The B-Team

IMG_4156Don’t be fooled. The B-team is fast. They see themselves as a more casual alternative to the young guns going hell for leather, but each of them is fit and fast and formidable in their own right.

They are Matt, Jenny, Roger, Cris, and Dan, aka Dancing Roy.

Jenny says the team’s philosophy is to “take care of each other and ride steady on the roads, save your energy for the trails, be shark-like at stops, except when we opt for a sit down, waiter-serviced lunch.  By a waterfall.  Martinis optional.”

IMG_4089The team came together on last year’s Maneha 250.

Matt explains, “By chance we ended up riding together at last year’s Maneha and we became the “B-team.” We all knew each other and had individually ridden with each other at times, but never as a group. The 4 of us Cris, Roger, Dan and myself really just ride well together, have fun, support each other, and I feel that we all make each other better riders. Jenny rode with us at this year’s Wintertide Ride, and it was clear that she would be a great addition to the B-team. She may be the strongest of the group. She is super positive and never shows any weakness. Basically she raises us all to B+.”

IMG_20160515_194459Roger adds, “The B-Team formed by accident and was bonded by shared work and suffering. Finding a group of people who can ride well together is hard. Finding a group of people who inspire you is harder. Finding both of those things by chance during a long  hard ride is statistically hard to imagine. But there it is. That is how the B-Team formed.”

You won’t find many photos of Dan from the B-team’s adventure, because he broke his pelvis on a training ride with the rest of the crew. Not knowing how badly he was hurt, the team kept riding after his crash and visited a bar or two before it became clear he needed medical attention.

IMG_4141When you speak with them, what becomes clear right away is that the ability to put a brave, even humorous, face on the darkest moments is what makes them such a good team.

Cris backs that up, saying, “Regardless of how deep into a ride and tired we are, this team lights up when it hits the trails. Things get rad and fast and flow-y. And everyone seems to ride even better because no matter whose wheel you are following, it’s picking inspiring lines and going fast.  With Matt being our super ace in this respect.”IMG_20160515_193631At this year’s Maneha, Matt says, “A highlight for me was actually a low moment. I was suffering through some “dark miles” about midway on day one, wanting the group to ride ahead, and I would solo it in. The team was not having it, dragged me to lunch with sit down table service by a waterfall in some old mill town. It was just what I needed to get some gas again and finish with the group. It was a longer break than anyone but me wanted to sit, but it was 100% about getting us to the line together. On day two I found my legs and I hope that I re-paid the favor.”

IMG_4146It says something about the B-team that Dan, walking with a cane, followed them online, texting in for updates, and then met the others at the overnight stop for dinner and beers.

Roger says, “Bikes introduce you to the most amazing people and places.   That is my take on the B-Team.”

2015 Dusk to Dawn Ride

June’s Dusk to Dawn Ride was another inaugural event for Overland Base Camp, the more organized incarnation of our own Rob V‘s obsession with dirt and mixed-terrain riding. D2D indulges Rob’s penchant for late night adventures, serving up 85 miles of crazy trail sections linked by pavement. A bonfire at the turnaround gave riders an opportunity to refuel.

Out of the Night - video image - Rob Vandermark

This style of riding demands a lot (including a SPOT tracker and enough battery to power lights through most of a night on the trail), not just physically, but also mentally. All your concentration is riveted on a patch of light ahead of your front tire, and staying upright depends on reading the line quickly.

This edition of D2D was plagued by downpours, but all the riders finished safely and happily, if not completely exhausted.

Some photos below:


Mesmerized by the Dusk to Dawn Fire - photo - Rob VandermarkOn the Bridge of Dusk to Dawn - photo - Rob VandermarkThe Rain Returns at the Dusk to Dawn Ride - photo Rob VandermarkThinking About Beginning the Next Leg of the Dusk to Dawn - photo - Rob VandermarkDrying Feet and Shoes at the Dusk to Dawn Ride - photo - Rob Vandermark