I’m 40 years old, father of a two, Caleb who is four and Sophie, two.
I‘ve always enjoyed riding but I’ve really embraced this passion over the last four years, as I was introduced to mountain bike racing. I race not only for the competitive aspect but also that it motivates me to stay in shape. I bike to work every day. Probably very ordinary to most of you, but biking year round through the Saskatchewan winters where temperatures plummet in -30 degrees Celsius… Not so ordinary. You might say I’m a little nuts but that’s okay — it beats buying a second vehicle!
This weekend my local mountain bike club, Off-road Syndicate (ORS), held its annual race, The Wascana Challenge, at the scenic and popular Wascana trails. This race is part of the Saskatchewan inter-provincial race series.
Saskatchewan is located pretty much in the middle of Canada, right in the middle of the Canadian Prairies. One might think what’s the challenge, when you’re riding on flat prairie landscape. Although the Prairies are flat, erosion by rivers, or maybe even glaciers melting, created a series of valleys which provide us with some interesting trails, perfect for endurance cross racing. Wascana trails offer some steep climbs and technical descents in treed areas and also some nice flats to catch your breath in between.
Our summer here in Saskatchewan has been particular wet this year, as we usually enjoy a semi-arid climate. Heavy rain fall two days prior to the race, made the trails very slippery and made some areas even more challenging to ride. As most of the trails are hard pack, traction was minimal. Heat was also a concern for most of us who are not use to riding in hot and humid conditions. So needless to say the race was pretty demanding.
The first lap was a little frustrating as I caught up with some slower riders and had to wait until after the first climb to be able to pass. Once that was done I was pretty much on my own for the last two laps.
The last lap was, and always is the most demanding as fatigue and pain sets in. I had plenty of water for the entire race and never felt the effects of dehydration. (Hydraulic packs are nice. A hydraulic pack used to be a six pack, stuffed in my back-pack on my way home from work on a Friday!)
I manage to finish forth in my wave, with a time of 1 hour, 44 minutes — 2nd in my category — pretty good considering the conditions. Well that’s it for me this time around, so keep riding and have fun!