Thursday, July 23, 2009

AB Cup # 3 - Rabbit Hill

First to thank the crew from Park Cycle, the ADHRA and the volunteers who made this a great weekend. It was a fun weekend where the best was made of Rabbit Hill. I'll be the first to admit on it's own merit Rabbit Hill doesn't provide a course that is considered a true DH track, and isn't suited to my riding strengths personally so I didn't have high expectations for this race. However, living in Alberta it does provide lift access racing, with great a group of riders from Alberta, and you know you are in for a fun weekend regardless of the terrain. The track reminds me more of a slalom style course then a DH run with a long pedally top section in a few trees after that for a couple of turns and then out into the open for a few doubles and step downs before ripping down to the finish. The weekend went on without a hitch till race day. Where rain and high winds shut down the lifts making the race runs a hike bike (only time I was glad rabbit doesn't have much more vertical). That same wind made the pedal at the finish into the headwind much harder and I'm sure the gust of wind on their own was enough to add a couple seconds to someones time.

The Rage Crew showed strong with 3 of the top 5 pro times and Mark Wolstenholme tearing the field apart the day after his Stag with a 1:24 about 5 seconds ahead of the second fastest time of the day, and 4 podiums with Mark and Derek 1st and 3rd in Pro, Tyler Gregson winning the U15 even with a hard bail just before the finish, and Michelle Wolstenholme taking 2nd in the Masters A Women. Personally I had a bad race run with a few bobbles and almost eating it on the doubles but still managed a 16th out of 27th which looking back isn't all that bad considering how poorly I did and a course that I new I wouldn't be particularly strong on. Now I'm off to travel a week in the prairies before making it back for the Provincials in Blaimore next weekend which starts of my weeks holidays in Rockies, mountain biking and hiking.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bounded by Our Own Skin?

A few Quotes for you to ponder:

If we continue to think of ourselves as separate from our surroundings, we will not be sensitive to the consequences of what we are doing, so we can't see that our path is potentially suicidal. If we do not see ourselves as part of the natural world and become further detached, we risk a greater sense of loneliness, a lack of meaning, purpose and sense of belonging. Without experiences in nature, we develop ignorance and apathy.
David Suzuki - The Sacred Balance

The Components of the natural world are a myriad but they constitute a single living system. There is no escape from our interdependence with nature: we are woven into the closest relationship with the Earth, the sea, the air, the seasons, the animals and ll the fruits of the Earth. What affects on affects all - we are part of a greater whole - the body of the planet. We must respect, preserve and love it's manifold expression if we hope to survive.
Bernard Campbell

It is only by a construct of the Western mind that we believe ourselves living in an "inside" bounded by our own skin, with everyone and everything else on the outside. The place where transitional phenomena occur... might be understood in this new paradigm of the self, to be the permeable membrane that suggests or delineates but does not divide us from the medium in which we exist.
Anita Barrows

Once Upon a time - but this is neither a fairy tale nor a bedtime story we - we knew less about the natural world than we do today. Much less! But we understood that world better, much better, for we lived ever so much closer to its rhythms.

Most of us have wandered far from our earlier understanding, from our long-ago intimacy. We take for granted what our ancestors could not, dared not, take for granted; we have set ourselves apart from the world of the seasons, the world of floods and rainbows and new moons. Nor, acknowledging our loss, can we simply reverse the course, pretend to innocence in order to rediscover intimacy. Too much has intervened.
Daniel Swartz

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

AB Cup # 1 - Grande Prairie

To start this post off I want to give shout out to the Bikehawk Bike Club, Nitehawk Ski Area and the ADHRA for organizing a great weekend of racing. The Bikehawk and Nitehawk volunteers worked hard to make sure this event was fun, they all had tons of enthusiasm and organized a great event. I'll be honest coming into the event I wasn't expecting much from the course knowing they had limited vertical and it was a relatively new hill. However, as with all the riders I spoke to, we where pleasantly surprised at how much fun the course was, and how it wasn't only a great race but a great event with the race, a BBQ, opening the Freestyle Ski Water Ramp , fastest speed with the RCMP on site with a radar gun and camping right near by. The course was approx. 2 minutes long, with some steep sections, well manicured berms, a variety of terrain, multiple little jumps, drops, natural features, and even if the area is a little short on rocks and roots they did a great job at adding some technical bits with some off camber sections, quick shoots and tight corners leaving all the riders stoked about the weekend and the fast course.

From my standpoint the weekend went well and I'm quite happy with the results considering I had a scary spill on Sunday's practice before the race run. I will say I'm glad I decided to start riding with the Leatt Brace this season though as I felt my helmet hit the brace as I came down hard head first and walked away with minor bumps and bruises. As a result I was a little hesitant on my race run but my times where still respectable with a 10th place finish out of 18 or so riders in my category but more importantly I was only about 2 seconds off the pace I was hoping to be on which would have had me close to the top 5. The Rest of the DHR had a good showing as well with 1st and 2nd in the Elite Class, The fastest the womens time on the day and 4 riders in the top 10 for Senior Sport. Unfortunately I won't be able to make the Kicking Horse next weekend so the next race update will be sometime after the Rabbit Hill Race in two weeks. (I'll hopefully add a few more pictures as they surface in the coming week.)