I first met Taylor last summer when he started working at the shop. Initially dismissed as the new shop grom, I eventually found myself having more and more in-depth conversations with him about 24 hour races and long off road tours. Come to find out, in 2009, the he was the under 25 World Champion for solo 24 hour racing. Then he came back to get second in 2010 worlds in Australia. This kid has Arizona mountain biking in his blood. On any given day of the week you can see him on South Mountain where he says he does about 95% of his training. The only thing more impressive than his fitness is his constant positive attitude. The stoke runs deep with this one.
Lets take a look at his setup and see how he answered the same questions I asked Jon:
Name: Taylor Lideen
Frame and fork: 2011 Stumpjumper EVO carbon HT with a Rock Shox Reba fork
Drivetrain: X9 cranks, X0 shifters and derailleurs with Avid Elixir brakes and XTR pedals
Wheels and tires: Stans Arch 29er rims laced to Chris King hubs. Specialized Captain 2.2 for a front tire and Specialized Fast Track 2.0 in the rear
Cockpit: Specialized Henge seat mounted to a Moots Ti post. Salso pro moto flat bar with ESI grips and Profile clip on aero bars
Pack and frame bags: Revelate Designs frame bag, gas tank, and two mountain feed bags. Carousel Design Works bar and seat bag along with their Fuel cell. 2, Twofish bottle holders mounted to the fork legs
Clothing and camping gear: Garmin Edge 800, Osprey Manta 30 Pack with a 100 oz bladder, Mountain Hardware Phantom 32 down sleeping bag, Therm-a-Rest Prolight pad, Outdoor Research Aurora bivy, Fenix LD20 Flashlight, Princeton Tec EOS Light, Specialized Expert mountain shoes, Assos bibs, shop jersey, Specialized Prevail Helmet, Smith glasses, plenty of warm clothes, rain gear, down jacket, 3 bottles, and a bunch of other little things.
DB: First and foremost, why would you want to do such a brutal ride?
TL: I guess just to get away from the normal everyday things. It’s going to be crazy to think that when you wake up in the morning all you have to do is ride your bike, that’s it.
DB: CERA, EPO, or HGH?
TL:Well my body type obviously gives it away that I am on HGH because of how huge I am. People have been telling me to slim down but I keep packing on the pounds, pure muscle of course, thanks to the shake weight. Joking of course! But no, nothing like that for me.
DB: Are you worried about saddle sores and are you taking any special precautions?
TL: I am a little bit worried about saddle sores but I am bringing a ton of chamois cream and other stuff like that.
DB: Are you bringing music and what would your number one playlist consist of?
TL: I am definitely bringing music! My ipod is loaded. I listen to everything but love me some Johnny Cash, Macklemore, Aesop Rock, NIN, and Atmosphere. I have a feeling “Get Rhythm” is going to be the song of the trip.
DB: One reader wants to know if you have altered your diet to get your body ready for all of the gas station food you are going to encounter along the route?
TL: I haven’t changed my diet much for the race other than eating a bit more. The food is actually one of my biggest worries about the trip. I have a super crazy stomach, but nothing pepto and tums can’t fix.
DB:You normally race marathon XC and other single day/24hr endurance events, how has your training changed to prepare for this event?
TL: My training hasn’t really changed much from previous years of riding. The only thing different has been training with the bike packed down, and spending the night on the trail. To me the race is more of a mental thing than fitness and training. Obviously you want to be fit, but I think you just need to get into a routine or ride, eat, sleep.
DB: A reader wants to know that if you were in a pinch would you drink your own piss like that Bear guy from TV?
TL: It would have to be bad to drink my own piss! I have a feeling Jon would enjoy drinking piss.
DB:From what I understand, you and Jon are going to try and ride the race together. As cute as that sounds don’t you think you will eventually settle into your own pace and separate?
TL: I think there is a good chance of that happening, but something I will try and avoid. For me, being the youngest one out there, having an awesome friend out there with me will help mentally. Jon is super strong both physically and mentally so staying with him will really help me. I wouldn’t be attempting this event if it weren’t for Jon. But, if we do separate, the first one to reach the border will be waiting and cheering for the other for sure.
DB: How do you feel your chances are for completing the ride and what are your goals?
TL: I like to think I will complete the adventure. Who knows though, anything can happen on such a long ride. If you can stay positive throughout the experience and take it one day at a time, I believe I will finish. The only goals I have are to finish and have as much fun as possible.
DB: Any last thoughts or thank you’s?
TL: So many people to thank! Mom and Dad, my girlfriend Mary, Dan and Craig as well as everyone else from South Mountain Cycles, Scott from Specialized. All of my friends and family and everyone who has supported us for this ride. All of the support and encouragement has been absolutely amazing! I could go on forever, but THANK YOU EVERYONE!! I hope all the racers have a safe and awesome experience!
-The DC family wishes Taylor and Jon the best of luck on their journey and I look forward to interviewing them after they reach the Mexican border.by