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St. Mary’s Regional Hospital is the largest medical center between Denver and Salt Lake City. Serving the healthcare needs of western Colorado and eastern Utah for more than 125 years, St. Mary’s has a rich history of serving the many needs of its community. St. Mary’s Medical Center is part of the Intermountain Health system which operates multiple clinics and hospitals in Colorado and six other western states including Rocky Mountain Orthopedics. 

Rocky Mountain Orthopedics

Less pain. More life.  Whether you’re dealing with bone and joint problems, or recovering from a sports injury, our specialists can get you back to your active life. Our team uses proven treatments, and personalized care and makes you a priority.

Learn more about: 

Learn more about how to be prepared for this year's race.

Scroll down for race tips and professional mountain bike racer Alexis Skarda's story about her struggles and road to recovery with a heart condition that affected her riding for nearly 10 years.

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Training Tips:

Most athletes participating in Grand Junction Rides & Vibes already have a base level of fitness which is essential for these one to four hour events that take advantage of some of the area’s most popular and challenging trails. Competitive athletes also fine tune their hydration, fueling and rest strategies to meet their individual needs. Whether you are a competitive athlete or new to the sport, continue solid endurance training with long rides of one to four hours before race day.

Develop or sharpen your strength and power for climbing hills and competitive surges by performing interval training – short bouts of intense cycling.

Fuel & Hydration

Fuel & Hydration Tips:

Experiment with a variety of hydration strategies while doing training rides of similar duration. 

  • In general, drinking half a liter of fluid per hour will keep you hydrated, but we live in a drier climate at higher altitude that may require more fluids.

  • Incorporating electrolytes is also essential for optimal hydration. Just drinking water will not cut it for this event. 

  • Start hydrated because you cannot catch up during the race.

Optimal fueling is essential for Rides and Vibes. Competitive mountain bikers burn 500 to 700 calories per hour. 

  • Most riders prefer a moderate meal 1-2 hours before the event.   

  • A general fueling recommendation is to consume 250 to 300 calories per hour from a mix of liquids, gels and solids that are mostly carbohydrates.

Preparing for Race Day

Tips to Prepare for Race Day:

Sleep! A study of competitive basketball players demonstrated that purposefully sleeping more improved their performance more than any performance enhancing drug can.

Ensure that your equipment is tip-top shape and that you have appropriate repair equipment (tube, pump, wrenches). Being stranded on the side of the trail is miserable.


Recovery Tips:

Celebrate your accomplishment with nutrients, fluid, and light activity. Don’t forget to include stretching!

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The Author

Bryan Whitesides PT, MPT, OCS has 28 years experience specializing in Sports Medicine and Post Operative Rehabilitation. He believes exercise is medicine and works to empowering people to change their life through exercise.

Professional Mountain Bike Racer

Alexis Skarda's Story

For nearly 10 years, professional mountain bike racer Alexis Skarda struggled with a heart condition that gave her an irregular rapid heartbeat. Read her full story below to learn how Dr. Moore and the team at St. Mary's helped her get back to training and racing without any issues. 

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