This past weekend I placed 4th at the first round of the Canada Cup series in Quebec! I was very happy with my result as it was my first national race as an Elite.
I had a little over-the-bars crash first day of practice on Friday, and tweaked my wrist. It was an annoying little injury, but I taped it up and was able to go for two runs Saturday. I also found a Ergo grip, the ones with the extra palm support, which cushioned my wrist and made it possible to ride.
I put down a solid race run Sunday and surpassed my goal of a top five finish. My placing got me UCI points towards racing more World Cups as well as gaining me points to work towards qualifying for World Championships at the end of the season.
My new Banshee Legend was awesome the whole weekend, and it definitely got some second looks as I rode by. Had lots of good comments on the colour and how “sick” it looked.
I am off to Fort William, Scotland next week for the first round of the World Cup series, then I’m headed to Val di Sole, Italy for the second World Cup. Can’t even explain how excited I am! It will be amazing to ride those WC tracks, and I am very stoked to have this opportunity.
Below is a short video by Vincent Allard of the race weekend. There are a few shots of me in it, including the podium at the end.
I did it. I solved the riddle and found the missing pieces of the world’s most arduous puzzle. I still get tired and I still get sore, and time still passes by me at an alarming rate. But I really think I’ve finally figured out how to maintain my balance. Let me explain…
One of the most amazing things I’ve ever witnessed was a helicopter pilot operating his machine as we began to take flight. From the passenger seat I watched, awestruck as his hands navigated the endless wall of switches and dials that sit before him. There were seemingly hundreds of variables for him to consider and each appeared as important as the next if he was to keep the meters out of the red zones and prevent our chopper from exploding.
Keeping the balance of everything on his dash appeared as a daunting task, but I imagined that after practicing for so many years he likely had little use for the meters anymore. I bet he operated with an acquired feel for his machine and that is what allowed him to carry us safely and smoothly through the sky that day.
Some time later I imagined the various passions and affairs of my life to be re-organized into a clever dashboard – much like the controls of the chopper – where I could monitor everything and try to keep it balanced. Perhaps it would create an ease when it came to flicking the switches between working and riding or shooting and shredding – finding the time to chill and just keep everything level without hitting the red zones and burning out.
As much as I tried to look at things that simply, something always felt abrasive. Inevitably, something always got left behind or forgotten about. So I decided one day to stop worrying about it and accept the whirlwinds of trying to keep up with myself.
Suddenly this spring, things feel different. I’m riding everyday and it feels like nothing is ever forgotten. I can finally switch from bike to bike with an instant sensation of confidence and I’m squeezing everything in as if I’m stretching time and making it mine. I don’t know what I’m actually doing differently, but it feels like I’m striking the perfect chords.
Perhaps I’ve just been flipping these switches for long enough now that the meters are as obsolete for me as they were for that chopper pilot. Maybe I’ve acquired that special feel that I always needed to circumnavigate the daily gnar and fly myself more safely and smoothly through time than I’d ever imagined being possible.
This past weekend I took the win at the Sunshine Coaster DH! It was my first race of the year and my first race as a Elite. I grabbed the overall fastest time of the day with a near perfect run.
It was a great start to the season and my work in the off season is starting to come together. It was my home track so I already knew all my lines and kept my practice runs to a minimum to keep me fresh for my race run. The Mach Chicken race track here on the Sunshine Coast is very smooth and flowy so I opted to ride my new Banshee Spitfire V2. It pumped thru the flat sections with ease and handled like a DH bike on the corners and rough sections, could not be happier with the setup!
The Tremblant Canada Cup in Quebec is in the middle of next month and after that I am off to the first two rounds of the World Cup series.
Excited for a fun season of riding bikes ahead!
As the new year is progressing I am finding that a lot of changes have been going on in the past three months or so. Here I was, the end of winter was coming fast, doing more training than I have ever done before. The snow that was once hiding the trails was melting away, and letting everyone know that Spring was on it’s way. The dirt fresh and wet just waiting to be ridden, and I was ready to ride it. But it felt like something had hit me hard, a sickness. During the whole month of February I had been feeling incredibly weak, I had lost 20lbs, I had the worst pains in my stomach. I had thought that it was nothing and that it would eventually pass. I was in for a shock. At the end of the month I decided enough was enough, the symptoms had not gone away and they were getting worse. I had gone into the local clinic for a doctors appointment to get checked out. The doctor thought that it was most likely diabetes. At the time I didn’t know what it meant, or what this meant for me. After a couple days in the hospital, I was nursed back to health. I now live with Type 1 Diabetes.
For those of you who don’t know much about Type 1 Diabetes, it can happen to anyone, it mostly occurs in teens and kids. Type 1 is when your pancreas stops producing insulin for no apparent reason, it just stops and there’s nothing you can do about it. Insulin is what your body uses to control your blood sugars, too high of a blood sugar and your body starts to eat itself (this is what was happening to me). To low of a blood sugar and you pass out and could possibly slip into a coma.
But enough about that! The fact is that I have learnt to manage it fairly well and I am back to riding. Now this whole thing kinda put a big dent in my training. There were times when I couldn’t ride my bike or do some training. I feel like I have just recently gotten back up to my normal pace just before the first round of the Northwest Cup. I got the go ahead to ride about three weeks before the race and I wanted to ride like crazy. My friend Andrew Taylor and I made a little bit of an edit, some footage of before I was diagnosed with diabetes and some of the footage after. Check it out!
With the race season all ready underway, I plan on doing was much riding as I can in between all of the races and plan on training more, as well. Last weekend was the first round of the Northwest Cup. It was a rowdy weekend. Since I hadn’t gotten on the bike or trained as much as I wanted to this winter I didn’t know what to expect. After being sick all that time and then coming into the first race not knowing what the pace is going to be was hard to determine if I would do as well as I wanted to. I had decided to set the goal of a top 10 in Jr expert. Practice days were some of the best practice runs I’ve had, the course was looking fast and wet. The next three days brought on so much rain that by race day the track was getting out of control. It was like riding a muddy slide all the way down the track. With all the conditions and fast racers that were there I managed to slip into a 10th place. I was happy with a 10th but now its time to really get down to it, and start going faster and faster. The plan is to do better and better at each race. By the looks of things, it looks like its going to be a great race season, and I’m hoping to make the most of it!
Thanks to Garrett Grove and Retallack lodge i have two photos in Bike Mag’s May issue. My friend James Dorefling and I are descending, then hiking back up Ribeye, a narrow, steep, exposed ridge line. This line is rarely skied in the winter as it is very steep, ridiculously exposed, unsupported and extends out perfectly to be constantly cross loaded, it is also rarely ridden in the summer for many of the same reasons. Garrett eyed up this ridge line last year, which we shot silhouetted on a pink sky, so he knew it was a producer.
Here is the instagram photo of the DPS in Bike mag.
Last weekend i ventured out into the forests of Santa Cruz on the hunt for some epic pictures. It was my first real photo shoot with a professional photographer and i couldn’t be more pumped on how they all all turned out!
Check them out.
Photo Creds: Mario Guel
Alchemy was recently released both online and to a packed house at The Narrows pub. Couple Raceface riders in the Chromag film…so sneaky. check some pictures from production and the full film on Pinkbike. A busy winter schedule shredding pow at Retallack kept me from diving right in and building lines for a full section. Kick started the hitch to film another video part, even if it takes a year to compile the footage…will post more on that here as the idea develops.
Big thanks to Eric Lawrenuk for killing it on this project, i think his energy and vision will allow him to continue to create amazing video pieces.
On March 17,2013 I raced in the first Pro GRT of the 2013 season and took home gold. It was my first national race and a great start to the new season. I am so stoked to say i ride for such awesome companies and i want to say thank you to all of them once again for helping me take the win!
Check out some photos below of the gnarly course full of dry dirt and sharp rocks.
Pinned over the start gate drop!
Rolling off the waterfalls.
Overall it was a very successful weekend and i am glad to say i came away with a clean win! Can’t wait until Sea Otter. Stay tuned!
I was twelve years old and sprinting along the edge of the Yukon River when I first listened to Sum 41’s “Does This Look Infected” album. That was my first taste of punk rock music and it felt like I had caught a virus. I listened to that album a lot back then and the fast tempo was overpowering. It was the soundtrack to running away, sprinting down single tracks, wheelie dropping picnic tables and poorly extending three-stars.
Sum 41 played a stellar show in the Loops just recently and I couldn’t believe how rowdy they were live. Their instruments were faster and vocals more aggressive as they selectively shredded tracks from “Does This Look Infected.” They were the same old songs but they somehow sounded so fresh and exciting.
After the show I pondered that perhaps the inquisitive album title was less about the gory artwork depicted on the cover and more introspective of the band members themselves. Watching them on stage, it was easy to see that they were indeed infected, and by something much bigger than themselves. Something so overpowering that it has taken control of their lives and steered them in the direction they have traveled.
I’ve been pretty fired up this spring. I had the chance to work on a funny hardtail video with Lone Wolf Productions and spend a week shredding my Process with Reuben Krabbe as we made deep cuts into my dream-list of trail photos. What’s more exciting though, is the time I’ve been spending charging single track on early mornings. I don’t know if it’s a change of habits or just the spring stoke getting the best of me, but I feel like I am riding harder and faster as I shred toward the sunrise. They are the same old trails but lately they have been feeling even more exciting than usual.
I’ve realized that early in the morning when I am sprinting along my favorite ridge-line and I can’t feel my fingers or my toes, when the frozen strip of dirt I follow is crunching loudly beneath my tires while layer upon layer of frosted sage passes through my peripherals, I don’t feel any need to ask others about the situation I’ve found myself in. It seems pretty clear to me that I’m infected by something too.
“I`m preparing myself for the season”
But hey, lets remember the last season, when we did have a loads of fun