Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

blood, sweat & GEARS.(Final)

Byline: Story by Will Webber Photographs by Josh Stephenson *of the Journal

IN THE NOMADIC WORLD OF MOUNTAIN BIKE RACING, INJURIES ARE BADGES OF HONOR AND SPONSORS ARE THE GOLDEN FLEECE

ANGEL FIRE -- Like a band of gypsies, the hundreds of men and women who compete in the semi-pro Mountain States Cup biking circuit live in a world all their own.

Seemingly oblivious to the stresses and strains of everyday life, they don't think twice about living out of the back of a trailer for weeks at a time, and rarely do they question the sanity of dropping $6,000 on a bike that, in most cases, doesn't last beyond one season.

"It's a lifestyle that all of us are attracted to, I guess," said Robin Valoochi, a 21-year-old college student from California who was one of hundreds of racers taking part in the 25th annual Chile Challenge two weekends ago at Angel Fire Ski Resort. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.