Stan’s passion is cycling. He raced BMX as a kid, then turned his attention to mountain biking, road racing and cyclocross as he grew older. His latest obsession is racing a single speed mountain bike.Two weekends ago he competed in USA Cycling Mountain Bike Nationals held at Mt. Snow, Vermont. He’s been pretty busy this summer with grad school so he has not had as much time to ride and train as he would like, but when he learned that two of our friends were going to be making the trip, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join them. One of the best aspects of mountain biking is the camaraderie of the sport. Riders obviously go to races to compete, but riding a mountain bike is a lot of fun and that attitude seems to pervade every aspect of the sport. Stealth campSo while Stan and his teammate Mike stealth-camped the first night (notice the construction equipment in the background), they stayed at some pretty swank accommodations the second night courtesy of pros Mary McConneloug and Mike Broderick (their rider diary can be viewed here) who they met that weekend through our other friend Jeff. This sort of generosity is typical of the sport.

Pre-raceIt was raining cats and dogs when they arrived and they did one pre-ride lap in the rain to check out the course. It was so slick that both Stan and Mike were concerned about finishing the race in a reasonable amount of time. (The pre-ride lap took them almost two hours, and their race length was four laps!)But the rain cleared up overnight and the course dried out a lot by the next morning. Post raceThe two pictures included here are before and after shots of the race. You can see the apprehension in their faces in the before shot, but the after shot says it all: they had a blast. Our friend Jeff is in the after shot as well. Jeff, incidentally, is the coolest bike/ski shop owner on the planet and an absolutely rockin’ backcountry skier, but more on that another time.