Last week was an awesome week of riding and racing with my race Partner Geoff Kabush. I’ll sum it day to day with some highlights from each stage, but I warn you it is hard to sum up 8days of racing on awesome singletrack with great people in a few words!
Last year my luna teammate Katerina Nash and I raced together. We were so perfectly matched and could rail the singletrack I was a little nervous of trying another partner, particularly an uber fast elite male, but passing up on the opportunity to race with Geoff Kabush, fellow Canadian National Champion and World cup winner and getting to follow his lines on some of the worlds best Singletrack for a week, was an opportunity I would have been foolish to pass up.
Friday: Day -1 Geoff and I arrive at Endless Biking to get the new xtr dyna sys put on our bikes. Nice and shiny and over 400km of racing to put it to the test!
Day 0 was a short individual TT in North van over some pretty rooty trails. Geoff and I raced individually and teams took the slower rider’s time as the team time. 8min 55. Racers are on their own till we hit Nanaimo, then I join the rocky Mountain team for the week as we travel around with the race.
Day 1: A way too short sleep of about 4.5hrs after getting to sleep at midnight and having people waking up at the hotel way too early. Those beeps when you lock and unlock cars should be banned. 4.5hrs is a scarily short sleep to head into a stage race with.
We all hopped a ferry to Nanaimo and started racing right off the boat. Well actually two police officers on bikes escorted us for almost 30 minutes through town to the trail head. The poor officers got quite the workout with 500 racers bearing down behind them.
Into the singletrack it was a whirl of riders and dust. I felt pretty good on my bike and the new xtr was working great. Yeah 36 tooth cassette! Geoff and I worked our way to the front of our group only to miss a turn and end up at the back of our group again.
Today was a comedy of errors as Geoff and I took turns snagging branches and flying off the trail, stopping for small bike adjustments thinking we had some room on second place only to have Mical and Jeff ride up on us again and not being able to drop the guy with 3.25 tires (Pugsley; that boy can ride!) till quite late in the race. We got sorted and Geoff pulled me into the last couple km of paved road to the finish at 40km/hr for first place. Not sure if my arms are tired from all the singletrack or from tucking in behind him! Sweet. 3hr 35
Day 2: Cumberland. I like this stage. Big Climb, BIG descent. We got to stay at the Kabush’s home for 2 nights which was great and after a good sleep I was looking forward to racing Cumberland’s flowy trails. We initially lost the race leaders Chris Sheppard and the Kona Boys, but then tucked in on Geoff’s wheel on a fire road we came up on a group. It was all the leaders. After sitting in a bit i went for a fake attack off the front to rile up the guys, but then eased off to let them have the singletrack first. We were able to stick with them for an hour through flowy singletrack and until the base of a 20 minute climb up to Forbidden Plateau. From there, the guys really started racing and I waved them good bye and settled into my own group with Geoff.
We crested the climb with Andreas, Blake and Ron and headed into a super fun rocky descent. Entering the descent Geoff went for a v ramped bridge and I followed. When we were both on it we realized there wasn’t a ramp, but a large drop. Luckily I survived and we all got a good laugh before railing down the rest of the descent and back to the finish. Time 3:04
That night I got to have an awesome dinner with friends Emma, Jon, Aya and Solay at their newly built Yurt. Thanks Guys!
Day 3. New to BC Bike race was a stage in Powell River. This stage was mostly flat singletrack. Some of it very fresh through some of the most beautiful mossy cedar forests I have gotten to enjoy.
Kelly Sherbinin sadi it right when she said “I was afraid the moss would grow over me if I went too slow through the forest.” The day was tough, hard to hydrate during and not always easy to keep momentum, but we went pretty damn fast through the woods. Going fast is always fun so it was another enjoyable day with only one course detour. Time 2:51:52
That afternoon I got to enjoy my first real down time of the trip with a walk in the ocean, maybe too much time in the sun and a water front massage! Amanda, James, Peter and Keiran from Rocky Mtn:Maxxis adopted me as one of their own for the week. Amanda had delicious gourmet sandwiches ready for us after the race and prepped our legs while James washed and dialed in the bikes. Peter (Boss) and Keiran managed the fort logistics.