U.S. Mountain Bike Orienteering Team: Member Biographies


Team members:
Rachel FurmanSarah GinsbachSusan GrandjeanAbra McNair
Justin BakkenJeff DickeyPeter JollesThomas PuzakDave SwansonNathan Winkelmann

MTBO Team Executive Steering Committee Chair: Greg Lennon

Justin BakkenJustin Bakken
YOB: 1980
Residence: Bloomington, MN
   • September 2014, MNOC MTBO, 2nd Overall
   • July 2014, MNOC MTBO, 1st Overall
   • July 2013, MNOC MTBO, 1st Overall
   • 2014 MN MTB Series, Team Champions (GearJunkie/WEDALI)
   • 2014 MN MTB Series, Elite Class, 17th Overall
   • 2014 World Rogaining Championships, 14th Overall (7th Coed)
Club: Minnesota Orienteering Club
Team USA: 2015
Current Vice President of Minnesota Orienteering Club (since 2009) and set/vet several meets each year for our club (member since 2004); current member of Orienteering USA; current member of Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC); and International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).

Jeff DickeyJeff Dickey
YOB: 1976
Residence: Arlington, VA
   • September 2014, QOC MTBO, 1st Overall
   • 2009, MTB Cross-Country National Championships, Age 30-34, 4th Place
   • 2008, MTB Cross-Country National Championships, Age 30-34, 3rd Place
   • 2007, MTB US National Short-Track Championships, Age 30+, 1st Place
   • 1994-1995, NCAA Division 1 Cross-Country Ski Team
Club: Quantico Orienteering Club
Team USA: 2015
With ski racing as my primary sport, I started into mountain biking in the late 1980s as a way to stay in shape during the off season. My history also includes alpine ski racing, ski jumping, and cross-country skiing. Since 1995, I have focused on cycling as my primary sport. I have raced at an elite level on the mountain bike since 1996 and I have been involved with orienteering and adventure racing since 2003.

Rachel FurmanRachel Furman
YOB: 1983
Residence: Little Rock, AR
   • 2014, Arkansas MTB Championship Series, Women 19-39, 1st Place
   • 2014, Arkansas MTB Marathon Series, Women 19-39, 1st Place
   • 2014, Wausau 24/9, 12-Hour Solo, 3rd Female Overall, 7th Overall
   • 2014, USARA Nationals, 2nd Overall (Bushwhacker)
   • IRVOC MTBO, November 2012, 2nd Overall
   • IRVOC MTBO, November 2011, 3rd Overall
Club: Ark-La-Tex Orienteering Society
Team USA: 2015
As an active participant with IRVOC, I volunteered at many of our O-Meets, hosted (set courses and directed) one or more meets a year, and served as Communication chair. I participated in our annual board meetings to help set the direction of the club, our schedule, and worked towards other improvements such as our e-punch system. Since moving from Illinois to Little Rock, I have found that my new area does not have an existing orienteering club. Though I attended one meet held by nearby ALTOS, I found that they have no maps for Arkansas and do not hold meets in the state. I see an opportunity to create a club or at least introduce orienteering types of events to the central Arkansas area and will work towards that goal.

Sarah GinsbachSarah Ginsbach
YOB: 1984
Residence: Huntsville, TX
Occupation: Registration Lead - Physicians ER
   • 2011 2nd Female Open 24 Hours of Rocky Hill Solo
   • 2011 XTERRA Worlds Qualifier/Competitor
   • 2012 UTI Cross Worlds Qualifier for Team USA
   • 2012 Texas State MTB Champion Cat 1
   • 2013 Super D National Champion
   • 2012-Present Member of MOAT AR Team
Club: North Texas Orienteering Association
Team USA: 2014, 2015
I have a passion for endurance MTB races. Marathon through 24 hour solo. I am a 2 time Bike Toss World Champion (2010 & 2011) with a serious cooking, baking, & eating problem. I was born in Oregon and moved to Texas in 2000. My degree is in Applied Math, Microbiology, and floating the Comal River. I love anything that gets me outdoors!

Susan GrandjeanSusan Grandjean
YOB: 1973
Residence: Portland, OR
Occupation: Warehouse Manager at Showers Pass
   • 2003 National Champion for Expert Class in Mountain Biking.
   • 2004 Collegiate Omnium National Champion (combination of cross country, short track, dual slalom, and downhill)
   • US Ski-O Team member 1992, 1994, 2009
Club: Columbia River Orienteering Club
Team USA: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I came in 2nd at the 1998 World Championships in Shovel Racing. Half a second from 1st, 60 mph on a shovel!

Peter JollesPeter Jolles
YOB: 1975
Residence: Marietta, GA
Occupation: Mechanical Engineer—GE Power Systems
   • Captain and navigator of Checkpoint Zero adventure racing team since 2008
   • 2008 Ultra O-gain—First Place
   • 2010 Checkpoint Tracker National Adventure Race Series—1st place
   • 2012 Patagonian Expedition Race—5th place
   • 2014 GODZone Adventure Race—1st place international team
Club: Georgia Orienteering Club
Team USA: 2014, 2015
When not running or riding I enjoy building furniture and woodworking. I can also be found helping kids build robots to compete in the FIRST Robotics competition.

Abra McNairAbra McNair
YOB: 1982
Residence: Portland, OR
Occupation: Advocate—City of Portland Transportation Division
   • Won the 2010 Women’s Cat B Cross Crusade Cyclocross Series
   • 1st Cat 2 MTB Short Track Series 2010
   • 1st Cat 4 Swan Island Criterium 2010
   • 3rd in the Pro/Cat 1 MTB Short Track Series in 2011
   • Competed at 2012 MTBO World Championships in Hungary
Club: Columbia River Orienteering Club
Team USA: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
My most intense try-out experience was for the position of my high school mascot, the panther. My year as panther led me to a second mascot position as coyote, the mascot for a local Wenatchee AAA baseball team.

Thomas PuzakThomas Puzak
YOB: 1978
Residence: Excelsior, MN
Occupation: Writer/Real Estate Investment Company Owner
   • 2nd place overall at Arrowhead 135
   • Former adventure racing national champion
   • Two finishes in the top 40% of the field at last year's world champs
   • Comet of the Year Award, 2013, for WMTBOC performance
Club: Minnesota Orienteering Club
Team USA: 2013, 2014, 2015
Tom loves to orienteer when he’s not playing chess, playing Frisbee with his Australian Shepard Baxter, traveling to cover a story in his role as a writer for gearjunkie.com, or driving in his old and rusty RV as far as two gas tanks will allow (approx 180 miles).

Dave SwansonDave Swanson
YOB: 1971
Residence: Burnsville, MN
Occupation: Category Manager—Mass Retail Industry
   • 12th place, Arrowhead Ultra 135, 2015
   • 2nd place Solo Male, 2012 Checkpoint Tracker National Championships
   • 1st place, Team Gearjunkie, 2012 MNOC Adventure-O
   • 1st place Solo Male, 2011 Checkpoint Tracker National Championships
   • 1st place, Team Wedali, 2011 Berryman 36-hour Adventure Race
Club: Minnesota Orienteering Club
Team USA: 2014, 2015
When the single track is too muddy to ride, I am usually outside running, kayaking, and orienteering. Splash in a few Sudoku puzzles, coffee, and hanging out on the patio with my 100 pound dog is where you will find me in the early morning. On a rainy day—leisurely working on the old car, motorcycle, or wood kayak in the garage. Fat biking, skate skiing, and snowboarding fills the winter months.

Nathan WinkelmannNathan Winkelmann
YOB: 1982
Residence: Huntsville, TX
Occupation: Finance/Cycling Coach
   • 4x MTB National Champion
   • 14 Years of MTBing
   • Adventure Racing 7 years
   • World Duathlon competitor 2007 & 2008
   • USARA Sprint Adventure Race National Champion
   • USARA Nationals, 5th place 2009, 2010-Team MOAT
   • 2008 Primal Quest-Montana, 5th place-Team MOAT
Club: North Texas Orienteering Association
Team USA: 2014, 2015
I spend a lot of my time coaching others on how to mountain bike. At nights, I'm up at the karate school teaching and sparring. I'm very good at quoting funny movies, and about 60% of the time I joke 90% of the time.

Contact: Robert Buraczynski (rburaczynski [at] localnet [dot] com)last updated 16 April 2015