Taking advantage of a thriving Southern California mountain bike scene, Project Bike Love members have been competing in a number of different races this season, finding podium success while continually flying the Project Bike Love flag.
Project Bike Love member Taylor Saul was persuaded into racing Over the Hump by fellow PBL members, moving away from her more usual gravity fed style of racing.
“My first race experience was tough but super awesome. The suffer was real, I have never seen my heart rate so high. When I crossed the finish line my heart rate was 198 bpm, that's huge! But overall it was a great experience because I went back the next week for more! The best part about racing XC is seeing how far you can actually push your body and seeing how far your limits actually are,” said Taylor.
Taylor is also racing the Kenda Cup SoCal Enduro Series, recently finishing 1st place at the Snow Summit round.
Co-founder Belén is taking some time away from racing mountain bikes to concentrate on training for her first half Iron Man, taking place on July 10. She’s been concentrating on developing her road bike skills and is looking forward to the challenging event. “I swim/bike/run because I’m alive and because I Can. The Why? Barely ever comes,” says Belén.
After a successful 2015 racing season, co-founder Erin Machan made the decision to move to elite at the Over the Hump series. “Moving to elite has many different variables of transition, when it comes to results I am stoked just to finish and not come in last. Second to last is a victory! There is definitely a transition from being one of the fastest in your class to one of the slowest, but I force myself to do it even when I feel embarrassed or lame. I guess this year is all about the personal challenge as opposed to competition with others. I’m not going to get any better staying comfortable,” said Erin.
Away from the Over the Hump series, Erin has enjoyed great early season success. “I managed to grab a 3rd place finish at the Sea Otter Classic in the Cat 2 XC race. I also managed a 2nd place at the Big Bear Enduro a couple weeks ago!” Erin’s main focus for 2016 is longer endurance races such as Breck Epic and Leadville.
After coming back from an injury at the beginning of 2016, PBL group leader Amy Stonich has concentrated her racing efforts on the Over the Hump Series. “Each week, I look forward to the mid-week racing series with all my friends. This is only my second year of doing this series and I feel like I've made huge strides of improvement with my racing skills and it's been a boost to my confidence,” said Amy. Though not all her races have gone well, Amy’s consistent attendance and commitment have begun to pay off, leaving her ranked second in the women’s sport category.
Project Bike Love has a booth at Over the Hump every week and hopes to see everyone when the series resumes on Tuesday, July 19 at Irvine Lake.