Mountain biking addiction - The Archives

What seems like a very long time ago, I was a half decent athlete.  As a youngster, I played enormous amounts of Rep. team Hockey (mostly AA) and Rep. team basketball in addition to High School basketball.  Hell, our high school Basketball schedule rivaled the NBA schedule.  One year I played 68 games.

After high school, I drank and studied my way thru' University, then Life happened.  I got a job, got married and stopped exercising regularly.  It wasn't really a sedentary, lazy Homer Simpson thing, I just didn't have time.  So, 60 lbs. later I was finding it quite a bit harder to get up and down the basketball court.  Tired of simply growing fatter, I bought a Mtn. Bike and hit the trails with the intention of getting in better shape so I could start playing basketball competitively again.

One of my biggest motivations was remembering that my Dad always made himself available for pick-up games with my buddies even when during my later high school days, we ended up being much larger and younger than him.  In fact, he always found a way to kick some ass nonetheless.  I really want to be able to play with my kids when they get old enough (if they will have me).

Anyway, Long Story short, I really dig Mtn. Biking and my older two sons love it also.  I have dropped alot of weight and I feel much better.  I have made some great new friends and I have even begun racing for the hell of it.  This page will have various links and boring info about ridiculous races I have foolishly entered etc.

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The Paris to Ancaster 2004 was my introduction to the phenomenon of MTN. Bike racing.  Not sure why on Earth I have continued to race after this nightmarish experience.  It hailed golf-ball sized hailstones until minutes before the start and the mudslide sections towards the end of the race were insane.  Nonetheless, I was hooked.

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Here is a pic of our 2004 24 hr "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" Mtn. Bike Race Team, The Wheelzebubbas

L - R: Troy, Pat, Garry, Scott and Doug

Dig the insanely large tarp we strung up. That is Garry on the roof apparently sport-humping the cabin.

As you can see, not long after It saved our asses seriously :-)

 

 

Here we see Pat and Troy returning from the woods in the morning after a quest to find Troy's light which detached from his helmet when the helmet split in half after he launched himself over a corduroy log drop in the middle of the night.  Luckily, there was a kindly pharmacist racing in the cabin next to us.  We finished the race limping along with 3 out of 5 racers intact.

Yes, that is me loitering trailside, Beer in hand, waiting to cheer on Garry in the final lap.  Garry is the most experienced racer so he gets the first lap in most team races we enter.  We tend to try and rig it so he gets shafted with the last lap as well :-)

I highly recommend this race to anyone who wants to experience the 24 hr. thing without camping (yeecchh!).  Wizard of wheels put on a great event.  We had a great time!!!  and we didn't come in last, even though we lost two team members early on due to injuries.  Mind you...there were two teams comprised solely of Unicyclists :-)

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Waterloo Hydro-cut 2004

There are all sorts of fantastic trails in Ontario, but the Hydrocut outside of Waterloo is Wicked.  Incredibly well thought out and immaculately maintained, it is always a fun day out.  Boyd was kind enough to endanger his digital camera and snap some action shots last time we went out.  Boyd, Garry, Troy and I try to get out whenever we can.  We also race under the name "Krank Monkeys" and although we will likely never win a race, we have a great time trying.

L-R: Troy, Scott, Garry, and Boyd (post-ride)

 

  

Larger tricks seem to get torn down regularly unless they are essential for safe riding thru' swampy areas.

This bridge crossing is about 7 ft. above a creek bed.  Can't really think about landing in the creek or you probably will.  It would be nasty all around.

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2nd Annual Winter Ride for Stupidity (2004)

Last year on Dec. 28th (2003), I suckered a couple people into riding some trails with me.  Truth be told, I was just trying to find some one to ride with so that I could hit 2,500km for the year :-)   Anyway, last year it was unseasonably warm and we were at times calf deep in a lethal mixture of Mud and Pine needles.  We had to eventually hike the bikes quite a ways to make it out of the woods and proceed to the one fellow's place to power spray off the bikes.  It was messy but very fun, so I figured we should do it every Dec. 28th just because.  Of course, I never really thought about the chances of having about a ft. of snow to contend with.

L-R: Phil (Dig the Joe Breeze Action!), Scott, Boyd and Garry (check out the fancy red Muk-luks)  :-)

This year, I had no evil ulterior motive for the ride as I had already hit my goal of 4,000km for the year.  We had a great ride, even if it was somewhat hard slogging for most of the ride.  Other than the minor problem of a broken crank quickly fixed at the Bicycle Shop (my bike, of course), everything went quite well.  Everyone fell in a major way at least a few times, but no serious injuries. All in all, a great new tradition!

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2004

What a great event to kick off 2005!  Somewhat insane, but fun nonetheless.  The weather was a chilly -6c, and the trails were seriously treacherous! We all survived (even Troy).  Pretty sure we will make this an annual event.  There were 3 open water creek crossings, one up to the axles.  All 4 of us made it thru' without serious injury and relatively dry.

 The trails were destroyed by some idiots that took horses out on the trails during the warm weather early in the New Year.  Made for an incredibly physically demanding ride.

For the record:  Next Year , there is likely next to no chance that I will be racing on a hard tail, single speed :-)

Time trial style starting line, I got nominated to take off first as I had the advantage (NOT!!!) of riding a single speed.  Phil went last and passed each of us handily (despite Two minor mechanicals!).  He also got to witness me flying headlong over the bars down a serious downhill section.  Troy, not to be outdone played Superman on three separate occasions.  Garry rode it entirely clean (How Boring!!!).

L - R: Scott, Phil, Garry and Troy (post-race)

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2005

Ahh Yes...The Evil Paris to Ancaster 2005.  This 60 km Enduro is an epic point-to-point race with a course consisting of rail trail, dirt farm lanes, singletrack, gravel fire roads, and pavement.  I somehow convinced most of the guys that they should do this race after it almost killed me last year.  Being that it is a 60 km Enduro in April, most people are not likely in the best riding shape going into the race.  Add to that Calf deep mudslides and it all gets more interesting.

This year's race was great in comparison to the mudbath of 2004.  We didn't get a drop of precipitation on us and it was a beautiful day all around.  There were over 1300 racers in total.  The nice weather seemed to bring out many elite racers, many of whom were on cyclocross bikes.

L - R: Scott, Troy, Garry and Boyd (post-race)

Everyone in our little group of friends turned in great times, especially Phil and Garry who came 121st and 379th respectively.

Crazy Phil came in 121st with a time of 2:10

Garry came in 379th with a time of 2:36

I came in 484th with a time of 2:46

Doug came in 486th with a time of 2:46

 

Boyd came in 530th with a time of 2:49

Troy came in 566th with a time of 2:52

Neither Boyd nor Troy had been riding much leading up to the race and they still hauled some ass.  Anything under 3 hours is pretty respectable in this race.

 

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2005

 

L - R: Jeff, Scott, Garry, Troy and Doug (post-race)

We entered the 6th Annual Life$tyle$ of the Rich & Famou$ 24 Hour Race
on May 21 & 22, 2005 at the Mansfield Outdoor Centre for our 2nd year.  Our 2nd try at this one, found us doing much better in the standings.  To some extent, it was a real  pleasure just to end the race this year with as many riders as we started with.

Adding Jeff to the team as a replacement for Pat gave us a huge lift.  Jeff is a very strong rider, seen here kicking the 45's ass.  The 45 is a ridiculously long 45o climb that starts the race.  For the most part, I walked/ran up most of it.

Garry as always put in a great race.  This year he managed to dodge the cursed extra lap.  I had the honour this year :-(

Troy managed to survive this year's race without life threatening injury.  Of course, his bike didn't fare as well.  He had broken his Specialized after his first lap.  Undaunted He put in our fastest laps while borrowing a Bike from one of the Flygurlz.  Special thanks to Becky for loaning us her back-up bike.

Doug was consistent as always despite some on-course mech. problems.  Oh yeah...he also brought two giant slabs of world famous Maria's Pizza (He and his lovely wife, Angie are the owners).

By far the most fun 24 hr. race around!

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2005

Another great race! Many thanks to Jeff for inviting me along.  The guy's I joined on the Team were mostly from Toyota Canada.  It was a great group of guys to join up with.  

This one was North America’s largest 24 hour mountain bike event for 2005.  Pretty unreal in terms of scale.  I couldn't get an angle that showed just how many racers went off on the starting lap.

Chico Racing Logo

Chico Racing does an amazing job with the organizing.  Super classy!

No team picture unfortunately, but check out the great action shots:

Bruce (who got the honour/dishonour of taking the 1st lap)

Jeff C. (dig that humungous Knee brace!)

Scott 

Yes, that is me getting a little air, almost looking like I know what I am doing.  What an elaborate ruse.

 

Mark (on a nice new Giant Trance!) 

Jeff S. (likely putting in our fastest lap)

Scott (Yes, Another one)

Our 7-man Team had two Jeffs and two Scotts.  Made for some confusion at times :-)

 

Ray (on the final lap!)

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2005

Jeff claimed that he was done racing for the year after we completed the Epic 8 Hr. at Hardwood hills.  I was a little relieved as we had already done two 24 hr. races and one 8 hr.  That seemed enough.  Sure enough, not long after I get an email stating that he had signed us up for the 24 Hours at Albion: Hot August Nights (Albion Hills Conservation Area, Bolton August 20-21, 2005).

I am glad that he did.  We had a great race even though it was a little wet.  Along with the regular crew, we added well-known Pro elite XC racer, Rusty Fisher who wrenches as head mechanic at the local bike shop.  He had our only sub-hour lap on his 1st lap of the day.  Although retired from professional racing, He has ventured out to race a couple citizen's events with us.  He is a great rider who is always willing to share MTB wisdom and anecdotes from the early history of MTN. Biking with us.

 Rusty (riding his regular 1.5" 'ers)

Jeff (showing the benefits of being on the program)

Boyd (1st time 24 hr victim and lead rider)

Darrell (another 1st timer who valiantly overcame a broken crank to still kick some serious ass)

 Me (sucking wind like usual)

Apparently, tents are over-rated anyway.

 

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Autumn Epic 8 Hour for Luke 2005

For the third year in a row Chico Racing has donated all the proceeds of their Autumn Epic 8-Hr Relay to Luke, a fellow rider who sustained a life-changing injury as a result of an accident.  This act of generosity solidifies the fact that the Chico guys are great ambassadors to the sport. Luke has used some of the funds to purchase a wheelchair accessible van.

My friend Rusty knew Luke before his accident and actually returned to racing to attend the previous Relay for Luke as a Solo rider.  Rusty, Lisa and I entered in the 3-4 person mixed team and had a fantastic day of riding for a great cause.

 

First Time Racer, Lisa did an admirable job.

 

 

Rusty burned up the singletrack sections, as always.

 

  

 I had a great race.  The course was very friendly to bigger dudes as there were these super long open trail downhills that I was able to really motor through.  My kids and my Dad rode around most of the day as well and had a great time.  A great day all-around.

  

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3rd Annual Winter Ride for Stupidity (2005)

This year was our best attended Ride for stupidity.  Jeff had the brilliant idea of having dinner at the Keg after to fulfill a mid-season race bet that we lost. This drew out some people who would usually shy away from this type of idiocy, but had no intention of missing out on a nice steak dinner.

L - R: Jeff, Scott, Doug, Jeff, Mark, Darrell, Ray and Garry

The weather was actually pretty kind, but there was more than enough punishment for everyone.  As usual, I was the only fool to ride a single speed.  Ray and Mark did the unthinkable and turned back early to lounge in the hot tub until the rest of us returned.

 

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2006

This year's race was a mudbath similar to 2004.  We had lots of rain leading up to the race, but not a drop of precipitation on race day.  There were over 1600 racers in total (a record number from what I gather).  The nice weather seemed to bring out many racers, many of whom may have forewent the race otherwise.

Rusty had a great race despite major neck ailments.  He finished 20th in the 30 km Harrisburg to Ancaster Race.

I had a great race, finishing 419th in 2:49:26.  It sounds funny, but 419th is actually a halfway respectable citizen placing in this race :-)

These first two pics were shot by Ryan Johnson.  He snapped some really nice shots that capture the mud aspect well.  He has hundreds of photos from the race posted here and if you want to check them out and see if there is one of you, just click here to email him and note in your email which image # you were in.  Ryan will email you a high res. version for free!!!!

That is actually me with the Blue helmet, but it seems more like a nice photo of the old railway trestle!?!?

  

Garry finished 420th in 2:49:27.  He had the distinction of being the only rider in our group (other than Crazy Phil)) to qualify to ride in the 1st wave with the Big boys.  I had the distinction of beating Garry by one lousy second.  Burn!!!  :-)

  

Troy finished 653rd in 3:10:11.  Not exactly bad for his 2nd ride of the year!  He also sported by far the coolest number plate, 999.

 

Crazy Phil put in an amazing time of 2:27:03, considering he was held up for almost 20 minutes with a chainbreak.

 

Doug put in an admirable effort (904th in 3:39:17), esp. when you consider that he broke his chain twice and caught up with his son (who was in the 30 km race) and then carried his and his son's bike thru' some of the worst mudslide sections.

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