From Hardwood Catherine and I flew to Kamloops and spent a few days at home before packing up AGAIN and heading to Canmore. I owed the Nordic centre 2 days of work because last fall the weather flipped and went to -27deg C, so there was no point in trying to trail build then. At Canmore we stayed with Magi and Steff and had lots of fun hanging out with them.
There was the “Iron Lung” mtb race happening that weekend on the race course that I designed and helped build. I started a bit hard and had an absolute sufferfest of a race, finishing 2nd to Steff. It was awesome to hear from all the racers how much they loved the race course and neat to see over 375 racers out all having a good time. Unfortunately due to a short sighted matter of pride by a member of the club in charge of national championships, the race course will not be on the course I designed. This is particularly too bad for all the non-elite level racers – those in it just for fun- who had so much fun at the Iron lung and were inspired to bring their friends back for the next race there.
Here's a picture of a rider going off the "eye dropper" into the stadium at Canmore, I build this section with a pick axe.
Check out this post for a shout out on the race course at Canmore.
From Canmore we drove back to the loops for a few days, and then on down to Squamish where we stayed with Olivier (a fellow Xprezo racer) and Melanie for the Test of Metal. The Test is a super cool event because everyone from the community gets interested and behind it. This year the 800 spots sold out in 24minutes!!! As an elite I was able to register day of because they want my high profile figure there...
Anyway, I had a decent start and felt pretty good, but going through one dip in the trail my chain somehow jammed with my front derailleur and twisted the derailleur. I rode it for a while and then realized that it was stupid and I was going to catastrophically break my bike, so I stopped and fixed it. It took forever to fix because with the full suspension linkage on my frame it is hard to get an allen key in there, so after 3min or so I was able to go again. I was back in about 35th at this time, and had lots of fun blowing by racers and weaving in and out on the double and singletrack. By the “9 mile” a good climb, I had caught back up to 10-17th place, and then by the top of it I pushed really hard and was up to 6th. I rode the plunge a bit slow as I was starting to get tired but then got it back together and finished strong through crumpet woods to the finish. I ended up 5th in 2:41, not a bad race for 3 min on the side of the trail and then not being able to draft anyone for the race.