Paceline Podcast 149

Paceline Podcast 149

The UCI has announced the first-ever eMTB world championships. There will be multiple categories for both men and women and the prize money will be equal. Of course, there are people who think that this should be sanctioned by the American Motorcycle Association, not the Union Cycliste Internationale. And then there are questions about how hard it can be to ride a 55-lb. bike into a rock garden at 15 mph. Selene takes on this new kind of race and the discussion may surprise you.

Heidi Rentz of the Cyclist’s Menu at the finish of Dirty Kanza, with CGO Jim Cummins at the edge of the frame.

Patrick interviews Dirty Kanza’s Chief Gravel Officer, Jim Cummins. There have been a few changes to Dirty Kanza following their purchase by Lifetime Fitness and Cummins explains what that new horsepower does for the race. After his experience riding the Half Pint (only 100 mi.) in 2017, Patrick has concluded that the smartest thing he can do is return to Emporia, Kansas, and ride the entire enchilada. Selene counsels him on how not to be stupid.

They also take a swipe at the way officials shut down a breakaway in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad after the leader caught the men’s field.



The Paceline is supported by Eliel Cycling. Crafted in California, the Eliel brand combines the latest technology with cycling tradition to deliver an experience that is authentically California. View their retail gear and custom program at


Show links:

Selene’s story on the eMTB championships

Patrick’s piece on NAHBS judging criteria

Specialized EXOS shoes

Camelbak Podium Dirt Bottle

, , , , , ,


  1. Stuart

    Hi Paceline, There seems to be an issue with the audio. I think you have uploaded last weeks episode by mistake?

  2. Author

    Okay, fixed now. There was a problem saving the file at Soundcloud. Sorry for the inconvenience (and confusion).

    1. Author

      Thanks! Your prayers could end up being the most helpful of all.

      “Who’s that? I never hear from that guy. I should help him out.”

  3. tominalbany

    Great show! Regarding $500 shoes, I realize you get what you pay for, in most cases anyway. But half a grand?!? I’d say it is easier to come up with $150 ever couple or three years or, more likely, make what you have work and repair as you’re able.

    1. Selene Yeager

      I really struggle with that price tag too! And that’s exactly how I reacted: “Half a grand?!” The hope is that the technology trickles down to make more affordable shoes even more great.

  4. Neil Winkelmann

    Great podcast and thanks for answering my question. Practice to go hard, even when tired, is the message I’m taking away.

    See you in Emporia Patrick. I’m going to keep an eye out and say hello if I spot you. Don’t be creeped out. Good luck with the training.

    On expensive shoes, I’ve always been prepared to pay a lot for really excellent cycling shoes as I spend a lot of hours in them, compared to say, running shoes. But I value comfort and especially durability (5 years is the minimum I expect for a set of road shoes) over the last word in lightness so those Specialized shoes might not be on my list.

    Another listener question for #DK200. Jim talks about tyre durability. My suspicion is that a lot of flats are caused by running tyres too soft, thus allowing the sidewalls to be squashed down onto the flinty rocks. I ran mine pretty firm last year and had zero issues. Do you think this is actually a trade-off to consider? Where is the sweet-spot of comfort and reliability? I don’t think what people used to call “pinch flats” are really a thing at at all now, as we’re all running tubeless, but I do think too soft, and the sidewalls take a beating on the rocks. What do you think?

    1. Selene Yeager

      I tend to run mine a little on the firmer side for that exact reason. I HATE dealing with flats and tears and the like. I didn’t have any troubles last time either. I don’t know that elusive sweet spot honestly. If you ask 10 riders, you’ll get 10 different answers. It’s one of those very personal preference things that depends on how you ride, what you weigh, the terrain, the tire, etc. But new tires with fresh sealant go a long way.

    2. Author

      It’s always nice to have either a reader or listener say hi. Please do say something when you pass me.

      There are a couple of things to consider about tire pressure, and please, these are just things to think about; they are not prescriptions:
      1. A softer tire will deform more over rocks.
      2. In carnivals, in the game where you pop balloons with darts, the carnies will purposely inflate the balloon only enough to make it look inflated; the more it gives when the point hits, the less likely the point is to pierce the balloon.
      3. If you over-inflate a tire, your bike will give you a rougher ride, which can result in more fatigue for you.
      4. If you over-inflate a tire, rolling resistance will actually rise.

      I run a 40mm tire at about 35 psi. I run 38s just below 40 psi. I run 35s at about 45 psi and 32s at 50-55 psi. I NEVER run a 32mm tire at more than 60 psi. Also, I don’t flat.

    3. Neil Winkelmann

      Thanks guys. I totally get what you’re saying about tyre deformation and pressure. But the sidewalls are less protected are more vulnerable, so the less often they gat squished into the flinty stones the better. It’s a trade-off for sure. I’d think supple but tough sidewalls would help. I’ll be running 120tpi 40mm Ramblers at DK.

      Considering the fatigue and rolling resistance as well, it is complex. But I might back it off a few psi this year.

  5. JP

    Everything Selene had to say about DK is spot on. Every bit. (Uh, except the stuff about salty food. Vinegar potato chips at last stop are mandatory. This won’t make sense until you’re 20 miles out from it.)
    And Patrick, you were talking in terms of a “double century.” Miles is not really the yardstick for understanding this, as the nature of the event distorts the “how many miles?” scale that roadies use for pondering the magnitude of a ride.

    1. Author

      I can totally appreciate that DK200 is nothing like a double century on the road. I’m still trying to wrap my head around four 50-mile rides.

    2. JP

      Sorry….Didn’t mean that as criticism….more like trying to explain how the way that race distorts time and space retooled my frame of reference about ride distance.
      Much like an incredibly steep gravel 100-miler two months earlier had forever changed the way I look at “feet of climbing” on a course description.
      The difference dbeween 10,000 feet of 2-6 percent rolllers and the same vertical distance of 10-19 percent hour-long climbs will sear in a smoldering permanent resentment of gravity, despite all the good that it does for us.

    3. Author

      Don’t worry; I didn’t read your comment as criticism. And yes, ongoing rollers will do a different kind of damage, one that should not be underestimated.

  6. Ron

    I’m stoked about your entrance into DK and really look forward to hearing all about your preparation and bike/gear selection.

    As a working class rural kid who grew up without a lot of things, some things I did grow up with were mini-bikes and then motocross and trail bikes. I grew tired of the motorized experience but then discovered bicycles, which I fell wildly in love with for life.

    In that light, I’m just not stoked about e-bikes. Without dipping into the toxic realm of ranting hyperbole, I’ll say that they might not be motorcycles, but they’re not ever going to be particularly interesting to those of us who are specifically hooked on bikes where your legs are, you know, the only motor. Watch people race e-bikes? Good lord, for those who have raced motocross, this sounds like a good excuse to go bowling instead.

    1. Author

      I hear you loud and clear. I love regular bikes. There’s not much racing at all that I like to watch anymore, other than women. I will say that I suspect that my preference for regular bikes will wane sometime around my 70th birthday, and hopefully not before. I don’t think I want to give up riding on the terrain I love.

  7. Annie Bilotta

    Great episode, nice to hear all the tips about DK200! I will be doing this as well, for my 60th birthday present to myself. Patrick, if you find yourself going out too fast just hang back and look for me. I’m all about pacing myself. I hope to finish by midnight but really l’ll be ecstatic to finish whatever time. I’m not fast but I don’t give up.

  8. John Knowlton

    Selene, a quick comment about core strength training. For the past three months I have been in the gym doing weighted squats, lunges and deadlifts, along with lots of sit ups, supermans, and side plank dips. Last week I rode an MTB trail that I hadn’t visited since fall. It is a machine built course with lots of steep puchy stuff. There was about an inch of snow on the ground, so traction was sketchy. I was AMAZED by how effectively I was able to keep the bike on the trail. My balance was great, I could hold my position when tires lost their grip, etc. It was the first real-live practical effect of doing all that core work. Very cool.

    1. Selene

      Nice! That’s exactly where I feel all that work–on technical mountain bike terrain. It’s always satisfying when you can actually feel it all working!

  9. Ted Jones

    Hey this goes back to early December-ish episode about Mark Weir and his heart condition. Wanted to let you know that it was that story (and your talking about it on PaceLine) that got me in to see my doctor. It had been in the back of my mind for a couple years as I’ve had the rare “oh that’s a new pain” thing and at 54 I’m in that range. No real symptoms otherwise and my annual health screenings at work have never been cause for concern.

    So I go to the doc with all of this, wanting to get a stress test/screen for cardiac disease… ECG is a little odd, so they refer me to get an echocardiogram. That was generally OK but “mild left ventricular hypertrophy” to which I say “oh that’s athletic heart right?” Maybe…

    Find a sports-cardiologist who reviews the echo and says lets do a stress test-echo. My baseline blood pressure is 146/82, but I admitted to being a little reved up since I feel like this test is a race or something. Did openers the day before, typical pre race meal and coffee, etc.

    During the test my BP also peaked at 215/72, to which they said this was probably causing the LVH. But the test itself, a ramp test on a treadmill, I generally felt fine. Echo was also good during all of that, just the high BP.

    The doctors response; take blood pressure meds. I said “how about I cut sodium”. They said “take meds”. So I’m doing both and after two weeks feel SO MUCH BETTER. I had an indigestion feeling during workouts that took an hour or so to clear up, but wasn’t sure what that meant. I could also “feel” my pulse all the time by just standing still, which has gone away.

    So this looks like an early catch for hypertension and something that motivated me to stop eating so much processed food and salt. My unregulated diet before was WAY over the 2300 mg/day max for sodium!

    More to follow as I think this will also help with FTP!

    1. Selene Yeager

      THANK YOU for sharing your story! And I’m so glad you were inspired (and then followed up) to get care. I know how hard that can be. Please keep us posted!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *