|I couldn't find any pictures from the race on the weekend, but I did find a pic from the start of the 2006 Kananaskiker XC (Expert category). That's me in my then signature yellow helmet.|
The first stage, a long XC race didn't go so well. The legs weren't feeling great and I was getting beat up by the rough singletrack on both the descents and the climbs. The newer trails at the Canmore Nordic Centre look like they are smooth with wide bench cuts, but they are actually pretty rough (as in not smooth), capable of dropping chains, require balls out speed descending to be competitive, and suck power on the climbs. I also had a slow leak in my front tire which finally sealed after stopping to pump it up with my hand pump 3 times (why burn a CO2 when I'm that far off the back, and besides, CO2 usually freezes Stans fluid right?). Anyways, I soldiered on and finished...DFL and way off the main group with a bunch of riders in other categories who lapped through faster than me.
Before the race, I was joking that if I was DFL, that I would race the XC time trial on my Marin Attack Trail. Weighing in at 30lbs, 150mm of front and rear travel, and a 66 degree head angle, it is hardly a svelte XC race machine, but I figured, that the extra travel would be favourable over the previously mentioned rougher than it looks singletrack, and the weight would only really suffer on the smooth fireroad Georgetown climb. Well the big bike actually fared quite well and I finished the TT about 7th overall, right in there! Morale boost!
2hrs later was the final stage, a hill climb up the Spray Lakes road. Back on my sub 25lb XC race machine, I put in a solid effort and finished 3rd. I've still got it!
After descending down the reclaimer trail, I was convinced that I had not ridden enough that weekend and then rode highline with Bill. Solid weekend. The courses utilized some of the funner Canmore Nordic Centre descents (T2, Coal Chutes, No Homers) but also featured some punishing rougher than it looks singletrack (EKG, FYI, Long Road to Ruin). But hey, it's racing, it's supposed to be hard right?
Monday, I think I finally got into mountain bike mode with a fun ride at Moose Mountain with Bill and Ryan Hopping. We had a good time catching up and riding trails, pneuma (probably my favourite singletrack climb), shaft, and ushoulda (so good, we rode it twice).
|Freak Stans explosion while standing still at the top of a trail after a long climb?|