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Trail to Zen: The Non-Racer Joey

So I thought of starting this post with a definition of “joey”, which is probably as old of a joke to people named Joey as all the season-jokes are to someone named Summer (oh, I have a cousin named Winter, ha ha ha). I sort of decided to skip the joey definitions. Let’s just get down to business.

Can someone really do it all?

Be uber-creative, smart, thoughtful, funny, a great dad and husband, fantastic rapper, an awesome cyclist, and a generally awesome person?

Yeah. Joey can.

The creative mastermind behind much of the rebranding of Red Rock Bicycle, the guy who does all the great t-shirts, hats, socks, and other Red Rock Bicycle apparel, is also a great cyclist.IMG_0153

And although he doesn’t call himself a racer, Joey Dye is competing in True Grit on Saturday at the 50-mile level.

This is Joey’s first time riding True Grit, and he’s doing it for a few good reasons:

  • to stay in shape over the winter
  • to prove he can actually ride all those trails in succession
  • to beat ride with his sister, Kim Christensen

Joey’s main reason for doing True Grit was really to stay in good cycling shape over the winter. Like many of us in Southern Utah, he considers himself a fair-weather rider, but this year wants to hit spring riding in-shape and ready to ride at a higher level, without losing his base.

And training for True Grit did just that for him. He says it “built in discipline and purpose” for his regular rides.

So how did he train this winter? (Because let’s face it-IT’S SPRING down in here in Southern Utah and we all know it.)

He mainly focused on duration vs. distance. Joey considers himself a solid three to three-and-a-half/35-mile rider, and he wanted to build on that. So he did one longer six-hour ride one time per week, and a medium/hard two-to-three hour ride another time during the week, trying to focus more on the fun of this ride. He also tried to throw in another ride if he could with all his other responsibilities.


A second reason he is doing True Grit is just to prove that he can. Like many of us, he’s ridden all the pieces of the race separately. And like many of us, he thinks it’s crazy to do the whole thing at once. But that’s exactly what he’s going to do come Saturday. And he’s ready for it!

The final reason he is racing is just to beat his sister, a skilled rider and a coach for Southern Utah’s high school mountain bike team, The Flying Monkeys. Kim will be riding the 50-mile course as well.

A big piece of the puzzle for Joey has been figuring out his nutrition. In fact, he calls figuring this out “life changing”, as he can use just a little strategy and have a more enjoyable, stronger, and longer ride, as well as being healthier in general.

Joey has realized that what normally works on shorter rides will not really cut it on a long, grueling ride like True Grit. His plan thus far is to:

  • Eat cleaner. Less junk food and sugar.
  • Drink CarboRocket. (His flavor of choice is lemonade.) For the race, he will do drink it like this, best case scenario:
    • water bottle
    • CarboRocket
    • water bottle
    • CarboRocket
    • 1/2 strength CarboRocket
  • Eat some Honey Stinger waffles and a ProBar mid-ride.
  • Intake Hammer Gels. He has been learning when to use these to maximize their effectiveness
  • Take salt tabs every two hours.

Pretty simple. Pretty easy to do. Pretty important on this 50-mile ride.

GC6Joey will be riding an S-Works Stumpjumper, 650b. He has a Butcher and a Purgatory tire, front and rear, a 1×11 set up, S-Works XC shoes, and will be wearing, of course, the awesome new Red Rock Bicycle Super Bright team kit, which is super comfortable, and SUPER visible.

*There actually should be quite a few racers wearing those rad kits on the course; #ridesouthernutah if you spot one and snap a picture. A random winner will be chosen for a cool prize!*

A couple of other things Joey did this season helped him dial in everything this winter.

The first one seems obvious for the roadie, but is also super important for us mountain cyclists: a fitting on your bike with our fit specialist, Shirley. She fits your bike to you, which is exactly what she did for Joey. And this has made a huge difference, especially for someone who normally has debilitating lower back pain, which these longer rides were exacerbating. Once he got the fit with Shirley, voila! Pain gone.

The second thing he has done this winter that has made a huge difference is  sports massage. That also seems obvious, but is something many “unofficial” athletes overlook. Joey has been using local therapist Paul Dunston about one time per week, and has found the sessions to be hugely beneficial to his physical well-being.

So the ride is Saturday. Yeah, Joey’s a little freaked. But he’s also ready. He will do it. And he will crush his goal of under six hours, (or whatever time is ahead of Kim’s time).

Yeah, Joey can do it all. And do it all well.

*Don’t forget: #ridesouthernutah if you spot a Super Bright Red Rock Bicycle Kit on the course and snap a picture. A random winner will be chosen for a cool prize!*

Written by Summer Barry


3 Responses to “Trail to Zen: The Non-Racer Joey”

  1. Teena christopherson on 09 Mar 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Joey CAN do it all. Everyone loves Joey! But wait…he can rap? This I never knew….and ” it’s tricky to rock a rhyme”! Gooooo Joey. Goooooo Kim too, because she is also super cool.

  2. Shayne on 13 Mar 2017 at 12:55 am

    I looked for him on course and he is not in the results. I see his sister Kim finished. What happened to Joey?

  3. Lukas on 16 Mar 2017 at 11:49 am

    Joey took a nasty spill coming down Zen and was unable to finish. 🙁

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