Thank You Schwag-Fest Suppliers

The athletes and coaches of Durango DEVO would like to thank all Schwag-Fest 2008 product suppliers. Schwag-Fest is an event that takes place at each DEVO team race the night after the cross country race. Left over cycling clothing and related items are passed out in a manner that closely resembles a mother bird feeding her baby birds a worm, with them all squawking at once, each wanting a bite of the worm. If there is a discrepancy in who should receive the item, group dynamics take over and a recipient is named. The event is open to all parents, athletes, and coaches who take part in the camping, condo or team dinner action. Local superstars Travis Brown, Kristen Johnson, Mountain Bike Specialists, Matt Phillips, Kricket Lewis, Chad Cheeney, Anthony Colby, Chris Wherry, Matt Shriver, Elke Brutsaert, Greg Herbold, Todd Wells, Jon Bailey, Dan Bowman and Shonny VanLandingham have all contributed stuff to the young athletes.


Schwag-Fest 2007 in Snowmass
Schwag-Fest 2007 in Snowmass

DEVO U-14er Gets Totally Covered in Bark Chips


DEVO U-14er Avra Saslow in a state of panic
DEVO U-14er Avra Saslow in a state of panic

 “All it took was once.” said coach Anne after athlete Avra took a wrong turn on the obstacle course and ended up covered in bark chips. Lucky for the team, the chips were not of the same local as the infamous quick bark chips which have been known to pull young children into the depths in a mere hour or two. Several teammates were on hand for the rescue and had this to say, ” that was soooo weird,” and “it was like…sooo weird.” DEVO is currently looking into whether or not obstacle courses are safe to do.


Moments after the totally weird incident
Moments after the totally weird incident

2009 USA Cycling Mountain Race Schedule and Things

Its here

dh here

The cross country highlights are; April 11-12 in Fruita, May 2-3 in Nathrop, May 23-25 USA Cup in Angel Fire, July 16-19 USA National Champs in Sol Vista, CO, and Sept 4-6 in Breckenridge. Now those there listed are on the National Calendar, and what exactly that means, we do not know. The Mountain States Cup Schedule has yet to be officially released.

Proposed US Cup 2009 
March 21-22: Fontana National – Fontana, California 
April 4-5: Nova Classic, Fountain Hills, Arizona
April 16-17: Sea Otter Classic, Laguna Seca, California
April 25-26: Santa Ynez Cup, Los Olivos, California
May 24-25: Chile Challenge, Angel Fire, New Mexico
June 27-28: Windham Cup, Windham, New York                                                                                     August 8-9: Snow Shootout, Mount Snow, Vermont

The USA Cup seems to be a new title for the NMBS series races, but we’ll see. Looks like the air freight company Sho-Air is going to throw down some cash for the pro circuit this year. These may be rumors. The downhill highlights are; May 2-3 in Nathrop adding a DH and super d!, June 13-14 is Crested Butte and 27-28 is Snowmass.

Tasty Interbike Dream Bikes

There are so many bike to take pictures of at the show. Everywhere you look, there is another. These are just a few that we took from one short day of spectation.

Interbike Kids Stuff

Kids stuff for 2009 is really unchanged. There are not a lot of clothing companies to choose from and the bikes are not really progressing that much. The best kids clothing has to be Primal Wear as they have a solid range of sizes for girls and boys. Still no sweet kids baggies. They might be out there, but for now, go with REI. Kids bikes need just a couple more improvements in the industry standard and then everything will be great; 1. get rid of the bad suspension forks and go rigid, kids can still learn to avoid the bumps, 2. make brake levers that fit their hands, 3. don’t even think about clipless pedals, they need to learn how to pedal while they can still learn. and 4. start making a decent wheel set for kids. Its like pedaling around a motorcycle for us adults. The best kids bikes we touched at the show were from Trek, Jamis and Specialized. Go get em!

The Dirt Demo Was Hot

Boulder City, Nevada has amazing trails at Bootleg Canyon. Winter seems like the time to be their.

Interbike Trade Show

This week, Durango DEVO coaches Anne and Chad Cheeney will be heading to Las Vegas to see what they can see. Interbike is the cycling industry’s big huge North American trade show, where everything bike related, is on display. Nothing you see is for sale, as the attendees work in the industry and are there to look and talk way to much. The company’s use this high visibility time to show off their bestest stuff. Parts are not the only thing to gawk at, current and former cycling superstars also show up to sign autographs and mingle.

The schedule for Chad and Anne is Tuesday’s Outdoor Demo, where they will be able to test ride bicycles from potential industry partners, Wednesday’s trade show to meet Michael Air Jordan, and Wednesday nights’ Cross Vegas race. Chad will be racing at 9pm under the lights with the Elite Men. Other Durangoans in the event are Travis Brown, Brendan Shafer, Dylan Stucki, Troy Wells, Todd Wells, and Matt Shriver.

Chad will be uploading pics from the event here soon. Goals are to capture the best kids mountain bikes, best kids clothing company and Annie with Sam Hill.

Cactus Cup is Back

The Cactus Cup is back this weekend in Las Vegas and several Durango professionals are getting work done. Ben Sonntag, Adam Snyder, Rotem Ishai, and Andy Shultz along with former FlC racers Cody Peterson and Eric Ransom have been battling the heat in the 4 stage mtb race. check out the results here.

Tour de Fat is Saturday

The schedule

This crazy event is action packed and leaves you amazed at the power of the bicycle. It is definitely a show for all ages with tons of interesting bikes to test ride and a cool cruiser group ride at 10am. The circus-like acts that take place throughout the day are unique and fun. Cycling passion is the name of this game.

Todd Wells Interview

Q: Who did you talk to on the start line of your Olympic xc race, and what did you talk about?

A: I talked to Olie Beckensale(might be spelled wrong) from the UK. I don’t remember what we talked about other then it being hot and the fact that it was pretty cool we were about to race the Olympics. 

Q: What was the techiest thing you saw on your competitors bikes in Beijing?

A: The bike I raced at the Olympics was pretty similar to the bike I raced the rest of the year. The only differences were cosmetic. I would have to say the Blackbox carbon fork crown/steerer tube on the new SID World Cup. There are only a few of those made right now so it was pretty cool to have one.    

Q: You hang out with teammate Burry a ton. Is he cool and what are his strengths and weaknesses?

A: Burry and I do spend a lot of time together. I’m on the road almost all year and so is he so it’s really important we get along well. He is super cool. I would say his strengths are downhills and steep short climbs. He raced DH Worlds as a junior so he has tons of skills and goes uphill fast too. 

Q: Who was the coolest athlete you met in Beijing and if you could be another athlete, which sport would you compete in? (you cant pick an endurance sport or BMX)

A: I met Jenny Finch of the US softball team before the Olympics at a pre Olympic event. She is probably the most famous athlete I met. If I could do any sport it would be the 100 meter dash. It would be cool to be one of the fastest men in the world.   

Q: You and your US World Cup teammates are getting pretty sweet results as of the last two years. There were like 10 years where a top 20 at a WC for a US rider was rare.  Are you guys training more or are you just getting smarter with your training time?

A: I think there are a few things going on. 1. There is much more drug testing now so I think the sport of mountain biking is very fair right now. I’m sure there are some people cheating but for the most part I think racers are clean. 2. A lot of us have been racing World Cups now for quite a while and we are finally figuring it out. It takes time to get to that level. You can look at guys that race on the road in Europe for a long time before they are good. Guys like Levi and Vandevelde raced in Europe for a long time before you ever heard of them. I think it’s the same with the mountain bike, it takes a long time to increase your level at the very top of the sport.  

Q: You finished 5th in Austrailia, a top finish for you, when you stood on the podium, did you almost cry? Describe the feeling.

A: The feeling is amazing. There is so much hard work that went into that and so many low points that it makes it such an incredible feeling. It felt even better since I had just had my worst race of the year at the biggest event in 4 years, the Olympics. I didn’t cry at that race but I did a few months before in Andorra when I got 6th place at the World Cup, my first really high World Cup finish.  

Q: When you think back to racing as a junior, what was the biggest misconception you had about racing in the pro class and making a career of it?

A: I was racing BMX when I was  junior but I think the biggest misconception I had as a young mountain bike racer was how easy it would be to make the transition from amature to pro. As a semi-pro I could compare my times to the pros and they would be close but when I actually made the jump to the pro class I got smoked. Then, racing well in the US against some World Cup riders I thought it would be easy to make the jump to the World Cup but I got smoked. It is amazing how fast everyone is at each next level of competition. But what is more amazing is the fact that a person can push themselves over time to become competitive at ever higher levels. Rock Out!