Park City Point to Point – T minus 12 hours

I’m excited to be doing my first endurance MTB race.  It’s my first MTB race period.  Actually, it occurred to me as I was chatting with my friend Cheryl Zwarkowski that by the time I finish this race I will have spent more time on a MTB on just this race than I have ever spent in my previous five rides …and I mean cumulative!

I went for a pre-ride yesterday and was amazed how in just 9 miles I had 1600 feet of climbing but more importantly the distinctly different terrain I rode through.  I was cruising along quite nicely when I hit the wooded area below.  I HAD to stop and take a picture.

Below is an example of the markings that I will follow to keep me on course.

Below:  I had to dismount as I tried to climb this rocky section.  I won’t be taking any risks tomorrow.  I’m just there to finish.

Below:  This is the bike that will crush the competition.  Just kidding –everyone knows it’s not about the bike.  But I am very thankful that Felt Bicycles provided me a 2011 Felt Edict.  It is a full suspension cross-country race bike.  It is a 4″ travel bike that weighs sub 25 lbs with pedals in the stock set-up.

Please follow me on my Spot page. will stream information during the race.

Please make comments on my Facebook Fan Page.  I have a volunteer on the course who will pass along your comments.

So what are my goals for this race?  My goal is to finish with all my skin intact and all faculties 😉  Seriously though I would like to finish about 10 hours.  They say middle of the pack riders will finish between 9-11 hours so I want to be in the middle of that 😉  12 hour time limit with the pros finishing in 7 hours.

Am I ready?  Ready as I’ll ever be.  I have good legs.  I’m not overly tired or fatigued from weeks of hard training.  I have been off the bike dealing with a lot of personal issues lately — work and my son.  But that’s life isn’t it?

Park City Point to Point Race Organizer Jay Burke and George “Red-Eyed Vireo” Vargas pose for a picture on race day eve.

Lots of people to thank (alphabetical order)  CVAC Systems, Felt Bicycles, Infinit Nutrition, the Pro Bar, my friends and many more …too many to mention and I don’t want to bore you 😉

As far as tonight I had a nice light dinner and feel satiated.  I have compression tights on to keep my legs fresh and I’m hydrating.  Other than that this is just another race …just on different terrain and equipment.  The mantra that will get me to finish and keep me out of trouble?   Tranquilo Mijo…. Loosely translated “go easy son”

Cycling News on Park City Point to Point

Here is a write-up from Cycling News about the Park City Point to Point MTB race that I will be doing on September 3, 2011.

The Park City Point 2 Point (PCP2P) race is shaping up to be a Leadville 100  rematch among the women. The Utah round of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series on Saturday, September 3, will feature a battle of three of the top four female finishers at this year’s Leadville 100.

Leadville winner Rebecca Rusch, PCP2P defending champion Pua Mata and Jenny Smith are signed up for the event, but they will face a stiff challenge for NUE series queen Amanda Carey, who withdrew from Leadville after mechanical issues early in the race.

The PCP2P is known among racers as a challenging and true point-to-point race. The 2011 course travels 78 miles and climbs roughly 14,000 feet through the Wasatch Mountains without crossing, or using, the same trail twice. It cuts through the area’s three ski resorts, including Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort, and will finish in the Forum at Canyons Resort. Featuring more than 90 percent singletrack and very few sections for resting, the PCP2P requires athletes to maintain their endurance and focus.

“Park City has over 400 miles of trail, which provides us with some incredible options for choosing our course,” said Jay Burke, race director of the PCP2P. “The P2P is merciless. Ups and downs, big miles and technical lines. The course is not for the faint of heart, and that’s exactly why the P2P has attracted some of the most prestigious endurance cyclists from around the country.”

Two-time defending PCP2P champion and Cyclingnews blogger Alex Grant of the Cannondale Factory Team called the 2010 PCP2P “harder than Leadville” and described the course as “25 miles shorter [than Leadville] but with the same amount of vertical gain and 75 miles more singletrack. There were no road sections for resting, drafting or eating or drinking. [It’s] a pure mountain bike course.”

Joining Grant in the 2011 PCP2P are male pro endurance racers Tinker Juarez, Travis Brown, Josh Tostado, two-time Leadville 100 winner Bryson Perry and Olympic Nordic gold medallist Billy Demong.

The 2011 edition of the Park City Point 2 Point race sold out its 350 spots in just six minutes after registration went live. Because of the overwhelming interest in the solo category over the past three years, the PCP2P duo category has been eliminated indefinitely.

The top seven men and women will share a $10,000 cash payout with the winners taking home $1,750 each.

For more information on the Park City Point 2 Point, visit

George’s next Epic Adventure– Park City Point to Point MTB race

That’s right folks I’m going outside my comfort zone of road bike ultras.  I will be doing the Park City Point to Point Mountain Bike Race.  The organizers say it is about 80 miles with 14,000 feet of gain and 90% single track.  Starting elevation about 7,000 going to 9,500 feet.  I wish to thank my good friends at The Pro Bar (the best tasting bars 😉 ) for getting me in entry to the event which sold out in 6 minutes!! By some accounts it is much harder than Leadville because it is much more technical without the fire roads and paved sections.  I function relatively well at altitude but I’ve also been doing CVAC sessions which will help me race at altitude. 

I have only been on a MTB three times in my life and it doesn’t look like I will get much time between now and September 3 to train on a MTB. 

What are my expectations?

1.  To finish

2.  To not crash too badly so that …. refer to #1

3.  To ride comfortably and finish mid-pack…refer to #1

Here is the Garmin Connect player for the event

2011 Cannondale Flash — Big Bear Mountain Bike Ride


Great weather for a mountain bike ride.  I rode the 2011 Cannondale Flash Ultimate.  It is a carbon hardtail 26″ bike with a Lefty fork a $9,600 complete with DT Swiss carbon wheels and a SRAM XX (double chainring setup) The bike was amazing.  Lots of single trail climbing and descending which tested my novice mtb skills 😉   Tomorrow there is a road ride schedule but I think I want to get back out on the Flash instead!

All for now.