Ride longer, stronger, and faster!


Brute Squad

Brute Squad (BMA Riders United in Training for Endurance) is a 16-week MTB training program designed to improve the strength and endurance of its athletes in preparation for an end-of-season target race. The Brute Squad program addresses all aspects of performance necessary to help its athletes achieve peak fitness, and execute to their full potential on race day.

Ride Stronger

Shorter, higher intensity workouts focus on increasing power, allowing you to cover ground at a higher rate of speed.

Ride Smarter

Practicing intelligent pacing, hydration, and nutrition strategies, as well as developing technical, tactical, and psychological skills allows you to perform to the maximum of your hard-earned capabilities on race day.

Ride Longer

Longer, lower intensity rides focus on increasing endurance and improving aerobic metabolism, allowing you to maintain a higher effort level for longer periods of time.

Training Schedule

Each athlete will receive a detailed 16-week training schedule with two, shorter (one-hour), higher-intensity bike workouts per week, along with one longer distance weekend ride (starting at about 20 miles, and ramping up to about 50 miles at the peak of the training season). Training intensity is individualized based on results of power or heart-rate threshold testing.

Group Workouts

We meet every Thursday for a coached workout at locations around Boulder. An optional, uncoached Tuesday workout led by Brute Squad Group Leaders will also be available.

Practice Races

The training plan includes three practice races, which will help you dial in your pacing, nutrition, and hydration strategies, as well as practice the bike handling skills and the mental skills necessary for executing to your full potential.

Target Race

The target race is a long-distance event, with distance options of 25 or 50 miles. This race is the culmination of our training season, where we put all of our hard work and training to the test on some of the most challenging and beautiful courses in the country.

Group Meetings

During the season, optional on-line meetings will be held to talk about relevant topics such as training strategies, metabolic processes, data analysis, and mental skills for competition. Featured talks from local experts include topics such as bike maintenance and nutritional strategies.

Our Participants

The folks of Brute Squad cover a wide spectrum of age, speed, and biking experience. Some are seasoned racers who are looking to take on longer distances, or get faster at their favorite annual event. Others are completely new to endurance riding, and are looking for help preparing for their first big race, ride, or multi-day tour.

2024 Race Schedule

May 4: 18 Hours of Fruita
June 22: Winter Park Primal Point to Point
TBD: CU Short Track

August 3: Audi Snowmass 25/50

2024 Important Dates

April 9: Kickoff meeting
April 16: First group workout
April 20: Pie ride to Gold Hill
July 13: Fraser 50 Ride
TBD – Rocky Mountain National Park Night Ride

(dates are subject to change)

2024 Program Cost


Includes a Brute Squad kit (supplied by local sponsor Cuore), and a premium level TrainingPeaks account for the duration of the program. Does not include race entry fees.

BMA Membership required. Join BMA for $5/month or $39/year.

Missed 2024 registration but still interested? Email the Brute Squad Leadership Committee at brutes@bouldermountainbike.org.


Can I still ride for fun?
Of course! Though the workouts are more structured during the week, the weekend “workouts” typically just specify a recommended distance or duration. We encourage you to do those rides on your favorite trails.
Do I have to do the target race?
The training program is a 16-week program designed to have you perform to your full potential for the target race.  Though we encourage everyone in the program to participate in this event, it is not required.  You could also choose to treat this event as a long, supported ride, rather than aiming for a specific finish time.
Can I do a different race?
If you have a favorite race that occurs in the middle of the program, or after the program has ended, your coach can help you adjust your training schedule to have you at your peak for a target race of your choosing.
Do I have to do the practice races?
Practice races not only provide great workouts, but are a great way to dial in nutrition and hydration strategies, as well as your pacing plan for race day. Practice races also help with improving bike handling, learning how to pass and get passed, and learning how to cope with the mental challenges of racing (including pre-race jitters, breaking through the wall, and more).  Plus, they are typically a lot of fun.  Though they are not required, they are highly recommended.
How much experience do I need?
We assume you know how to ride moderately technical singletrack (such as Hall, Heil, Walker, Betasso, Marshall Mesa, Centennial Cone, and Buffalo Creek) and are comfortable with the idea of riding long distances and being in the saddle for several hours. We are not expecting you to be able to drop 4-footers, huck cliffs, or blast downhill at breakneck speed.
What equipment do I need?
A well-functioning mountain bike is a great start. You can ride whatever type of mountain bike you like. You can ride clipped in, or on flat pedals. A helmet is a must.  Though not required, some kind of data collection device would be beneficial along with a heart rate strap or power meter. A lighting system will be required if you plan to join us for night rides. We will be happy to give you guidance with any of your equipment needs.
What if I am too slow for the group?
“Slow” is a pejorative label which doesn’t really apply in our training group.  We have riders who ride at a wide variety of average speeds.  Workouts are based on time in the saddle, not distance traveled, so it really doesn’t matter if you happen to travel at a lower rate of speed.  All that matters is that you are doing the workout as prescribed for you. Nobody will be left out, and nobody will be left behind. We organize ourselves into informal pace groups during workouts so you can ride with people who ride about the same speed.
Am I expected to show up to every group workout?
Success in this program is a result of showing up. The more workouts you can attend, the better.  That said, we are not professional athletes, and as such, we need to balance our training with the demands of work, family, and other responsibilities. At times, we all get unexpectedly busy, sick, or injured.  In those instances where life gets in the way and prevents you from attending workouts, your coach will try to help you continue to get the most out of your training.
Where will we ride?
The group workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be held at various locations in and around Boulder. They will start at 6 PM, and last about 60-75 minutes.
What about the other workouts?
On Saturdays, you are free to do the workout/ride on your own in the place of your choosing. If you want company, know that you’ll have plenty of training partners who will be looking for company as well.
Are there any additional costs?
The program fee does not include the entry fees for the target race, or the practice races.  A team jersey and shorts (or bibs) are included with your program fee.  If you wish to purchase additional team jerseys, shorts, gloves, and arm/leg warmers beyond the kit items that are included with your registration, they can be purchased at our discounted team rate.

Brute Squad Committee

BRUTE Squad Committee is a group of veteran BRUTES who are focused on continuing the good work and community Scott Gurst have built over the past decade! It is a volunteer group that loves bikes, loves the BRUTE Squad, and is committed to keeping this going.

Morgan Newlon

I have eight seasons with Brute Squad and my favorite long ride is the 150 miles on the Greater Alleghany Passage (GAP). My proudest accomplishment on a bike is finishing the Fools Loop in AZ in 5 days. 277 miles doesn’t seem like a lot but riding a loaded gravel bike on a MTB-ish trail with a TON of vert = some big, hard days! So remote and so very pretty. My goals for 2024 are the Leadville 100 without stomach problems, also have fun and ride far with friends. And a few fun facts about me are that I loves gummy bears, my two giant breed dogs (St. Bernard & Great Dane), the wife and bikes! I live in Jamestown(ish) so a lot of my training rides begin with a descent and end with a climb. I was an NCAA cheerleader. My favorite things about Brute Squad are the people and community that keep me coming back every year. Plus, it works! I always end up stronger. And if you’re going to do hill repeats, you might as well do them with your friends 🙂

Adam Sher

I have ten seasons with Brute Squad and looking forward to the 11th! My favorite long ride is the annual Fraser 50 with the Brutes. My proudest bike-related accomplishment? Tough question but currently, completing the Leadville 100 MTB. My goal for 2024 is for all the Brutes to have a rewarding experience in our first year without Scott G. doing all of the leadership and coaching—it is literally taking 8 people to replace him! Apparently, I am addicted to making myself mildly to extremely uncomfortable by riding long distances on my bike, who’da thought you could get addicted to Type II Fun? My favorite thing about Brute Squad is a tie between 18 Hours of Fruita and the Fraser 50.

Scott Gurst

As the founder of Brute Squad I have all 10 seasons under my belt. My favorite long ride is White Rim in a Day, Kokopelli Trail. My proudest accomplishment on a bike is completing 18 Hours of Fruita … solo. My 2024 Goals are more fun on my bike! Things you might not have known about me? I’m 62, has a 9-year-old daughter, and I get paid for leading Simon Says games. And what do I love about Brute Squad? Long rides in beautiful places with good friends.

Deb Cantrell

I have six seasons with the Brutes. My favorite ride is any that can be turned into a bikepacking adventure! Goals for 2024? Happily balance Brute Squad training and getting ready to race, with longer & slower bikepacking adventures. Fun facts? When I don’t have to keep a day job, I want to own a bakery cart that I pull around by bike. Wouldn’t you want to be greeted by that at the trailhead when you finished a long ride? And what do I love about the Brute Squad? Enjoying time with other folks who love being on bikes.

Will Edgington

I’ve been a Brute for 8 seasons. My favorite long ride is Super Walker from the house in Longmont. My proudest accomplishment on a bike is either completing Leadville 100 or surviving hypothermia on a difficult day on the Kokopelli Trail with fellow Brutes. My 2024 goals are to earn the fitness with the Brutes and then do more fun rides – maybe even the Arizona Trail. What I love about Brute Squad is the camaraderie and the ability to complete bike events due to the group’s encouragement and example.

Josh Boyd

I have six season with the Brute Squad. My favorite long ride? There are so many long rides I’ve enjoyed but Palisade Plunge is one of my favorites right now. I’m very proud of completing the Lumberjack 100 in 10 hours. My 2024 goals are to ride bikes with cool people in interesting places. Fun fact: For Josh, Type 2 fun feels like normal fun. What I love about the Brutes is being out with people who are as committed to a goal as you are.

Rebecca Shannon

I have seven seasons with Brutes including the first 5 years. My longest ride (so far) was the Laramie Enduro at 72+ miles. Proudest moment in cycling? Completing the Breck 68 course. After 10+ hours of riding, I came across the finish line crying and smiling and so proud of myself for finishing. Yes, I was DFL, and it continues to be one of my proudest moments and highest achievements. My goals for 2024 are to use Brute Squad training to prepare for a multi-day/long-distance bike tour. Fun fact? I met my husband David on a BMA singles ride.

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