Big White CDN National Enduro

Bike Big White sure hit the ball out of the park only two weeks after their grand opening of the new bike park. Ted Morton – Owner/Operator the series – treated us all and once again put organized a stellar course. 

Two trails were new and opened just for this race. One was rake n’ ride and it was just as you would think. Big White is raw with rock and the courses were burly. Many people suffered flats, broken wheels, and sore upper bodies from the ruggedness. I love this type of riding as it’s just natural. I enjoyed some machine built trails but there’s not like flying down a mountain side on a trail a wide as a rake that is changing every run because of how raw the terrain is. 

I had a hard time to get going in the day as we started up the chair lift the first two runs and being  “warm up on the bike guy” from XC it just wasn’t good feeling to go from chair lift to racing down a flow trail. I felt like an amateur but as the day went on it got better. Every stage progressed and I won the last stage, which was maybe the fastest, gnarliest and most blown out trail of the day. It will be next weekend’s BC Cup downhill trail. In the end I finished 3rd being only 6 seconds from the lead after twenty plus minutes of racing. It was tight and that made it exciting. 

The crew I rode with included Anthony Evans (6th), Max Leyen (2nd), and Brendon Edgar (1st). We transitioned between stages together and even got out for two more bike park laps, or party laps as we called it, after we finished the race. These guys are pure gold and that it what makes this enduro racing so intriguing and exciting to me. 

Video by Anthony Evans of the stage 4: https://www.pinkbike.com/video/477288/

Canadian National Enduro Series/BC Enduro Series report: https://www.pinkbike.com/news/big-whites-first-ever-enduro-race-canadian-national-enduro-series-report.html

Thank you Bike Big White and the whole CNES/BC Enduro crew for an unforgettable weekend!!

A BC weekend of multi-discipline racing

This past weekend was what I would define as “mountain biking” in the dictionary. After being in Southern California and Arizona for the last 6 weeks it was shock to ride in the rain and mud, but it was an exciting and enjoyable shock! It turned out to be a perfect training weekend to take advantage of with two races in the Fraser Valley. 

Saturday the Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association (FVMBA) held the iconic Vedder Mountain Classic. It’s a cross-country marathon event and is part of the BC Marathon series. It’s also a unique event that gives out prizes and awards to the fastest climber to the summit, the fastest descender to the bottom, and, of course, the overall finish for each category. 

There was quite the attendance from kids, parents, and racers. Catharine Pendrel was out on the women’s side and finished 10th overall among everyone! Sandra Walter followed up behind Pendrel and was 11th overall, while these two women finished 1-2 in the “Pro” race. On the men’s side it was Spencer Paxson – a really good friend – who took the mens title and the overall. I couldn’t stick with him on the climbs but would bring back time on the descent, which made it a fun battle. We were duking it out where he took the uphill timed competition and I took the downhill timed competition. In the end we went 1-2 with Rhys Verner taking third. 

Friday and Saturday night I was fortunate to stay with friend Will Routley and his wife Shoshauna. Always great when staying with friends during races instead of hotel rooms. Sunday came and it was the combined BC Enduro, North American Enduro Tour, and Canadian Enduro Championships round. I linked up with Spencer, other American friend Stephen Ettinger, and Donny. We were “Team XC” out there representing the small travel bikes and spandex racing we usually do. I decided to race both events on the weekend with the exact same bike and blind with no practice. I For us XC-focused athletes an enduro is a lot more relaxing for us. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and was very under-gunned with my bike (think showing up to gun fight with a stick, not even a knife) but the bike absolutely surprised me and made it through the day in 8th. Quite happy with pulling that out. 

Little bit of home time now before heading east to Canada Cups 2&3. 

GoPro footage with some of stage 1 and 2 from the BC Enduro/North American Enduro Tour race

Post-race smiles after 2.5 hours of BC singletrack

Shared the podium with my pals on Kona. Spencer for the win, Rhys in 3rd. 

Longtime friend Catharine Pendrel and I took the “downtime” timed downhill within the marathon race.

Venue. The Fraser Valley Mountain Bike Association knows how to hold a bike race!

All ages and abilities were out to enjoy the Vedder Mountain Classic. LOVE seeing the young and fierce riders take on such a savage course. 

Soaking in the west coast landscape after 6 weeks in Southern California and Arizona.

First ride on the new Mach 429SL. Impressed with the climbing to descending capabilities. Incredible combo!

The third ride on this bike was a classic wet Vancouver day!

Team XC post-enduro race! L to R: Stephen Ettinger, myself, Donny, and Spencer Paxson

Proper end to a bike race. If only every venue had this landscape within spitting distance.

BC Enduro Finals – Retallack Lodge

This past weekend the BC Enduro Series finale took place at Retallack Lodge, which is located in the Kootney’s between Kaslo and New Denver. Not often do we get treated to blind racing on some of the best trails out there. Many thanks to Megan and the whole volunteer crew that allowed us to race. Retallack, you were wonderful! I’ll be back for sure.

After ending the XC season in Whistler at Crankworx it’s been a fun transition to the discipline of enduro this fall. I’m heading to Europe in two weeks to race the final two Enduro World Series (EWS) and and this BC enduro was the perfect prep with an EWS podium rider like Yoann Barelli, and shredding like Adam Craig, Stu Dickson, Marty Lazarski, Dustin Adams and so on. Fitting in with those riders and taking second overall after two amazing days of riding to Yoann was great.

Riding trails blind is one of my favourite ways to ride. In my opinion, it’s a true testament to ones abilities of reading the trail and adapting to the terrain. It creates those thrilling “oh $hit” moments and when coming out unscathed, it feels pretty darn awesome.

The pictures don’t fully do justice but they sure show the greatness that Retallack has. All for now as I head back to school tonight and start the fall semester!

 

 

IMG_5731

 

Slow was not an option…

IMG_5732

‘Loam for you roam” – Adam Craig

IMG_5755

This is why I ride bikes.

IMG_5756

I don’t use the word epic very often, but today it was rightfully used.

IMG_5758

Bike race or ski race!?

IMG_5759

Thank you to the early starters who created the the noticeable line. Must have been gnarly for the first person.

IMG_5762

Retallack offered some amazing views.

IMG_5764

 

Transitions between stages like this makes for some of the best times. Period.