Father, Husband, Teacher… Reaper of souls on the bike.
Trevor MacKenzie has been an incredibly prominent figure in the Victoria cycling community this past year, most notably for being an incredibly strong rider and winning the VCL A category overall. However, behind the scenes Trevor is also the team captain for the Victoria Wheelers Elite Race Team – so his success is no accident. Having a chance to ask him some questions, we took the opportunity to get the inside scoop from a VCL champion.
OBB: Going into the season, what did you expect from yourself?
Trevor: I really didn’t know what to expect going in to the season. Training during the winter months is like training in a vacuum; there are just so few opportunities to get meaningful feedback on whether what you’re doing is paying off against your competition. I really just had to throw caution to the wind and have faith that what my coach was giving me would pay off. As the workouts went by and the weeks turned in to months I began to feel better and better about the upcoming season. But I always ride thinking there’s someone faster who is training right as I type this. I was never comfortable or content heading in to the first race of the year.
OBB: When did you first realize that you could win the season overall?
Trevor: After the first handful of races I knew our team goal of getting me to the top of the standings wasn’t completely insane but it wasn’t until the first Newton Heights race of the year that I really started to believe it could happen. It was a bit of destroying a few demons for me in that I was able to hang with the leaders and make the moves that mattered. A few more strong results heading into June and I knew it was becoming more and more possible. But it wasn’t until the last Windsor Park race in August where I breathed a sigh of relief.
OBB: Who were the people around you that made you able to get the win?
Trevor: It sounds cliché but there are a bunch of people who were a part of us getting the overall…
My teammates were behind me from the get go and I can’t thank them enough. Geoff, ARuss, Mick, Stephane, Matt, Tom, Eugene, Ian, James, and Marc all had a hand in getting us the overall. Riding fast with fit dudes is awesome, but doing it with good friends makes our accomplishment all the sweeter.
The support from our sponsors has always been amazing: Oak Bay Bikes, The Fernwood Inn, Norco, Rumble, Lighthouse Brewing Company, Doug Sims Dentistry, MacKenzie Smith Lawyers, Garmin, Atlas Health Therapy. Thanks a bundle for the help in getting us fit and focused all season. You guys rock!
Further to that, the crew at OBB deserves a huge shout out. Whether it was the guys downstairs wrenching my Tactic when it needed love, or Andrew and Scotty taking care of the team and getting me set up and fitted on my race bike, or Karl’s continued support of everything Victoria Wheelers, we are super fortunate to have such a great partnership with OBB.
And my coach, Peter Lawless. Working with Peter has been a game changer in so many ways. If you’ve had chance to meet Peter you know just how awesome a guy he is. I am super fortunate to have been able to work with him this season and I can’t thank him enough for his continued support.
OBB: What was different this year to last in terms of your riding?
Trevor:Well I was definitely a lot fitter this year than last season! My training focus was more on quality than quantity during the winter season. I am a husband/father/teacher before I am a cyclist and I just can’t match the huge amount of base miles other Cat1/2 guys aim for. This set me up well for a strong start to the season for sure. I tried my best each race to focus on a few performance goals believing that if I met these then the results would follow. I think these two factors are the most meaningful differences in this season when compared to last: quality over quantity and performance over results.
OBB: How does it feel to win a season?
Trevor: It feels pretty darn awesome to have us take the overall. But what is really great is knowing how we went about achieving it. There was no hiding, no taking it easy, no race where we took it off, and no gifts along the way. All of the guys took on a responsibility each week with a focus on getting us a result. It wasn’t like it was The Trevor Show for the team each race. We marked for each other, we got guys in moves, and we led each other out. All season we had several guys who were a legit threat to winning each week. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of the team and I’m super excited to see what we can do in 2016.
OBB: Any words of wisdom for those wanting to get into VCL or separately improve their riding/racing?
Trevor: I started out riding on the OBB Saturday Ride. I was super impressed with how friendly and fun everyone was and I got hooked. Come out and give it a go.
- Carve out time to ride, make it consistent each week, and put it on paper. Training plans help (a lot!).
- Find a buddy. Riding with a friend, especially when the workout is daunting and your legs are exhausted, makes everything easier. Share the pain and you share the gains.
- Spice it up. Whether it’s cyclocross, mountain biking, or on the road keeping it fresh helps keep me fresh.
- Have fun! I never lose sight of having a good time. Sometimes “fun” is tearing legs off on a group ride and sometimes “fun” is a pedal with my kids down to the beach.
Cycling doesn’t pay my bills but it certainly puts a smile on my face.
A big congrats to Trevor!