Monday, September 17, 2012

Martha Creek Meltdown and skimo camp

I had another tough decision to make: either go to Edmonton to race in ERTC's School of Cross and help out with Hardcore's Hop 'n Hurl, or go to Revelstoke, but I guess the title gives away my decision. I apologize to my Hardcore teammates for not lending a hand pounding stakes, stringing tape, and taking it all down.

Anyways, I struggled riding Martha Creek last time because it was wet, but the forecast was looking prime. The race had a super cool format: Either you could send just the 9+km, 1500m vertical descent, or you could climb to the top, then do the 9+km, 1500m vertical descent. It's probably pretty obvious which option I chose.

The climb was timed, which biases it towards my abilities, so I knew I had a shot at the win. I put in a really good effort on the climb (1:31ish) and had a couple of minutes of a buffer on my opponents. However, I knew that they were all way better descenders than me, so I had my work cut out on the descent!
I don't have the speed and preciseness to be a trail assassin
I hammered the flatter sections up top really hard and rode the rest safely without stopping, except to put my chain back on after it fell off multiple times. I got to the bottom and crossed the finish line (35min ish) into the gauntlet of people cheering and handing up beers. The best finish line vibes EVER.

Look at that hack!  Photo: Alex Cooper
Everyone even including Bill finished safely, and we spent the afternoon eating tacos, getting a massage, taking a dip in the lake, doing some yoga (aka STRETCHING), and then it was time for awards.

I held on for the win, but only because Martin, in second, flatted, but still held his position! Photo: Alex Cooper

Results. Bill had a slow leak on the climb and had to put a tube in, and only put 1.5mins on me during the descent!

So overall, a fun event, definitely on the calendar for next year. I really enjoyed the format, both the enduro style with the climb, and the long DH. From my armchair, DH courses look to be getting easier, so let's see how well people can slay them on bikes that still climb fast. Let's see who can be smooth and has the endurance to muscle around a bike for 25+minutes.

Back in Revelstoke, Bill headed back to Kelowna (probably humiliated :P), and I got to catch up with the skimo team guys. After a good sleep at Jeff's beautiful house, it was time for some track and field action. I think everyone was having some high school flashbacks, and the 5 event series: 100m, shot put, star agility run, standing long jump, and 800m was extremely close with no clear winner until the last event. In the end, Brad came out on top of the competition, which included Stano , Andrew , Ian , Steve , Mel , and Martha, with the help of Jeff and Julie (wheough, that's a lot of tabs!).

After a quick lunch and a good discussion about qualifying for events at world championships, it was time to shred. Ian, Andrew, Mel, Martha, and I headed to the Mt. MacPherson trails for a good rip. Martha showed up on an old rigid mountain bike with cantilever brakes and some big chainrings, but the smile never left her face. We slayed some trail in a nice train, until some mechanical issues (I was clean haha) split us up. I really like MacPherson. Berm Donor, Flowdown, Dusty Beaver, and Tantrum were extremely fun, without the crowds or the bugs you get up on Frisby ridge (but without the alpine-ness, and the bugs go away once it gets cold). And then you can add TNT, Black Forest, Root Canal, and Break a Leg to that! And the trails below Hwy 23, which I have yet to ride...

I had some beta on a trail in Golden, so I hit that up the next day with my legs aching after the 800m.

anyone else see the playboy bunny?
I've been enjoying this fall for sure. I hope to keep it up with the big climbs, big descents!

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