Jill Hueckman is the first woman to attempt the Triple Crown of Bikepacking. She will line up for the Arizona Trail Race this Friday, April 11th, and is sure to crush it. Read what Jill has to say about her upcoming season below.

Where did you grow up, where is “home?”

I grew up riding horses on a small cattle ranch near John Day, Oregon and graduated high school in a class of 25 kids. Our entire county is so small it had, and still has, only one stoplight. I currently live in Englewood, Colorado. 

When did you pick up mountain biking?

The first time I rode a mountain bike was January 10, 2010. A friend was talking about riding Alderfer/Three Sisters trails, in Evergreen, in the snow, on normal tires. I had never seen or even heard of a fatbike, and was intrigued by the idea and the challenge, so I accepted the invite to join. I suffered through almost every minute of the ride, trying to keep up on a borrowed bike and my toes were almost frostbitten, but, as we were returning to the car, I knew that the rest of my life would involve riding trails on a bike. I guess I can say, the hooks were set that day. 

When was your first bikepacking experience? What drew you in?

Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge with return over Boreas Pass was my first dance with this addiction. I was inspired by a blog post written by a woman who attempted the CTR in its early days. I stumbled upon her story of losing her SPOT just before Highway 50, scratching from the race and having to ride back to Denver and was completely fascinated by the notion of combining an old  love–backpacking–with a new love–mountain biking. True to my adventurous nature, about a week later, I was in the parking lot of Kenosha Pass, loaded down with all my gear on my back, having no idea of the amount I would suffer over the next 33 miles. I wanted to literally drop-kick my enormous pack into the trees below as I approached the top of Georgia Pass, but certainly learned (the hard way) that as much weight as possible must go on the bike. I knew that it was going to be a very different beast from hiking and as I began to research and read more blogs, a whole new world and subculture of underground racing and bikepacking opened up. 

What’s your motivation for being the first woman and one of the first cyclist to attempt the triple crown?

I want to reach for a goal that I am not currently 100% sure I can achieve. I want to know what it feels like to reach deeper (both mentally and physically) than I ever have before. 
I want to know what its like to spend over 30 days riding my bike, sleeping under the stars and being completely self-reliant this summer.
 
I want to see a female’s name on the short list of Triple Crown finishers. There are so many women far more talented and experienced on a mountain bike out there and I hope to inspire those with any doubt or fear . I guess I hope they see that if a nobody can face down fear and doubt and do this–they most certainly can accomplish whatever their own huge, scary goal is. 

Each race has a tough part. Ultimately, what do you think is the hardest race in the Triple Crown?

Tour Divide, hands down. I have never pedaled 2700 miles all in one ride before. Ah, but I can’t wait!

The Arizona Trail Race (AZT) is first, what’s your mindset going into the race?

My mindset and focus is one word: finish. Come hell or highwater. Whatever it takes. Over the last week, I have really been picking apart my 2012 finish and identifying my mistakes. I will focus on being efficient, eating correctly, adequate sleep and literally savoring every second of this experience. 

What bike are you using? Bags? Tires?

 Superfly 100, RoguePanda custom frame pack, Revelate seat bag.

     AZT tires: Panaracer Rampages with extra Stans
     Hoping to be able to get a hardtail for the TD, but if not my SF 100 gets the nod.
     TD tires: not sure yet
     CTR bike/tires: SF 100, Racing Ralphs

Any specific goals for the AZT other than to finish?

I would like to finish in under the 14 days it took me in 2012. I want to see the Snowbowl section of the trail outside Flagstaff in the daylight this time.

What are your plans in between the AZT and the Tour Divide?

Work a lot, sleep as much as possible, eat very healthy and very often, hike a few 14ers, and continue to ride a lot of miles.

The Tour Divide is a whole different can of worms…your thoughts on the grand daddy of them all?

Honestly, I am really excited for the TD. It is such a different race, from my perspective, that the AZT and the CTR in regards to the daily mileage that is possible. It will take me to places I have never seen before and I am really looking forward to both the times of complete solitude and the people I will encounter along the way.

How have you been training?

I got help drawing up a training plan that I started in January.  This included many hours on the spin bike due to weather and long work days. I also had many long weekend rides, daily yoga/sculpt classes and some running and hiking. A huge diet shift/improvement has also been a huge piece in providing an enormous amount of energy to sustain the large amount of hours I have been putting in on a weekly basis.

The Arizona Trail, Colorado Trail and the Tour Divide are all relatively close together. What is your recovery plan to make sure you are back to 100% in between races?

 Eat, Sleep, Ride

What is your all time favorite trail?

Colorado Trail, without a doubt. I have a personal quest to complete it by bike, foot and horseback before I die. 

Favorite trail food?

My own almond butter/quinoa mix and dried mango and blueberries.

Sponsors?

Myself, RoguePanda, many awesome people in the cycling community

We are so excited for Jill to conquer some trails this summer! Be sure to follow her on her quest throughout the season on Bikepackers Magazine as well as her blog, All Things Epic. 

3 Comments

  1. Dan Faulhaber

    Your fr…..! Awesome . As the pain sets in just remember it can always get worse :Words of wisdom from a fellow masochist . Have fun . And just think you are one of the few that will have bragging rights .

  2. Dan Faulhaber

    Oh and Smile …

  3. manwithnoname

    Hot!! Jill that is, not the weather

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