How an Enduro Athlete Prepares for 24-hours on the Bicycle: Taylor Lideen

July 26, 2019
Mary & Taylor Lideen at home in Phoenix. Copyright Kenny Wehn / Pivot Cycles.

We first met Taylor Lideen at the 2019 Dirty Kanza training camp and then seemed to run into him everywhere we went during the first half of 2019. Whenever we saw him he was riding hard and constantly sporting a smile and a positive attitude. He’s been riding since he was 2 years old and has racked up plenty of career highs including a second place finish at the 2018 24-hour World Championship MTB race and 2018 top 10 at Gravel Worlds. Taylor rides gravel, road, and mountain bikes, but loves enduro for the adventure and mental challenge. We’re excited to welcome Taylor to the Chamois Butt’r family! 

Tomorrow he’s racing the WEBMO 24-hour MTB race in Brazil and he shared his strategy from mental toughness to drop bags that allow him to persevere in the eduro sport he loves. We’re happy to say Chamois Butt’r Coconut made the cut! We learned a lot from the preparation he shared and gained even more respect for this elite athlete’s mental toughness and gratitude for the people in his corner. Go Team Lideen! 

The Brasil Ride will have live coverage for this weekend’s WEMBO World 24H MTB Championship. The links below will keep you in the loop: 
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BrasiRide/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brasilride 

CB: What are your goals for Brazil?

TL: “The goal for us is to simply go there and empty the tank mentally and physically. Results are great and all, but these 24-hour mountain bike races are so much more than a race to (my wife) Mary and I! It’s always a life experience for the both of us and so long as we have fun, we will be happy!”

CB: How did you prepare for the race?

TL: “For me the mental side is equally as important as the physical. Training for a 24-hour solo during the summer has been difficult here in Phoenix so I have been doing a ton of rides starting at 2AM to try and beat the heat somewhat. Those early mornings also have some mental benefits in my personal opinion. I am so fortunate to have an amazing coach, Lynda Wallenfels, along with a sports psychologist, Kristin Keim. They offer so much insight and I am super thankful for those two. Of course, my wife Mary is a massive part of these events. She is always there for me during prep and I feel like the luckiest guy in the world with her by my side.”

CB: What’s your bike setup for this race?

TL: “We are bringing two identical Pivot Mach 4 SL’s for the race – I like to call them, ‘The Twins.’ It’s really important to have a backup bike during a lap race, and we regularly do bike changes (every few laps). We are super excited on the USA decals for these things that Pivot and Stans generously had made up by Victory Circle Graphics out of Golden, Colorado. They match great with the DNA Cycling kits that were custom made as well. My bikes will be set up with a few of my favorite bits including Stans Podium SRD wheels, Shimano XTR 12 speed drivetrain, Bike TOGS, Ergon saddle and grips, Maxxis Aspen tires, Exposure Lights and Fox Live Valve suspension. I don’t have any words for how grateful I am to all of these guys for the amazing support. They are all rock stars in my book!”

CB: What kind of Chamois Butt’r do you use?

TL: “The Coconut Chamois Butt’r is the go-to for sure! I have used plenty of other brands of chamois cream but found that I had to reapply pretty often for any rides longer than 6 hours and I usually don’t want to take the time to do that. With the Chamois Butt’r Coconut I apply and never worry! And it smells amazing.”

CB: Must have items you’re taking to Brazil? 

TL: “So many must have items, haha! For me personally, I really focus on having a certain mindset and feeling before heading off to a big race like this. I always need to take inventory of the opportunity I have been presented, and the tools I have to do the job I love. Having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for opportunities like this is #1 in my book. Feeling like that really fuels the fire and allows us to be present each and every moment during the trip!”

CB: Any tips for bike travel? Travel hacks or packing hacks that you’ve learned over the years or last year’s race in Scotland?

TL: “Traveling is always the biggest stressor for me as we usually drive to all of the events. I am so lucky that Mary loves the details that go into travel and she is so amazing at getting the logistics all dialed in. I seriously don’t know what I would do without her, haha! So with that said, hire a personal travel agent or marry one 😊 I also always brings plenty of spares. With how much prep goes into these things it’s best to have all your bases covered. For example, last year we brought 5 extra sets of brake pads to Scotland and used all of them during that rainy 24 hour. I always recommend bringing two pairs of shoes though for sure!”

CB: How do you push through or stay awake during a 24 hour race?

TL: “There are so many elements to this one. I never really get sleepy during the race, because I am too busy having a blast out there on the bike with all the other racers. Of course you have dark moments, but reminding myself to stay present and not think too far ahead has been something that really works well for me. The one tip I will give is to taper off of caffeine a couple weeks before a big event like this – that way when you use it during the race it really kicks in. I make sure to bring a surplus of my Infinit Nutrition caffeine, which keeps me pretty wired!”

CB: What are you looking forward to the most about the race?

TL: “We are looking forward to visiting South America for the first time for sure! During the race, the thing that always stands out to me is between 2-5AM. That’s when things are really tough, and you really learn a lot about yourself. I always look forward to seeing Mary as I come through the pits each lap! Seeing how motivated she is, and her big smile keeps the legs going.”

CB: What are you grateful for? 

TL: “Sooooo many things…. Mary for sure! She is my everything, especially during these races and I seriously don’t know how she does what she does during them. She is always so enthusiastic regardless of how it is going, and that is something special. Family and friends who are always checking in and provide so much help before during and after these things. All of the incredible companies that generously help us and just want to see us be happy and not put pressure on producing a “result”. All of these things are by far the most important aspect for us. We are beyond grateful to be able to travel and visit places we otherwise wouldn’t go. I certainly don’t take any of this for granted, that’s for sure!”

CB: What goes in your drop bag for stops?

TL: “You’ll have to ask Mary for this one… haha. No, with lap races like 24-hour mountain bike events we luckily don’t have to deal with drop bags. There is a pit alley where each rider has a tent and their support crew hands off nutrition as well as takes care of light and bike swaps. I mainly do liquid nutrition during these things in the form of Infinit Nutrition bottles and that works really well for me!”

“Other things Mary will hand off to me are:

  • Almond butter and jelly/honey sandwiches on gluten free bread
  • Hot soup (when it is cold out)
  • Eggs with lots of salt and avocado
  • Rice
  • Rice crispy bars
  • Really anything that won’t upset my stomach too much but gives me something to look forward to when I come through the pits.”

CB: Favorite junk food?

TL: “Hot wings for sure :)”

CB: Pre-race ritual?

TL: “I don’t really have any pre-race rituals per se, but I do like to reminisce on the dark moments a lot the weeks leading into the races and prepare myself for those times in the coming event. I try and get myself excited for those times, that way they don’t seem so foreign when you get there.” 

CB: There’s no right answer, where does the Chamois Butt’r go first? Your skin or chamois pad?

TL: “Haha! I change it up honestly! For rides I typically put it on my skin directly, but for these really long races I use a massive amount directly on the chamois. I am truly blown away at how amazing Chamois Butt’r is in that I really only need to apply it once and then I’m good for the day. I have had a really, really bad past with some serious saddle-sore issues, but now that I am on crazy comfortable Ergon Saddles paired with Chamois Butt’r I roll in comfort :)” 

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