Kurt Refsnider, Ph.D.
Kurt is a professional ultraendurance/backcountry mountain bike athlete riding for the Industry Nine-Pivot Pro Backcountry Team and founder of UltraMTB LLC. He fell in love with bikes and the sense of freedom and exploration they provide at a young age. At age 13, he trained for and completed a solo century ride, his first endurance pursuit. Since then, Kurt has raced extensively in everything from track to road to cyclocross to mountain. Looking for new challenges, he dove into world of ultraendurance mountain bike racing in 2008 and has since competed in and won some of the longest, toughest mountain bike races in the world. Beyond racing, Kurt has become an avid bikepacker, having ridden extensively in the American West, traversed half the Alps, and through Scotland, Nepal, Morocco, and Alaska. He was also featured in the adventure cycling film Reveal the Path and more recently in Fastest For Now. And throughout his racing career, Kurt has been self-coached.
Kurt is a co-founder of and Routes Director at Bikepacking Roots, a non-profit organization he co-founded in 2017 to support the growing bikepacking community. Kurt holds a Ph.D. in geological sciences and was a professor of geology at Prescott College for 6 years and coached the Prescott College Cycling Team for 3 years. There he also co-developed the first college-level course to involve bikepacking – Geology through Bikepacking.
Striving to be as knowledgeable as possible about his passions, Kurt continually furthers his understanding of the different elements of all he does, whether it be geology, racing, nutrition, or gear design. And one of the best parts of this continual process is learning together - learning with colleagues, learning with students, and learning with clients. Kurt also has ample experience with time management as he managed to balance life in graduate school with several years with 1000+ hours on the bike. He has since prioritized doing more with less, now putting in far fewer hours on the bike each year while continuing to improve upon past race results.
Experience and Accomplishments
3x Tour Divide finisher, 1x win
9x Arizona Trail 300 finisher, 8x wins/records
2x Arizona Trail 750 finisher, 2x records; current record holder
2x Grand Loop finisher; current record holder
1x Iditarod Trail Invitational 350 win (first rookie to win the overall)
1x Colorado Trail Race win
1x Trans North Georgia Adventure win
1x Stagecoach 400 win
2x Kokopelli Trail FKT holder
1x Comstock Epic FKT
3x Fat Pursuit wins (200 mi + 200 km winter ultras)
3x 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo wins (duo/solo)
2x Coconino 250 finishes, 1x record; current record holder
1x Cyclocross National Championships medal
1x Colorado Best Cyclocross Rider Award (Pro/1/2)
23 years mountain bike racing experience
14 years of ultra endurance cycling experience
5 years cyclocross racing experience (Cat 1)
8 years road racing experience (Cat 2)
9 years Nordic ski racing experience
2 years ultra running experience