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Monday, December 22, 2014

Way-hey up, and she rises.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice 2014 with katiebiehn 😍

Saturday, December 20, 2014

It was the coldest autumn day of the year and coincidently the last autumn day of 2014. katiebiehn has a tendency to purchase new bikes on these low lite cold autumn days. Welcome to our family soma double cross, I look forward to watching you guide kub on adventures for years to come.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Remember, you’re as young as you feel. Happy birthday Dad @jbiehn111 #feelingspry #tbt #coloradbro #2pencil #summitlog

Friday, December 12, 2014

A video posted by Katie Biehn (@katiebiehn) on


It’s almost this time again….. Johnny the Rippah. #nordork #radandgnar (at Prospect Mountain)

Oh boy oh boy

shred the freakin gnahhr guy

15 years ago tonight #thephish #fromvermont @mcloster #princepeter

Thursday, December 11, 2014

In August 2006 Aaron Kahn and I climbed the East Face of Teewinot during a full moon.  We left Lupine Meadows trailhead shortly after midnight.  The climbing was straightforward besides on section of frozen snow that was iced up.  We summited before sunrise and slept for a few hours, huddled in our down jackets.  When we woke the Tetons were being blasted with the best alpenglow I’ve ever seen.  We sat on the summit and roasted a cup of coffee and enjoyed the solitude.  It was truly one of the most beautiful moments i’ve ever seen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Willie Watson has an untamed senses of control.  He is our modern day #roscoeholcomb

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Another beautiful rainy December day.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Winter training.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I will parlay some sheep for wheat or ore? #catan #baaa

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ohhhh December rains

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Good morning

post-thanksgiving bluffs hike with family

Thanksgiving 2014 - the air smells like delicious meats.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

2014 Hampshire 100k

At the racer's meeting Saturday eve we were told about some notable course changes.
1. Railroad section wasn't included and there would be more road riding to start and some new single track- including a new climb. 
2. There has been lots of logging in the area and this has pushed them to build nearly 10 miles of new single track.  
3. They received 6+" of rain on Thursday and the forecast is for showers tonight and showers tomorrow morning.  

After pre-riding the start/finish area of the course and checking out some of the dirt roads I knew this was going to be pretty sloppy but considering all the muddy races we had this Spring I figured this could be a positive for me.  

In the tent shortly after sunset and trying to get some rest. I never sleep before a big event- whether its for work, fun, or family- I just can't.  My mind raced the course a few times and I fell into some dream world while I was still partially awake.  By midnight the rain started and our tent sounded like a huge drum.  Ugh.  Sometime around 2 or 3am the rain stopped.  

I woke at 5am and ate some breakfast and got ready to race.  At 5:30am or so the 100k runners took off in the pre-dawn darkness.  "Damn, I'm glad I'm not running this.".  

By 630am I was lined up in what I thought was my category but it was totally unorganized.  My plan was to go easy'ish for the first 40 miles and then begin to hammer.  This didn't completely happen.  

At the start I paced with nearby riders, turns out even slow racers are fast at the start of a race .  For the first 5 miles we kept an average pace of 19mph.  When we hit the single track I figured I was in a good position…. boy was I wrong. 

After a bit of rolling trail we hit the new climb and everyone was slogging up this fall line mud hill.  After that some more rolling single track with a few mud pit crossings I realized these folks around me can't ride this stuff and they were causing me to use more energy than I needed to.  I decided to abort my plan of going easy and started to blast through this group. It wasn't until mile 15 or so that I got through them and this cost me a lot of time and energy.  

On the sandy bike path section "the beach" I grabbed the wheel of a fast rider and pace lined with him and one other racer.  We rode that section averaging 18mph and hitting speeds up to 27.5 mph.  It was awesome.  I was hopping I didn't burn a match here too early but I knew I needed to play catch-up from that lame starting group if I wanted to finish with good results.  

After the beach we hit Hedgehog Hill. I rode the start and then quickly started walking.  At this point I got really confused about who I was riding with and the guy that I was pace lining with seemed to have completely disappeared.  It was so odd.  After Hedgehog we had the Powerline CLimb I walked most of it and only rode the top.  Saving my matches.  

Mile 25 was an Aid stop for me and Katie was there with a new bottle of perpetum and a big smile.  I felt good and she told me I had made up a huge gap form A1. Awesome.  I felt strong and made it through there in less than a minute.  

The next 20 miles or so consisted of some fast bombed out dirt roads.  Adventure single track (like you could barely see the trail….was there even a trail??) and mud pits.  There was one section that had some cool built up rock stuff but I have no clue where that was.  There were long sections of hike a bike through mud pits and lots of angry riders who were suffering.  I rode away from the angry ones and chatted with the funny ones, just riding an endurance pace as I planned my attack for mile 40.  

Totally in the zone I forgot to attack at mile 40.  I remembered somewhere near mile 50.  Ok, better late then never.  time to turn it on.  From here I had one more big climb and then some fast dirt to flowy single track. 

As soon as I started descending the last big climb I went as hard as I sustainable could.  I had a twitch of cramps but they went away.  I attacked and attacked every rider I saw.  I probably passed 20 or so riders in that last 10 miles.  

At the finish I sprinted with all I had and accomplished my goal to finish in sub 7 hours.  My finish time was 6 hours 49 minutes.  This put me in 3rd place overall for the Cat 2 Category and in 2nd place for my age group!  Awesome!  It turns out the first place guy only had a 20 second gap on me!  DOH! if only I had known…..  

This will be my largest race/training ride leading up to the Shenandoah 100.  I feel confident after this race that I will do well but I think I need to revisit my race strategy and avoid what happened to me at the start of this race.  Overall, my bike, body, and nutrition worked excellent.    

Dirtwire highlights: 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Root 66 #12 Windham Race the World- World Cup

Last minute I decided to race up in Windham.  Its a World Cup event and I was curious to see what goes on at these kinds of events.  I figured it would be pretty hectic and it was.

Drove north in the morning with my Dad and arrived in Windham 90 minutes before the 11am start.  The course boasts 700' of climbing in 3.2 miles.  It basically consists of a climb and a descent.  It was a beautiful day but got hot.

My warm-up was pretty good, however I was feeling the efforts from another high volume week and felt tired on my sprints.  This isn't good.  I warmed up with Sean for 15 minutes or so and he told me this would be his last race of the series. We've been battling for points and he is my closest competitor, with him out, I've won the series.  Although I'm very excited about this, its been fun chatting and racing with Sean.

Like most all my races I was late for the start.  I battled to get near the front but nobody let me up there.  Most of these racers were from NY.  I only knew Sean and Hugo.  The start was under the full UCI boards and the Jumbo-tron was blasting above us.  It was pretty cool.  Folks were pounding the side boards, blowing horns, and shaking bells.  It felt good and got the racers psyched to blast off.

I started in the 3rd row out of 20+ racers.  The pace was slow and as I tried to pass these riders one of them cut me off and we locked bars.  I almost slammed into the side walls and went down but I recovered. Unfortunately this put me towards the end of this large field.

The climbing was steep and in full sun.  Most of it was on jeep roads.  The single track was small ribbons of incipient forest between ski runs and nothing unique.  The downhill was fast and steep.  Nothing technical but the overall speed made it serious.  By the lap point I had recovered into 8th or 9th place.

At this point I realized my best opportunity is to fall into my "endurance" pace and attack at the end of the  race when people are really hurting.  I managed to keep this pace and not loose any positions for my 2nd lap.

On my 3rd lap I found myself riding behind Hugo.  I decided that I would attack the group on the final steep climb.  I attacked and passed a lot of riders, there were also a lot of lap traffic at this point and I didn't recognize anyone.

I rode fast on the descent and made a few more final passes and then went full sprint for the finish.

Overall I finished 5th place out of 23, which is my worst performance this season.  However, I am happy with this outcome considering my horrible start and a shift in my priorities for racing (xc to endurance).  I'm happy I was able to create a strategy when things fell apart and weren't going my way during lap 2 and finish in a better position.  This race definitely taught me a few things.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

tour de Rockland

As a long training ride, I was looking at doing 12 hours of Millstone up in Vermont as part of a team or some similar event to get me out for 6+ hours on the MTB. However, to save moneys and travel times I figured I'd just initiate my own endurance ride at our local xc spot.  

I pulled together a 12 mile loop at Rockland Preserve in Madison CT that included nearly 1,000' of climbing and a good mix of flowy single track, technical rock gardens, and fast double track. I anticipated each loop would take up to 90 minutes.  

I ended up riding 48+ miles (4 laps) in 6 hours and 45 minutes.  I rode the first two laps with my local buddies, Todd and Dave.  I felt very fast on my third lap (solo), however fatigue set in by my 4th and as I entered the last few miles of technical trail I was getting pretty beat.  Amazingly I still managed to clean all the obstacles.  

Overall, I felt good throughout this exercise.  I think my nutrition was lacking towards the end and my general fatigue and low blood sugar affected my riding a bit.  This is the longest MTB ride I've done in 4+ years.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival

Headed to Oak Hills, NY for 4+ days of camping and bluegrass music.  This is probably my favorite event of the year and if you haven't been- you're missing out.

In addition to awesome music, I managed to get 3 great road rides throughout the Catskill Region including most of STAGE 3 from Tour of the Catskills which includes the famous Devil's Kitchen Climb.  

The weather was beautiful and so was our time there.  Already excited for next year!  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Root 66 #11 Barn Burner and NE Regional XC Championship

My racing focus is starting to shift towards preparation for the longer races that loom towards the end of summer- Hampshire 100k &Shenandoah Mountain 100- and this week marks a significant increase in volume compared to most weeks I race xc.  It also lacks the intensity I usually like to have in my legs.

I was tired going into this race and it hurt.  We drove up to Walpole MA early in the morning for our 930am start.  We rode the first mile of single track and dialed in the one technical section.  I then warmed up solo and tried to rally.  I did some sprints and could tell from my performance and HR that I was tired.  Not only was I tired but I was nauseous.  It was also very humid and hot.

As we lined up I kept wishing the whistle would blow so we could just start racing and I could throw up in the woods where nobody would see me.  Luckily that never happened.  The whistle blew and I went out hard into 2nd position in a field of 20+ riders.  Hugo was leading and I sat on his wheel knowing he was a strong and good rider to follow.  50 yards before the hole shot we got passed by John "Fjord" from Westchester NY (its the best chester).  I didn't want him to run away so I passed Hugo and hopped on John's wheel.  The three of us went screaming through the rock garden and quickly split the field.  Damn we were flying.

After 20 minutes of working at this intensity I forgot how tired and sick I felt before the start of the race.  "I might be able to keep this pace after all." We dropped Hugo and kept riding.  John never dropped pace and we were flying.  At 45'ish minutes in I started to feel the pain again and knew I needed to drop my pace if I was going to finish.

I pretty much limped through my last lap and barely pulled 2nd place.  I was hurting.  Congrats to John and Hugo they were racing unbelievably well and it was a pleasure riding with them.

Katie finished 2nd place to a National Champ!

Cat 2 30-39

This was a great course and although it was considered "easy" i thought it was really fun and physically challenging.  There is no place to hide and lots of pedaling to be done.  No major climbs but the short punches will get you.  It was nearly all single track and thats always a plus.

Dirtwire was there and made this radical race recap.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Root 66 #10 Bike for Bovine Stonewall Classic

Katie Urso takes 3rd place for Wmn Cat 2 19-34

After a week "off" cycling around Italy at low intensity levels I wasn't sure how things were going to pan out.  In addition, the fourth of July weekend offered a bit more beer drinking than I typically have on a racing weekend.

We spent the night in VT and arrived at the race venue in mid morning.  The farm area is beautiful and the weather was perfect.  Some rain from Thursday made the course slick but no mud pits.  I pre-rode the course as part of my warm-up with Pete and Sean.  I expected a fun but easy ride and was surprised with some of the mini-techy spots that were thrown in.  Overall the course had a nice flow and the trails were going to be fun at race pace.

I finished my warm-up solo and felt pretty good.  Thats always a good sign.  The start was a bit delayed so I hid in the shade away from anxious racers.  My start was less than ideal, second row and slightly on a double fall line. The whistle went and everyone blasted off.  I fell into 4th or 5th position on the fast dirt road.  Sean attacked and I could tell he was about to split the field apart so I hopped on his wheel and fell into 3rd position.

We rode the first 15 minutes together as a lead pack of 4.  Sean bobbled a steep uphill and I got past him with Pete on my tail.  We hit the largest climb  (which isn't much) and I decided to attack the leader and make a pass on the single track.  This was mostly an experimental tactic and I wanted to see if I could attack on the biggest climb and create a large enough gap to keep the rest of the lead group at bay.  It worked although Pete and Hugo were dangerously close.

At the end of lap 1 I attacked again to increase my gap on Pete.  It appeared to work and all that road biking must be paying off.

I rode lap 2 and 3 very fast but conservatively to hold my lead and win the race.  It was awesome.  Chocolate milk and podiums filled the rest of our afternoon.  Glorious day in NH.  Thanks Stonewall Farm!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Toscano, Italia.

We were invited to spend the week in Tuscany with no plans.  Just friends, family and road bikes.  Truly the trip of a lifetime.  Here a few of my favorite moments.