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$250,000 Prize Purse Announced for Inaugural Life Time Grand Prix

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Inaugural year to include six iconic, renowned events including Garmin UNBOUND Gravel and Leadville Trail 100 as the Company aims to grow fandom and camaraderie around cycling in the United States

CHANHASSEN, Minn., Nov. 22, 2021 — Life Time, today announced the launch of the Life Time Grand Prix for elite cyclists. The new series is comprised of six highly regarded races, including both new and established events like Big Sugar Gravel and the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, and brings a healthy competition amongst elite cyclists. Men and women from a range of disciplines will compete for a $250,000 prize purse at the end of the series.

Photo courtesy: Life Time

The 2022 Life Time Grand Prix Series Lineup includes:

  • April 7-10: marathon mountain bike race at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, Calif.
  • June 4: 200-mile UNBOUND Gravel in Emporia, Kan.
  • July 9: 70-mile Crusher in the Tushar in Beaver, Utah
  • August 13: Leadville Trail 100 MTB in Leadville, Colo.
  • September 17: 40-mile Chequamegon MTB in Cable, Wis.
  • October 22: 100-mile Big Sugar Gravel in Bentonville, Ark.

The Grand Prix will prioritize gender parity in the series, with 20 men and 20 women selected to compete. The series will culminate with a $250,000 prize purse to be split evenly between men and women. Prizes will be awarded up to tenth place, based on a point system. At the conclusion of the Life Time Grand Prix, riders’ five best finishes from the six possible events will be tallied, giving the competitors a choice to skip an event or ride all six and take the points from their best performances. The riders with the most points at the end of the series will be the winners.

 

Study: Drivers Pay Attention to Painted Bike Lanes

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By Charles Pekow — It helps to paint bike lanes. When motorists see the paint, they'll give cyclists more room, says what purports to be the largest study of the issue. Australian researchers put cameras and distance sensors on 162 cyclists in two cities, recording 46,769 incidents where motorists passed them. Even when controlling for the width of the road, the drivers gave more room when they saw the paint.

See https://www.researchgate.net/publication/352464214_Are_bicycle_lanes_effective_The_relationship_between_passing_distance_and_road_characteristics.

 

Getting It

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By Tiffany Arcaris and Mark Deterline — 

Tiffany Arcaris is a force of nature. I met her through friends who had emphasized that she loved running. She had a down-to-earth nature, and I could tell that she took pride in being and having fun, and seeking to do things that were out of the ordinary with likeminded friends. 

Tiffany and friend Stefanie Shumaker adventuring the Great Western Trail — lots of schwacking and laughs.

A week or so after that evening out with friends, she asked me if I wanted to go trail running. I had officially ended my elite amateur bike racing “career” about 18 months earlier, and was enjoying catching up on other interests and hobbies, including things that allowed me to be lazily sedentary for a change. “I think you’d kick my butt,” I said, hoping she’d let it go until I could secretly get in some much overdo training. But she kindly would have none of it, “I’ll go easy on you.”

She stopped a few times along the first (to me) hilly mile, but then we both figured it would be in everyone’s best interest if she charged on, flying up to The Living Room lookout point above Red Butte Gardens and the University of Utah. And seriously, I’ve run with her a few times now on hilly and mountainous trails, and she just powers up ridiculously steep trail, making me feel like I’m standing still.

After racing at a high amateur level for 15 years, I had enjoyed not exercising for several months. Tiffany changed all that; now I was the out-of-shape friend desperately needing someone to push me.

She inspired me to whip myself back into shape, because after all, for much of my life I have talked the talk, but it was time to walk the walk again. About a month later, I ran my longest trail run to that point: 11 super-windy and grueling miles in spectacular Moab. It was more than I was ready for, but I did it and it felt great. I was back on track, feeling good and having fun.

Often it takes a special person and friend in our lives to set us on, or back on, a course that can greatly benefit us. In my case, I was quickly impressed by Tiffany’s resoluteness in doing everything she can as well as she can. She loves her job and enjoys doing it well. She values earning a living that affords her, her son and her mom an enjoyable lifestyle, enabling her to integrate into her life an intense passion for trail running and strength training in the gym. That’s good stuff; that’s something we can all work to emulate in our lives, regardless our chosen sport(s).

With the above as an intro and a little background, I’ll let “tiffsmooth” (that’s her Instagram handle) share some thoughts on her running experience:

* *

For most of my life, I never classified myself as a runner. I've always been athletic and involved in sports, but didn’t really get into running until my late twenties. A good friend asked me to do a charity race for a great cause, so how could I say no; I'm a sucker for being there for friends. That was my first 5k, in ice and snow…springtime in Utah. It was tough. I was shocked how hard three miles seemed. I'm more fit than that, I thought, and was bothered when others passed me. Yeah, I'm slightly competitive…

So, the next week I was asked to do a 10k, of course I said yes, and amazingly improved my time by 40 seconds per mile. (That race was also in the rain.) I immediately realized that running isn't so much a physical test, but more a test of mental strength.

There are many instances in which I dislike portions of my run, or struggle to mentally get into it. But I’m always satisfied when I achieve my goal, and am proud that I’ve pushed through the moments of mental weakness. Truly, self-doubt is the biggest obstacle in anything you do; you'd be amazed by the power of your thoughts.

My running has transformed over the years from just doing certain races for the satisfaction of knowing I've completed the distance, to having fun doing relays and enjoying the amazing team experience. During one relay I discovered my love for trails, and it was all downhill or uphill from there!

Last year was my year of trail races. Not having many running friends up to doing trails, I did the majority of those races alone. Each race was incredibly intimidating and involved summiting a peak, which was very new to me. I enjoy the challenge and have gained great respect for trail runners; they are some of the most athletic people I’ve met.

Sure, there are a lot of social aspects to it, which I love and adore. The people I've met and have grown to love through the joint adoration of running truly amazes me. My ULAS (Utah Lady Adventure Seekers) are the most genuine and supportive group of friends, always up to do a Sunday run, or take road trips to odd and beautiful places just to play on a new trail.

The running community in Salt Lake is so awesome. Recently, I was fortunate to connect with a group I've deemed as my ICP (Insane Clown Posse). These badasses have gotten me back into waking up before dawn for not only a run, but for wild adventures in our beautiful backyard — the Wasatch Mountains.

Climbing ridiculous vertical before most are out of bed is oddly gratifying. Seeing the sun rise and laughing with people that just “get life,” well that's why I now run. We challenge each other, we support one another, we tease, and we take awesome photos. It's fulfilling more than words can say.

The experiences are always phenomenal and challenging, the views always breathtaking, and above all it makes me appreciate all that I am capable of when I put my mind and energy into something.

 

Advocacy Survey: Park City seeks input on biking and walking for new Master Plan

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Deadline this week!

November 23, 2021 – Park City is seeking input on biking and walking in Park City. The survey is open for just a few more days to residents and non-residents who bike or walk in the mountain town.

2 riders on the roads of Park City. Photo by Dave Iltis
2 riders on the roads of Park City. Photo by Dave Iltis

From their webpage:

Park City Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan 

What 

Fifteen years after Park City's Walkable and Bikeable Neighborhoods study and after nearly complete implementation of that plan, Park City Municipal is creating a new plan that will outline walking and biking infrastructure investments for the next fifteen years.

Why

Park City Municipal is investing in this plan because of our goal to be a car-optional community. We want to provide safe and convenient walking and biking infrastructure so that people of all ages and all abilities can get around Park City on foot or bike.

When

The planning process launched in September 2021 and will take about ten months. The plan will be complete and ready for adoption by the Council in late summer 2022.

How to Participate

The City wants your opinion. What would make you want to walk or bike more? Please share your thoughts in this survey.

Bicycling Means Business: Reconnecting with the New Majority”

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The League of American Bicyclists Releases “Reconnecting with the New Majority” Report on Diversity and Equity in Bicycling

In 2009, the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking and Walking published “Bicycling Means Business”, a culmination of research studying the economic benefits of bicycle infrastructure. Today, the League is releasing an updated report, “Bicycling Benefits Business”, which reviews new research in the nearly 10 years that have passed since the original, and it remains true: communities that support bicycling as a means of transportation and recreation have outsized economic benefits by attracting residents and tourists alike.

Download the report here »

“Bicycling Benefits Business” highlights the positive impact bicycling has on small businesses, neighborhoods, and regional and local economies. When governments and businesses invest in bicycling infrastructure and the bicycle industry, the economic benefits are felt at every level.

“Time and time again we see a significant link between people who bike and strong, resilient economies,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “When local communities invest in making bicycling safer and more accessible to more people, the return on investment is clear for individuals and society at large from cost-savings on public health, to job creation, to small businesses' growth, and more. We hope that by continuing to highlight the real economic benefits experienced in places across the U.S., we will inspire more communities and businesses to plan, design, and build destinations that empower more Americans to choose bicycling as a means of transportation and recreation.”

Top findings in the report:

  • When people have access to safe bicycle facilities, they often choose to ride a bicycle.
  • People who ride bicycles purchase bicycles, supplies, and bike share memberships. This puts people in bicycle shops and bicycle industry-related businesses to work.
  • People who ride bicycles shop at other types of stores, too. Bike-accessible businesses, like Bicycle Friendly Businesses, experience economic benefits by catering to these customers.
  • People who ride bicycles on vacation buy food, spend on travel, and pay for lodging. This brings millions of tourist dollars to cities and towns across the country.

“Bicycling Benefits Business” also further highlights the mutually beneficial relationship between bicyclists and the economic impact of bicycling to society. In addition to their direct investments in communities through consumption, bicyclists are also engaged in a healthy lifestyle and thereby saving money on health care costs. By saving on transportation and car ownership costs as well, people who ride bikes can in turn spend more money at local businesses — but to maximize economic spending, bicycle infrastructure must be present.

On infrastructure, the report demonstrates acceptable and unacceptable uses of bike parking and acknowledges widespread support for on-street corrals among the business community. Spending less on expensive car parking and instead investing in space-efficient, low-cost bicycle parking, like bike corrals, leads to cost-savings for bicyclists, employers, developers and cities.

“Not only is secure and ample bike parking a core element of bicycle infrastructure and something the League considers in deciding its Bicycle Friendly Business awards, but it’s essential to businesses that want to attract more people on bikes,” said Bicycle Friendly America director Amelia Neptune. “Bicyclists like to go places where they feel welcome and confident that their bicycle will be safe while they work, shop, dine, or run an errand.”

As more research develops on economic, social and environmental benefits of bicycling, we will continue to update this report, our benchmarking report at data.bikeleague.org, and the League’s main website at                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     . To learn more about the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business program, please visit bikeleague.org/business.

 

Bike Parks for Fun and Practice

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By Tom Jow — So … it’s early in the mountain bike season and feeling a little rusty? Went to bike camp and need a place to practice? Trails not in rideable shape due to the snowline hitting lower elevations? Visit the bike park. Here in the Salt Lake area, we are lucky to have several bike parks, dirt jumps and pump tracks. What are these bike parks about? Mostly they are about having fun, but we can practice skills there too. Things we can practice are jumps, berms and technical riding. Each park has its own style. Follow along for a tour of my favorite features of our local parks.

One of the earliest dirt jump areas in Salt Lake is the I-Street bike park. Of the parks I visit, I-Street is the most advanced. Many of the young kids there, even some ten-year-olds, ride bigger lines than me. There are some intermediate lines I can ride, but one feature I find really useful is a three-step progression of drops. Riding drops is a key skill for the rocky trails of Utah. At I-street, they built the drop lines with wood ramps leading to sloped landings. The smallest drop, at about 18 inches, will feel pretty intimidating to a beginner. The layout of the drops makes it easy to practice one height until it’s down pat. Then step up to the next level, and then the next. One drawback to I-Street (for beginning jumpers) is that most of the jumps have gaps.

Dirt jumps at 9-Line Bike Park. Beginners to the left, experts in the middle and intermediates on the right. Photo by Tom Jow

For a lower key jump experience, I head to the 9-Line dirt jumps. At the 9-Line you will find riders of all ages; toddlers on striders, kids on BMX, teenagers, as well as moms and dads. With five jump lines, there is something for everyone. The jumps are much less intimidating at 9-Line. The reason they are less scary is “tabletop” jumps. A tabletop jump has a take off ramp, a landing ramp, and a flat “table” in the middle. The connectedness of the two ramps removes a large amount of the anxiety of jumping. Jumping is a skill that requires much practice to be confident. Especially for jumps with gaps. Even on short jumps, take out the tabletop and it is very intimidating.

Derrick rides the skinny rocks at Eagle Mountain. Photo by Tom Jow

A more natural intimidating feature of Utah trails are rocks. Sometimes a couple of big rocks, sometimes a small field of boulders. Occasionally there is a narrow line of rocks or a wooden bridge built up between surfaces. Mastering rough rocks and bridges requires being able to focus on the chosen line and little else. I recently found that Eagle Mountain Bike Park has an extensive skills area which includes two narrow, technical rock lines and wooden bridges in a variety of widths and elevation. The wood may seem wide, but add a little elevation and some angle and it will get your nerves jumpy.

Trailside Park in Park City has a variety of terrain including a nice area with low bridges of various widths. To practice these skills at speed, the builders at Trailside developed a short flow trail with technical rocks and bridges. What is really nice about Trailside is the very short climb required to do laps on the flow trails.

The author railing the berms at the West Valley pump track. Photo by Erik Reid

Flow trails, like at Trailside Park are a fantastic way to practice riding jumps and berms. Berms are banked turns designed to help the rider keep momentum. In addition to the tech trail mentioned earlier, Trailside also has beginner, intermediate and advanced flow lines. What is really nice here is a short climb back up to facilitate multiple laps. Berms are also a key feature of “pump” tracks. A pump track is like a flow trail, with rollers and berms, except flat. The idea behind pump tracks is to learn to “pump” the bike up and down the rollers to keep, or even increase your momentum around the track. My favorite pump track right now is located at Centennial Park in West Valley. Constructed of wood, the track has a rubberized surface for traction. The rubberized surface provides one hundred percent, confidence inspiring traction. Zipping around the berms on this track is incredibly fun.

This bridge at Eagle Mountain may be wide, but adding elevation makes it more challenging. Photo by Tom Jow

These are by no means the only bike parks in Utah, or across the country for that matter. They can be found in the city centers like the 9-Line, or adjacent to trails like Trailside and Eagle Mountain. The parks accommodate all riders from beginner to expert, and from toddlers to Moms and Dads. A wide variety of features can be found including jumps and berms. By by far the best feature though is fun. And perhaps some practice disguised as fun.

Got a bike question? Email Tom at [email protected]

Montana’s Last Best Ride Returns for 2022

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“The Last Best Ride Will Evolve Into a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit in its Second Year With 2022 Event Registration Opening on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11th”

The Last Best Ride, Montana’s premier gravel event, is back for its second edition in 2022, with weekend activities starting on Friday, August 19th and culminating with race day on Sunday August 21st.

Race organizer Jess Cerra, a Whitefish local and resident professional cyclist, looks to build on what she considers a wildly successful debut in 2021, which garnered over 550 registrants from all over the United States and Canada who flocked to Flathead County to take part in the event.

Riders taking in the beautiful Montana scenery at the 2021 Last Best Ride. Photo by Sean Malone, courtesy kjesdcx

“I wanted this event to be something novel and unique that would benefit our community,” remarks Cerra, when asked what her goals were when she created the event. “Not only did I want to use The Last Best Ride to showcase the spectacular riding and natural beauty in and around Whitefish to the burgeoning gravel cycling scene in the U.S. and beyond, but I also wanted to make sure that the event’s existence within the community worked in some way to better the lives of local residents.”

The latter part of Cerra’s aforementioned goal of the event derives largely from her own positive experience with community-based scholarships that afforded her the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education. According to Cerra, “I have always wanted to give back to the community that gave so much to me,” and consequently designed the event largely as a vehicle to fundraise for The Barbara Mansfield Champion Scholar Award, a program created in collaboration with local educators that would direct a portion of proceeds from race registration fees, as well as any supplemental donations, to local, financially-qualified high school women seeking post-secondary education.

Named after Cerra’s high school college counselor, who Cerra cites as one of the driving forces that helped her get into college, the Scholar Award Program raised over $20,000 in 2021 awarded to four local women. For 2022 and beyond, Cerra is working to retroactively qualify The Last Best Ride as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to further grow the scope of the Scholar Award Program.

“By designing the event around the Scholar Award Program, I’ve created an event such that just signing up means registrants play a part in bettering the lives of the locals of the community they visit, regardless of whether they want to donate more or not” says Cerra.

In addition, the Cerra hopes conversion to a 501(c)(3) will bolster the mentorship programs of The Last Best Ride. In 2021, Cerra, through the contributions of sponsors, was able to supply equipment, such as bikes, helmets, tools, and shoes, to 4 local women taking part in the event and coach them as they prepared. For Cerra, the ability to engage with young female athletes is invaluable: “I hope that I can expand on the mentorship capabilities that the event was able to offer in 2021,” says Cerra. “The benefits of sports and bikes brought so much positivity into my life, and I want to share that same positivity with the next generation of young women in the valley.

Registration for the 2022 event formally opens on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11th at 8am PST. If you are a Veteran or active-duty military, you may email your credential to [email protected] for a registration discount code.

To register please go HERE. For more information, visit www.thelastbestridemt.com. If you or any one you know are interested in volunteering, please visit www.thelastbestridemt.com/volunteer to sign up for a position.

Study: Sustainability is Important to Bike Share Users

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By Charles Pekow — Focus on ecological benefits if you want to promote bikeshare. At least it worked in Taiwan. Researchers at three Taiwanese universities reported that people prone to ride concern themselves with sustainability in transportation, at least in Taipei City, Taiwan's capital. “Our findings suggest authorities may promote bike sharing by enhancing user perceptions of the system's green value, increase trust in this form of green transportation, and thus foster higher levels of loyalty resulting in continued use of shared bicycles,” the authors report.

Users not only want to live sustainably; they are more likely to trust companies that promote the notion and are more likely to stick with a system that promotes environmental values. See https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353767661_Investigating_re-use_intentions_for_shared_bicycles_A_loyalty_phase_perspective.

 

Book Review: From Rails to Trails

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By Charles Pekow — Everything you'll need to know – and then some– about the rail-to-trail movement can be found in a new tome. And the author, Peter Harnik, should know more about the history than anyone. He, as much as anybody, has sparked and led the cause since its beginning as a national movement and we can thank him for the many converted railroad lines we now enjoy riding – and the many more sure to come.

Harnik cofounded the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy back in 1986, the organization that initially focused exclusively on converting abandoned railroads into recreational paths. (Note: I've known Harnik for decades and collaborated with him on some projects years ago.)

In From Rails to Trails: The Making of America's Active Transportation Network, Harnik tells the story of the movement, describing the legislative battles in Washington to get federal funding, and many state and local fights and the coping with non-believers and reluctant railroads. The book is not difficult to read.

It is, however, East Coast oriented as Harnik lives on the East Coast and describes many firsthand experiences. The unfortunate part for Mountain West folks is that it's the one region in the country that gets very little play and Harnik discusses projects closer to the nation's capital, with examples from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and so on, but not much out west.

But he gives a good overview, starting with the history of railroads and how these lines that connect towns by train unwittingly became ideal corridors for new means of transit between the communities. They tended to avoid steep hills and heavy traffic crossings whenever possible and include overpasses and bridges that work just as well for bicyclists and hikers since they became available with the 20th Century decline of rail transit, caused by everything from the rise of the auto to the Great Depression.

Harnik then takes us on a history of the bicycle and how it became practical and popular, and its ups (during World War II when auto production declined) and downs (post-war when the automobile caught on). We get a detailed history of the decline of the railroad, an essential part of the story but the reader gets tired of example after example.

Once we get the needed background, Harnik gives us a history of the rail-trail, starting with the prototypes before the concept caught on; such as the Illinois Prairie Path, Stony Valley Trail in Pennsylvania and the short Cathedral Aisle in South Carolina dating as far back as 1939. Then Harnik takes on a chronology of all the legislative battles it took to get crucial federal support. We read about some unsung heroes, including congressional staff member Tom Allison who worked behind the scenes to get legislation passed. (Then again, we never hear about congressional staffers who toil anonymously in favor of their bosses who need the publicity, but that's another matter.)

The first major federal funding for the movement came in the form of $25 million included in bigger railroad legislation, a common legislative tactic. As the book says, “there had been the 1968 National Trails System Act, but in comparison to canals, railroads, and roadways, trails had seemed laughingly unqualified for funding.”

As you'd expect, many Republicans opposed funding trails. The book sometimes gets bogged down in minutia about legislation, though.

But we learn the valuable lesson from the book on how much goes into the making of a rail-trail, even when the abandoned corridor lies there for the taking. But we learn of the victorious struggles, such as against the utility in Virginia initially reluctant to acquiesce to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Northern Virginia, now a well-used trail impossible to object to. (The electric company eventually saw the value.) A Baltimore County executive tried (but failed) to stop the Torrey Brown Rail Trail which runs from Cockeysville north of Baltimore to the Pennsylvania state line. Of course, the movement lost many battles, including the proposed Trail of Two Cities between Omaha and Lincoln Nebraska when other real estate interests outbid trail advocates.

And of course, many battles had to be fought in court and a chapter tells us of the significant legal decisions. Landowners wanted to expand their farms or backyards or didn't want people running and riding past their backyard. Some cases were won; some lost. But the movement won a major victory with a ruling that a corridor used for “public travel” didn't just mean trains. But other courts ruled that railroads could choose how to dispose of their real estate.

The book can’t be considered a “how-to”, but it does explain how Harnik's conservancy (of which I am a charter member) built a political base. He didn't claim to start the movement but the conservancy nationalized it, starting by looking to see what was already going on around the nation. It found trail conversion needed a triangle: “a formal plan of action, a public agency agreeing to own the facility, and an advocacy organization pushing for approval.” A chapter explains how to build a base – bicyclists alone probably won't do it though they often spearhead the drive; add other trail users, conservationists, etc. Doing so may require compromise – cyclists and equestrians have to learn to share.

There are all sorts of ways to turn skeptics around and deal with unique situations. The book will get you thinking about these matters. When a Wisconsin farmer complained about having to move cattle across the trail, the commission in charge agreed to include a special gate – and now watching the cows cross has become an attraction for trail users. Sometimes a philanthropist will buy the real estate if no government has the cash on hand. Different government agencies use different rules. Some concern themselves mainly with transportation; others with recreation. Tunnels and bridges are needed to get from here to there but present their own set of problems with structure, safety, vandalism, etc.

From Rails to Trails takes you in historical order through the necessary preconditions and prehistory of the rail-to-trail movement, the railroad, the bicycle, etc. The book shows how the movement formed and all entities you have to fight: legislatures, courts, communities, governments, and all the places trails can be built: urban, suburbs, rural, tunnel, etc.

Most trails replaced railroad tracks with pavement, suitable for all bikes, but some trails remain gravel. By and large, trails are flat and connect communities; they're not built for mountain biking.

If you want to start or expand a trail in your community (or between yours and another), you need to read this book. If you're already advocating for trails, you can pick up plenty of hints on what will work. Perhaps a subsequent book on bike advocacy can include examples from the Mountain West. And anyone who reads the book will have to come away with some appreciation for how the trails they ride got there.

From Rails to Trails: The Making of America's Active Transportation Network, 240-page paperback or e-book, $19.95, University of Nebraska Press, https://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/nebraska/9781496222060/.

 

Tanner Putt Named Director Sportif Of CS Velo Cycling Team For 2022

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (November 18, 2021) — Park City, Utah native and two-time U23 national champion Tanner Putt has been named team director for CS Velo Racing Team, a Philadelphia-based domestic elite and club cycling team.

Peak State Fit cycling coach Tanner Putt named team director for Philadelphia's CS Velo Racing TEam. Photo courtesy Peak State Fit.

The former United Healthcare standout and Hincapie veteran has been in some of the most respected programs in USA cycling. Putt has an intimate knowledge of what it takes to build a successful race team as he steps into his new role as DS for the Team.

“I'm extremely excited to join CS Velo Racing as the director for the 2022 season. Over the past few years, CS Velo has proven to be one of the top domestic elite teams in the country and I'm eager to help them build on that success and grow the program in the future,” says Putt. “We will have a full schedule in the U.S. including Pro Nationals, Tour of the Gila, Redlands, Joe Martin, and many major criteriums. Since ending my own professional racing career, I have aspired to direct a team and get back in the action. I'm thrilled to see that dream finally become a reality.”

CS (which stands for Combined Strength) Velo is built on the premise that people are stronger as a group than as individuals, both on the bike and in life. Many of the team members have experienced the untimely loss of friends and loved ones after battling illnesses like cancer. The team aims to underscore that a group is stronger, and with that combined strength, people can succeed in life and on the bike. Teammates are invited to add the name of a loved one in whose honor they ride to the team jersey each year, and together carry these names as they ride to remind people of their core value: Combined Strength. CS Velo riders intend to be “good guys” who ride and compete with a purpose.

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