Friday at school all I could think about was racing on the weekend. It was going to be a double header; an enduro on Saturday then a cross country on Sunday. A jam packed but extremely fun weekend. As soon as school let out my family made the 2 1/2 hour trip up to the Parksville Hammerfest riding area. It was dark and wet but nothing could contain my excitement to get out riding. We ended up pre-riding two out of the three stages of the enduro the following day. We checked out lines and conditions and just had a great time. A few crashes and smiles later we headed back to the parking lot feeling accomplished. Soaked but happy we made our way back into town to spend the night.
I woke up the following morning to rain, but an hour before the race started the sun came out and it was looking like it was going to be an amazing day. Driving into the parking lot it was great to see around a hundred people already there getting set up and preparing for the big day. People of all ages and sizes stoked to get out racing. Everyone was raring to go, but when we heard the “Go”, we made our trek to the top of the course.
Still fresh from the previous day’s hard rain the course was slippery and tacky at the same time. Knowing what the conditions on the next corner would be like was a guessing game. After three stages of fast, muddy fun the race was over. I was happy with how all of my runs had gone and excited to see the results. I was ecstatic that I had come out in second. After the podiums and kid frenzied draw prizes it was time to go home and get ready for the next race.
The next day it was warm and sunny and the first race of the season that I didn’t have to wear tights or a long sleeve. The start went directly into a very steep 300m climb and right away it was a challenge. The course actually suited me quite well because I love steep climbs and fast descents. There was one 50m climb on the course that seemed like it was straight up! After the first lap I felt great and ended up passing a few people as well. The trails were in great condition and rolling fast and grippy.
After an hour and 18 minutes of racing, the feeling coming into the finish with people cheering you on was so gratifying. I ended up coming in 6th which was my best placing ever for Expert XC on the Island. Stoked!
There is no better feeling than racing in a sport you love with other people that are equally passionate! Thanks to the organizers of the Island Cup Series and the shops that put on the races! Biking is booming on Vancouver Island!
I went from riding my Specialized StumpJumper 650B on Saturday to my Norco Revolver 9.1 Hardtail on Friday. Both bikes worked flawlessly allowing me to do the best I could!
Thanks Oak Bay Bikes and Rumble for supporting me and Braison Images for the photos.