My racing career started when a colleague I worked with, Brian Brittain, suggested trying downhill racing. My first race was on a hardtail at Hemlock Mountain in 2003. I crashed twice on my race run and came dead last, but loved the whole experiece, and decided to buy a DH bike and try racing again next year.
I wound up buying Brian's old Cheeta Pro-Line DH frame and used the parts from my hardtail to build it up. I raced my second race at Penticton in 2004. I placed 4th in Senior Beginner and had the time of my life. My next race was a disaster, I broke the Cheeta frame during practice on Saturday, and had to build up my hardtail and race on that. My rear brake failed on the start line, and crashed in the first corner. Soon after I hooked up with Rocky Cycle Bike Shop and bought a Santa Cruz V10. I raced the rest of the 2004 season on the V10 for Rocky Cycle with mixed success.
In the beginning of 2005 Rocky Cycle changed ownership and the new owner was reluctant to renew my shop deal. Brian was riding with Pedals and Pints through John Henry Bikes at the time and encouraged me to try ride leading for the club. I came out and loved the experience. I signed on with Pedals and Pints and was offered a shop deal riding for John Henry Bikes, which I gratefully accepted. I raced the V10 again in 2005 and improved my results greatly from 2004 and upgraded to Senior Sport Men halfway through the season.
I continued to ride lead for John Henry Bikes and Pedals and Pints over the Winter of 2005 and Spring of 2006. I gladly accepted to race for John Henry Bikes again and was loaned a 2006 Norco Team DH and 2006 Norco Shore 1 for the season. I retired the old V10, which I converted into my Nomad. My 2006 race season was very successful and I managed to podium in almost every race through the year, as well as improve my race times from 2005 by 10-15 seconds on average. I also upgraded from Senior Sport Men to Senior Expert Men late in the season, and managed to win my first race in Senior Expert, and place second in my second race in Senior Expert. Based on my results in Senior Expert I was upgraded to the Pro/Elite category over the winter of 2006.
Over the winter of 2006 the Pedals and Pints club was folded, and I was instrumental in reviving the club under the name North Shore Ride (or NSRIDE for short). 3 of the 5 directors voted to leave John Henry Bikes as the title sponsor and pursue Different Bikes. I wanted to ride lead in a reduced capacity for 2007 and further concentrate on racing, and as such chose to stay with the great folks at John Henry Bikes as my bike shop sponsor, and part ways with NSRIDE. 2007 was another great year for me. I further improved my race times by 10-15 seconds on average, and placed 19th in combined Juniors and Elites at the Canadian Nationals. It was my first year in Pro/Elite and I learned much from the other guys I raced with.
For the winter of 2007 I trained to keep fit, gain strength, and improve my technical ability on the wet and slippery North Vancouver trails. My training program worked well and I felt fast coming into the first race of the season. Unfortunately the start of my 2008 season was frustrating. I uncharacteristically crashed at the first BC Cup of the year in Kamloops and had a series of mistakes in race runs that resulted in poor results. I finally got a good result at Bear Mountain, where I finished 2nd, my first podium in Elite. This was followed by a string of good results at the Crankworx events, a Canada Cup, and another podium at the Mt. Washington BC Cup. I achieved my goals for 2008 in what turned out to be a tough season.
For the winter of 2008 I look to continue training hard and build on my success of 2008. I have a good routine of cross training and plan to again spend a lot of time on the DH in the wet on the challenging local trails. My goal for 2009 is to improve my race times by a further 5 seconds on average, win a BC Cup, and place top 10 at a Canada Cup, grow the already great relationships I have with sponsors and start new relationships with new sponsors. More than anything my goal for 2009 is to continue having fun on my bike and positively influence the local riding community.
|© Tim Coleman 2007
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