Jun 6, 2003 9:19 PM
|Thought some of you might like to see Airborne's Press Release
CONTACT: Jamie Raddin
Founder, Airborne (www.airborne.net)
President, Echelon Sports Products
Curiak Sets New Record on "Epic, humbling loop"
Grand Junction, CO June 2, 2003 Mike Curiak, professional ultra-distance specialist, completed the largely unheralded 360-mile Grand Loop mountain bike race with a new course record of 74 hours, 37 minutes. Riding an Airborne B-29 titanium mountain bike, Curiak bested the previous mark by a scant 26 minutes. "By the skin of my teeth" laughed the exhausted, depleted athlete.
The Grand Loop is a years' old spring tradition for many Colorado and Utah cyclists, encompassing the Kokopelli, Paradox, and Tabeguache Trails. Beginning at the eastern terminus of the Kokopelli, the route winds through the high desert and into the high alpine of the La Sal Mountains before descending into the Paradox Valley near the mid-point of the course. Curiak pointed out that the first half is the "Easy half. Leaving Bedrock it seemed like I climbed for days to get onto the Uncompahgre Plateauat the finish my altimeter read 48,168' of total elevation gain, and my knees were in no shape to argue".
Curiak pointed out that, "I didn't have the greatest race, primarily because of routefinding difficulties. I'd estimate that I lost 9+ hours looking for the right trail, since in many places it is unmarked and extremely remote. I'd also guess that in taking other trails I rode 20+ "bonus miles" that weren't part of the race. I tried to keep a level head and not get frustrated, but that wasn't always possible in the heat of it".
The Grand Loop is unique in today's racing world in that it is a totally unsupported event. Racers not only navigate without course markings or checkpoints, they must also carry all food, tools, and bivouac gear, as well as filter and treat the mass quantities of water needed from surface streams and springs. Curiak noted that, "That's the beauty of ityou're forced to rely only on yourself and your own planning and ingenuity in a harsh environment. It's unbelievably challenging, and even more rewarding when you make it out the other side." In finishing the race this year, Curiak became only the second person in three years to complete the event.
When queried about his choice of bike for events like this, Curiak became animated in describing his current steed. "It rules! My B-29 is the most solid, predictable handling bike I've ever owned, and those big wheels just keep rollin' along. They're so smooth, so fast, and so nimble, the only reason I can see people still wanting to ride 26" wheels is because they just haven't tried the 29"ers yet. People!! You gotta try these!!!"
Jun 7, 2003 12:02 PM
|that's awesome! you
my hero! great job as ambassador for 29" wheels!
|One to go,||Bigwheel|
Jun 7, 2003 2:02 PM
|Mike is definately at the top of his game. Congratulations on such a fine effort!
Just stop and think for a second how much climbing 48k+ is in about 380 miles over the course of a little over 3 days-----No wonder you're hurting Mike! There are few people out there doing this kind of race for a reason, not many could handle it. Not mentioned in the release is the fact that like the Kokopelli race Mike did earlier, there were no other finishers.
Best of luck on the next episode, the Continental Divide Route. We'll all be here at our keyboards cheering for ya!