Day 4: Ah hump Day. So far so good. 4 days in, 3 to go. Geoff and I have been a good team. We’ve had some good laughs, some good mishaps and lots of good riding and racing. We’ve been able to stay close to the front at the start and then gradually settle in with a fast, but not the fastest group (Barry, Kris, Corey, Collin, Chris, Jason).
Geoff and I enjoying the forest. Patrick Grahm was on site to take awesome photos all week.
Today: Earl’s cove to Sechelt. I started with a slight headache and a delicious breakfast before heading to the Ferry. Then another race from the Ferry. This was the hardest stage last year and it was tough again today. There was tons of climbing, steep climbing and not a lot of single track until over 2hrs in. Fire roads make your mind and legs feel flat and missing a turn lost us our rhythm and time advantage over Jeff and Mical, but we got back into rhythm and pulled away through some loamy singletrack and kept working for the advantage the rest of the day. Finally we were rewarded with singletrack. Unfortunately still lots of up hill before the down, but the down was pretty sweet and we still came in in under 4hrs. Pugsley sprinted us for the finish. Today was 3:41.
Elias on his Pugsley. This guy is seriously fit. 3.25 tires and about 8-10 psi in each. Photo by Geoff Kabush mid race.
Day 5: Sechelt to Langdale. One of my favourite stages from last year thanks to the sweet long descent down to the Ferry Terminal. The day started pretty rainy and we had a large creek crossing to Fjord. The neutral road start would be the messiest and from there a dirt climb and then mostly singletrack. We got a good position into the woods. Managed the stream crossing. Geoff wanted an inflatable raft that he could ride ahead, inflate and then porter us across on, but Peter didn’t have one. Jeez Boss
I felt great in the singletrack and after a while we started catching the 3rd place men’s team and lots of fast guys. We realized we could be in a position for a top ten overall that day if we rode well. With this motivation we snaked our way through the woods, past guys and into 8 and 9th position. At the crest of the singletrack all we had to do was maintain our lead on the guys on the descent. It was tricky railing a descent while keeping our eyes out for pink ribbon and having to pee like a race horse, but we managed it. Manny Prado road up on us as we were less than a km from the finish, but a little scoop on the corner and down the chute to the finsh and we held our top 10 finish. Geoff got a kick out of chicking the guys. 2hr50. Sometimes he even had time to twitter about it mid race or take photographic evidence!
Showers and then onto the ferry to Horseshoe Bay and Squamish.
Day 6: Keith has finished school and joined us as a guest racer. Really it’s not fair for me to have all the fun! We stayed with friends Dwayne and Renee and I took advantage of a King size bed getting some needed sleep.
The Squamish stage incorporates the infamous test of Metal and gear Jammer courses offering riders tons of good descending. Some descents are more like jump trails where as others are rugged tests of agility and skill. I liked it all.
After Yesterday’s wicked day Geoff and I were amped to have another chick show down. We marked the top ten, but climbed within ourselves (by this I mean within my limits). We were riding in a large group containing the 2nd and 3rd place men’s team and all the solo guys from 6th to 9th place. We strung together some good descents. On the climbs some guys tried to get away, but we kept them in check. The legs are definitely feeling yesterday’s race, but still feel good.
Through aid station 2 Geoff and I take advantage of being a team. He fills my bottle as I ride through and set a hard tempo. He bridges up, but we have gapped some guys that had to stop for fuel. Through the last single track I start fading a bit, but only Marty and Steph and Tonkin go by us for the finish and we claim another top 10. 2hr 42
The intense racing up front early on is taking it’s toll on the immunity of some of the guys with colds starting to appear. Geoff an I have raced smart and really came into our legs on the singletrack these last two days.
That afternoon I got to hang out with the Shimano R&D guys and learn more about the new xtr as well as give them feedback. It has been phenomenal. The brakes are fantastic, they’ve done lots to prevent overheating, even with small rotors on the rear wheel. The shifting is smooth and dependable in all conditions and it feels and looks sharp.
I also entered my second race of the day. The kids race with categories from 2 year run bikes to 7 year old hammer heads. I got worked over and Amanda had to give me mid race leg rubs to keep me going. Geoff Played 18 holes of Golf with some very respectable shots.
Day 7: Whistler. After another great sleep in Squamish we head to Whistler for the final stage. I felt great, but know with today’s short stage I should really get a warm up in. No time though so it’s to the start line. I felt awesome for about 10 pedal strokes and then nothing. Sorry Geoff, no chicking was going to happen today.
Whistler put on a great stage this year. Sending us up easy does it to the Crank it up descent down the Bike Park. Due to a tight area we went off in waves of 50. Unfortunately our wave after climbing a 20+% climb took a turn down singletrack and had to climb back up, reaching the summit just as wave 2 did. A bit of a cluster, but we pulled ahead again. Geoff took advantage of the open climbing to get in an all out effort and chased down the lead guys while I settled into a maintainable pace. Crank it up was a giggle with beautiful bermed corners, table tops, doubles and jumps. From there we headed to the lost lake trails which consist of gazillions of rocks and bridges to ride up, over and down. The Stage was a short 1h34.23. Definitely my worst legs of the week, but a good day none the less.
Geoff and I took our 8th consecutive win, while Wendy Simms and Norm Thibault challenged Mical Dyck and Jeff Neilsen for 2nd Place. Jeff’s gunshow on the final podium showed their team’s winning edge!
Awards, Dirty Burgers, nap, shower and final Banquet. It was an awesome week and I couldn’t have asked for a better team mate than Geoff Kabush. All the riders were so much fun to race with and the race staff, volunteers and riders wicked to hangout with all week.
20hrs 27minutes 54 of racing, 5th fastest team overall. Same tires all week (Maxxis Ikons 2.2) and no flats, no mechanicals, no blow ups, no bad days, just lots of good riding, new friends, beautiful travels and even some hang time with other Lunas! I feel recharged and excited for the rest of the summer’s racing!
Check out BCBR to see how you can have that much fun too! http://www.bcbikerace.com