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Back in the US of A

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Sampling some of Santa Fe's finest

Sampling some of Santa Fe's finest
(Image credit: Syd Schulz)
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The skills clinic had a great turnout

The skills clinic had a great turnout
(Image credit: Macky Franklin)
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Riding with the Pivot dealers on South Mountain

Riding with the Pivot dealers on South Mountain
(Image credit: Macky Franklin)
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Sean may have forgotten his bike for this section, but his form was impeccable

Sean may have forgotten his bike for this section, but his form was impeccable
(Image credit: Macky Franklin)
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A good weekend for the team, 1st for Macky and 3rd for Syd

A good weekend for the team, 1st for Macky and 3rd for Syd
(Image credit: Geoff Chain)
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Syd on her way to 3rd place at the NM Enduro Cup

Syd on her way to 3rd place at the NM Enduro Cup
(Image credit: Brendan Curran)
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 Macky and Syd exploring the La Tierra skills park

Macky and Syd exploring the La Tierra skills park
(Image credit: Ellen Gerl)
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Team shot on South Mountain

Team shot on South Mountain
(Image credit: Ellen Gerl)
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Training in Tempe, AZ

Training in Tempe, AZ
(Image credit: Ellen Gerl)
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Loving our new Primal Custom kits

Loving our new Primal Custom kits
(Image credit: Syd Schulz)
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Macky’s new definition of XC attire - notice the open-face helmet and XC shoes

Macky’s new definition of XC attire - notice the open-face helmet and XC shoes
(Image credit: Syd Schulz)
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Taos Mountain Energy Bar kept the whole Field Institute of Taos group fueled throughout the camp

Taos Mountain Energy Bar kept the whole Field Institute of Taos group fueled throughout the camp
(Image credit: Syd Schulz)
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Unloading 13 kids and their bikes

Unloading 13 kids and their bikes
(Image credit: Syd Schulz)
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Sampling some of Santa Fe's finest

Sampling some of Santa Fe's finest
(Image credit: Syd Schulz)

After close to four months of international travel, Syd and I returned to Taos, New Mexico in early May and were greeted by unseasonably cold weather and snow. It was a bit of a shock, so we spent the first few days recovering from our trip by eating our body weight in green chile to make up for all of the green chile that doesn’t exist in New Zealand, Chile and Peru.

Fortunately we recovered in time to attend the Outside Bike and Brew Festival in Santa Fe a couple weeks later and led the Tour de Brewer, a three-brewery tour ending at Santa Fe Brewing Company, and a trail-speed skills clinic at the La Tierra trails. Our new team kits arrived from Primal just in time for the festivities and we had a blast riding, drinking good New Mexican beer and hanging out with other like-minded people who believe that bikes and beer are an unbeatable combination.

From Santa Fe we headed to Tempe, Arizona (via the Grand Canyon) to visit Pivot Cycles and spent the next few days hanging out with the Pivot crew and a group of Pivot dealers from Colorado, Utah and Texas who were there for Dealer Palooza. Sean, our third teammate, joined us there and we got to tour Pivot headquarters, ride the trails of South Mountain and learn a little more about what makes Pivot such an awesome company. We also got to follow Chris Cocalis, the founder of Pivot Cycles, down some of the more technical trails in Phoenix and I’m fairly certain he puts all Pivot-sponsored athletes to shame when it comes to descending ability.

Once back in Taos, Syd and I spent the next week training in Angel Fire then headed to Durango with thirteen 10 to 14-year-old boys as part of the annual Field Institute of Taos summer mountain bike camp. It was great. The kids rode really well, learned a lot and had a great time despite multiple crashes, turtles, and encounters with spiny, prickly or otherwise unfriendly Durango flora.

We got back this past Thursday, just in time to get a pre-ride in on Friday for our first US race of the season, the New Mexico Enduro Cup in Angel Fire. It was great to race so close to home on trails that we knew and both Syd and I had a successful weekend. I won the pro men’s race by almost 40 seconds and Syd finished third in her first-ever pro race.

Now we’ve got another week of downhill training in Angel Fire before we hit the road for the rest of the summer. First up, the Big Mountain Enduro in Snowmass, Colorado. Can’t wait!