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Geoff Kabush

Geoff Kabush (Canada) seemed to get stronger towards the end of the race. He finished eighth

2010 season done and dusted

By:
Geoff Kabush
Published:
September 09, 2010, 18:01 BST,
Updated:
September 09, 2010, 19:03 BST

Time to switch to cyclo-cross

The 2010 mountain bike season is done and dusted. It wasn't the most spectacular of seasons for me but I definitely enjoyed it and had some great experiences along the way. The world championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne were a unique opportunity, and they were on my radar all season. Although I dreamed of doing something a little more special, I had to be satisfied with my eighth place finish. I banked several good memories from the Championships weekend; both from before and after the race.

I think everyone can agree that returning world championships to the final race on the calendar is a good idea. After fighting it out all year in spandex, it is fun to go "fighting in the dance war", to quote Frank Black, in a more relaxed atmosphere.

The season got off to an inauspicious start after running straight into the Volcano mayhem trying to get to the first World Cup and European campaign. That travel nightmare, a bit of sickness, an bio-mechanical DNF, and a forced DNF ended the short six-race World Cup season with a relatively low 31st ranking.

I am definitely looking forward to making amends next year and getting a clean shot at the Dalby and Windham World Cup courses. They both seem like great additions, and it is nice to see a World Cup back in "Amurica" finally.

Besides the World Cup Campaign, I did mix it up with some different races to fill in the gaps this year. In addition to cleaning up with four second places in the US Pro XCT and second overall, I also really enjoyed getting a few second place finishes in Belgium. It was my first time doing some national level events in Europe, and I had a great time. I got well taken care of, it was on National TV, and the races also gave me a great excuse to hang out in Belgium and drink beer.

Perhaps the other highlight of the summer was the BC Bike Race. My teammate Lea (Davison) was out of action so Catharine Pendrel stepped in, and we had a great time riding the sweet singletrack the race has to offer. It is a rare opportunity to get to ride around BC in the summer, and I also got to fit in a return to competition at the legendary Test of Metal race in Squamish. Along with a quick visit to Hornby Island, it was a perfect mid-summer mental refreshment.

I managed to win Canadian Nationals again, my seventh senior title, just before the second European campaign of the season. (Max) Plaxton and (Derek) Zandstra put up a fight, but I am not going to give up that jersey easily; "Old School" prevailed against "New School" for at least another year.

The second trip this year was a bit of a mystery with an average race in Champery followed by a DNF in Val di Sole; my first World Cup DNF in about four years. Maybe it was a bit of a bug but I was pretty happy to be heading home for three weeks to train before the World Championships.

I was happy that I was able to turn things around for the world championships as I can now head into cyclo-cross season with a little better motivation. This year I have a couple week break which is pretty nice compared to the two-day break last year. I am out on the west coast and heading to Hornby Island for a little more relaxing before it all starts again at Starcrossed. Hope to see some hecklers there in the beer garden.

Cheers.
Geoff Kabush
Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain
http://twitter.com/GeoffKabush

View from the top of my favourite MTB mountain; Mt. Geoffrey, Hornby Island.

Cramming in the frequent flyer points

By:
Geoff Kabush
Published:
October 29, 2009, 4:27 GMT,
Updated:
October 29, 2009, 13:27 GMT

Worlds, World Cups and CX season

The last month of the mountain bike season and the transition, or lack thereof, to the cyclo-cross season was quite hectic. I'm just coming out of my post-season, airplane over-exposure, time change decompression and the batteries are finally starting to recharge a little.

I just finished one of the final steps in my recharge cycle before hitting the 'cross season full on; a trip up to Hornby Island and the birthplace of my relationship with the mountain bike. It is kind of a pilgrimage for me to go back to the trails I started riding on and it is still one of my favourite places in the world.

It really is a magical island even when you are not smoking anything like a lot of the locals. One of my favourite stories is from around age 15 when I was doing trailwork on Hornby. In exchange for helping out for the day I was given a joint; Hornby is a bit of a hippy island and a joint was pretty much like cash. I don't smoke and I was hungry so I headed down to the local gathering place, the Co-op store. It seemed pretty normal at the time that I just traded the joint with some dude for a burrito. Still sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Worlds, and the rest of it

Anyway, back in August I was pretty excited to head off on the final stretch of the mountain bike season down in Australia for World Championships. The only downside was that once again I had to leave Australia immediately after the race and beer was extremely expensive. This required me to make an 'on the fly' switch to some fine local wine for my final preparation.

I got down to Australia a little early to enjoy the local food and spend some time on probably my favourite course in the world; I had been looking forward to this race all year. I was a little oblivious to people landing on their heads, or braking their bikes on the rocks, as I just kept riding around lap after lap with a smile on my face hitting the options, jumps, and railing the berms.

Team Canada started off Worlds quite successfully, although it was frustrating, as we grabbed a silver in the Team Relay. The frustrating part was we lost by six seconds and it was pretty easy to count the ways we could have made up six seconds. My cross country race went quite well - my best result ever, fifth - but I was also left thinking what could have been.

Many people didn't notice but Gary and I pulled off a 'Formula One' fast wheel change early in the race which left me just 15 seconds off the lead group of four. It was quite windy so for the rest of the race I time trialed by myself as I watched the front group in a road race just ahead. That's racing and I'm glad we have some more great World Championships courses in the years coming up.

The next day I was able to win the unofficial short track World Champs which was a fun series of jumps, berms, and rhythm sections. Canberra put on a great event and it was good to see that Team Canada seems to have some good leadership and potential for the years to come. Everyone is looking forward to racing in Canada at the Mont Sainte Anne World Championships next year.

Back to the World Cup circus

After Australia the travel really stepped up a notch as it was back to Canada for a day and a half and then off to Europe for the final two World Cups. It was a tough transition which left my body feeling like a sack of hammers. It certainly wasn't special but I managed to get my body across the line with some average results and gain enough points to stick eighth overall in the World Cup.

Champery was another great course and I will look forward to Worlds there in 2011 as well. Schladming not so much; I think I might enjoy racing straight up a bobsled course more. Many high fives were given and a lot of active recovery was done on the dance floor at the post-race shindig. There was little time to regroup before Las Vegas, the tradeshow, and the start of the cyclo-cross season - only two to three days, actually.

Interbike was a little odd this year as it felt like I hardly had time to walk around and say hi to everyone. We, well mostly Gary, was flat out getting our 'cross bikes ready for action. The bikes got ready, and felt quite brilliant, but not surprising my CrossVegas legs were pretty mediocre. Ms. Pink made it to town and it was nice to squeeze in a couple good meals together; the restaurants are probably my favourite part about hanging out in Vegas.

Our two to three days together blew by and then I was packing up and getting ready to head to Wisconsin for the first USGP cyclo-cross weekend. After a couple more days of standing around and travelling, Wisconsin actually went surprisingly well, with a couple of top five finishes. Going straight into cyclo-cross season felt a little crazy but it's something I look forward to every year. I really enjoy seeing old and new friends at the races and the atmosphere, with the gathering of the guys creating a lot of laughs.

Cyclo-cross also means it is my time of year to increase my beer and cheese consumption. Luckily I got on the program quickly in the brief respite I had before Canadian 'Cross Nationals in Edmonton. I was quickly up five pounds and I needed it all as it dropped well below freezing with some good wind chill and snow. I dug deep to find my wind briefs, long sleeve windproof undershirts, ski gloves and managed to stay warm enough to grab another national champion's jersey.

The group in Edmonton put on another great event followed by some more festivities which make the cyclo-cross season so much fun. It's good to see everyone after the race enjoying a beer and some laughs, or for some, like the legendary Roddi Lega, looking for some redemption by putting on a stuffed skinsuit and telling grandma jokes at the bar.

The one good thing about travelling so much is that some times I can combine it with a visit with friends or family. It was great to get a chance to stop in on my sister and family to spend Thanksgiving with my young niece for the second year in a row. Apparently everyone she sees in spandex is Uncle Geoff.

More travel is on the schedule for the next couple of months but things are a little more relaxed for cyclo-cross season. Luckily I don't have to leave North America for a while and I get to see Ms. Pink and the animals a little more often. Although the cyclo-cross season is getting a little more serious in North America it is good to see most of the guys can still be relaxed and focused on it at the same time.

No Tears, More Beers... That's it, That's all,
Geoff

Geoff Kabush
Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain
http://twitter.com/GeoffKabush
 

Geoff Kabush (Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) winning the Bromont World Cup

One World Cup, some Leffe Browns and five meows

By:
Geoff Kabush
Published:
August 27, 2009, 6:42 BST,
Updated:
August 27, 2009, 16:27 BST

A busy month hanging 'round home

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.

Geoff Kabush
Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain
http://twitter.com/GeoffKabush

Enjoying the US Medical system

Fading into fall

By:
Cycling News
Published:
November 28, 2007, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:30 BST

Howdy Friends. So much time has passed since my last report; there is almost too much to write...

November 28, 2007

Howdy Friends. So much time has passed since my last report; there is almost too much to write about.

After my last entry, my mountain bike season seemed to be moving towards a nice finale. I was having a good couple of solid weeks of training at home before heading to World Champs in Scotland. I finished my last hard workout of the year and I was rolling home when my week of hell started.

First I decided to fall off my road bike at 50 kilometers per hour and rip my arm wide open; then I got to spend 8 hours in my sweaty chamois, in the emergency room. I got a bunch of internal stitches, external stitches, and was still left with a gaping hole.

I lay in bed for three days with a sausage shaped arm and then proceeded to get on a plane for Europe. The plane caught on fire, so we had to turn around, and I got to spend a night on marble floor in Toronto. I arrived in Scotland and of course no bags showed up for three days. To top it off the main highway was closed to Fort William so we had to take back roads and arrived at 3:30 am.

So…worlds didn't go so well. My arm didn't heal enough to ride on the course until the evening before and for some reason I didn't have the legs on race day; don't know why?

Needless to say my highlights from Europe were the tourist activities after the racing, not the racing itself. I tried to race again the week after in Slovenia at World Cup Finals; I cracked hard on a really great mountain bike course and I hope we go back there sometime soon.

On the upside, Keri and I got to see Loch Ness, an old castle, had a quick five hour layover London trip, saw Vienna and "The Kiss", enjoyed Prague's sausage carts and beautiful sights, and brought home some Absinthe. I also did a lot of walking in Europe to get prepped for my first 'cross races in Seattle.

I decided to stop in Seattle on my way to Interbike to try to score some UCI 'cross points. Star-crossed, one of my favorite events, didn't go so well and I was a DNF after half a lap. However, on the upside I slammed four free beers on my way past the beer garden. I redeemed myself on day two of the weekend with an aggressive fourth place at the Rad Racing GP. I tried to drive my old VW bus aggressively to make it back to Victoria, too, but that didn't work out so well; border waits, missed ferries, and a 2:30 am arrival was a bit of a rubbish way to end the weekend.

After about 15 hours in Victoria it was straight off to Interbike for the annual gong trade show. It is always fun to see everyone after a long season when things are a little less serious. Highlights...well let's see? I managed to score a free chef's hat and apron from Fiz'ik after serving gelato out at "Dirt Demo"; I got to do a really fun bike race on Wednesday night at CrossVegas; then I used my prize money to try to help Wells pay for a US$500 bottle of Vodka. Then it was very fun watching Mr. Dik Cox try to down some of our Prague Absinthe at Kona's Buck-a-Bowl. I am still trying to recover from Twin Towers Tre-Boo- Hoo and Wicks Nuun tablet attack at bowling; Lemon-Lime is my favorite flavor but I don't recommend taking one in the lip at high speed.

After Interbike I had about five days to get back in shape for the Vuelta a Chihuahua; a seven-day stage race down in Mexico with my Symmetrics buddies. It was a really beautiful, well organized race and a nice way to end my year on the road. Christian Meier, aka Young Man, aka Christ, aka Kiki-bird, was hanging tough with all the Euros who showed up for a bit of an Operacion Puerto reunion; he finished off the tour in second. Everyone else rode well on some really epic and beautiful mountain days and finished off what was a great year for the team. Congrats to Svein [Tuft] for taking the UCI Americas tour and to the team taking for winning the UCI Americas Team Title.

The Pinks were in town when I got back to Albuquerque and I enjoyed getting out for my few annual rounds of golf with my father-in-law. The parents were also great for helping get a bunch of little projects around the house taken care of; thanks. Keri had also had gotten me a long awaited pro-sumer espresso set-up that I am really enjoying as the winter approaches. For our one year anniversary I got the pro-sumer espresso gear and she got a pro-sumer camera; we are going to have lots of great snapshots as well now.

I am back on to the cyclo-cross season now and we have some pretty sweet rigs from Litespeed all decked out with the latest gear including some sweet carbon Reynolds wheels. The first USGP was a little lack-luster so I decided to head up to Boulder to try to score some precious UCI points this past weekend. Chris Grealish and his crew put on some great events and I had some good fun hanging out with some old friends in the Republic. The races were hot, sandy, and had some raging winds blowing on some long straight stretches; perfect for Tre-Boo-Hoo to take a couple wins. I managed a couple decent finishes and will hopefully move up a bit in the rankings. While I was in town I decided it would be a good idea to go see Andy Pruitt and Todd Carver at the Sports Medicine Center for a 3D bike fit. We definitely made a few changes that I hope will be my secret weapon in 2008.

The winter is approaching very slowly in Albuquerque so the weather is perfect for exploring some of the great trails here. It is one of my favorite times of the year when I can just head out for an epic trail ride and not worry about my heart rate or where I am going.

Happy Trails.
Geoff

The final 07 "Amurican" Kabush Report

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 24, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 21, 2009, 11:55 BST

The final race on the "Amurican" MTB circuit is over, the NMBS Finals in Aspen, and the summer seems...

August 25, 2007

The final race on the "Amurican" MTB circuit is over, the NMBS Finals in Aspen, and the summer seems to be flying by. However, right now I am trying to train in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for three weeks, and I wouldn't mind seeing some fall temperatures. My only escape from the heat, usually around 95°F, is to ride up to around eight, nine, ten thousand plus feet ( 2700m)where it cools off a bit. Right now, I am way too lazy to get up and ride at 6AM like most desert dwellers.

Way back in July, I got to spend a nice chunk of time in the homeland and attended a couple of Canadian Championships. First was a trip back to Quebec for some road racing with my buddies on the Symmetrics, now presented by FarmPure team. It was sure nice to be on Symmetrics because racing for anyone else at Road Nationals would have sucked; we had a whole lot of heavy hitters in our arsenal. The team didn't sit back and race negative, however; it was full court press right from the gun. I had fun attacking about ten times in the first ten minutes. I didn't end up making the big move at about eleven minutes but we stacked the move and the boys took care of business. Cam took the jersey, Randers took the silver, and Svein rolled in for fourth; I and the rest of the boys got a good workout trying to race the thunderstorms and lighting bolts of the beautiful Beauce region.

After that it was back to BC (British Columbia) and up the island to my hometown of Courtenay for MTB Nationals. My sister was back home too so it was good to see her as she is getting big, round, and ready to have a baby in September. She will be back on the Xterra circuit next year and is still managing to fit in some riding despite the extra luggage. It seems like I am getting to the age where all my friends are either have a kid or have a bun in the oven. I think Keri and I are going to try to avoid growing up for a while longer.

The big bike race was up on Mt. Washington and it certainly felt like ski season. Toulouse and I were warming up with about three or four layers on....thermal, rain shells, toques, and it was so cold, rainy, and windy that we went and rode circles in a parking garage to try to get some heat in the legs. I bought a tub of Vaseline at the last moment to lather up my legs and arms and I think it was the winning move. It was a tight race, and a real mountain bike test between Plankton and me. Being thirty, I can be considered a veteran now, and I used my experience to hold off the young punk to take the maple leaf jersey for another year.

After the stretch in Canada it was back to the U.S. of A. for the last couple of NMBS races in Sugar Mt, North Carolina and Snowmass, Colorado. My in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. Pink, came out to see me ride around in spandex for the first time in North Carolina. I wasn't able to win another nasty race, but I had a good battle with Mr. Bishop, took second place in the XC, and was able to lock up the overall which was a pretty nice consolation prize. In the STXC I lost the last lap showdown and finished fourth; this was going set up an exciting finale in Snowmass. JHK, Todd, and I were virtually tied in the series now and it was going to be winner take all.

Back to Albuquerque and after feeling like a sack of hammers for the first week at altitude I climbed in the car and headed up to Snowmass for the final showdown at 9000 feet (2700m). Seeing as I had nothing to lose in the XC I decided I might as well go with my "crazy" setup and run the Maxxlite 310 tyres; the lightest production tyre goes uphill unbelievably fast and I figured if I made it through the rock gardens and downhill single track I would have a chance to take another win. The gamble paid off barely; after a see-saw battle with Mr. Bishop I ended up getting just enough time on the last uphill to squeak out the win. Jeremiah caught up to me with about seven to eight minutes to go and after a hair razing descent and some drifting through the last gravel corner I hung on by about a second.

I figured I might as well go with the same setup for the STXC and the grassy climbing course was perfect for it. Trebon tried to throw a long bomb, got 20 seconds, and then dropped anchor halfway. I managed my throttle, whittled it down, and eventually ended up alone off the front for the win and another STXC Series Title; sweet as Keri and our dogs, Casey and Tallulah, were there to watch and I got a couple of nice sloppy kisses at the finish. Casey went a little champagne crazy at the awards; he charged the podium when I popped the cork and got a little bubbly bath. It is not like the glory days when I watched Tinker win a Jeep, or watched Travis get a big $10,000 check, but I did get another couple sweet plaques and jerseys to add to the collection... oh yeah, and the glory, oh the glory. I do love to ride my bike though and avoid growing up for as long as I can.

It has been a great year so far and thanks go out to my team, Maxxis, all our great sponsors, the staff, everyone at HQ, my teammates, family, wife, dogs, cats, and everyone out there supporting me this year. Pan-American - check, Canada - check, USA - check, next stop Worlds Championships in Fort Bill, Scotland. Do I have a chance? We will see.

Until then.

Cheers, Geoff

Slippery conditions at the Offenburg World Cup

The World Cup nemesis

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 16, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:30 BST

Well I certainly have done a variety of racing since my last report; this included another European...

July 16, 2007

Well I certainly have done a variety of racing since my last report; this included another European World Cup, some road bike meets, a NORBA, and a couple more World Cups in the nation of Quebec.

This last stint began over in Germany with round two of my nemesis, the European World Cup. Regrettably I can say I definitely lost the match. I had a sweet in-and-out operation going, was feeling great too; but then it all went pear shaped a few hours before the race. The sky clouded up and wept torrentially, and in turn I didn't manage the conditions very well. I tasted the dirt a few too many times and in the end was forced to limp in for a mediocre finish. Offenburg was a great course and venue though; they did a lot of work and even had bleachers and a beer garden set up in the middle of woods.

I came back to North America a little beat down, but happy to have a break from racing. I had time to hang out with my wife Miss Pink as well as our farm of dogs and cats. I decided to skip the third World Cup in Europe to make sure I stayed healthy and mentally fresh for some big races to come. This included weeding the back yard, putting some miles in the bank, and scouting possible locations for family relocation.

I wasn't interested in a third trip to Europe before summer hit and instead I ended up getting to do one of the coolest road races in the U.S. of A. For those of you who don't know, I am a member of the powerful Symmetrics road squad, but haven't attended every race.

I was not planning on heading to Philadelphia but unfortunately, one of my best mates (and best man), Pinner, went out with a back problem just beforehand. I got the last-minute phone call and a couple hours later was on a plane to fill in for him. This year Philly was an intense bike match and we raced at a very impressive speed for more than 250km. It was a bit like a six hour motorpace with a few hill climb intervals thrown in. The team was riding strong and got in some key moves but nothing was sticking; I ended up rolling in a little behind the front guys.

After Philly, the NORBA season picked up again for round #4: Deer Valley, Utah. It is one of the nicest venues we get to hang out at all year; swanky home rentals, great restaurants, and Keri came up to hang out which made it nice.

Our matchmaker and Smith Optics main man Greg "Chopper" Randolph, aka "Big Dumb Muscle", came out of retirement and did an impressive ride, taking it to over half the pro men's field. Also in the 'full time working man' category, Eric 'Caveman' Tonkin demoralized a lot of guys with his hairy legs and a career sixth place ride. I managed to stay ahead of these guys but not ahead of JHK, who took his first win of the year. It was a tough race but I bounced back on day two; I pulled on some new pink Dopers Suck socks and they seemed to do the trick as I was able to attack early and take the STXC solo.

After that it was off to the 'Great White North' for the first time in several months; it was nice to be back in the homeland and racing a World Cup in the always enthusiastic Mont-Ste-Anne. There is no other venue like it, and even though I am not a Quebec national, they still cheer for me like crazy; probably because I am wearing a Maple Leaf kit just like the Queen of Mont-Ste-Anne, Marie-Helen Premont. My legs felt almost as incredible as level of the crowd's roar, and I felt like I could keep it wide open all day. It was very exciting to ride all the way into 3rd place in one of the most competitive North American World Cups in recent memory.

The next challenge after Mt. St. Anne was figuring out how to waste time for a whole week before the next round, which was even farther north in St. Felicien. Even my Quebecois teammate Toulouse hadn't been that far up the continent. There wasn't much going on in St. Felicien but the excellent course made the drive worth our while. Unfortunately I couldn't quite find my rhythm on a course I liked; I managed a 20th but not quite what I was looking for.

After the mid-season hump I was looking forward to getting back to Victoria, the summer months in Canada, and my favourite coffee shop: Discovery Coffee. Keri turned us on to this great website, so if you are ever on the road in North America and searching for something tasty, take a look at www.espressomap.com; it is an invaluable resource for the coffee snob/geek.

Coming up this month I have the road bike nationals, MTB nationals, and then back to the U.S. of A. for the NORBA series.

Over and out,
GK

Author
Geoff Kabush

Popular Canadian mountain bike racer Geoff Kabush races for Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain.  He's a regular on the mountain bike World Cup circuit and at Canadian and US national series races.  You'll also see him in some occasional mountain bike stage races during the season and on the cyclo-cross circuit in the fall.