Two days of great riding, what better way to spend the weekend!! And it didn't rain on me...yippee. Maybe we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, maybe..hehe.
Saturday was but of course, the Tour de Victoria clinic ride, and we had some good hills planned. Heading out to Metchosin to battle the first half of the 140 km course, which just happens to have probably half of the climbing on course. Nice sunny, but very windy day, lead to a great day of riding with a fun group of people.
Sunday, Regan was my chauffeur and photographer extraordinaire. With a late Sat night decision to go up to Port Alberni for the 6th Island Cup race of the season (I was watching the forecast all week.....it gets REALLY muddy there), we got up early Sunday morning and made the 2 and a half hour drive up and in island. Huge thanks to Lee and the guys of Ozzie's Cycles and ASS (ya ASS - Alberni Single Speeders)for the awesome course design. The trails in that area are so fun, so well made and maintained, it's really sad that that whole area is scheduled to be cut down this summer :( Last time riding those trails.
I've been looking forward all week to getting a chance to race Catherine Vipond again on some local island trails, but when we finally showed up to the race, I remembered that Catherine and Matt have just moved to Canmore.....so I was racing the guys! I had a great start, as per usual, sticking with Craig Richey and Drew MacKenzie for the first......ummmmmm 400 m, into the first climb. Haha, I had to rein in my effort from there because there is a lot of climbing and it's a long course..blowing on the far end of this course leads to a long painful ride back. The super tight, slow and twisty singletrack doesn't allow for any recovery either.
I ended up climbing the first lap with Simon Tremblay, back and forth through the corners and straight aways. It was good to have him there, as I definitely pushed myself to stay with him. Know that I needed to get into the singletrack before him, he bobbled near the top and I hammered into the singletrack. 20 mins of climbing to get to that point, then pretty much 30 mins of singletrack back to the lap point. The top half of the course was super fun fast descending (can't help having a super big s*$t eating grin), and the bottom half of the course is the slow, tight twisty singletrack (still with the grin). This kind of trail you end up better off dialing back a hair and just riding, seems the harder to push, the slower you go (bouncing off of everything, running off course), so by the time you circle back through to start climbing again, you've had a lot of fun trail to erase the pain of the climb.
The rest of the race I was in no mans land (where I always seem to end up), with Drew getting farther and farther away from me, and Craig Gillette and late starters Martin Vail and Carter Houvey gaining fast on me from behind. Finished 3rd guy and first girl on the day. One of the funnest courses out there, well I actually haven't ridden an island course that I haven't liked.
After the race we packed up fast for a dinner date at Gina's, yumm, yummm, yummmmmm. Then drooled the whole way home...hehe. After running around taking pic's all day, Regan still had energy to do a write up for the race for Canadian Cyclist. All photos by reganpringleshoots.
One more week till I leave for my first World Cup of the 2011 in Dalby Forest, UK :)