Alex and Nico win the Duo at Burn 24 2011!

kurt's picture

Faster Mustache Duo Alex and Nico win Burn 24! 5-Man crew A-ron, X-topher, Nick, Ed and Kurt take 4th/32!

The FM mountain bike contingency traveled to NC this memorial day weekend for another installment of The Burn 24 Hour Challenge. This would make the 3rd year we have entered the 5-man category, and this year Alex and Nico teamed up to add a Duo team as well. Ed was the first to arrive to the scene Saturday morning, and he staked out a great spot for us to camp along the walking path and right up against Dark Mountain. Before long we were squeezed into our site and began to wage war against the sun. It beamed down oppressively for most of Saturday, lifting the previous night's rain into the air as a hot mist cloud that coated everything.

In our first Burn appearance in 2009, we scored a fourth place finish and vowed to return for the podium. It was not to be however, as the competition stiffened fiercely and we finished 7th in 2010. In both of those races we used a "Double Lap" strategy, meaning each rider went out for two laps and then tagged out. This year, we decided to try a new strategy:

Got it? Good. As you can see, this strategy included me sitting under the tent and drinking Gu Brew all afternoon, waiting for my first chance to hit the trail at 5:30pm.

Alex and Nico's strategy seemed to be something like "Lets get so far ahead early on that everyone else will get demoralized and quit racing". They were even beating us (a 5-man team!) until about 10:30pm Saturday night. When I finally caught up to Alex on the trail, he was throttled back a bit, chillin' in his pain cave.

The trail conditions were pretty good in spots and pretty mucky in others. The dark side of Dark Mountain was covered in peanut butter, and the roots were slick and plentiful. It was easy to let down your guard and slip out. Luckily for me I had my new WTB Exiwolf mounted up. I like it because it has lots of grabby edges but still spaced out enough to shed mud. I have been riding WTB's new TCS tires (light-weight tire with a UST bead, designed to be used with Stan's sealant) for a couple months and I am super stoked on them.

We had a blast racing. Dark Mountain is an awesome race trail and Jason Bumgarner et. al put on an awesome event. Alex and Nico were able to take the win in their category with an incredible 32 laps (that's 16 laps EACH!). We finished 4th out of 32 teams and while we are stoked about that, I can tell you now we are coming back for a podium spot next year!

It should be pointed out that of all 7 of us, NONE of us had a mechanical in 24 hours of racing. This is thanks in part to our sponsors that keep our equipment running smoothly. And thanks also to our girlfriends, wives and kids that came up and supported us. They put up with some pretty gnarly living conditions and still made us sandwiches :-)

ckdake's picture

Nicely done guys!

Nicely done guys!

Jeb's picture

Well done! Looks like you

Well done! Looks like you guys had fun.

Lookout Conyers???

kurt's picture

Lets do it. Early

Lets do it. Early registration ends Aug. 1st.

Jeb's picture


Your podium arms are way better than Alex's.

thatsnogood's picture

Nice work gentlemen.

Nice work gentlemen.

griggey's picture


Great job!

X-topher's picture

I second kurt's appreciation

I second kurt's appreciation for all the onsite support from Gwyn, Amalia, Anne, Meg, Nina, Elliot, Theresa, Megan, and Emma and Huey. Thanks!!!

X-topher's picture

A quick race report (of

A quick race report (of sorts) from me:

The race started with an almost 1/2 mile Le Mans Start. 1/2 mile is long for a Le Mans start so they let us designate a runner separate from the rider doing the first lap. Since I was the only one with running shoes and shorts, I was selected (my performance in Griggey's/Brooke's 10K last weekend notwithstanding). It was a fast, hot run and Alex and I finished together before tagging our teammates into the race. I was completely redlined from the sprint but I had no time to rest as I was next in line for a lap. I quickly suited up and got to the transition zone for the tag-in from Ed.

Prerace emails and an announcement from the race organizer warned of FM's storied past in the transition zone. Last year at 6 Hours of Warrior Creek I managed to slam into the back of Kurt's bike while cruising into the transition zone, breaking my helmet and my self esteem to pieces. Needless to say, it was with caution that I took the tag-in.

It was all pain, sweat, and slick/sticky mud from there. We chased the 4th place team until finally overtaking them in the middle of the night (they slowed down big time after it got dark). Things got weird when the aliens, blinky lights, and a really loud car-alarm-sounding noise maker was turned on. That, the half dozen generators humming, and my night laps kept me from sleeping more than 10 minutes the whole time. Everyone kept their laps fast (the individual lap times aren't up yet but I'm pretty sure Ed and A-Ron did some of our fastest laps at night) and in the morning we were pretty safe in 4th place.

I went out for my final lap around 10:30am and the dew from the nightime was steaming hot in the air. More pain, sweat, and sticky/slick trails and it was finally done for me. 2 silver bullets later and I was in the backseat of A-ron's subie headed back to the A.

ericnico's picture

The ladies...

were awesome! So much better with the fam along.

Gike's picture


Nice race recap....its ??good?? when your team is singled out at the pre race. X-topher is now a legend. Did a solo beat the "team"?

ericnico's picture


The best solo rider put 28 laps, I think. Alex and I got 32, our 5-man, 33. The winner of the 5-man put in 40 laps!!

kurt's picture

course record

The 40 laps was a course record. Those guys were ridiculous.

jeffb's picture

No wonder

No wonder none of you showed up for the ride last night - still feeling the BURN. Congrats!

Adogger's picture


I had a great time racing with y'all bros this weekend. This was only the second time I had ridden with Nick and apart from the constant tea and biscuit breaks, he really held his own. Having the ladies and kids around was a big morale booster and I can't thank them enough for all their help. I've been putting in a ton of miles getting ready for this race so I was pumped to hit the trail.

I'm proud of how our team rode; I think our modified 2-lap pull strategy helped our times from falling off. As a team we were super consistent. All those Dirty Mustache Rides seem to have honed our night skills too. Going into the night we were in 5th place, 15 minutes behind 4th. The darkness had little effect on our lap times and we were able to catch 4th and eventually go up an entire lap on them!

Thanks to all our sponsors and the positive attitudes from my teammates.