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2011-01-24 - Summer 2010 Redux

Summer Update

Whew, what a summer. If you're a regular reader you've probably noticed the complete lack of updates on my website since, well, the beginning of the summer. Although the lack of updates is partly due to laziness, and an addiction to Modern Warfare 2, the largest reason is I've just had far more going on than usual. I figured I'd fill in my now non-existent reader base on what I've been up to.

My last update was for the Sunshine Coaster. Two weeks after the Sunshine Coaster I was supposed to be in Naniamo racing the BC Cup. The crew I was going over with had decided the night before to catch the Stupid-O-Clock ferry because we're a complete gong show and forgot to get a reservation. Mr. Franks, now known as Angry Dad, was all freaking out about not making it over (surprising really because he just crashed his face off all week-end and beat up some kids). Anyway I woke up, got ready, and went to go pack the car at 5am (yes in the morning) only to find the courtyard in front of my townhouse was now a swimming pool (it's not supposed to be a swimming pool). Needless to say I spent the morning fixing the flood and earned myself the nickname Noah. I wasn't going to be able to make it over to Naniamo at any reasonable hour, so I decided to stay in town and sulk. I was eager to get out for a ride, so I conned Ryan and Glenn to go for a ride on the Monday after the race on Seymour. I couldn't have gone for a ride with two more cranky people. I'm almost glad I wasn't able to make it Naniamo, both Glenn and Ryan didn't seem very happy. Thanks for ruining my only ride of the week-end you selfish, miserable bastards.


Pretty much my favourite way to spend a morning

Two weeks later was the BC Cup on Ned's. I was looking forward to this race so much that I actually registered for it twice (True story). It's not that I particularly enjoy racing on a random collection of rocks, but the North Shore Smack Down is the closest thing to my "home" race. I felt pretty good on the course all week-end (besides a couple silly crashes, one of which caused Angry Dad to bin it worse than I did and dent his bike ... sorry). Come race time I was confident I could put together a good result. I got up to the start area early, and watched the first couple Elites take off down the course. As my name got announced to line up the rain started to fall. I could see the trail in front of me grow increasing damp as the rain continued to fall. I didn't have much time to contemplate what the rain meant, but figured I'd charge off down the course at normal pace. This proved to be a poor decision because within sight of the start line I had already entered a series of corners with too much speed, slid off line, and lost time. With the rain having just started some sections were dry, some were soaking wet, so racing the trail was a high speed guessing game in trying to predict grip levels before actually entering a section. It almost came unglued going over the root gap as I got wild for the second year in a row. Then I pulled off a big crowd pleasing drift on a cobble stone corner that was slipperier than an eel in olive oil. While I didn't fall down, and did look like a hero, I lost even more time. At the end of the day I put on a good show for the spectators, but didn't achieve the result I was hoping for as I finished up in 8th place with a time of 2 minutes 48 seconds. I’d like to say I’ll do better next year, but apparently there are no plans for a BC Cup on the Shore for 2011. Boo!


Race run at the North Shore Smack Down – Photo by Dave Mackie


Splish splash I’m takin’ a bath, race run on Ned’s


Finish line jump on Ned’s – Photo by Brandon Everell


Sending it over the root gap on Ned’s – Photo by Dave Mackie

Neds race results click here

Then another two weeks after the Ned's race it was out to the valley for the Arduum Challenge BC Cup. It's no secret that Arduum isn't my favourite race course. I love the high speed courses where the majority of the time is spent off the brakes and railing turns. Arduum is about as close to the opposite of that as possible as you're on the brakes most of the time, and most of the corners are slow speed switch backs. I wasn't planning on racing Arduum, but Ryan Walters had been talking so much crap over the past two years that I decided last minute to show up with the sole purpose of shutting him up. I rode the course with Angry Dad on Thursday before the race and had lots of fun sessioning the course. We found some good lines, so I was actually looking forward to the race. Come the week-end the course got beaten to crap and whenever I tried to open things up a bit I wound up having an accident. I guess I'm just not that good at riding fast on the steeper and slower tracks. Anyway I had a good week-end of practice with one or two small falls, but nothing major. There was a new hip gap in the course that I was having problems with. I wasn't feeling comfortable with the run in, and wasn't certain I had enough speed to clear the gap. I wound up giving up and decided to skip doing the jump in my race run. Besides I also had a sneaky way of getting through the section almost as quickly as jumping the feature. The course remained rather slippery from the rains a few days prior. Come race time I knew I wasn't competitive with the top guys and just wanted a smooth conservative run. While I was making my way through the endless series of slow and boring switch-backs I could hear some sort of a chant being yelled out by the crowd. I knew the crowd was situated around the hip gap, and thought to myself that they must be cheering for the rider in front of me. For a moment I thought I maybe I was catching the guy that left before me ... ahhh ... nope ... I can just make out what they're saying .... "... JUMP IT JUMP IT JUMP IT JUMP IT JUMP IT ... " ... you bastards. I wasn't succumbing to the peer pressure though. Firm in my ways I lined up for my sneaky line, that I actually hadn't tried in practice. Without braking I scrubbed the lip of the jump, and used a piece of benched in terrain that was under the tape and covered with fens as a transition. Some pesky spectators had perched themselves on this bench, right under the course tape. I taught them a lesson and gave them some front row seating special splash zone treatment... sorry. I managed to squeak in a few pedal strokes in the flat before the actual transition, and was away with good speed. The crowd reaction was initially a loud, "Booooooo", but soon transitioned into, "Yeaaahhhhhh!", that’s right, I’m an original, and avoided the risk of "Tafting" the landing. As expected my run was fairly slow and placed me in 17th place, one place ahead of Mr. Ryan Walters, *GRINS*. Needless to say Ryan wasn't very happy about the result and had a cry ... again. I was lucky enough to walk off the best prize presented at the awards; The "I Know My Line and Will Hit It The Morning Award", which consisted of a porcelain unicorn mother and foul figurine, a roll of pink toilet paper, and an empty box of Chunks-O-Hoy cookies (which I presume Dan Gronross ate, I’m on to you Gronross). I cried about the lack of cookies, and used the pink toilet paper to decorate Karla's broken truck. The decoration occurred right under Karla's nose, much to the amusement of the crowd. All in all it was a really fun event, and one I'll likely do again next year, even though I really dislike that course. I'll spend the winter practicing it, so I can do better next year. Cheers to Karla and Dan, you two are good sports.

I show up in these videos here, I'm sure you can figure out which one is me, for those of you who can’t look at 2:42 in the first movie and 0:25 in the second movie (same footage though)


One of my favourite photos of the year – Photo by Dave Mackie


Railing some turns on Arduum


A blurry photo of the “Jump It” incident – Photo by Martin Newman


Getting in the air on one of the other jumps on Arduum


A cool shot showing the nature of Arduum, technical steep terrain with tight tricky corners

Arduum race results click here

Then a few days after Arduum the first of three house guests arrived from my illustrious home nation of South Africa (during the World Cup I might add ... so see ... some people do like me). Simon and I were best of friends in high school in South Africa before I shipped off to Canada. A week after Simon shoed up my other best of friends from South Africa arrived, Ryan, with his girlfriend Nic. Luckily Ryan arrives right in the middle of my stag party.


My riding attire compliments of my “friends”


Ripping up some trail in a bunny outfit doesn’t happen that often, I made the most of the occasion


Obligatory Muff Diver with some other Bride to Be


No, thank-you. One rather steep bill from Joeys, and yes most of that was booze

On July 3rd I gave up all independence and married my wonderful wife Andrea. The wedding was fantastic and went off without a hitch. I had an awesome evening ... besides the time when my douche bag "friends" thought it'd be funny to feed me a Coors Light and red wine spritzer, and the time we discovered that some tit left the beer keg tap open and emptied what was left into a plastic bucket. We partied long into the night, that is until my new mother in law and a bottle of tequila ruined everyone at about 3am. Many people were sporting alcohol induced grimaces the following morning, but smiles soon appeared as the night was pieced back together. Cheers to all who came and made our day very memorable.


No caption necessary really


Our family at the ceremony


The South African Soccer Team


Danger Will Robinson!


And yes we did have a mariachi band at our wedding

Post wedding the South African Soccer Team, Andrea and I spent the week in Whistler. Cindy and Duncan also happened to be in Whistler, so we just partied, hung out, and had pretty much the best time ever.


The vuvuzela Simon brought for me from South Africa was well used, much to the dismay of many people, including my neighbours


South African snow angel fail


One of these is not like the others, one of these is not the same


Lots of time was spent lying in the sun at the lake, I could think of worse places to be


The boys at a waterfall on a hike in Whistler


On a rock in a river WIN!


The crew leaving Whistler


The crew attempts to climb to the top of the Chief in Squamish


The boys at the top of the Chief in Squamish, and what a beautiful view it was

For the last week-end in July Angry Dad, Emo, Paula and I loaded into Angry Dad's truck and headed for Mt. Washington. For future reference I'd rather rollerblade to Mt. Washington than have to endure being inside that truck for any extended period of time. To be honest the trip home was mildly less miserable, but that was partly due to my mild intoxication. The race week-end in itself was awesome. I LOVED riding the course. For those that haven't ridden Mt. Washington the course is named the Monster Mile. The Monster Mile has received very little maintenance that I can see in the 6 years I've been racing. It's raw, rough as guts, fast and has a good mix of features. It's been wet at Mt. Washington for almost all the races I've done there, so it was a welcome surprise to have sunshine forecast for the entire week-end. Then I had a bit of an incident attempting to avoid a slower rider in one of the tree sections. I wound up bruising a calf, bumping my head, and smashing my hand. I was trying to get up and move off the trail to avoid being run over by Angry Dad, but instead did a fantastic impersonation of a fish on land. Luckily the marshal slowed everyone down and Angry Dad dragged my sorry ass off the trail. I seemed to be in one piece but my left leg was a useless trunk of agony. At the bottom I purchased a bottle of pills and proceeded to have a vitamin I lunch. If I kept still the leg would seize up so I spent the better part of the afternoon doing fun runs in the bike park. During my race run pedaling, and even just standing on the bike sent shooting pain up my left side. I rode gently, nursing the poor leg until adrenaline numbed everything, which allowed me to rip the bottom half of the course. I had a fairly tidy run (except for riding like a pansy through the top half of the course). At the end of the day I came 6th in Elite, which I was fairly happy with.


Pinning it on my race run down the Monster Mile – Photo by Dave Mackie

Mt. Washington race results click here

After the wedding and with Andrea being off work I didn't have a full budget for racing this year. I decided to save the money I would have spent on the Crankworx entry fees and use it towards a trip out to the Kootenay's instead. I decided to spend the week-ends in Whistler though as I wanted to watch the Garbanzo DH, Slopestyle and Canadian Open DH. It was also nice to be able to spend time talking with vendors and friends in the industry. Being able to relax, enjoy the lakes and pose in the village was a welcome change to the usual hustle of Crankworx. I also got to try some interesting bikes, rip the bike with loads of friends, soak in the Hecklers Ridge and generally have an awesome time.

The final race of the year for me was supposed to be the BC Cup Finals in Kicking Horse. The trip out to the Kootenay's is the one trip I spend all year thinking about. It's been a staple of my summers for the past three years. I enjoy the scenery, the riding is excellent, and I usually take a week off work with the goal of riding and racing every day. I was all set to go, but unfortunately due to a tight deadline, and a colleagues family emergency I was unable to get the time off. Rats. Instead of going up and racing I made the most of the week-end and got out to take some photos with the Hoff. The reason being that I'm writing a review on a Manitou Dorado Pro that I have been testing, and needed some good photos to go with the review. The Hoff and I got some excellent shots while riding on Cypress. A couple are shown below.


One of my favourite sections on Mystery DH – Photo by The Hoff


Railing a corner on Stupid Grouse – Photo by The Hoff


Just a wee little roll on Stupid Grouse – Photo by The Hoff


Ocean views from West Van – Photo by The Hoff

That brings me to now. The summer is transitioning to fall, and the race calendar is almost over. There are a couple more exciting events that I'm planning on hitting up. First off is the King of the Hill enduro DH in Sun Peaks on September 11. Then at the end of September there is also a Fluidride Cup race at Mt. Hood that could be a good time. Mt. Hood is an awful long way to drive though. Look out for my review of the Dorado Pro on NSMB.com in the next week or two. Besides that, I’ll be out there shredding the fall time hero dirt.



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, 2016-12-28, 08:51:18



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