24 Hour World Championships – 2015

by Josh Tostado on October 8, 2015

I have been thinking about this race all season, worrying, planning, and worrying some more, only to lay in bed thinking about it. The thing about 24 hour racing is that it’s really, really, really hard! Especially when you get a bunch of crazy hammerheads from around the world in one place, things get really interesting. Riding your bike for 24 hours is not that big of a deal but racing for that long is. There is a big difference, when you are so tired and sore and you just want it to end, except you have to dig really deep for the 3rd time and keep racing. That’s how it was this year at the 24 Hour World Championships.

I am really impressed with WEMBO, the organization who oversees this 24 worlds thing. They change the course every year to somewhere new around the world and this year it came to Weaverville California. The organization for the race was top notch. It was very well done, great volunteers and the local community came together to make the race a really good time.

Santa Cruz bikes was the tittle sponsor and they were on hand to give myself and 2 other Santa Cruz racers support. It was great to have them at the race but it also added pressure for me to perform well in front of my bike sponsor. It ended up the contrary, having them in my corner made things very relaxed and mellow. We all just hung out and the night before the race, Allan Cook (who was there to wrench and give support to all of us) cooked a fabulous meal and it really just eased the stress of the whole event.


The course was really suited to my strong points, one big climb then all descending on single track. We rolled out in a neutral start and onto the first climb the pace was pretty light. Soon enough Kelly Magellky and Tinker Juarez jumped out and upped the pace, I was happy to just let them go. I stayed with a comfortable pace and was joined by Mike Macall, we rode together for the first 3 laps with Kelly and Tinker just ahead.

It was a pretty hot day and on the 4th and 5th laps I had a bit of leg cramping, nothing horrible, but the climb was very steep and required a lot of power to get up it. Once night fell I had passed Kelly and Tinker had dropped out, so I found myself in the lead. I knew that there were lots of strong guys behind me including 5-time world champ Jason English, and Canadian National champion Cory Wallace.

I continued in the lead making 0-10 second pit stops for the entire race. At around 13 hours in, Jason and Cory caught up to me and both passed me. I was a bit inclined to chase but I was feeling low so I decided to stay steady. By daybreak I had a solid grasp on 3rd with Jason riding away in the lead and Cory dangling in 2nd by about 20 minutes.

With 4 hours to go in the race, I was feeling pretty rough, but Cory was falling apart even worse, he was down to only a 6 minute lead and we had 2 maybe 3 laps left. I was not in the mood to chase since I just wanted the pain to end… Of course, now I had bigger problems since the 40 minute lead I had on Mike in 4th was down to 25 minutes, and he was charging. This woke me up, along with my girlfriend and main support Marlee who had been pushing me to go get Cory. People talk about the 2nd wind, well this was like my 4th wind, I just started to hammer, “time to dig deep” I kept telling myself, I went as hard as I could, ignoring the pain, and at the end of the lap there was Cory in his pit, he looked shattered and I knew I had him.

I went out on the 20th lap and kept looking back and never saw Cory so I went hard but I was saving a bit just in case I had to do a 21st lap. It was going to be close, the rules for this race were if you cross the line before 24 hours has expired then you can go out for another lap, I finished my lap with 10 minutes to spare, I wasn’t sure how far back Cory or the hard charging Mike were, so I came through the finish and the pits and grabbed another and started the 21st lap. I only rode to were I could see the finish and race clock, and I could also see where Cory would be coming from, if he did make the time cut at least I would have a couple minute lead on him for the last lap. In the end he didn’t make the cut when I saw that clock hit 24 hours I was so happy to be done, it is one of the best feelings out there to be done with a hard fought race especially a 24 hour event.


2nd place at the World Championships, wow, what an accomplishment! I am so happy with the effort I was able to give for this race especially at the end, I wasn’t even sure I could do this race 3 weeks prior, after suffering cracked or bruised ribs. I was not feeling the greatest, but maybe it was a blessing in disguise since I got extra rest and this time it paid off. It has been a great season for me and this definitely put an exclamation point on it!


Vapor Trail 125 – 2015

by Josh Tostado on September 28, 2015

The Vapor Trail 125 is a one of a kind mountain bike race! It is 125 miles with 19,000 feet of climbing on some of the most fun and burly trails you could find in Colorado. Oh yeah, did I mention it starts at 10pm? I don’t know why more races don’t take place at night, it’s so fun. Riding at night just adds an element of adventure, it feels like you’re getting away with something…

With the elevation profile alone, this race should scare the crap out of you! Add to that the fact that it sends you way out in the backcountry, if something happens, you are on your own. I love this element of the race and I really don’t stress about it like I do with other races.

This year’s race was looking to be a great one with perfect weather and warm temps. There were about 70 people in this year’s race and we all rolled out of Salida in a neutral start. The pack stayed together for about the first 30 minutes until we crossed Highway 285. Then it was game on! The start was not as fast as some years and that was fine with me. I got to the front and settled in to a pace I felt comfortable with.

When we got up to the Colorado trail there was one guy about 30 seconds back and the trail was dry and loose definitely a bit sketchy. I remember telling myself “take it easy, it’s a long race”. I had already almost slid off the trail several times, then about 2 hours into the race I was ripping down part of the trail and all of a sudden my bike just goes out from under me. So I’m flying through the air, having enough time to think to myself that this is going to hurt and it did! I landed directly on my hip and ribs in a bunch of rocks. At first I thought my hip was broken and I just laid there for several minutes waiting to see if I could move. By the time I started to get up, Chris Alstrin came up to me and stopped to see if I was ok. I didn’t know at that point but I told him to go ahead and I would make it at least to the first aid station.

I got on the bike and started to pedal It was painful but I thought I could ride it out. Adding insult to injury my front light mount was broken, so I had to use my helmet mount light to get down the rest of the trail to the aid station.

Luckily when I got to the aid they were able to zip tie my light back on and I decided to push on, this section of the race is where you are out in no-mans-land and once you’re in you’re committed to go the distance.

It’s a good 2 hour climb up to the first of several hike-a-bike sections I was feeling ok on the dirt road but when I started hiking I was second-guessing my decision to continue. I was having a hard time getting on and off the bike and now my ribs were really hurting. By the second and longer hike-a-bike I was not in good shape but the only option at this point was to go forward. After nearly an hour hike, you get up to the top of Canyon Creek trail. Usually this is my favorite part of the race: high alpine gnarly riding that leads into berms and whoops and it goes on for about an hour. This turned out to be hell, I couldn’t even balance and kept riding off the trail, which in spots could have been very bad. I was moving slow in this section and it was very painful, I suspected I had some broken ribs and by the bottom I decided to pull the plug.

I always try to finish races no matter what, but this time I probably should have stopped much earlier. Stubbornness is usually a good thing in endurance races, but this time it got the better of me. Continuing was not the best decision I have ever made, but no one has ever accused me of being smart. Nonetheless, I will be back to do this race next year because it is so fun and embodies everything I love about mountain biking. Of course, now I need redemption for myself…

Park City Point to Point – 2015

September 21, 2015

The Park City Point to Point another must do event! This race is a great example of what I’m looking for in an endurance race with great riding, the trail system in Park City and the surrounding area is stellar. There’s tons of climbing, and you know what that means what goes up must come […]

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Pierre’s Hole 100 – 2015

September 7, 2015

The Pierre’s Hole 100 takes place at Grand Targhee Ski Area in Alta Wyoming. This is definitely one of the most scenic backdrops in the country to have a bike race! Along with natural beauty, the vibe at Targhee is very laid back, perfect place for a bike race. They have been putting some serious […]

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Big Bear Grizzly 100 – 2015

August 7, 2015

This was my first time coming to Big Bear, let alone racing here, I had no idea what to expect. The riding turned out to be super fun, they seem to have a great cycling community in Big Bear and the trails reflected that. The start of the race was pretty quick but within my […]

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High Cascade 100 – 2015

August 7, 2015

It had been a couple years sense I raced in Bend OR at the High Cascade 100. This year I decided to make a big trip of it and head down the coast to race the Big Bear Grizzly the following weekend. The High Cascade is one of the best 100 mile mountain bike races […]

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The Baily Hundo – 2015

June 26, 2015

A new addition to the NUE series for 2015 is the Bailey Hundo. Being just a little over an hour from my house, I thought I give this race a try. The Bailey Hundo is a fundraiser for the trails in Bailey and for the high school cycling league in Colorado so the race is […]

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Mohican 100 – 2015

June 6, 2015

It has been several years since I’ve raced the Mohican 100 in Ohio, mostly because it’s so far and there’s more racing closer to home for me. The Mohican is one of the largest 100 mile races in the country with 600 racers entered and with stiff competition, it presents a very challenging race. The […]

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12 Hours in the Wild West – 2015

April 13, 2015

One of my priorities this season is to check out some new races, so for April I decided on the 12 Hours in the Wild West in Ruidoso NM, put on by Zia rides. I kind of had a picture in my head of how the both riding and the town would be. I was […]

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True Grit – 2015

March 23, 2015

The True Grit 100 has become one of my favorite races of the season. Even though it’s still the middle of winter at home and I usually only have a month of riding in at this point in the season. I really enjoy the location vibe and terrain of this race and it’s a great […]

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