Enjoying perfect conditions on the Seven Summits trail in Rossland a couple weeks back. This is my Danny Hart victory pose!
It’s been a terrific, trying couple of months. Balancing goals with priorities is always an interesting challenge. Following reasonable success at the first race at Beacon Hill in late March, I had a couple of months before the first BC Enduro of the season. I balanced my time with work, family, fitness, coaching, trail building, helping with the Trans BC race and getting ready for the Rossland stop of the BC Enduro…oh, and having some fun on my bike. It’s all a bit crazy and at times overwhelming, but passion for mountain biking keeps me juggling it all. It’s hard sometimes to take a step back and truly appreciate this remarkable life we get to live. Maybe that’s why I’ve been remiss on writing here for a while!
I’m an Emergency Coordinator by profession and it’s been busy. The wildfire that devastated Fort Mac elevated the importance of planning and preparedness, and recent months have been filled with working to prepare communities across the Kootenays and BC. With ever-increasing severe weather episodes and the reality of climate change, this is the new normal, my new normal. I enjoy it, but it does impact the play and training time.
A short vid I made of Bodhi sending it on the new Turnstiles line in Nelson, BC.
My family is equally passionate about biking. It’s amazing to be able to share long rides on the Seven Summits with my wife, Nicola, rip bike park laps and dirt jumps with my son, Bodhi, and foster my daughter Samara’s renewed enjoyment of two wheels. It keeps us all healthy, happy and stoked.
The future is bright - coaching the fast groms.
Coaching the Seven Summits Gravity Racing team has been great. Every year we take it to another level, with this season seeing the creation of a junior “feeder” program of 10-13 year-olds who will hopefully transition into our competitive DH program of 14-17 year olds in the future. These kids absolutely rip and are sponges when it comes to learning proper technique and skills. The impressive success on the BC Cup of our racers is inspiring. Next season, I plan to spend more time travelling with the team to coach at races and do a few DH races again myself.
Loving the new EVOC FR Lite Race pack.
On the trail-building front, our dedicated core of volunteer builders have been working on a new XC loop to eventually connect to the bottom of Supermegadeth/Awesome, a sweet (if I do say so myself) 7-k all-mountain/DH rip south of Rossland. The XC trail, being built in phases over the next several years, will result in a 30+ kilometre loop of all single track from town. Plenty of work, especially given I'm fulfilling the presidential duties of our Kootenay Columbia Trails Society as well.
Struggling through the pain at Crowsnest, BC.
On the fitness and racing side of things, I had a major setback in early July when a buddy dislodge a boulder in front of me riding at high speed. Before I knew it I was down, landing on my right shoulder and spraining my A/C joint. It has been a struggle to get back to full strength and gain the confidence to go fast again. I skipped the Canmore Enduro as I could only roll on mellow trails, and the following weekend gave it a go at the Crowsnest race. I could ride, but that was about it…perhaps a bit too keen to get out there with all my fellow racers. I limped to a top 10 and while I had a lot of fun, it’s far from where I expected myself to be. Two weeks later, I raced in the Golden Enduro and while I wasn’t 100% by any means, the pain was less and I could push it a bit harder. A 4th place finish was satisfying and I feel I’m getting closer my goal of consistent podium results. This weekend is the Rossland Enduro - the first of the new National series - and I’m hoping I can finally get back to where I want to be. I’m headed to Quebec for the second round of Nationals in Mount St Anne mid-August, and then back for the final races in Revelstoke and Sun Peaks in September.
The new steed. The Transition Patrol screams speed!
I am tremendously grateful for the support of my sponsors. Without their help, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. I also feel strongly about developing meaningful and long-lasting relationships with my sponsors, and parting ways is always with mixed feelings. Unfortunately, after two seasons with Xprezo bikes, they have been forced to put their operations on hold as they seek investors. I like their bikes and the fact that they are a Canadian company that hand builds their bikes in Bromont, Quebec. However, it became evident that I would need to make a move to have the continued support I require to race, and the use and abuse that goes along with it. It is for this reason I made the difficult decision to switch to Transition bikes for the remainder of the season. It is unlike me to switch horses mid-stream, but it is a move that I felt was required. All this said, I am super stoked to be working with Transition, who also sponsor my son Bodhi and with whom I’ve been working with for the past couple of seasons. Transition is made up of a bunch of rad, passionate dudes who share my love for biking, and I couldn’t be happier. The Transition Patrol is a remarkable machine, and I feel faster than ever on it…and it’s only been a few days! I hope it translates to success between the tape.
Parting shot...descending T4 in Golden, BC, after the BC Enduro Race.
That’s it for now, if you made it this far thanks for reading this long entry! I endeavour to write reviews of the company’s products that support me in the coming weeks. Given the use and abuse I put my gear through, I’m sure you’ll find them informative and useful.