Following my fist round victory in Kimberley, next up was Canmore - arguably not my favourite course as it lacks the technical aspects I crave. Conditions were wet and rainy, which made aspects of the course very challenging. The Masters category started later on this day, and after heavy rain on the first and second stages, the sun came out and turned the clay dirt to sticky goo. I had an unexpected, hard crash near the end of the long third stage, and by the time I got to the steep, rooty and short Stage 4, it was all about just trying to stay on the bike. A challenging day left me disappointed in 6th.
Managed to get out between races and nail some banger shots with photog @john_dougall.
The next race was Fernie – a race I was really excited for as I love the community and the trails. Unfortunately, I was also recovering from a nasty head cold and struggled through the weekend. As fun as the tracks were, the sheer length of them meant it was challenging to remember what was coming at you and local knowledge went a long way (I only managed one training run on each stage prior to the race). I made numerous mistakes and missed corners on Verboten, which assuredly cost me a podium spot. Stoked on the racing and my effort despite illness, I was 6th on the day once again.
Due to family commitments, I missed the Kananaskis Enduro. By all accounts it sounds like that race would have suited my technical, downhill skills nicely. Fortunately there is always next year! However, it also allowed me some additional time to prepare the race I direct and the next in the series the following weekend – the Rossland Rubberhead Enduro.
Stoked to be flying on the Nobl Wheels flag - seen here @ the NRG Crankworx Camp
Once again, the Rubberhead Enduro was the first race to be a part of both the Kootenay-Rockies and BC Enduro Series. Despite the extremely dry and hot conditions, the race capped out at 200 participants and was, on all accounts, a terrific race. With a first, second, third and first results on four of the five stages, I was well on pace for the victory but a dropped chain on the second stage cost valuable time, resulting in a 3rd place overall on the weekend. That’s racing, as they say.
@ Frizby Ridge in Revelstoke with Nicola - long live big alpine rides!
With the Rossland race behind us, we set off on a terrific road trip to ride in the Slocan, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm and Kamloops before arriving in Whistler for Crankworx. Unfortunately, I didn’t get into the EWS race this year so I opted to spend time connecting with friends and sponsors, and supporting my son Bodhi who was racing Kidsworx in the B-Line and invitation-only kids Air DH on A-Line. As such, father-son racing is pretty rad so I signed up to do the Air DH as well – a race I have participated in for the better part of a decade. My son performed very well, coming in the middle of the pack as the youngest in the 10-12 age category. My race didn’t go as well.
I was feeling confident and smooth on A-Line and really enjoying the recent trail changes. But in my race I was admittedly over-shooting many of the jumps – not my typical style – and despite trying to calm down and ride smooth, I got bucked on one of the bigger tables, went sideways and overshot…by far. The result was a shattered helmet and several broken ribs.
Only one lung, you say? Gettign through the worst of it.
The story doesn’t quite end there unfortunately. After two weeks of sleeping upright and considerable pain, my breathing started to become compromised. I went to the ER and it turns out I had a hemothorax, which essentially means the fluid built up in my chest cavity and collapsed my left lung. After two days of hospitalization with a large tube in my side to drain the fluid, I could finally breathe normally again.
It’s been almost four weeks since the crash and my lung is fine and I’ve even managed some VERY mellow rides. I’m a few weeks away from being 100%, but in that time I unfortunately missed the Nelson Fat Tire festival races and the BC Enduro finale at Retallack – to my extreme disappointment. I was in a good position to secure the top overall spot for the series, but it wasn’t to be this season.
Finally back on this beautiful steed. Looking forward to the fine fall conditions.