"Epic" is a term all too loosely-used these days to describe rides. However, two Hollanders shared some pictures and stories with us about their recent rides that go down as epic in every sense of the word.
Shai Shtub - The TransRockies
We first met Shai, a native of Israel but now a resident of Savanah, Georgia, back in the Spring when he hooked us up with TlatOfun, our dealer in the Holy Land. We knew he was a serious rider but didn't know just how serious he was until he sent us an email about trying to win an entry into the 2012 Trans Rockies.
For those not familiar with the Trans Rockies it is a multi-stage mountain bike race in the Canadian Rockies. There are several events with the 7 stage race topping out at more than 38,000 feet of climbing! Shai's tale of how he got into the event shows that everyone's a winner at some point. Here's how he recounts the tale:
I have been following the Trans Rockies for about 9 years now. We used to get a TV channel called Extreme (a European extreme sports channel) in Israel which used to screen re-runs after re-runs of the Trans Rockies' episode updates. I used to watch them all and always knew that I would get there one day and participate in this race.
About 2 months ago I learned that Trans Rockies got a new sponsor for the 2012 edition of the race. This sponsor was Scott bikes, and together with the Trans Rockies race were holding a photo contest in which the winner gets an entry to the race and a new Scott MTB. Having participated in countless contests like this, I wasn't expecting too much.
On Monday the 23rd of July 2012 I received an email from the Trans Rockies saying I won, and that the race starts in Fernie, BC on Saturday the 28th of July 2012. Everything was quick and arrangements were made and I was lucky enough to be able to get a week off from work, but I made it Canada on time.
On time is a relative word. En route to Calgary, bad weather forced Shai to spend the night on the floor of O'Hare airport. And the airline lost his luggage and his bike! He didn't get it all delivered until 4am race morning.
Shai competed in two stages of the TR4. Here's how he summed it up:
What can I say? It has been an awesome experience. Very tough riding, but amazing trails, views and people.
Scott Rosenthal - From Boston To Montreal...
Scott Rosenthal from Boston works in IT by day but has serious cred as a cyclist. He grew up working in the business, commutes more than 200 miles each week (!), and races for Mike Zanconato, a custom steel builder in Massachusetts.
Up until his recent trek, his longest ride was 175 miles in one day when he rode across the US. He was up for another challenge and thought the 315 mile route from Boston to Montreal would be suitable. He also used it as an opportunity to raise money for New England Disabled Sports, an organization which has helped friends of his who have a boy with cerebral palsy. Funds raised would go toward purchasing a new hand cycle for him.
On Thursday afternoon at 4:10pm, June 21, Scott set off in 90+ degree heat with Zachary and Sean, two of his buddies. Zachary is a rocket scientist at MIT (no joke) and Sean is the head wrench at a Boston bike shop. Shane, their unsung hero, drove behind them during the entire dark, night portion, giving them food and bottles, and then joined them to ride the last 100+ miles into a fierce headwind.
After 312 miles (the route didn't match exactly to mapquest) and about 16,000 feet of climbing later, Scott and crew pulled across the "finish line" at their hotel in Montreal at 2:55pm. So how was the trip? Scott tells me it's hard to put that kind of ride into words but his twitter feed does it best - http://twitter.com/boston2montreal.
Bravo Shai and Scott!
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