Epic Endurance racer Bryan Alders answered some questions for us. He is a top level racer who lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Heís claimed to have said he would never race because he just wanted to ride for fun. Nearly a decade of racing later, he talked to MTB Race News about his newly formed team and howís heís developed into the racer he is now.
Read his full interview below.
MTB Race News: Where did you grow up? How did you get into mountain biking?
Bryan Alders: I grew up in Lake Tahoe, CA. I had a bike, but I never really rode it much. My good friend, Wayne, was doing a lot of mountain biking at the time and convinced me to do a few rides and we started riding more and more often. I began to enjoy it more and more - I was probably a freshman in high school.
MTB Race News: What was your first bike?
Bryan Alders: My first bike was blue. My second bike was a 24íí purple Trek. It was a rigid. I let my friend borrow it once, and he ran it so hard into a parked car that he bent the fork. I got a front suspension upgrade. Bonus.
MTB Race News: And, Iíve heard stories about how you never really planned to race...
Bryan Alders: Wayne and my family friends, the Griffos, did a lot of mountain bike racing. They were the first ones to convince me to go do my first race in Reno, NV. I got second. They actually said that I won, but I think they other guy was so far ahead that they didnít count him, so Iím going with second.
MTB Race News: So, from there, it was game over. Since then, youíve raced hundreds (is that fair to say?) of trails. If you had to pick one to claim as your favorite, you would pick...?
Bryan Alders: I donít know the name of my favorite trail. But it was the trail on day 4 of the 2009 BC Bike Race. It was real fast, smooth single track that went on all day long and ended with a 45 minute ripping single track descent back to sea level. I would like to go back to it sometime.
MTB Race News: And you have a new team this year - a new team to the sport, Epic Endurance Cycling - how did you get hooked up with them?
Bryan Alders: Come late November of last year, I heard about them through Sonya Looney. She mentioned that they had an endurance focus (which I had a background in) and that I might be interested in talking with the team manager, Bill Wheeler. Itís [racing with Epic Endurance] certainly been a different experience than my past teams. My team mates this year are good at reminding me that we race because we love riding our bikes versus being out there to win all the time.
MTB Race News: What draws you to endurance racing? Whatís the most memorable endurance race for you?
Bryan Alders: You get more bang for your buck. If youíre going to spend the time and resources to fly across the country, it seems to make more sense to be there, racing, for a longer period of time so you can enjoy more of what the area has to offer. Endurance events allow you to do that. La Ruta was the most memorable endurance race Iíve done. It stands out because each day was so physically demanding. Iíd go back.
MTB Race News: Is there one defining moment when you knew you would be racing forever?
Bryan Alders: Itís been such a slow build. You canít just go to your first race and know you are going to do it for a living. You have to go to that race, try a few more, and progress. There have been a couple "I think this is workingĒ moments - like my first top 10 at Short Track Nationals - but itís been learning through racing experiences, being around lots of others that are successful at mountain biking that has helped me progress.
MTB Race News: What does a guy like you do while not training or racing?
Bryan Alders: I work 30-40 hours a week (depending on the season) as the buyer for our local bike shop, Full Cycle, here in Boulder, CO.
MTB Race News: If you had to pick one mountain biking legend as your favorite, who would you choose? And why?
Bryan Alders: Iím going to have to say Tinker Juarez because Iíve had the opportunity to get to know him. I truly believe that, as crazy as Tinker is sometimes, he races his bike and is still good at it because heís the most passionate person in mountain bike racing. He truly loves it.
MTB Race News: If you could change the outcome of any one race that youíve done, what would it be?
Bryan Alders: Iím pretty happy with all of the outcomes of the races Iíve done. I think any of the
outcomes Iíve done poorly, has been a learning experience. I donít think I would go back and change it because then I wouldnítve learned. Although, there have been a couple of big races I wish I would have packed more clothing for - like Leadville.
MTB Race News: Whatís up for the rest of the season? Any plans for Cyclocross season?
Bryan Alders: Iíve got Cross Country Nationals and Marathon National coming up, and Iíd like to fit in a stage race. I just bought a really nice cyclocross bike, so I should go out and race. If I can go into the season motivated, I do plan on doing a big year of cross.