Monday, February 21, 2011


So, yes it has been a long time since I have updated. It is not as if there was nothing to write about, indeed, it has been quite the opposite – I have been too busy doing exciting things to update – so here goes.

My Xprezo winter bike with full fenders - Jordan river road ride

Jan - Feb

For Jan and Feb we have been riding our bikes tons. It might be nice to be able to ride outside this much, but man is it hard on equipment with all the rain. I can go through a set of road brake pads in 5 rides (now I bought a different compound).

We had a national team training camp here in Feb. We had Sandra and Jean Ann (now my Xprezo team mates) and Catharine P all staying at our place, so it was a full house. I really enjoyed the camp, and did about 22hrs of riding with Max, Cory, and Sneddon.

When not riding our bikes we are probably eating food, but when we get to do something else, we have been having a lot of bonfires. Or, as Cater calls them, ‘burns’. This last weekend we had a big ‘burn’, since it had rained all week and we had a ton of brush we started it with the propane tiger torch, which works really well. At one point we even got out the leaf blower our and that really got the flames twice as high!

Ride food, mine is on the left, home made muffin, energy bar, rolled apple pastry, baked potato, and a sandwich, then I have a granola bar in my seat bag for emergencies.
Catherine, digging to the ground - 4meters and not there yet.


For our December “vacation”, Catherine and I went up to Mt Washington to play in the snow. They had the most snow anywhere in the world at that point – with 5 meters on the ground. We arrived in a blizzard and snowshoed out into the back country navigating on instinct (since we couldn’t see anything and there were no signs). We made it where we were planning, it was super hard going as the powder hadn’t settled at all yet, so each snowshoe step was HIP HEIGHT! We dug a snow cave to sleep in, and Catherine dug to timbuck two to try and find ground. She dug 4m (measured with my avy probe) and still didn’t hit ground.

Wading through the snow on day 2

The next day we went for a hike to the top of Mt Brooks. Again, it was super hard snowshoeing, and took us 4hrs round trip. It was blizzard conditions so we couldn’t see anything from the top. Day 3 was super clear, and we decided to take an easy jaunt up to the ridge to get a view. The going was so easy in our packed track that we hiked clear back to the top, took in the amazing 360 views, and then hiked back down, all in 1.5hrs. Then we loaded up our gear and hauled it out back to the car.

At the top, for the 2nd time
Yes, that is snow, green trees and grass, ocean, green trees, and then Mountains on the mainland that you see - a whole lot of different Climates there.

Mt Brooks as we were leaving the area

The next 2 days we did a ton of xc skiing – had to get in our fix for the winter since there is no snow here in Vic.



A few days after our wedding I headed to Panorama to design an XC mountain bike race course. It was definitely challenging work, as they didn’t want to build too much new trail, wanted to keep most of the DH park trails open during the race, and I wanted it to be fun challenging singletrack with a double tech/feed zone that was appropriate speed and near the middle of the race course. But, I got it all figured out and am looking forward to racing the Canada Cup there in August.

A feature to be built in the new Canada Cup race course

After Panorama I packed up the last load of our belongings from Kamloops and headed to Vic to see my Wife. Yikes, yes it does sound crazy to say that word! She was already working (as an intern in the exercise physiology lab at the Canadian Sport Centre Pacific), so I decided it was time to get a real job too. My landlord and retired MTB racer Carter Hovey helped me find a job, and 2 weeks later I was a working man.

I think I was a bit disillusioned with what my work was going to be. The last 3 carpentry jobs I had were more skill related – I got to build and fix houses, even do finish carpentry, whereas on this job I mostly just carried wood! I was helping frame a super fancy house with 5 different angled roves, concrete floors upstairs and lots of other crazy details to it. The worst day was when I carried the rafters which were 24foot long 2x10`s that were wet Douglas fir up the hill and into the house. I calculated that each one weighed about 110lbs, and that day I carried about three thousand pounds, yes that is 3 tons.

I stuck the job out until late December, and then quit. I was getting super tired from the physical labour as well as training lots.

Our Wedding

Oct 16

So Catherine Vipond and I got married! It was pretty much a perfect wedding for us. We were up on Harper mountain at a rustic DH ski lodge in Kamloops BC. There was a very light dusting of snow on the ground and we had a bright sunny day so it was an incredible setting. We did our ceremony outside with a beautiful view out over the valley. Then we had dinner, the dance, and most importantly we roasted marshmellows over the fireplace inside. It was a great time, awesome to get to see all the friends and family who could make it, and just a super relaxed happy vibe from everyone.

Newly Wed's!
Where would we be without a bicycle?


This fall I also got addicted to salmon fishing. The Adams River had the largest salmon run of Sockeye salmon since 1913 – so there were tons of fish. Brad, a good friend of mine and owner of Taboo Cycles, took me out salmon fishing a few times. It is actual “sport” fishing, and the fish aren’t really biting at that time of year – they might strike from aggression. So how you catch them is you put a lead ball on your line, and then off that ball you tie a 10foot line with the hook on the end. You cast it way up the river and as the current bounces the ball down river on the bottom, your line passes through the mouth of the salmon that is breathing on the bottom of the river, and if you can feel it you give a big YANK and you’ve got the fish hooked! I caught a few on my own, but Brad was a real pro at it, and he let me reel in and keep some of his fish. They were delicious!
Cleaning and filleting a few fish!

These are the Sockeye just before spawning in the Adams river, we did not fish here


So this fall I had the most amazing Stag party, or we should really call it a “Ram”. A whole group of us from the cycling scene headed out to Hornby Island with a Ram Danny S had got from a farmer. We butchered it out there and roasted it on a spit over a massive fire. We also ate tons of oysters from the beach, and put in some good days of riding on the trails there.

There was a bulldozer pile of stumps and brush from clearing the land, and one evening we got the jeep out and drug some stumps from the pile and 8 of us picked up these massive Douglas fir stumps and threw them on the fire. It was an awesome fire , so big we could sit 15 feet back with our shirts off on a 5deg day!

Roasting the Ram over our small fire