Micah Rice podcast

Micah Rice: The Future Of Cycling Events In The USA

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About this episode:

In this week’s episode, Adam Pulford interviews race director, cyclist, and sports events professional Micah Rice. They talk about what types of cycling events are leading change in the US, why the destination and experience at races are changing how participants are choosing their races, and Micah’s mountain bike stage race the Pikes Peak APEX.

Episode Highlights:

  • The rise of gravel racing 
  • Mountain bike stage races
  • The future of road racing
  • Why a race’s destination and overall experience are a driving force  

Guest Bio – Micah Rice:

Before embarking on a career in sports event management, Sports Strategies Vice President of Event Strategy and Operations, Micah Rice, experienced competition firsthand. Initially, it was from the seat of his bicycle as a professional cyclist, and then, from the driver’s seat of a team car, as director of the upstart professional cycling team, Jittery Joe’s. After stepping away from professional competition and receiving a degree in Education from the University of Georgia, Micah left his home in Athens for the high altitude of Colorado Springs, where he joined USA Cycling to lead the National Events program.  

As VP of National Events, Micah oversaw over 100 National Championship events, in addition to Olympic Trials and World Championship events. Following his tenure at USA Cycling, he joined OC Sport to oversee North American operations for Haute Route, the world’s most prestigious multi-day amateur cycling events. Drawing on his experience of managing world-class events, Micah now channels his passion and knowledge to the clients of Sports Strategies. His hands-on experience is a vital part of the team’s work with cities and regions that want to identify their sports tourism assets and create legacy events that promote economic development. It is in this role to develop and deliver events, that he also serves as Executive Director of the Pikes Peak APEX, the largest mountain bike event on Colorado’s front range.  

Micah believes outdoor destinations are some of our greatest resources, and he tries to find time each day to enjoy them. When he isn’t working, you can find Micah riding his bike or hiking with his dog, Cocoa. He also enjoys camping and skiing with his family.

 

Register for the Pikes Peak APEX

Use Code: TRAINRIGHT

https://www.pikespeakapex.com/

 

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform

Thanks To This Week’s Sponsor:

Stages Cycling

This episode of the TrainRight Podcast is brought to you by Stages Cycling, the industry leader in accurate, reliable and proven power meters and training devices.

Stages Cycling offers the widest range of power meter makes and models to fit any bike, any drivetrain and any rider, all manufactured in their Boulder, Colorado facility. They’ve expanded their offerings to include the Stages Dash line of innovative and intuitive GPS cycling computers covering a full range of training and workout-specific features to make your workouts go as smooth as possible.

And now, Stages is applying its decade of indoor cycling studio expertise to the new StagesBike smart trainer. Check out their latest at www.stagescycling.com


Episode Transcription:

Please note that this is an automated transcription and may contain errors. Please refer to the episode audio for clarification.

Adam Pulford (00:00:01):

The sport of cycling and events on a bike have been popular since the late 18 hundreds in the U S and we’ve seen different waves of popularity from road to mountain Lamont, Lance, and now all things off-road. I brought in someone who’s been around the sport for decades, anything from behind the bars himself to hosting national events, and he’s here to shed some light on why these trends are happening and where they’re going. Our guest today, Michael Rice, welcome to the show.

Micah Rice (00:00:01):

New Speaker (00:00:27):

Hey, thanks so much for having me on this is awesome.

Adam Pulford (00:00:30):

Yeah, this is, it’s a super fun you and I actually go, we’ll be back and we’ll, we’ll get into some of that, but for those of our listeners who don’t know you, as well as I do, uh, who is Micah?

Micah Rice (00:00:43):

Well, I’ve been a part of this sport for a long time. Like I started out, um, kind of my introduction to cycling was, um, through collegiate racing at the university of Georgia and, uh, kind of started racing bikes during my time there in Athens, Georgia. And, um, when I graduated, uh, I, um, I decided to continue kind of racing bikes instead of jumping into, uh, what I was supposed to do, which is teach high school English, interestingly enough. Uh, and, uh, so I had a part-time job, uh, working, um, on some events there in the Southeast and raised my bike, um, got to the point where I raised for a UCI professional road team. Uh, wasn’t very good. So decided I was going to have to do something different if I was going to stay in the sport. Um, and so decided to, um, to start my own, uh, cycling team.

Micah Rice (00:01:41):

So I had a couple of, uh, of cycling teams that were based there in Georgia. Um, my men’s team was sponsored by jittery Joe’s coffee. Uh, so that lasted probably seven years. Uh, and then I had a women’s team, um, also a, kind of a very high domestic level road team sponsored by errands, corporate furnishings. So, uh, that was kind of my next, my next part of, uh, of the sport. And then in, uh, and then in 2009, uh, I moved my family to Colorado Springs to take a job at USA cycling. So I, I, uh, oversaw the national events department for USA cycling. Gosh, I guess it was about a little over eight years. So, um, 2009 to 2017 and ran the national events department. So overseeing, um, all the calendars for all of the disciplines and then of course, 15 to 17 national championship events per year in all five of the disciplines of cycling.

Micah Rice (00:02:48):

So, um, so that was, uh, yeah, that was kind of a big step. I left, um, USA cycling and in, uh, in 2017, uh, to work with OSI sport and help develop their own group events in, um, here in North America and, uh, spend some time doing that. And, uh, and now I, um, I’ve spent, gosh, I got about it, I guess, about a year and a half working for sports strategies. So sports strategies is, uh, kind of a sports tourism consulting company. It’s actually based in Birmingham. And I was brought on for the event development side. So sports strategies does a number of things in the consulting kind of sports, tourism consulting world. Um, and so when, uh, there’s, uh, maybe a city or region that’s looking to, to bring in sports tourism than I, I make recommendations on either building an event or, uh, bringing events into that region. Um, and so lately I’ve been trying to build, you know, I’ve been working to build events from scratch, so that’s kind of my, uh, there you go. That was my whole background in the sport. And, uh, it’s been, it’s been great.

Adam Pulford (00:04:13):

Well, do you ever regret not going into, uh, teaching English right away or, or a recent?

Micah Rice (00:04:21):

No. I think if, I think back upon that and, and, um, as, as much as I thought that would be, that would be fun. I think I’m pretty happy with where I with where I ended up. Uh, it’s, I’m, I’m very lucky in that. Uh, I get to work, uh, in sport and especially a sport that I personally, um, love and enjoy. So I feel, I feel pretty lucky with where I’ve landed.

Adam Pulford (00:04:46):

Yeah, no, it’s, and you’ve got an interesting, you know, background from not only, you know, racing yourself to leading some high-end teams. I mean, that women seem that you were directing. I mean, you had some big sluggers on that team.

Micah Rice (00:04:59):

Well, we had, we had a lot of writers. In fact, I, um, I actually had to share a lot of them with the national team that was back when USA cycling was doing these national teams. And often I’d be without a roster of women because half of them would, would be over in Europe, racing, racing for team USA. So a very strong group of women and, um, definitely some heavy hitters there.

Adam Pulford (00:05:23):

Yeah, yeah, for sure. And very, I mean, very road centric and UCI centric, uh, firm for many years, and that’s where you and I crossed paths or Venn diagrams kind of came in to be there. And, um, and during that time, I mean, we’re really focused on kind of the governance and putting on a very official event and things like this, but the market is moving a little bit away from that. Can you tell us what you’re seeing, um, in that regard, and maybe you start to shed some light on why it’s current.

Micah Rice (00:05:59):

Yeah. You know, and obviously we’ve, we’ve seen a really, you know, odd set of circumstances with the pandemic in this last year. And, and, uh, I think it’s going to be, it’s going to be, to be seen, I’d say in terms of how that, that also plays into the change that we’ve seen in, in us racing. But, um, you know, as, as we all know, road cycling was really a sport born in Europe and the United States has, has always kind of put its own feel and its own kind of, um, ways of doing things with cycling, but its roots really are based in, you know, the tour de France and, and a lot of the things going on there. So, you know, you’ve seen the United States try to, you know, copy Europe in a lot of ways. And that’s, you know, that’s one of the ways that, you know, we’ve seen a lot of UCI racing come to North America and, and, and do well in North America in whatever discipline that might be, you know, obviously road racing.

Micah Rice (00:07:02):

Um, you know, mountain biking was really born here in the United States and we’ve kind of seen that seep into Europe and do really well. And, and, um, and that’s kind of changed the sport as well. And that side of cyclocross, you know, we saw, um, you know, kind of that it’s a, it’s kind of a niche sport of a niche sport in a lot of ways, but we’ve, you know, UCI cyclocross racing was huge. In fact, when I was at USA cycling, people were fighting over weekends of when they could put on a UCI cyclocross race and, and that’s really changed here in the last three or four years. So, uh, we’ve definitely seen, um, that rise and in what we’ve, um, you know, in, in how the United States, so it was related to the UCI and kind of the globalization of cycling. Uh, but I think in the last few years, we’ve really seen the United States kind of flex its muscles in terms of where, you know, the United States sees the, the sport going and, and being able to kind of, um, you know, put our twist on, on the entire sport.

Adam Pulford (00:08:06):

Hmm. Yeah, no, that’s a, it’s an interesting observation. I totally agree. So what’s, what’s, what’s our flex on it,

Micah Rice (00:08:14):

You know, I think, I think one of the things, the way we’ve seen a lot of, uh, our events move off road, um, you know, I mean, uh, you know, I, I probably am similar to others where I had a cyclocross bike, uh, and I used it a little bit for cyclocross, but then, you know, started riding a lot of, you know, whether it be easy, single track or dirt roads and all of a sudden it’s like, Oh, this is, this is way better than when I, you know, in the nineties, when I used to ride my, you know, my road bike on all these dirt roads, this is, this is way more comfortable. You know, the industry has provided a, um, a tool for me to do you to ride these dirt roads. When I, you know, on, on a bike that’s actually made for them.

Micah Rice (00:09:00):

And I think a lot of people on the road have started to drift for various reasons and that, you know, that I’ve already probably been called out, have been kind of moving off road, um, with their road riding, you know, types of things. It’s, it’s a little bit farther out there. Uh, they’re less traveled by cars. We’ve seen a lot of, you know, incidents with, with, with riders, getting hit with cars is the busier our roads get, um, we’ve, we’ve seen people really want these, you know, air quotes, you know, Epic experiences out, you know, away from people and traffic and, you know, dirt roads get us there faster. Uh, and you know, so we’ve seen a lot of these, um, kind of things, you know, the road stuff really move off road and, you know, indeed the UCI is, is very road centric. Uh, I mean, if you, if you look at what really drives cycling in Europe, which is the home of the UCI, it still is the tour.

Micah Rice (00:10:01):

And you know, that that’s gonna really be a focal point for them. And, uh, but we’re seeing so many people kind of get involved in the sport and jumping in, and they’re not necessarily involved in just watching the tutor fonts. Uh, they’re, they’re much more involved in, in, uh, whether it be mountain biking. Um, you know, we’ve seen what Nika has done to the, to the growth of mountain biking and that side of the sport. And there’s just been a number of things like that and a number, number of organizations I think that have really started to, uh, push the American sport, uh, more off-road in a way for really what the UCI is focused on.

Adam Pulford (00:10:42):

Yeah, no, that’s, that’s an interesting, um, angle on it. And I think that, um, definitely spot on with, with what my athletes are interested in, you know, right now. And also you go back to where, you know, you’re still living in Colorado Springs. I lived there for about nine years and some of my most favorite rides were riding with Jim layman exploring kind of, you know, Eastern Colorado. But we, you know, we’d start in Colorado Springs. We venture out, he dragged me out on some, you know, gravel road. And then the more we got out there, it was just ranting. It was less cars, less vehicles, less people. And in an note being, you know, 80 to 120, you know, Epic mile loops and you come back cracked and go to Chipotle and tell the war stories, you know, afterwards on Monday. Yeah.

Micah Rice (00:11:28):

And, and, and that’s, and that’s what people are wanting. I think that we’re starting to see, you know, when you’re talking about cycling participation, uh, I think that people are really focused on, on that experience side of things. And they’re looking for, you know, what is the ultimate destination? Um, and so when you, you know, you get people that, you know, are choosing which events to go to. Um, they’re not just choosing, um, uh, race itself, but they’re actually choosing the city or region that it’s in because they want to do other things rather than just ride, um, ride that bicycle or do that race. So, uh, you know, I think that’s where, you know, people start, you know, when they start making decisions with their pocketbook, that’s, that’s, those are the decisions they’re making.

Adam Pulford (00:12:20):

Yeah. Yeah, definitely definitely important decisions. And I think, again, when I’m, when I’m training athletes for that is, you know, some of them that are saying not super race centric is like, I want to be able to do whatever I want to do within four weeks of deciding it kind of thing where it’s like, I want to be diverse. I want to have that experience. I want to be able to go big, you know, mix it up, change it up. And then also, you know, sometimes it’s bringing the family along with it too, because if it is in a cool location, make a vacation out of it.

Micah Rice (00:12:52):

Exactly, exactly. And, you know, people are kind of looking for that, those bucket list things and they start thinking about it, you know, and again, I think that even social media has driven some of this, you know, you see, uh, some Instagram from, I don’t know, you know, [inaudible] or something like that. And you’re like, I’d love to go ride that. I got to go ride that I want, I wanna, I want to selfie at the finish line of the, you know, the classic [inaudible] finish, you know, the tour de France, you know, um, or, Oh, that’s what an amazing, you know, ride that is above Malibu in. And I want to go, I want to go ride, you know, in the valleys above Malibu and, you know, because I’ve seen pictures of that and celebrities posting their own photos of, of doing those things. And, and so I, you know, it’s, it’s been, it’s been really good for me, you know, eight years at USA cycling and really being tied into that, those UCI events, you know, national championship events where it’s kind of all about the win, it’s all about, uh, the Jersey, um, which is, you know, is a fantastic thing to go after, you know, or, or, you know, or as far as the UCR, UCI is, is trying to make these events, you know, UCI sanctioned.

Micah Rice (00:14:11):

And that kind of gives you that global perspective, but being able to, um, leave USA cycling, uh, and, and start to see kind of that other side of the sport and see the rise of gravel and, you know, see some of the things that like, you know, Epic rises doing in the world of mountain biking. I mean, all of those things are, were eyeopening for me, and it’s a whole new, different group of people doing them and, and both worlds have their place. Right. Um, and they do intersect at times for sure. Um, but, but for me, um, being able to work at the, at the national governing body and then start working on events, like, like a route, uh, like the Pike’s peak apex, like, you know, that Steamboat gravel event, um, being able to kind of live in that world is, has really been a lot of fun for me.

Adam Pulford (00:15:08):

Yeah. It’s a cool world for sure. And, you know, it would be, I think, you know, just mentioned that the tech behind it as well, like back when say Jim and I were riding, or you were riding your, your, uh, cyclocross bike, we were on road bikes and you’re exploring these roads and it gets really chattery at times. Right? So now, you know, amazing gravel bikes being put out there and even say a cross country, mountain bike has come a long way with a full suspension. Um, but super stiff, lightweight to be able to cover, um, all the distance climb the fire road and rip that gnarly descent, like you mentioned, Epic rides, um, courses tend to do in that regard. So it’s like these machines are becoming far more capable to deliver the experience that the end user wants. And it’s really fun to be part of that too.

Micah Rice (00:15:55):

Sometimes the industry, you know, is actually a real bellwether for what, where events are going. I remember a number of years ago, and this was while I was at USA cycling. And again, I was very focused on what my job was at that time, which was really national championships. And I remember looking at a track catalog and it was like that over, like literally in, in 12 months they had gone from like a couple of cyclocross offerings to a full range of gravel bikes. And I’m just like, what the heck? I mean, you know, what, what do they think is going to, is going on here? Like, are they selling these, you know, like, and that’s, what’s in my head and you know, this is years ago and, and, and sure enough, I mean, these guys knew exactly what they were doing and they knew exactly where things were going. They knew exactly what people wanted, they knew what was selling and what would sell. And so, um, you know, often the, you know, the industry is, is, is, is right there, or even a step ahead of some, some of the rest of us and where events are headed.

Adam Pulford (00:17:01):

Yeah. Yeah. That’s it. And, you know, we talked about one day events, we talked about multi-day events. I want to drill down and talk about two events in particular that you’re the race director of, and first start with Steamboat gravel, because I think that that has been a trendsetter in itself and with what Amy charity has done in the direction of gravel racing. Um, for those who I guess may have never heard of that. Can you tell more of what that event is, how it’s changed, uh, the playing field a little bit and your involvement in that?

Micah Rice (00:17:36):

Yeah, no, absolutely. And I, um, I came on board as race director, uh, beginning of this year. Um, and, and, um, there was, uh, there was Amy needed some help with kind of operations, logistics. She has an incredible team there in Steamboat Springs. So it’s really been fun to, to jump in and, and she’s got an event that is just amazing. I mean, if you, if you take a look at the history of the event, it’s, it’s only happened once yet is still considered really one of the top three or four gravel events in the world at that point. And they opened, um, registration is just this last December and they filled up their 3000 spots in about nine minutes. So it gives you an idea of, of how quickly these are selling out and what the demand is for that type of event. But I think what, what Amy has done is, has been really interesting.

Micah Rice (00:18:33):

I mean, we, you know, we’ve seen these, these gravel events kind of pop up, they’ve been around for a long time. Uh, you know, I remember starting, you know, hearing about the, like the barrier Bay and in Michigan a long, long time ago, but you know, some of these events have been going on forever. And if you look at, you know, Unbound, gravel, you know, it used to be dirty Kanza and now it’s Unbound gravel owned by lifetime. It’s been around a long time as well. Uh, I think what Amy has done is kind of taken that, that event. That’s kind of that Epic bucket list, fend for yourself, uh, kind of event. And she’s made it a little bit more accessible to a lot of different people. Um, the roads, uh, you know, aren’t crazy difficult. You’re not going to be, you know, flatting every 10 miles.

Micah Rice (00:19:23):

And, you know, some of these things are just impossible that you see out there. Um, you know, there, the aid stations are fully stocked. You can go out of there and just kind of fill up your pockets and you’re good to go. You don’t have to, you know, carry a lot on your bike with you. You’re not necessarily needing to be self-sufficient and there’s, you know, a bunch of different distances. And she’s really done an incredible job of opening this event up to a very diverse group of people. Um, uh, just like the Pikes PK pack, she offered equal prize money for men and women. And she’s done a really great job, I think, um, really kind of trying to make sure that a, a very diverse group of riders shows up for this event and opportunities do happen for people who might not be able to register that first nine minutes.

Micah Rice (00:20:15):

Uh, w we, we work with very closely with rod for racial justice and, and we’ve opened up, uh, a bunch of spots that we’re trying to, you know, that we’re kind of helping fund, um, for, um, you know, people that are, um, uh, from different backgrounds, you know, BiPAP people, uh, and, and we’ve kind of filled up those spots and we’re going to do a special ride on Friday with, um, you know, that they’re going to be hosting. And, um, I think the idea kind of behind trying to find, um, more people that can access the sport, um, you know, here, you know, I I’m, I’m kind of your typical bike rider in the United States, right. And kind of this middle aged white dude, uh, and we’ve got plenty of those. Uh, but I think the way we grow the sport and make it stronger is we attract more people than, than just people like me. And, um, I think that’s something that Steamboat, gravels done an incredible job of.

Adam Pulford (00:21:18):

Yeah. Yeah. And I was just going to say, I mean, it was like, okay, something that sells out, you know, in nine minutes, and if you don’t have fast internet, you don’t really know how the game is played. You know, the middle-aged white man say does, right. I think reserving some spots in and including, um, more opportunity to get more people into it and experience it really gonna grow the sport in a, in a great way for sure.

Micah Rice (00:21:43):

No, absolutely. Absolutely. And I, and so I think that, um, you know, her real focus on parody and accessibility, um, you know, is one of the reasons why it’s so popular. Uh, I think that it goes beyond just a bucket list event. It’s an event that you get excited about every year. And I think that, you know, one of the things I talked about before that the experience of being out on those, the Steamboat Springs, um, dirt roads, I just, it just gorgeous. I mean, you’re out in the middle of Colorado in amazing place. It’s an unbelievable destination. And, uh, and just these rolling Hills through, you know, this agricultural land in Colorado where you just out there and the views around you are just unbelievable. And you really do feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere, but you get to stay in like a world-class ski resort town. You know, I mean, Steamboat Springs, there’s a, so much to do. Um, there’s hot Springs that you can visit. There’s tons of stuff for, for your entire family. You can make a week of it. Um, you can, you know, you can eat fast food or you can eat at a five-star restaurant each night, if you want to. And so that kind of relates back to, you know, a destination that people can really buy into. And that’s, that’s what makes those events so popular is when you can kind of combine all those things.

Adam Pulford (00:23:13):

Yeah. You know, you know, you don’t want to take anything away from say the Unbound or mid South with some of these other events that truly were trendsetting too. I mean, they’ve been in the business longer informing, um, you know, this, this market as well. However, you know, those things are, are relentless, for sure. Like you got to make sure that you’re very well-trained for that they’re super long. There’s a lot of technical stuff that that’s, um, you know, uh, part of those races and, and also the weather, like if you get a bad, uh, you’re at mid South, I mean, you’re, it’s a mud Fest, right? Yeah. Stuff can always go sideways and Steamboat, but like in general, what you’re talking about is courses pretty awesome. The aid stations are well-stocked, it’s a little bit more straightforward. It’s challenging, but not like I’m going to fall off a cliff sort of technical and beautiful place.

Micah Rice (00:24:05):

Yeah, no, it’s good. It kind of hits all those things. I mean, no question with something like Unbound, um, you know, in mid South, I mean, those, those are incredible courses and, but, you know, you’ve got to have a support crew out, you know, to help you, you’re, you’re carrying stuff on your back and a pack you’re, you know, you might, you’re, you’re, you’re making sure you got like four or five extra tubes because you’re probably gonna use it. And, um, and again, absolutely a place for those kinds of Epic events. I mean, there’s so many people that want to do those. Um, but again, I think back to something like Steamboat, where, you know, accessibility back to that word where, you know, you, you don’t need a support crew, you can choose the shorter version. You never get that far out of town. Um, a ton of support out of, out in the course, whether it be medical or, or, or food and water. Um, and then, uh, you know, you can, you, can, you gotta, you’ve got a great talent to play in a before and after. So, uh, I think that she’s got a really good combination of things there. I’m pretty excited to be part of that event this year.

Adam Pulford (00:25:15):

Cool. That’s cool. Um, well, you also mentioned, uh, another event that some people may not know of either because it is pretty, pretty new and it’s called the Pike’s peak apex. Um, tell us about that.

Micah Rice (00:25:27):

Yeah, no, this has been a fun one. Um, and this kind of goes back to the kind of stuff that we do at, at sports strategies, which is build an event for the ground up for a client. So, um, the Pike’s peak apex, uh, presented by RockShox RockShox is the kind of the presenting sponsor. They’re actually based all of the R and D for rock shots are based here in Colorado Springs. Um, w it’s a company owned by Ceram, which is, you know, most people know out of Chicago, but all of the R and D for all the RockShox products are, is here in Colorado Springs. So they were excited to jump on, but, uh, it’s a four day, um, mountain bike challenge here on the, uh, on the slopes of Pike’s peak. And what we’ve really tried to do with it is actually combine what we love about mountain biking, uh, with what we love about gravel racing.

Micah Rice (00:26:19):

And so, uh, you know, obviously this last year was the first year, um, you know, trying to, you know, have a phenomenal year in the middle of a pandemic was a little bit of a lift. Uh, there was a lot that we, that we couldn’t do that we really wanted to do. Uh, but we did pull off at least a good bike race. Um, and here this last September, and, uh, what we’d like, what w what we love about gravel events are those, those mass starts where you get to, you know, you might get to start with all your teammates, or you get to start with, um, your mom or dad, or your spouse, or your kid, or, you know, whatever you want. You’re, you know, you don’t, you’re like, Oh, I’m not, you know, racing in a certain category, or he’s a pro or, you know, you’re grinding rock, you know, you’re riding right next to everybody, you know, at the start then kind of choose your pace.

Micah Rice (00:27:13):

Those are, you know, that’s one thing we wanted to incorporate into this mountain bike race. Uh, we have to do waves, uh, this last year, but it’s our hope that, you know, uh, as soon as we’re out of the woods on some of this stuff that we can do, kind of these larger mass starts just like we would at a gravel event here for this mountain bike, but my grace, but the idea is that it’s for four really good days of mountain biking, um, here, uh, it kind of in, in this, in this Pikes peak region. So the first day is a very short time trial prologue. So it’s an, an in-town park Palmer park, which is a, uh, well-known in town park here. Um, and, uh, it’s about, it was about an 11 mile thing. And then, and then the next two days, Friday and Saturday are big loops. So these are loops that really get you out into the front range, up on the slopes of Pike’s peak and, um, you know, back to kind of feeling like it’s like, you’re really out there on an adventure. Uh, some of these are dirt roads, plenty of dirt roads to ride on are not over technical. Um, and, uh, you kind of, you’re kind of able to see back down into the city of Colorado Springs, but really kind of get up there on the mountain. And then, yeah, go ahead.

Adam Pulford (00:28:32):

Chime in here real quick, because people may hear some things about Colorado Springs and like, Oh, that’s not that cool of a town or whatever, but like the mountain bike riding is off the hook. There it is silly, and it is not well-known, which makes it even better.

Micah Rice (00:28:46):

Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right. It’s kind of one of those, you know, best kept secrets as they say. Uh, there are a lot of mountain bikers here in town that they’re not necessarily want to advertise, but you know, the people that come and ride here are just blown away about what is here. I mean, just, just the in-town parks alone that have miles and miles of really well-built single track. I mean, go down the list. Uh, there’s probably five or six that, you know, the city has put a lot of time and energy into to make sure that there’s, um, some great stuff like that. You can ride from your house, but if you’re willing to do a big loop and you want to ride up gold camp and, you know, head toward cripple Creek and then come down, you know, through Jones park and captain Jack’s, I mean, it’s just a massive amount of riding right. Straight across the front of Pike’s and people are always just blown away by what’s here.

Adam Pulford (00:29:44):

Yeah. And just so listeners understand this too, that have never been there. I mean, you got Palmer park, that’s a little East of the city, and then it go, the elevation is up there a little bit. And then it comes down into the base of the city where it’s about 6,000 feet, and then it starts climbing up in this Pike’s peak that we’re talking about. It’s a 14,000 foot mountain. Okay. And so we’re playing bikes in pike, national forest around the base of Pike’s peak. And it is one of the most unique areas to, uh, to ride bikes and like play bikes and, and do a bike race. So, uh, it, it’s a special place for me to live there for so many years, my brother and his family still live there. Um, and we’re only at stage three here in Micah. So let me transition, throw that back to you. What, what stage four look like?

Micah Rice (00:30:27):

Yeah, well, yeah, stage four is a little bit shorter because the goal is to have stage four in the morning. And then, you know, we kind of have a, a little bit of a celebration at lunch when everyone’s done. So it tends to be more in that 20 to 25 mile range while those longer courses are more in that 40, um, we had one, we had one course this last year that was closer to 50 vials. Uh, so, but, but they’re not, you know, they’re pretty fast courses, so you’re not, you’re not going to be out there for eight hours, you know, you’re going to, I think, um, even the longest course last year, I think, um, Russell Finster wall did it in about two 45. And then the folks that were coming in at the end were, you know, finishing in more like six hours.

Micah Rice (00:31:10):

But, but that’s the whole idea. The idea is it’s much more like a gravel, you know, a gravel race or a grand Fondo or an iron man or a marathon where everyone kind of starts, you know, together. And we put just as much support into the folks that are straggling and just trying to finish, uh, as we do into the people that are, that are right there, um, you know, winning, winning the prize money, which, you know, w of course we were the, you know, similar in that we offer equal prize money for men and women. It’s the same distance for everybody, no matter what age group or gender it’s, it’s the same course every day. Um, and, um, we, uh, pretty deep in that prize purse too, right? Yeah. It’s one of the, again, back to another philosophy is, is the people that are probably winning the prize money.

Micah Rice (00:32:07):

And I’ll just use the examples of like, you know, the, our winners from last year, Russell, Finster, Walden, and Chloe Woodruff, they race for teams that pay them pretty well. Uh, and they’re making a living, but it’s that person that’s like, just trying to get 10th, 11th place, you know, and we, we try to pay at least 15. And so those are the people that really need the help, right? Those are the people. Uh, and I was there in my racing days where it’s like, you know, I’m, I’m sleeping in the car cause I gotta, you know, I got to race that crit the next day. And I, I feel like dropping 75 bucks on a hotel room. Uh, not that we have a lot of people sleeping out in the cars, uh, here in Colorado Springs, but, but those are the people that really are going to be appreciative of, of winning, you know, even a few hundred dollars back, uh, in the end.

Micah Rice (00:32:55):

So we do pay pretty deep. Um, and so, uh, you know, and, and we, we do a lot of support, again, similar to what we do at Steamboat gravel. We’ve got aid stations every 10 to 14 miles, and, you know, you can stop, fill up a water bottle, grab some food, uh, and then jump back on your bike and keep going. So, uh, you don’t need someone to help you out there. We’ve got, um, you know, we’ve got, uh, one of our sponsors is the local, a Subaru dealership burger, uh, Subaru. And they’ve got riders out there who are literally like making sure everyone’s good. And like, you need it, you need a snack or, you know, did you get, if you got a flat, I got an extra tube, you know, there’s kind of these Subaru support writers that are out there on the course helping out. So we really work hard to try to make sure we’re, you know, kind of egging on those last finishers and that everybody all the way down has, has really good support.

Adam Pulford (00:33:55):

Yeah. Now I like that a lot. And, and, and I think it speaks back to that people wanting different experiences, different experiences around the country, different experiences around the world. And for, for me say when I’m coaching, my athletes and people are like, Oh, I want to do Breck Epic. Or I want to do Cape Epic these week long, like truly Epic stage races. And those two are some of my favorite that I’ve ever done in my life. Um, however, you know, I’ve spent a lot of time on a mountain bike and I’ve, and I’ve raced around the world and those are very challenging. And so when people haven’t even say done a mountain bike race beforehand, or they’ve done a few single day and it’s like, Oh, I’m going to do Cape Epic. I say, let’s find a little intro first. And it’s usually, you know, steer them toward a Brook Epic three-day or, you know, this is like the sweet spot, my opinion, because, you know, you get to grind it out on the long climbs and hit some sweet descends on the way down and back when I was living there, uh, riding with Russell and Danny and Kaylyn, you know, it was everything that I could at time trial up and keep with them.

Adam Pulford (00:35:04):

And then they just dropped me like a bad habit coming down Jones is, and I try not to die, but it was, you know, just incredible writing. And it’s really, it, it is hard to find, so trying to do it on your own, I don’t think is necessarily the easiest. So doing something like this is great, you have that really good experience at ride in different location. Um, but it sets you up to go to that bucket list event.

Micah Rice (00:35:27):

Yeah, exactly. We’re seeing a lot of people kind of come off of road racing and get into gravel racing. I think the majority of gravel racers are, are coming into the sport through road racing. Uh, definitely some from, from the mountain bike side as well, of course, but, but I think that we’re seeing, again, we just talked about that kind of, that trend of, of moving from the road off the road, into gravel, the goal with the Pike’s peak apex is that, um, it’s that next transition period. Okay. You’ve tried the gravel, you enjoy that, that worked out for you. You might’ve bought a mountain bike, but you’re not sure you want to jump in a Breck Epic. And you, you, you mentioned that when again, fantastic race and they do such a good job with that race. And then it’s, it’s, um, it’s lauded for a reason, uh, when it’s really, really hard, if you want to do all six days of Epic, you, you better, you better be ready for some long, really challenging, challenging days.

Micah Rice (00:36:32):

The, the Pike’s peak apex is the idea is that it’s, it is that transition, right? You want something different. There’s a lot of wide open riding. Um, you know, one of the stages, uh, on Friday this last year, a couple of people had actually wrote a gravel bike, uh, cause they climbed up Rampart range and they did a loop around the Rampart reservoir. And back it’s a 50 mile loop, only 14 miles of it was single track. So a few people were like, you know, I’m gonna, I’m going to try to get that advantage, you know, and, and try to roll a little faster on these, on these, uh, on these faster sections, I’m gonna, I’m going to bring my girl bike. I don’t think they were too happy about going around the residence. I wouldn’t do that.

Micah Rice (00:37:14):

But, um, but, but there’s a lot of that wide open stuff that, you know, you can really, you know, so a lot of power riders, you know, we’re really comfortable. We had to this last year, we had two Xterra world champs, the current world champion, uh, from South Africa and, uh, and an ex roll champion here from Vail that both participated in the Pike’s peak apex. And they absolutely loved it because they could truly use their just raw power to hang with those, those front guys. Now, again, you know, when they hit frosty park and, and headed down, you know, Jones and captain, Jack’s sure Russell, you know, dusted them. Uh, but, but they, they were right there and had such a good time. And it wasn’t like just Rocky descent after Rocky to scent that, just beat them up the whole time. They just really had a fun, a fun way to go. So I think it’s a little less intimidating an event like the apex versus some of these other multi-day mountain bike events.

Adam Pulford (00:38:14):

Yeah, yeah, no, that’s, that’s exactly it. Um, and we mentioned Russell a few times. Uh, I feel like we gotta, we gotta spend a few minutes on him. He’s he’s yeah. He’s, uh, he’s a great friend known him for years. Um, since he was like 15, I think. Um, but, uh, Russell Finster wall, he’s a professional mountain bike racer. He’s local there in Colorado Springs, but he, I mean, he’s, he’s been around the sport high levels. Uh, but also, I mean, he was really influential in getting this thing off the ground for you. Right.

Micah Rice (00:38:44):

You know, he really was. And in Russell’s one of those people that when we first started working with this and what a lot of people don’t know, I haven’t mentioned yet is that the Pittsburgh apex is actually owned by a nonprofit here in town, the Pike’s peak outdoor recreation Alliance. And, um, they, they are kind of the people that kind of helped have the vision behind it, but, but what we are trying to build, what we thought we really wanted here, Russell was one of those people that kind of instrumental in kind of sitting down and walking through, you know, not just what we thought would be fun for us, but what we really thought would make for a destination event here in Colorado Springs, one that matched up with the assets that we had here and the trail system that we had. Uh, but also trying to figure out where, where does the sport going and what that looks like.

Micah Rice (00:39:34):

And Russell, as someone who was born and raised here in Colorado Springs, but, you know, he’s the current marathon mountain bike national champion. He was kind of the perfect person to talk to about an endurance mountain bike event here, here in Colorado Springs. And I was able to bounce a lot of stuff by him when it came to courses, um, and, um, and really work hard to kind of figure out where, what we needed to do and what we needed to create here. Um, in fact, uh, again, we didn’t really advertise it, but the entire first year he was the guy behind the social media. He ran all of our social media accounts straight through, uh, uh, and, and helped us with all of our posts and, and interviewing other pro riders and, um, helping with content. Um, and so he was able to really jump in there and really get that first year off the ground. Um, and so, uh, yeah, obviously much appreciated and, you know, he knows the trails so well here that, and not, not to mention he’s the current national champion of, uh, endurance mountain biking here in the United States. So he was able to win this event. This last year, didn’t have any major problems, um, fended off the other, the other pro riders that were here. And, uh, he of course is excited about coming back. It’s kind of his hometown event now. Uh, and so, uh, he’s already registered and ready to go.

Adam Pulford (00:41:00):

Cool. Well, what are some, uh, you know, hopefully we are recording this, um, 20, 21 pandemic is still going on. Shots are getting in the arms of those, willing to take them, that kind of thing. But, um, what are some sneak peeks of what you want to do with this race in terms of that festival experience or with like the overall experience that, um, you couldn’t do during the pandemic?

Micah Rice (00:41:22):

Yeah, so, you know, we, we, we, there’s a lot of things that we wanted to do that we weren’t able to do last year. And we’d like to, you know, we’d like to get everybody in a, for a pre-race meeting, you know, and go through the courses with their buddy. We did that over WebEx, I think this last year, um, we’d like to, um, have an after party we’d like to, you know, we’d like to just like clear out a bar and have some drinks and cheer on the podium finishers and just have a great time. Um, after the event is over on Sunday, uh, you know, we, we, again, we did a little virtual get together on a WebEx, uh, which was, which was fun, but not nearly as, as, as much fun as we, you know, we’d like, you know, it’s part of that culture, right? I don’t have to tell you, it’s, it’s, it’s getting, getting together after some of these great events and having all the war stories and, and, uh, and sharing them and together with, with food and drink is just kind of one of those great, um, great traditions that I think that people really appreciated and love as part of the experience. Um,

Adam Pulford (00:42:30):

I’m envisioning mile high saloon is taken over by pipe. Yeah. I love it. I love it, Jack, that thing I will come, I will come if it happened, if the post-race party up there.

Micah Rice (00:42:44):

Yeah. And then, you know, we, and we want to create a, you know, a fairly large scale, um, expo that is attached to this. So again, back to Pike’s peak outdoor recreation Alliance, you know, they are all about everything, outdoor recreation. So while there definitely have, are using this mountain bike event as, as a way to shine a spotlight on their organization and what they do, and kind of that trail system, uh, on those slopes of Pikes peak, you know, they’re involved in anything outdoor recreation, which can be anything from Jeep tours to zip zip-line, to, uh, you know, uh, fishing, uh, to hunting, to ATVs, you know, balloon rides. I mean, all of these things are outdoor recreation and things that we, that we enjoy and love to do in Colorado hiking. Of course. Um, so, uh, they, I think they’d like to have a large scale outdoor recreation expo that kind of went along with this.

Micah Rice (00:43:52):

And, uh, we were able to do kind of an outside plan and then tie other events into it. Right. We’ve talked about, um, an endurance run, um, you know, Hey, we’ve got, uh, a single 40 mile loop that we’ve permitted with the national forest service. We got the age station set up and the course marshals, why can’t we do a run that starts 15 minutes after the cycle is to leave? I mean, so, you know, those are kind of some of the things we’re looking at there, uh, family events, kids’ events, um, one of the things that we’re, we are looking at for even being able to do this year, um, it was, is, uh, you know, some, some women’s mountain bike clinics. So bring out some, some, and, and bring the community in a little bit and do some, do some beginner, you know, mountain bike clinics, maybe, maybe a group of women and a group of kids. Um, obviously men are invited to w you know, we’re going to, but what can we do to kind of, again, expand the sport, introduce more people to what we’re doing, uh, and just have a, have a great time outdoors. So, you know, all those are things that we’d like to see happen. Yeah.

Adam Pulford (00:45:01):

Well, kind of on that future forward thinking, I mean, they’ll kind of put you on the spot here, where do you think we’ll be in five years with this whole, like gravel mountain bike event space? Like, where is all this going? I mean, as a road dead, and it’s gravel now King in the United States, and it’s just like this big us flecks of gravel right.

Micah Rice (00:45:23):

Makes for a good hashtag, you know, but, you know, I don’t, I don’t think road will ever be dead. I mean, I think that, uh, again, the, the, the tour de France is, is an anchor. That’s not gonna just be gone in five years in 10 years and maybe not even 50 years. Um, and, and there, you know, again, coming, this is my background as a road cyclist. Um, and you can attest to that. There’s nothing just like flying down the road, uh, you know, 30 miles an hour in a pack of riders. I mean, you can’t replace that. You can’t replace that with a mountain bike ride, maybe with a faster gravel ride, although maybe it’s more like 20 miles an hour, you know, instead of 30 to 40, but just the quietness of the road bikes and flying down the road in a pack of riders.

Micah Rice (00:46:23):

Um, it, it’s not something that you can replace with, with anything else. And, and I don’t, I don’t think that we’ll ever just see that big goal. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s a ton of fun, whether it be crit racing that ends up being a little bit more accessible than say, you know, big road racing loops, you know, that’s absolutely a possibility. I was, I read a great article, um, just recently an outside magazine talking about, you know, how Justin Williams team and what they’re doing to kind of, um, drive that criteria, that world of criteria, which, you know, that was the first real bike race I ever watched was the Athens Twilight criteria. That just, uh, if that does not get you, uh, excited about cycling, uh, nothing will buy, you know, being downtown Athens at night and watching, you know, that pro Peloton fly by.

Micah Rice (00:47:17):

So I, you know, I, I don’t think that it will be gone. Uh, we might see criteriums, you know, go farther. We’re going to see the, the technical part of, of off-road. I think you get even better. I mean, it’s so good. Now you were mentioning earlier, it’s going to get better and it’s going to get more people interested in, in being out there. You know, there was big Enduro bikes right now that weigh 30 pounds, won’t be long before they weighed 20 pounds. Uh, you know, uh, so all, all of these things are just going to bring more access to, to, um, to those trails. Uh, and, and, and, um, so, you know, I, I don’t foresee road leading. Uh, I do see people embracing, uh, the off-road, uh, in the next five years, even more, but it’s very possible. We’ll see that wrap back around, right. It’s all a circle. Um, if all of a sudden we know that America has another two and a France contender, and all of a sudden an American wins the tour de France three times in a row. Again, we might really see it, another push back onto the road cycling map. I mean, you just don’t know until things like that happen.

Adam Pulford (00:48:33):

Yeah, yeah, no, and I, I hear what you’re saying. I mean, going 30, 40 miles an hour in a group, I mean, it’s, that’s, that’s one scratch of the itch, but I do think that the, the, the off-road approach and in thinking about in different ways, uh, how to scratch that itch, so to speak for so many different people, I think that’s where, um, I get really excited with what the United States is doing is just thinking differently about how to put these events on. And, and I’m looking to people like yourself and having people like Amy to, to really, to push that. So, yeah, I hope it continues no matter if we’re, um, tie up in the tutor fronts or not. So,

Micah Rice (00:49:11):

And one thing we haven’t discussed is just kind of the, the rise this last year in virtual events, as we watched the pandemic, kind of fast-forward that for us and everyone, um, I mean, I participated in a couple of virtual events this last year, because that’s what was available to us. Right. And whether that be a challenge that your in-person like doing a Strava challenge, trying to beat us drama time, or beat others on a Strava section all the way to, you know, as whiffed race, um, whatever that is,

Adam Pulford (00:49:45):

Athletes Everest on Swift this year,

Micah Rice (00:49:48):

That’s nuts. Right. Exactly. I mean, and, and I think without question, uh, those virtual events are here to stay. I think that’s going to be something that we’ll always see. I think that we’re going to see a lot more people, you know, I mean, again, you’re talking about scratching that edge, people want to get out and do events real in life in-person events so badly, you can’t replace those with Lyft ride, um, or a solo ride where you’re trying to, you know, when Strava KOMS, but I think there’ll always be a way to connect these events, um, to what, uh, to what is going on in person. You know, we’ve seen a number of people do it really well. Grandfather national series has done it really well. I think, um, Rebecca Rush with Rebecca’s private, how has done a really good job of kind of incorporating, you know, some of the stuff that she does in with, with, with live in person events. And I think it’s going to get even better as people kind of figure out what that looks like and what people are excited about. So, um, I see that as, as being something that feels new, but I, I see it having a place for a long time. Yeah.

Adam Pulford (00:51:01):

Agreed, agreed with that. Um, well, to bring all this home, like, uh, in, to kind of leverage your past experience in all the years in, in dedication you’ve really had in this sport, uh, I got a series of questions that I want to wrap up with and, and give our listeners some actionable stuff here to take home. So, first of all, in all the years of doing this, what’s the number one thing that you see athletes not prepared well for, for these officers?

Micah Rice (00:51:30):

Hmm. Um, I think when people kind of get out there and they, they bite off more than they can chew, I think, um, you can probably put those in two categories, fuel and clothing. Uh, I think, uh, you know, fuel is the obvious one, right? I, when I, whenever I participate personally, one of these things, I always kind of try to attend to, to eat and drink as much as I can. Um, and some people it’s really easy to forget to do this, especially if you’re focused on, on performance and your goal of getting to the finish. So fuel is the obvious one, whether it be bonking or, or getting to hydrated. And, and especially when we’re talking about something like the Pike’s peak apex, you’re talking a multi-day event, you’re, you’re fueling for the next day too, not just the day that you’re currently yelling.

Micah Rice (00:52:21):

So I don’t have to tell you you that you’re an expert in all this better than I do, but, but I think that is one of the things, but, but I’ll tell you, um, you know, I lived in Georgia for many years and it’s not quite as big of a deal there once in a while, you’ll hit a rainstorm, but it stays pretty warm. But man live in here in Colorado. It’s different. I am literally like in July, um, I’m riding my mountain bike and I might only be going for a two hour ride, but I’m bringing a jacket, you know, in July I have stuff in a jacket in my back pocket because I absolutely never know what I mean. I could easily get up high enough where it’s snow or it’s, or rain comes in and it’s, you know, it drops to 40 degrees and, and it can get really bad. So I think, um, you know, whether it’s an event or just a training ride, uh, those are the two things I always have to kind of make sure that I’ve, I’ve got all this stuff I need. And that’s, that’s really advice for people

Adam Pulford (00:53:26):

Doing Leadville. I’d always say your greatest success on race day, regardless of how good your training was or how bad your training was, your greatest success is your nutrition and hydration.

Micah Rice (00:53:38):

Yeah, that’s absolutely true.

Adam Pulford (00:53:40):

Yeah. And I think it applies for, you know, high altitude or loyalty to, or whatever, but, um, no, that’s a really good response. Um, second question to you. Can athletes train mostly on Swift for these, or sorry, can athletes train mostly on Swift and road events and still do something like Steamboat gravel, or do they actually need to put in some dirty miles to,

Micah Rice (00:54:04):

I think it’s, I think majority, yes. I mean, I, I think that if you’ve got, um, some level of skill writing on an off-road surface, like gravel, or, um, you know, easy, I call it easy single track, right. You know, stuff that’s not full of rock, big rock drops or anything smooth single track. You can jump into something like Steamboat, gravel and be totally fine. I, I would always recommend that you try to go out there and ride on gravel with a group, just so you understand what it feels like. Um, because, um, I think jumping on it, you know, for jumping from Swift onto say a road time trial almost equal, right? Sure, sure. You gotta deal with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. If you have to go around a corner or something like that, you have to think about it a little bit more than you would on Swift. But I think the biggest disconnect is what does it feel like when you’re going around a corner on gravel with people around you, uh, and what that looseness feels like. And, um, can’t, you can’t, uh, feel that in a road event or around Swift?

Adam Pulford (00:55:24):

Well, yeah, that’s the best piece of advice for sure.

Micah Rice (00:55:28):

Sometimes that will freak you out

Adam Pulford (00:55:35):

All that sort of, and then you got a lot of that in Colorado Springs too. So you get a lot of practice. All right. Third question. Uh, based on last year, what would you say is the number one thing that people should train for if they want to come and do the Pikes peak apex and would that apply to any Mount bike station?

Micah Rice (00:55:53):

Yeah, I mean, I mean, every mum bike stage races are different. Everywhere you go. There’s actually not a lot of mountain bike stage races right now in the United States, when you really start thinking about it and you start ticking them off. I mean, you know, Breck Epic, we’ve talked about

Adam Pulford (00:56:11):

Pike’s peak. We’ve

Micah Rice (00:56:12):

Got a few. Yeah. I mean, but literally you’re not, I bet you can’t come up with with eight or 10 right now. I mean before. Right. So, but if, if I, you know, but gravel events, you, you, you probably, you could probably name 20 right now. Right? So they’re, they’re fairly, they’re fairly unique. Um, and it really kind of depends on where you’re on, where you’re going. I mean, obviously the, the trails that are, could that connect in Pennsylvania are going to be way different than the ones that are out here in Colorado. You’re dealing with a little bit of altitude up here, although it’s not as much as you would at the Breck Epic. I think that the, um, the biggest thing to focus on I think are kind of really being able to pace yourself for a really long climb, uh, and stage three, for example, um, from last year of the Pike’s peak apex, and it’s the same stage, uh, this coming year literally starts with a 22 mile climb on dirt gold camp.

Micah Rice (00:57:18):

So yeah, so you’re, you’re straight up gold camp, um, you’re, you’re in bear Creek and you do kind of a little bit of like crushed gravel. You jump up onto the road of gold camp. So that’s pavement, it’s pavement for a mile and a half, and that turns into a gravel road. And then you’re on, uh, a gravel road that, you know, it was built for cars for several miles through a several miles of tunnels. And then boom, it goes into kind of a, a wide open climb. That’s not open to cars, so it’s kind of like single track. And, and you’re going to go through some more to that’s another seven to eight, nine miles on that. Then you’re going to kind of come up there about where old stages. I know that, you know, some where some of these places are some kind of naming them off and you kind of set a single track and you’re still climbing up six to six that, you know, up to frosty park.

Micah Rice (00:58:11):

Uh, and, and sure, it’s not, none of the climbing that we do in our races are really very steep. Um, it’s all just, you’ve just got to watch that power output and remembered a fuel and just really pace yourself. Kind of get an idea of, you know, what it’s like, you’re going to climb 4,000 feet in, you know, and, and, and what does that look like in terms of how much time you’re going to spend on it’s all a lot, a lot of it’s railroad grade, but, um, but a lot of people get three fours through that and they’re just like, Oh my gosh, I am still climbing. Um, and I think, you know, if you kind of prepare for that and, and even something like that you can prepare for on Swift, right. I mean, you just like, kind of put it in a gear and just say, I’m going to do this for two hours. Okay.

Speaker 3 (00:59:06):

Which is actually the better kind of platform to do that for most people.

Micah Rice (00:59:09):

Yeah. I mean, and, and, and you got to remember for that the winners, the winners are climbing that for two hours, uh, other people are taking, you know, four or, you know, or more to do that, climb. Sure. You get to stop there’s eight stations. Um, but just what that kind of that mentality, uh, and kind of getting used to that, I feel that that’s a key piece for the apex.

Adam Pulford (00:59:37):

Yeah. That’s again, really good advice in there. Again, if it’s an event in Colorado or the Alps or something like this, people are like, Oh, well, what’s, what’s the real difference there. It’s like, you might have a 20 minute climb. We got 20 mile climbs.

Micah Rice (00:59:52):

Right. Right. You know, and we don’t see a lot of climbs that distance in mountain bike racing, you know, so especially on, on, on, on an event like this, it’s, it’s, you’re out there. You’re out there for awhile.

Adam Pulford (01:00:07):

Yeah. Cool. Very cool. Well, you know, this has kind of turned into a, not so soft plug for the pike Peak’s apex, but, um, if people really are interested in this event, uh, where can they find out more?

Micah Rice (01:00:22):

Yeah. Uh, w you know, best spot is our website, Pikes peak, apex.com. And, um, also for anyone that’s made it to the end of this podcast, you know, would you have, uh, a special coupon for, for all the CTS folks? So, um, train right. Gets you 50 bucks off. If you want to join us there.

Adam Pulford (01:00:43):

Sweet. Well, we’ll put a, we’ll put the link in our show notes on the landing page and we’ll have that code, uh, train. Right. I think all capitals, right.

Micah Rice (01:00:52):

It doesn’t matter. Yeah. It doesn’t matter train. Right. We’ll get you there.

Adam Pulford (01:00:56):

There it is. Okay. Folks. So, um, you heard it from Micah. I mean, the, the, the future is going off road, a lot of gravel, uh, in a lot of experiential stuff, and that can have some sweet, single track along the way. And, um, man, Micah, thank you for taking your time today to talk about where you think all of this is going and in some of your events.

Micah Rice (01:01:17):

Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me, Adam. This has been great. Cool.


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