Time to fire out another Kabush Report. Too much has happened since my last one, and I use up most of my creativity on Twitter. I figure I have a few things I should report on however.
Lately the bike matches I have been attending have gone very... maybe extremely well. If I could only figure out exactly what I did in the last couple of months that made the difference I would be set.
After a lot of travel and a mediocre start to the season I finally got to return to the homeland near the end of June; after five months away. I had a short visit first with my sister and family in Alberta. It was nice to hang out face to face instead of just showing our kitty cats and doggies to my niece via Skype.
While in Alberta I also worked in a Canada Cup in Canmore and got back on top of a podium. The course had some super fun singletrack, I got to hang out with my #1 Photog Gibby at his straw bale house, and I even got some decent prize money. It is amazing how Canada can pull off an excellent, top ranked, UCI National series but it is such a struggle with our neighbours to the south.
I finally made it back to Victoria at the end of June and I was psyched to get back into a bit of a training groove and relax. That was until a day later when I caught the cold my sister and niece seemed to have... son of a sterile goat! Maybe it was a good thing because it made me back off the training and just ride as the head cold lingered for about three weeks.
"Just riding" included doing a couple of awesome stages of the BC Bike Race which was truly some wicked singletrack. I loaded up my old bus and headed north for stage two in Nanaimo-Parksville, and stage three in my old school home turf of Cumberland. The trails on the island are incredible and it is really easy to see how I got hooked on mountain biking.
The only place I like better for "just riding" is Hornby Island where I went next to hang out with my parents at the family cabin. Hornby is a little piece of paradise that I don't get to visit nearly enough. Just to top the trip off my old bus even made it the entire trip without a problem; didn't even have to charge up the battery.
After my mid-season mental break I was back at it with a 15-hour travel day, all within Canada, out to St. Felicien, Quebec, to defend my national title. It was an In'n'out weekend sting operation that Mr. Wolff and I pulled off to perfection. With the head cold I definitely wasn't feeling too spicy but after a close battle I was able to hold off the young guns.
Besides being the middle of nowhere it was a great event and I was a bit relieved to escape with the maple leaf jersey for a fifth year in a row. I wasn't feeling quite up to World Cup speed at nationals so I was glad I still had a couple weeks before Mt St. Anne to go do some more homework. Someone must have thought I was doing some "special" kind of homework because I got three random drug tests in the month before Mont Sainte Anne; then one random blood test before Bromont.
Back out in Quebec the day before Mont Sainte Anne I got pretty fired up when people started lobbying to take a new rock section out of the course. I really get aggravated when people start trying to make courses easier by taking out sections, moving rocks, cutting roots, and moving the course taping. I don't go throw logs or dig holes on courses when they are too easy for my liking.
They eventually put in a sissy line but I think some people just need to practice mountain biking a little more, or get off the skinny flat bars and drop stems. When the race got under way I knew it was going to be a good day from the start; I moved up easily, or luckily, from the third row and immediately felt in control. I wasn't quite able to go with Absalon or Hermida in the middle of the race, but it was a really big boost to get back on the World Cup podium with a third place again.
I was pretty tired after Mont Sainte Anne but my confidence was definitely back up a bit. The next week I mostly cruised around, only rode the Bromont World Cup course a little, and hoped the legs would be there again come race day. Sunday came and about an hour before the race it absolutely starting pissing rain.
Now, when this happens some people get a little stressed out about tyres, equipment, and the course. I saw fellow Canadian Kris 'Kron' Sneddon ride by and we gave each other an AC/DC woot-woot, F#$% yeah, let's get it on. Experience and a great team are priceless in conditions like these; I knew I had the right bike, tyres, pressure and components to get the job done. I had my lucky #14 number plate on and I was just relaxed and looking forward to the race.
It was a victory I have been chasing for a long time but on this day it seemed easy. When racing goes well everything seems so smooth and effortless. When it doesn't, which is more often than not at World Cups, it feels like you are banging your head against the wall. Winning a World Cup was something I had always written down somewhere as a goal and to actually achieve it was something special.
One thing I can gladly tell you is that I didn't have to stop drinking beer to win a World Cup. In Quebec it was one of my favourite daily drinkers; Leffe Brown.
The East Coast swing continued with a couple of US ProXCT Series races. Mount Snow, Vermont, and Windham, New York were the locations and the weeks rolled by. We had some nice houses to hang out in, good food to eat, and I was able to bang off what they call a Double Double at Tim Hortons. Instead of two creams and two sugars it was two cross country wins and two short track wins. I was most satisfied to get cross-country wins number 15, 16 which pushed me past the legend, and my childhood hero, John Tomac.
Besides surfing the internet we always seem to be able to amuse ourselves on the road one way or another. My teammate, Lea Davison, is a big fan of the movie Super Troopers so we decided to have a bit of a Super Trooper contest at the last race.
Relating to a scene in the movie, the contest was to see how many 'Meows' we could work into our post-short track race video interviews; Colt at CyclingDirt being the unknowing victim. For example: I have really good form right meow. I will cut Lea a little slack because she might have been a little excited after winning the short track, but, I have to say I absolutely smoked her five Meows to one Meow (my five Meows can be seen here: http://is.gd/2jZwF).
I am now down in Australia for the biggest bike meet of the year; World Championships in Canberra. I have to say I am feeling more optimistic than ever and I think I actually have a shot. Canada is going to have a great team relay so I'm looking forward to that as well. It is my lucky Worlds #14 so I think it is time to go get some.
Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain