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The Pinkbike Podcast: Episode 132 - How To Survive the Wildest Multi-Day Enduro Race

Jul 8, 2022
by Mike Levy  
Pinkbike Podcast
Art by Taj Mihelich

Are single-day enduro races not challenging enough? Looking for a bigger adventure? The Stone King Rally is six days of blind enduro racing over twenty-four timed stages and 66,600 feet descending from Ash Smith, the same mad genius that put together the legendary Trans-Provence events. From France to Italy, from the Alps to the Mediterranean, racers faced huge days on the bike and massive, untamed descents that kept everyone on their toes.

Our own Mike Kazimer just returned from the inaugural Stone King Rally, and episode 132 sees him recount a very special week of racing while it's still fresh in his mind. We talk about how the Stone King compares to the Trans-Provence, what the trails were like to ride, bike set-up, losing luggage and moldy t-shirts, and how to do a blind enduro race without blowing up.

Want more action from Stone King? Check out Sven Martin and Wills Harrison-Wright's photo epic from the event.

July 8th, 2022

Big mountains, blind racing.

Stone King Rally 2022 Day 4
Mike Kazimer dropping into stage 16. Photo: Sven Martin.

Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Previous Pinkbike Podcasts
Episode 1 - Why Are Bikes So Expensive?
Episode 2 - Where the Hell is the Grim Donut?
Episode 3 - Pond Beaver Tech
Episode 4 - Why is Every Bike a Trail Bike?
Episode 5 - Can You Trust Bike Reviews?
Episode 6 - Over Biked Or Under Biked?
Episode 7 - Wild Project Bikes
Episode 8 - Do We Need an Even Larger Wheel Size?
Episode 9 - Why Are We Doing a Cross-Country Field Test?
Episode 10 - Getting Nerdy About Bike Setup
Episode 11 - Are We Going Racing This Year?
Episode 12 - What's the Future of Bike Shops?
Episode 13 - Are Bikes Too Regular Now?
Episode 14 - What Bikes Would Pinkbike Editors Buy?
Episode 15 - What's Holding Mountain Biking Back?
Episode 16 - Who's Your Mountain Biking Hero?
Episode 17 - XC Field Test Insider
Episode 18 - Electronics on your Mountain Bike: Good or Bad?
Episode 19 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 20 - MTB Conspiracy Theories
Episode 21 - Stuff We Were Wrong About
Episode 22 - Does Your Riding Style Match Your Personality?
Episode 23 - Grim Donut 2 is Live!
Episode 24 - Why Even Buy a DH Bike?
Episode 25 - Fall Field Test Preview
Episode 26 - The Three Most Important Mountain Bikes
Episode 27 - The World Champs Special
Episode 28 - All About Women's Bikes
Episode 29 - Freeride or Die
Episode 30 - Would You Rather?
Episode 31 - Wet Weather Riding Tips & Tricks
Episode 32 - What Needs to Change in the Bike Industry?
Episode 33 - Behind the Scenes at Pinkbike Academy
Episode 34 - Grilling Levy About Field Test Trail Bikes (and His Bonspiel)
Episode 35 - Story Time - Stranger Than Fiction
Episode 36 - Grilling Kazimer about Field Test Enduro Bikes
Episode 37 - The 2020 Privateer Season with Ben Cathro
Episode 38 - Editors Defend Their 2020 Best-Of Picks
Episode 39 - Predicting the Future of Mountain Biking
Episode 40 - The Pinkbike Awards!
Episode 41 - Racing Rumours and Team Changes
Episode 42 - Mountain Biking's Guilty Pleasures
Episode 43 - Dangerholm's Wildest Custom Mountain Bikes
Episode 44 - Mountain Bike Suspension Decoded
Episode 45 - What Makes a Good Riding Buddy
Episode 46 - The RockShox Zeb vs Fox 38 Deep Dive
Episode 47 - High Pivot Bikes: The Good, The Bad, and The Why?
Episode 48 - Rides That Went Horribly Wrong... & Why That Made Them So Good
Episode 49 - What's the Best DH Bike?
Episode 50 - Are Bikes Actually Getting Less Expensive? (Value Bike Field Test Preview)
Episode 51 - Should MTB Media Post Spy Shots?
Episode 52 - Our Most Embarrassing MTB Moments
Episode 53 - Should Climbers Still Have the Right of Way?
Episode 54 - Best and Worst MTB Product Marketing
Episode 55 - Big Dumb Rides & Staying Motivated
Episode 56 - What Were the Most Important Inventions in Mountain Biking?
Episode 57 - What Were the Best (and Worst) Trends in Mountain Biking?
Episode 58 - Debunking Mountain Biking's Biggest Myths
Episode 59 - Value Bike Field Trip Surprises & Spoilers
Episode 60 - What Kind of Mountain Biker Do You Want to Be?
Episode 61 - Athlete Pay, Lycra, Equality and More from the State of the Sport Survey
Episode 62 - Editor Preferences and Why They Matter
Episode 63 - Our Best (And Worst) Bike Buying Advice
Episode 64 - Who's On Your MTB Mount Rushmore?
Episode 65 - The Hardtail Episode
Episode 66 - The Best and Worst of Repairing Bikes
Episode 67 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham
Episode 68 - Who Are Mountain Biking's Unsung Heroes?
Episode 69 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 1
Episode 70 - The Good, Bad, and Strange Bikes We've Owned - Part 2
Episode 71 - The Story of Mountain Biking's Most Interesting Man: Richard Cunningham - A Pinkbike Podcast Special, Part 2
Episode 72 - Hey Outers!
Episode 73 - The Details That Matter... and Some That Shouldn't
Episode 74 - The Best Trails We've Ridden and What Makes Them So Special
Episode 75 - Things MTB Brands Waste Money On
Episode 76 - MTB Originals and Copycats
Episode 77 - Interview with Outside CEO, Robin Thurston
Episode 78 - Modern Geometry Explained
Episode 79 - What's the Future of eMTBs?
Episode 80 - The Best Vehicles for Mountain Bikers
Episode 81 - You've Got Questions, We've (Maybe) Got Answers
Episode 82 - Behind the Scenes at Field Test
Episode 83 - Does Carbon Fiber Belong On Your Mountain Bike?
Episode 84 - Explaining RockShox's Computer Controlled Suspension
Episode 85 - Is the Red Bull Rampage Too Slopestyle?
Episode 86 - Greg Minnaar on the Honda DH Bike, World Cup Racing, and Staying Fast Forever
Episode 87 - How to Love Riding When it's Cold and Wet
Episode 88 - Mountain Biking on a Budget
Episode 89 - The Derailleur Pickle
Episode 90 - Is Supre the Future of Trouble-Free Drivetrains? (with Cedric Eveleigh of Lal Bikes)
Episode 91 - Riding Every Double Black in the Whistler Bike Park with Christina Chappetta
Episode 92 - Does Bike Weight Really Matter?
Episode 93 - Staying Motivated and Overcoming Burnout
Episode 94 - PBA Contestant Tori Wood on Her First Race and Finding the Right Mindset
Episode 95 - Field Test Down-Country Bike Debrief
Episode 96 - PBA Contestant Israel Carrillo on Riding in Mexico and Why It's Not Always About Speed
Episode 97 - Can We Predict the Future of Mountain Biking?
Episode 98 - Field Test Trail Bike Debrief
Episode 99 - New Year, New You?
Episode 100 - Q&A with the PB Editors
Episode 101 - MTB Tradeshows Explained
Episode 102 - Should MTB Media Be Going to Press Camps?
Episode 103 - Secrets from the World Cup Pits with Henry Quinney
Episode 104 - Lachlan Morton on How to be a Happy Bike Racer and the World's Longest Climb
Episode 105 - The 3 Bike Budget Challenge
Episode 106 - What's Your Ideal Ride Look Like?
Episode 107 - How (And Why) Did You Start Mountain Biking?
Episode 108 - Behind the Scenes at the Value Bike Field Test
Episode 109 - Berm Peak's Seth Alvo on Making Videos 24/7, Soul Rides, and Building a Bike Park
Episode 110 - Trying (and Failing) to Reinvent the Mountain Bike
Episode 111 - The Pinkbike Racing Podcast: Episode #1 - It's All Downhill From Here
Episode 112 - The Pinkbike Racing Podcast: Episode #2 - The Lourdes World Cup Post-Race Wrap-Up
Episode 113 - PB Editors Answer Your Questions (again)
Episode 114 - The Placebo Effect and Your New Mountain Bike
Episode 115 - We Are One's CEO Talks Future DH Bike, E-Bikes, & Domestic Manufacturing
Episode 116 - New Bikes and Gear from Sea Otter
Episode 117 - Mountain Biking's Worst (or Best) Cliché Crimes
Episode 118 - Music and Mountain Biking
Episode 119 - Road Trips Gone Horribly Wrong
Episode 120 - Gee Atherton on Titanium Additive Manufacturing, Million Dollar Machines, and 3 New Bikes
Episode 121 - How To Film Rampage & Field Tests with the PB Team
Episode 122 - Do Social Media & Mountain Biking Go Together?
Episode 123 - The Pinkbike Racing Podcast: Episode #3 - Fort William World Cup Wrap-Up
Episode 124 - Bike Parks or E-Bikes?
Episode 125 - Nino Schurter's Mechanic on Prepping Race Bikes & His Favorite Tools
Episode 126 - "One More Run" and Other MTB Superstitions
Episode 127 - The Pinkbike Racing Podcast: Episode #4 - Leogang World Cup Wrap-Up
Episode 128 - Summer Solstice Adventures
Episode 129 - Are There Too Many MTB Videos? Interview w/ IFHT's Jason Lucas
Episode 130 - Aaron Gwin on High-Pivot DH Bikes, Chasing the Money, & Riding with Eli Tomac
Episode 131 - PB Editor Seb Stott on Geometry, Lock-Outs, Fickle Brakes, & Physics in Bike Reviews

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles
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  • 18 0
 This was probably my favorite podcast to date. Can pinkbike please just sponsor the Mikes to go to events all year and shoot the shit on podcasts afterwards? Pretty please??
  • 6 0
 You guys probably know this already, but the airlines are required to cover your "reasonable" costs when they lose your bags, up to $1780/person. My family flew Air Canada to Switzerland in February and they lost 3 of our 4 bags for 2 days. I submitted $1000 worth of receipts for ski gear and clothes and they reimbursed me, no questions asked.
  • 1 0
 I did not know this. Definitely how it should be but I wouldnt have been surprised to find out airlines gave us the shaft instead, thanks for sharing.
  • 1 0
 I was one of the 6 with Mike, and me and my buddy did have to buy a lot of replacement gear in order to be able to ride the first couple days before our bikes and (some of) our gear arrived.... I'll be submitting my claim to Air Canada in the next few days and we'll see how they respond!
  • 1 0
 @eljefespeaks: let us know how it goes
  • 1 0
 @eljefespeaks: give em hell, bud!
  • 1 0
 @eljefespeaks: My bike never made it either and am still trying to get air Canada to reroute it the right way!

Quite the disappointment to have missed the race and a hassle to deal with it.
  • 2 0
 @xavierp: Damn! I'm really bummed that you got screwed worse than we did, and had to fully miss the race! We were very fortunate to be able to arrange some demo/rental bikes to use while waiting for ours to show up and 1 standup guy in our group stayed behind to work over the airlines and get our stuff and drive it out to our camp
  • 6 0
 These 1v1 convos are great
  • 3 1
 Just came back from Trans BC, which was the same week, and same format. I did trans Provence in 2016, and it s for sure raw, not Bike ready trail, typical Europe alps, vs bc being Canadian purposely build trails, even tho they re gnarly. Gotta say being in hotel vs camp is quite nicer!
  • 2 0
 Super bummed that so many Americans and Canadians had troubles with airlines but you guys in your boardies, thigh gaps and unplanned one-footers lifted my spirits remarkably any time I spotted you! Kudos on just keeping going and getting to the end
  • 1 0
 After a successful trip to a bike park (no big crashes or major repairs) I usually reward myself with a shirt or whatever they have at the mountain or bike shop in town. Seems cheaper than hospital bills and an incentive not to crash. How do you guys reward yourselves after a significant ride/trip? Post ride Tim Hortons? Something for your bike for treating you good? A warm Molson you found in your car?
Thanks love you dudes!
  • 1 0
 This is great, I really enjoyed this episode.

I always enjoy the PB podcast, but this one really struck me with its sense if adventure.

And when Kaz says "it's tough" I can well believe it. I was tempted by the Stone King when I first heard about it, but I'm not ashamed to say that the scars of my last multi-day point-to-point put me off. This stuff is hard. It goes way beyond the stats... the logistics, the admin, finishing your 30-something-degree day with a 40-something-degree tent, and then getting your shit re-packed every morning... tough. Well done Kaz.
  • 4 1
 66,600 feet descending over 6 days, so 666+6 , just a coincidence, hmmmm?
  • 1 1
 Clearly he’s a beast, so there’s your number.
  • 9 1
 There are no coincidences
  • 1 0
 could mean he's super lucky haha
  • 1 0
 The irony of 666 is that its just made up (and by one group of dudes in one tiny place 1000s of years ago). Meaningless: “a human number” - an idea, an act, asong “heres a little number for ya.” IE - a con, an illusion. You can make anything outta anything, invest it with power or divest it of all power. Besides, 66,600 and 6 days is 4 sixes so it doesn't even count…
  • 2 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: the ultimate irony is how little you understand numerology!
  • 1 0
 @Bomadics: Agreed - numerology (to math) is like astrology to astronomy. You're 100% correct.
  • 3 0
 Shortshorts for aero gainz!
  • 3 0
 Best review ever of the stamp composite pedals!
  • 1 0
 Congratulations on great effort and results Kaz!
Question please: Could take any 1 bike to this type of terrain/race/format what would it be? Thanks
  • 1 0
 This was a great podcast. Kaz is clearly a man of steel to be able to wear damp clothes and shoes everyday and make it seem like it's no big deal. That sounds like hell!
  • 2 0
 Going to crap all done at work this morning. Thanks guys!
  • 3 0
 Same here
  • 2 0
 Checking pics, no cooter cutters found. - Disappointed Face -
  • 1 0
 Came here just to say Kazimers definitely for sure gotta be testing that new 200mm AXS dropper ;-)
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer , @mikelevy - Decathlon is great. We have it in the UK and it's great for getting into a sport.
  • 1 0
 This “8ft” tall guy named Chris, what bike does he ride that fits him? Asking for other tall people
  • 1 0
 Can't wait to listen to this one. This event sounds brutal but amazing.
  • 1 0
 Congrats on 10th in over 40 Kaz!
  • 1 0
 Another one!

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