Friday, June 27, 2008

BC Bike Race here we come!!!

Starting Saturday June 28th and finishing July 4th we'll be racing the BC Bike Race.  


Should be fun!

Monday, June 16, 2008


 Saturday June 14th: TEST OF METAL

Riding bikes is fun!  Especially when you get to do it with a bunch of your friends & hundreds of other inspirational people.  The Test of Metal course was in stellar condition this past weekend and many PB's were made,  records were broken (go Wendy!).. so were a few bikes (see Todd Nowack's story), and a few bones (ouch Gary!).   

Team HHVI had an awesome weekend at the Test of Metal, coming home with two age- category medals (Jeff was 1st in Male 20-29, Kristenn was 2nd in Female 30-34) and a 'guess I'm not retiring' statement from Justin who had a great race, but came a minute shy of his goal of a sub-3hr finish.  

It was awesome to see so many people from the 'Rock' do so well and have so much fun out there!   There were many familiar faces from the Island Cup racing circuit &  Arrowsmith Mountain Bike Club doing so well in the elite category & others having podium finishes in the age category classes, including Justin's Mom Mary, who (you can tell by the photo below) was a bit surprised by her awesome finishing time.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Campbell River 50km Trail Challege 2008

Yesterday we rode the Campbell River 50km of Single Track. It’s not a huge event, but the course is absolutely epic. I think the Campbell River guys who organize it put it together just because they can, which is an amazing feat really, linking together 25km of singletrack trail through the beautiful Snowden Demonstration Forest Trail System and having us ride two laps. It’s in a remote location, the pre-race discussion included warnings about a number of bears that frequent the area and how important it was not to get hurt… unless you were willing to wait 3-4hrs suffering with your injury while someone came to rescue you!

From Team Helly Hensen Vancouver Island Jeff, Justin and I completed the race. We’ve each got a race report to share, I can tell you that the highlight of my day was learning from the mid-course feed-zone people that Jeff was doing exactly what I expected he’d do and was ‘flying’ through the course in first place. Go Jeff Go! Justin completed the Rat Race on the Sunshine Coast less than 24hrs prior to the start of the 50km, I think the guy is a machine!


I’m not going to get into many of the gory details of my race other than to say “that course kicked my ass”. I don’t know how many of you reading this can relate to what that really means, but I can’t think of a better way to word it. The race was two laps of the same 25km course, there were some beauty sections of flowing fun single track but the majority of the trail was an unrelenting battle to initiate and maintain momentum to get over roots, rocks, logs and lumpy terrain. With only 30 or 40 riders in the event the majority of us were riding in complete solitude. I think the loneliness lets your mind do even funnier things… I went from moments of singing on my bike, loving the trail to near fury wanting to toss my bike in the woods, and let’s not even get into the debate that went on in my head about quitting or continuing that second lap! I’m so glad that super-support-crew Carey just smiled and supported me for the 5 minutes I was at the lap point stuffing food in my mouth and bitching about my crappy riding! I finished the race in approximately 5.5 hrs, which was what I had predicted for the course, but I think my biggest disappointment was in myself and my lack of will to attempt some of the sketchy downhill sections. When I look at a sketchy downhill I should be computing lines to ride… all I really see are how many awful ways I could crash!! …so I get off and run, and there’s the end to the momentum that is so critical on these types of trails. Grrrr.

This morning my body is feeling fine, a bit battered, but really not bad at all, which is good, it tells me that training has produced the strength and fitness I need… now I’ve just got to pick up my bruised confidence & convince myself to stay on my freakin’ bike and ride. Dammit.

over & out
K 'all-fear' Mag


Hmmm I thought this was my favorite race, but man it is a tough course. 50 KM of the most technical single track we have on the Island. The venue was excellent at the Nursery near Snowden demonstration forest. These marathon XC races usually have a smaller turnout than the shorter XC races as few beginners usually are willing to brave the single track. I would say there was about 30 racers.
After the start line I hammered up the road and tried to set a quick pace through the first single track section. I noticed right away the exact spot last year where I lost my water bottle in the rough stuff ( I have changed my bottle cage since). Fred (Hodgson) would become familiar with this spot as he lost his water bottle here each lap. I was feeling great going into the race and stumbled a bit on some short rock up hills sections and lost a couple spots. Fred, a younger kid from Quadra Island and Drew Mackenzie went by me. I regained my position a while later as Drew stopped to fish something from his jersey pocket, Fred fumbled on a rocky section and the younger kid seemed to blow-up a bit not anticipating the length of this race. This race is tough in that you have only a few precious sections to drink or take a shot of energy gels from. This being the third year that I have done this race, I always find the second half of the first lap the hardest since you are tired (the race took 3:51) and have a whole other lap to look forward to. I consider my strengths to be brute force, strong climbing and flat section power but this race had very little of it. Drew Mackenzie caught up to me near about km 19 and I kept him in sight where he stopped to let some air out of his front tire. I kept going, passing him and only stopping to grab another water bottle so I put on the gas and pushed hard thinking I would be getting chased. The feeling of getting caught by someone always makes me go faster so I pressed on only to find out at the end that Drew had called her quits at lap 1 and second place was 15 mins back. My favorite section of the race is this false flat down old road grade that snakes through the forest. It feels like you are going light-speed whizzing by the re-grown trees and working through the single track for a few km. At the end I saw Jay there already changed so I gave him a hard time for calling her quits being a wimp with a sore back until I tried to sit down and my lower back was so sore too. I guess it was from all of the aggressive bike handling to negotiate obstacles on the course. Now I was hungry--real hungry and luckily they have the a TACO DEL MAR in Campbell River so once Kristenn finished, we headed over there and I order two mondo burritos. I think it was the Moab trip that Justin and I took that fuelled my burrito addiction and coined the "I'll get a burrito with a side burrito please" phrase.

Jeff 'where does he put those burrito's' Riemer signing out.


The alarm sounded at 5:00 AM. An hour into the drive up to Campbell River Carey and I drove through a torrential downpour, I was very close to turning the car around and heading home. Having raced the day before in Sechelt, I was exhausted. Fortunately the weather improved as we rolled into Campbell River and I kept reassuring myself that I would benefit from the back to back races during the week of the BC BIKE RACE. Campbell River boasts one of the most challenging and gruelling courses I have ridden. The two 25km loops are almost entirely singletrack and they test not only your legs but your upper body and your concentration. Sections of the course are quite threatening as crash on the sharp rocks would most likely result in a trip to the local hospital. With tired legs I started the race as fast as I could. Trying to keep pace with Riemer, Hodgson and Latiff. 3 minutes into the race, I heard my tire deflate on a section of sharp rocks. 1st flat all race season, and it showed as I botched the first inflate and had to start over. 10 minutes later I set out again, this time in last place. In many ways this was a good thing, as it allowed me to refocus my goals for the race. I told myself that I wanted to work my way up to girls and then try to catch buddy Bill McMillan who's a strong veteran rider. I figured this would put me in the top 10. With tired legs I tried to ride consistently. Slowly, I worked my way up through the pack. As I rode through the feed zone and lap point, I spotted a couple racers who had withdrawn, "Two less to catch up to" I thought to myself. I was told that I was in 6th place as I started my 2nd lap, it took 30 minutes of riding to catch up to Bill, who was having a stellar race. Content with 3rd place I eased back, and dropped a few notches on the suffer meter. I cruised into the finish a shocking 30 minutes behind Riemer, a little embarrassed by gap the, but happy to be doneI kicked back and enjoyed being finished for the weekend. With 2 weeks to go before the TEST I can only hope that I'll be fit enough to put together a sub 3hr performance. Many thanks to the organizers and volunteers of this great race, one of Vancouver's best kept secrets.