill we grinded – Energy level was still good…. At the bottom on the other side, we were cheered on by our families and friends. Shortly after this descent we made our way towards probably the third toughest climb. Fortunately the switchbacks were fire-road wide. Mash, mash, mash – we made it up! All through out the Captain and the Stoker are in constant communication.

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Much of the same for the second lap however fatigue kicked in and we were a lot slower. Even walking up some of the hills were harder second time around :(. Somewhere in between the second lap, as we grinded through, we became more aware of our placement within the race. Our goal was not to be last however, we were seeing less and less racers… only a few passed us on the last climb by the stables. Could we have been that far behind??? Apparently not… RL and I continued to pedal, descended the big (last) downhill section with more confidence than the first lap.

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As we motored through the Finish Line we were greeted by the same cheers that were there at the Start. Shortly after, another racer in our CAT came in. We did it – we were not last!!!. Out of 25, we were the 24th 🙂

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What a great experience. It was my first ever tandem race and it was such a blast!!! I’m hoping they will open this Class next year in the Triple Crown series as we are looking forward to racing it again, with even more training!

Sette Serum

Sometimes we here at MTNBikeRiders receive letters from Santa about this time of year. Usually it’s kids writing to Santa wanting to get a new bike for Christmas but let’s face it, Santa ain’t got a clue when it comes to bikes. Santa will usually forward the letters to us to read and make a suggestion for a new bike. Below is a perfect example of just such a letter. Billy, from the USA, wrote Santa asking for a new bike that he could race! Well we just happen to get in a new Sette Serum Pro for a long term test.

Letter from Billy, USA

Billy, here is a video I shot just for you. If your a good kid, maybe, just maybe you’ll get a new Sette Serum for Christmas.

Quality is priority #1. The tubes fade in several places from a visible carbon weave to a flat black which is completely different their older frame the Phantom. The carbon is 3k High Modulus which means high quality. There are only a few carbon bike manufacturers in the world and you can be sure that this frame was produced in one of them. With a 5 year warranty, you can’t wrong.

Fade to Carbon Weave

Full spec kit is priority #2. The bike has Shimano XT everything except for the brakes which are Avid Exlir CR. Tires are Kenda Small Block 8, a great all around choice. Front suspension is provided by a Fox 32 F RL which is indubitably one of the best.

Da Business

Stiff. Lightweight. Fast. I will be testing this bike on real trails but during the neighborhood test, all the kids got smoked. I have seen others weigh the frame by itself at 2.7 lbs and this bike weighs 22.5lbs, really light!

Artistic Framework

The bike is available for purchase now at a retail price of $2250 and the forums are already abuzz about the new frames. If your a good kid like Billy, maybe Santa will bring you one too.

The Serum for your ailment

I’ll be testing this bike for a while and my first order is to fine tune the cockpit. Once that is completed and this heat wave we are experiencing fades, I’m gett’n on this thing for sure.

It’s 6:09am on Race Day

Team MtnBikeRiders.com is making its debut at the Triple Crown Series in Bonelli Park, Ca. 4 of our riders should be racing today as well as the infamous “The Moe.”

Here’s today’s race roster:
Priscilla Policar-XC
Eric Hunner-Single Speed
Joe “Gangsta” Solancho-XC
Kim Finch-XC
Moe Ramirez-XC

As I’m typing this, Priscilla is still asleep, that’s good since she’s got race day jitters. I’m nervous too and I’m not even racing! I’ll be at the race to support the team by making sure that they are taken care of, hydrated and as the team wrench.

It should be an interesting event since its forecasted to rain today, up to a 50% chance by race time. I’ll do our best to provide race coverage, I’ll be wearing many hats today, Team Manager, Dad, Husband, the guy that moons riders as they pass by, photographer, videographer, wrench and water boy.

New Build Project: XC Race and Epic Machine

We’ve got a new build project that we’ll be working on soon. This one is a bit unique from the Ultimate All Mountain Bike, The Sette Reken, and the Full Suspension Single Speed. The bike we’ll be building has two purposes.

1. Be comfortable enough to ride epics


2. Be aggressive enough to race with

I’m sure there are plenty of bikes out there that can do that, but the goal of our build is to customize it for the rider. As you all know, Priscilla is our Podium Girl…no she’s not the one that gives the winners their medal and a peck on the cheek, nope, she’s our girl that places when she races. She’s also been known to enjoy an epic ride.

The problem that Priscilla faces with her current set up, a XC hard tail is that it can be a harsh ride, especially if she’s on the trail for hours at a time. That said, this bike we’re building will suit her racing and epic needs. We’re going to build it up with some great parts…nothing that would break the bank and of course some pink accents to celebrate that she’s a chick.

If you’re wondering which frame we’ll be using…here’s a hint!

We’ll be getting this frame later on this week and once we have it in hand, we’ll post some glamour shots of it…you know on the bed, with a feather boa and all polished up….oooh!

Project: XC Racer

The Fat Tire Classic XC race is less than a month away, since I’m not in any ‘racing shape’ and my lightest bike weighs 29.5 lbs, I decided to build an XC rig.

I decided to go with a KHS Team Alite frame, at 3.0lbs, my 6-yr old daughter had no trouble holding the frame. Why a KHS frame?, (no, it was not free) after testing over 6 KHS bikes and owning 3, I’m convinced that KHS produces awesome quality stuff. (Not to mention that Melissa Buhl scored a championship on a KHS frame)

Here’s my spec list:

2008 XT Cranks, Shifters, F & R derailleurs
2007 RockShox Reba Race Dual Air Fork
2007 Vuelta StarLite AL Wheels with Michelin Tires
Answer ProTaper CF Bar
Thomson Elite seatpost
Hayes Nine Brakes (from another bike)
I still haven’t decided on the stem and the pedals (most likely Crank Bros).

My goal is to be at around 20lbs and be done by the 20th. Come back for the updates!