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!
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Mountain bike racer Macky Franklin hails from Taos, New Mexico but has a difficult time answering the question "Where do you live?" Spending most of his time on the road chasing summer or traveling to race he generally answers "my little orange car".
After holding a cross country pro's license for six years, in 2014, he will be focusing on enduro. Read this blog to follow Franklin throughout the 2014 season as he races four of the seven Enduro World Series races, Inca Avalanche, the whole Big Mountain Enduro series, Downieville and the Kamikaze Games.
When Franklin was 13 and learning to ride clipless pedals, he was given the "Turtle Award" as the rider who spent the most time on his back, still connected to the bike. Fortunately, he has moved past that stage and is now focusing his energies on learning to corner like a downhiller.
Visit his website at www.mackyfranklin.com.