Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wet and Slippery

I had a great time with the FGBC Spring Ride this weekend at Falcon Lake. Good times all around, despite a wack load of rain to make the trails into a soppy, slippery mess. Friday we rode all afternoon at the Falcon Trails, then Saturday at Ingolf. I forgot how awesome the riding is here (especially when you're not lost!). One of the best examples of Shield riding out there! Luckily nearly all of the 21 riders escaped without serious injury, a few swollen hands, sore backs, and bloody knees pretty much summed up the damages (minus Graham's harrowing experience). Other than that there was a tone of water (up to a foot deep or more at times) and lots of slick rocks and slippery roots great for improving both one's patience and technical skills. Lots of do-overs, endos, rock slides, and hilarious mud hole attempts. The evening included great conversation, food, beer, zombies, and a 911 call for Graham. Read here for the official account (expected soon).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is this Legal??

The stuff you see en route to Woodridge... (Sandilands). *note the quads (doing 80+) with no helmets.

Monday, May 17, 2010

No Pressure.

I've never been great with pressure in the case of racing... don't exactly know why, but I'm working on it.

Brandon Hills Race Report:

Fun MTB course, lots of flowy singletrack with "surprises". Lots of last year's course run backwards. Some abrupt ups that I had to walk on single speed. Nice fast Skitrail downhill at the end.

After a relatively severe crash during the prelap (ARGGGG) where I road rashed up my arms and knee and broke my helmet, I was feeling a little off, but still good to go.

First lap was fast, the elites were out of site within a short amount of time, but the pace was good. Then it happened. My water bottle cage once again let go of another full bottle (as it did last race) as I bunny-hopped a gully. Crap. Only half a bottle left in my shirt, and i hadn't left any more in the feed zone. Time to buy a different cage. (although it was fine all last year - Axiom BTW)

I began to ride in "conservation mode", attempting to keep my hr down as to avoid heatstroke without liquids. I started riding about as fast as an ant. Passed by several riders. As I trudged out onto the ski trail for the last decent, confident that I was at least secure in my 5th or 6th place, I heard noise in the bush 20 feet behind. I turned around to see Cory S. in Attack position. He was standing and mashing and i was sure he was going to run me right over!

I was pissed. "Show some grit for once" i told myself. I entered an all-out spin. I could only guess that my RPM's were near 200. At the finish i was barely able to clip Cory for the position... "one more lap!" he said in passing, he was right. he would have kicked my butt.

Anyways, Great race to everyone! Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers and to Greg S. for picking me up in the morning.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WNS#1 Report

Conditions: Excellent. In fact, it could have been the best trail condition I've ever ridden at Burr Oak. A solid base of gentle rain over the last week helped the ground absorb just enough without it pooling on the surface. Almost surprising that there weren't even any puddles, not to mention no mud. Several guys had sub 20minute laps. My previous best AVG speed was 22km/h on one lap. That was bested on the first lap of the race in a feverish pace following Kevin B. and DJ C. 22.8km/h. Sweet!

My only regret was that I went into this looking at it as a training ride, and I was not expecting much after riding close to 70km yesterday and not getting sufficient sleep, which left me feeling lethargic most of the day at work. Still, a race is a race and you can't help but at least try to giv'r...!!

Turnout was actually quite small, especially considering it was a perfect evening. No wind, nice sunset, coolish temps.

Gordo won the Sport Class. Way to go man! Raphael has moved up to junior expert- probably fitting as he's really stepping it up. I think I was 3rd in expert behind DJ and Kevin B. Tristan and Paul B. pretty much destroyed. (elite)

Great to see Tomek out again on the bike for once! I'm sure it's only a matter of time before i see him streak past me in a blaze of glory...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Recognize this?

OK, it's the staging area for the old Sandilands race course, or what used to be the staging area after it was destroyed by a massive forest fire that devastated a large section of the Sandilands Provincial Forest two years ago this month. A sorry sight. I wouldn't even have realized where we were if Gordo hadn't pointed it out...

We rode some of the old trail last week and the first technical section (run counter clockwise) is still intact (virtually unburned) including several of the deep gullys. That was great to see, and several of the Body-driven guys are already planning and cutting a new course. Who knows, might be even better than the old one! There's a good chunk of elevation to utilize.

Ready for K.O.M.?

He Might only be 2 1/2 years old... but my little guy was sitting on the steel "bike" outside Olympia this week going "Pedal, Pedal, Pedal...". He also looks so grown-up with the Tims cup holding my Peugeot.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Kudos to the "new" Raphael Gagné!!

No, I'm not talking about the Canadian Pro MTB racer, but rather the FUTURE Canadian pro! The youngest member of the Body Driven Club, Ralph started racing last spring on a 33lb hardtail. His enthusiasm and enjoyment of riding and racing was hard to miss. He came out to as many races as he could, since he was still 16 and had to get rides from his folks. Whenever we would prelap, Ralph would try to go harder than everyone else. Panting and red, we'd try to remind him that this wasn't the race yet, and that he should just relax, learn the course, and try to conserve his energy for when it counted. Obviously the kid is competitive! On our annual trip to the Maa Daa Hey trail, he did his best to keep up, but nearly passed out several times, and eventually took the last morning off to recover. There were a few times we thought he wouldn't make the trip....

Enter the NEW and IMPROVED Raphael Gagné. He's been training with Team Manitoba since last fall. He's Dropped (or at least appears too) 30lb or more. What's left is a developing machine with pure potential. And, Yesterday, at the Grand Beach race, he got 1st place in the sport class, beating out a large field of riders!

Congrats Ralph on serious dedication and drive to really make a difference!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

MB Cup#1 Grand Beach

Thanks to Olympia organizers Ian Hall and Hal Loewen and all volunteers for a great start to the 2010 MTB race season. It was wet, it was cold. Turnout was great and the racing was even better. Post-race specialty sandwiches and fruit were awesome!

Vertical up: 1082.7 ft
Vertical down: 1079.4 ft