2012 Tour Divide Rider: Mel Liebling

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Next up is Mel Liebling. Mel has been on a steady rise in the mountain bike scene since moving to Arizona from Ohio a couple years ago. My first encounter with her was during the first lap of a 12 hour race. She was having some flat tire issues and I stopped to help her out. She then went on to win the damn race! We eventually ended up in the same social circles and I was able to get her off her bike for a couple hours to answer some questions.

2012 has been a break out year for her cycling career. The highlight being a solo single speed win at the 24 hours in the Old Pueblo back in February along with some other great showings this winter. Check out her video interview and bike check and find out what drives this young lady to attempt a 2700 mile ride on a single speed.

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Age: 33

Hometown: Tucson, AZ

Frame and fork: Niner S.I.R. 9 with Fox Float 29 fork

Drivetrain: Surly 32t stainless steel chainring, Niner 19t Alloy cog, Miche Pista Track Chain, Rotor 3D Cranks with Crankbrothers Candy pedals

Wheels and tires: Stan’s ZTR Crest 29er rims with Continental Race King 2.2 tires

Cockpit: Whisky 7 Carbon handlebars, Ergon GS2 Carbon grips, Oval Concepts aero bars. Fizik Vesta saddle, Avid Juicy 7/5 brakes

Pack and frame bags: Revelate Designs Pika seat bag with Spoket, New Handlebar bag, Gas Tank and Jerrycan. Osprey Viper 4 hydration pack (to be picked up in Salida, CO)

Clothing and camping gear: Outdoor Research Aurora Bivy, Big Agnes Women’s Peggy SL 15 degree sleeping bag with Insulated Air Core pad and Air Core pillow. Mountain Hardware rain pants, The North Face rain jacket, Patagonia Ultralight Down jacket, Outdoor Research Revel Shell Mitts and Women’s PL 400 Mitts, Gore Tex socks, Pearl Izumi shoe covers, Smartwool sleeveless, short sleeve, and long sleeve base layers, leggings, arm warmers, knee warmers, beanie. Swiftwick wool socks, Answer riding gloves, Bonk Breaker team kit, TriSports.com kit

Electronics: Garmin Edge 800, Cat Eye Enduro cyclocomputer, Nite Rider Cherry Bomb and Mako 2 Watt, SPOT 2

Other: Genuine Innovations tire repair, Chamois Butt’r, route maps, notebook and pen, headlamp and mini flashlight, bike repair parts and multi-tool

Thank you to the companies that have helped me make this possible: Bonk Breaker, Nite Rider, Genuine Innovations, Chamios Butt’er, Trisports.com, POC, Answer Products, Contour, Garmin, Big Agnes, Osprey Packs

Extra Special Thanks to: My Mom and Dad, Susan Meeker, Devon Balet, Mark Lee, Axel Golden and all my friends and fellow riders along the way!


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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single women and single malt. Currently in Carbondale, CO Follow on Instagram @dirty_biker

17 Replies to “2012 Tour Divide Rider: Mel Liebling”

  1. You HAVE to love a girl that has conversations with her bike. Good luck…I get the chills just thinking about this ride. The power of some people is simply amazing.

  2. So badass! I love endurance riding but I can’t even begin to fathom what kinda guts this takes. Mel is good people too. One of the friendliest and most driven I’ve met in the mtb scene.

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  4. She is tough as nails! No doubt she will be finishing and setting records! That girl is the only thing that can slow herself down.

  5. i really admire the courage of these bicycle riders when facing these difficult questions. in the saddle, or in the food booth, the guts of these mankinds are made of stones.

    excellent journalismic endeavor, herr dirt.

  6. That girl is a goddamn cyclist. No more. no less.

    Nice work on these interviews Dirty, they get me stoked to hit the long rides. Keep them coming!

  7. Good luck! Wish I had her balls..Once you meet this challenge what’s next an out and back??

  8. I want to know if she is going to fuel her entire race off of Hot Dogs. At 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo we camped next to her and that’s all she ate during the race!!!
    She’s gnar gnar

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