Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Big Bro got married

We celebrated the fantastic outdoor wedding of my brother Geoff and his love Liz Johnson in Fredericton, New Brunswick last Friday.

Here are a couple pictures from the day.

groomsmen and sunbeam
Eric Goss, Me, Kirk MacDonald, Geoff and Dad with the old Sunbeam Alpine

Geoff & Liz Wedding 183

Geoff & Liz Wedding 196

It was so nice to spend some time with friends and family in NB.  I really have to get back more.

On Tuesday after some nice NB riding Keith and I drove to MSA, Quebec for the world cup.  On our way we totally lucked out with a stop in Edmunston where within 15 minutes we found an amazing and well mapped trail network that totally energized us for the rest of the trip.  The espresso and ice cream may also have helped.  Great work on the trails Edmunston crew.  We’ll be back!

Test of Metal

Once again the Test of Metal was a great event, bringing over 800 riders from the north west together for some good riding, racing and of course a little suffering and good eating.
This year I decided to race my dually, the Orbea Oiz and tricked it out with some light carbon wheels.  I had been feeling sharp on it and find it just helps me maintain speed over rough terrain a bit better.  I also decided taking 5 minutes off my last record would be a sweet goal. Time to really race the boys, no getting complacent by leading my category.

The Blow by Blow
This year was my 7th Test and I could definitely use the experience of years past to  pace or pin it depending on what seems necessary.  On the opening climb I hang in on the tail end of the main group and then try to pin it to maintain a wheel on the rolling fire roads where guys usually swarm around and pass me that I could out-climb.

Into the first single track it’s about maintaining a steady tempo.  I had managed to stick with Roddi Legga and we bridged up to Tyler Trace, who had apparently blown a bit on the climb so Roddi and I got around in the woods and led into Alice Lake.  A couple guys bridged up and we started trading pulls.  It felt great to be racing the men as an equal, trading up pulls, well actually 3-4 of us pulled and some other guys just had to sit on!

I was definitely feeling my lack of time on wet roots in the first techy sections so had to work hard between to stick with my group. The only problem of being fit enough to ride with guys like Roddi Legga and Adreas Hestler is that i also have to be able to descend like some of the best male descenders out there, but I like a challenge and although they opened on me a bit in some corners, by staying on it every where else I was able to enter the climb in a group of 6.  Thanks to the guy in the orange jersey who worked with me on the fire roads, I’m sorry my draft wasn’t as beneficial.

Up the 40 minute climb I pushed  steadily, trying to stay on it when the grade wasn’t as favourable to my body size and was able to shed 4 of the guys from my group with Roddi always close by.
Down the Ring Creek Rip Roddi reminded me how to attack the little popper climbs which helped me keep a high pace.  Into the plunge I pinged around.  Maybe I shouldn’t have added air to my fork?  Or maybe it’s just greasy and I need more time in fun,wet, gnarly singletrack. By this point Tyler Trace had recovered and ridden through the group of guys i started the climb with and grabbed my wheel. We caught and passed Roddi fixing a flat near the base of the plunge and hammered on to the final feedzone. Always a fun experience when you’re racing well with so many familiar faces and getting to weave in and out of the newer riders on the first pass through the feed zone.

Tyler stuck my wheel through crumpit woods and we caught up to Ben Thomas who I spent some trail time with in BC Bike race last year.  The three of us hit the pavement together and started trading up pulls. 
At this point I realize I am freakishly close to my race goal of shedding 5 minutes from my record.  How?  I’m not exactly sure, but I know I just stayed motivated the whole race and had fun.  The record became my goal and hopefully a top 10, but having Tyler and Ben to contend with I was happy to also just push the pace for a best time.

We crossed the line with Tyler taking the sprint, then Ben and Me just missing top 10, but clocking a 2:45:50 in wet conditions.  Wahoo. 

Post race Keith and I joined up with the local ride crew for some burgers and beer.  The next day we got in some more awesome trail riding in Squamish.  Such an amazing place to ride in!  Thanks Squamish.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June at home

Wow how have I managed to get 2 consecutive June's mostly at home?  

Kamloops is wonderfully green with the rain we've been getting and I have discovered that Dill is a gardening menace!

The Art walk is now on and Susan Helly a mountain bike enthusiast created this fantastic piece (sponsor correct no less with Mavic rims and Maxxis tires!)

Taking advantage of being at "home" I haven't actually spent a weekend here.  I get in my Kamloops time and miles in the week and find new playgrounds on the weekend hitting up some of my favourite trails in Revelstoke and even doing a twoonie race and then heading to the coast this weekend and doing my first road race in i think 5 years?  It was pretty fun and left me wanting to try one of the bigger North West races.

Next up is the Test of Metal, a classic mtb race in BC with a 1000 mass start.  Kamloops is also hosting a 6hr enduro this year and already has 85 participants so I see another classic in the works.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

JumpShip Contest. Go watch it!

Anyone with the chance to get to Victoria this weekend has to check out JumpShip contest.  My brother Geoff has organized this dirt jump comp on a floating barge in the inner harbour as part of Victoria's 5 week cycling festival.

Not only do you get to see some of the best dirt jumpers doing their tricks, but doing it while out on the ocean!  There will be 16 Dj's creating a party atmosphere and beer gardens stocked with local brew from Vancouver Islander.

Like Hockey?  Checkout game 5 for free on the big screen while enjoying the downtown Victoria vibe and then come back saturday for JumpShip qualifying and Sunday for the finals!  Check out the complete schedule of events here