Miscellaneous Blog stories

Re-Mastered Sale Weekend!

remastered sale
This coming weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 13th-15th only, Steed Cycles will be hosting the Re-Mastered weekend Sale! Virtually everything in store will be on sale so don’t miss out!
 Select Shoe Pile (Five Ten, Shimano, Specialized)  40-50% Off
 Select Sale Tires (Maxxis Specialized, Schwalbe) 40-50% Off
 Select Helmets (Specialized, Giro, Bell, Troy Lee)  30-50% Off
 Sale Clothing Rack  30-50% Off
 All Tires 20% Off
 All Shoes 20% Off
 All Clothing (Excluding Santa Cruz, ACRE, Troy Lee)  20% Off
 All Helmets (Excluding Troy Lee, Smith)  20% Off
 All Parts  20% Off
 All Accessories (Excluding bike bags and Garmin)  20% Off
 All Trainers  25% off

ALL 2015 Specialized, Giant, and Santa Cruz At Wholesale or Lower!

Check out our bike sale page here for more details!

POC Octal has landed at Steed Cycles


We have been waiting for the new POC Octal to arrive in Steed for a long time. After seeing it in person at Interbike last year and having a pre production one in store to oodle at we know its going to be a huge hit. The looks are not the norm expected from a road helmet, but when have POC ever stuck to the rules. Its all about Airflow and safety with the Swedish Manufacturer.


The helmet weighs 193 grams in Large and the fit is second to none. It comes in 3 colours (White, Garminium Blue, Safety Orange). Expect to see the Steed Team racing in the Orange this season.



One key feature to look out for is the Eye Garage which will hold any style of cycling glass firmly on your helmet. You will not lose your valuable shades on any ride.

Check out www.pocsports.com for more information. Stop by the shop and try it on. You will not regret it.

Slowing Down

Going slow takes effort for me.  By this statement I am not claiming to be the fastest gentleman on a bike, I am far from it.  But when I am out for a ride, I find it hard to go slow.

In an effort to taper after a long season of slugging it out on the pavement, Kelly, Penny and I headed to the epee-center of earthy slowest this side of the water; Pemberton for the annual Slow Food Ride.

Basically the jest of ride is the local farmers, brewers and artisans all set up little booths along the Pemberton Valley and you can ride from the center of town all the way to the end and back, sampling their goods.

The information before the ride noted that you should bring at least $30.00 and if you really want to sample the items, bring somewhere closer to $50.00.


The trusty Steed Beer Bike/Phil's car was borrowed for the day.  Had her up to 32 km/h... but the speed wobbles ended the race.

The trusty Steed Beer Bike/Phil’s car was borrowed for the day. Had her up to 32 km/h… but the speed wobbles ended the race.

Java is a must on any trip, and better yet grab some to go.  Mmmmmmmm Coffee!

Java is a must on any trip, and better yet grab some to go. Mmmmmmmm Coffee!

The remainder of the goods that I purchased.  If I hadn't eaten everything I bought I would have had to had a trailer attached to the bike

The remainder of the goods that I purchased. If I hadn’t eaten everything I bought I would have had to had a trailer attached to the bike

Easily the highlight of the trip was the burger and beverage from Pemberton Meadows Natural Beef... organic beef!  Get here early as they tend to run out.

Easily the highlight of the trip was the burger and beverage from Pemberton Meadows Natural Beef… organic beef! Get here early as they tend to run out.

While the weather wasn’t as sunny as the website illustrates, there were plenty of people out and everyone seemed to have a great time.  I would recommend that you get there early due to the vendors can run out.  As the popularity increases that is surely to happen more and more.

Head on over to the website and plan for this event next year.





Laying it all out there…Knee Knacker 2013

Ok, It’s 2:15am, just over 15 hours since i crossed the finish line at the Knee Knacker. I have slept for a couple hours, but my aching body, and the hamster spinning the wheel in my head, won’t let me lay in bed any longer. Might as well get this race report done…

As a fairly experienced athlete and competitor, I have come to truly understand that the satisfaction i get from an event is directly proportional to the honesty of my output (during that event). I can’t control my competitors. I can only control what i do and how i perform. My performance at the Knee Knacker was about as good as it gets; there just happened to be one competitor who was faster across the line…nothing i can do about that.

In the days leading up to the race, the (potential) starters list was looking absolutely stacked. The deepest field to date, (at the pointy end of the mens field anyway). Gary, Nick, Adam, Shaun, Graeme, Nathan, Ed, Jeremy, and myself; just to name a few. Even with injuries keeping a few from starting, we still ended up with a ‘top 5 contenders’ list that had some serious weight. Add in the amazing course conditions, and we had all the ingredients for a kick-ass race.

For the past three months i have been focusing on the knacker. Whenever i was in Vancouver, which averaged out to a couple times a week, i trained on a section of the course. I love to break a course down and to really learn it’s intricacies. The BP is such an amazing trail, and i enjoyed every training run on it. Over time i was able to establish what i thought were three tough, bold, but attainable goals for my knee knacker debut. They were based on how i saw the course, and how i felt the course should be run to get the absolute best out of myself. With only a few clicks, anyone can pull up the past Knacker results and see how the best performances have been broken down. From that history, and from what i learned in training, i formed three goals for my race:

1.   Even split the first and second half (or even a slight negative split)
2.   Finish the last quarter faster than anyone else ever has (…ever)
3.   Absolutely empty my tank out there. Nothing left at the end

So here is the play by play… (how i saw it anyway)

Right off the start, Gary, Nick, Shaun, Graeme, and myself formed the lead group. I was fully prepared to just let them all go when the trail kicked up a notch though, and that’s exactly what happened. I had a plan, and a key component of it was to not cook myself up Black mountain. My strengths are my technical and downhill running, and i needed to be able to use my abilities later in the race. You can’t run technical trails when you’re blown…period!   *[That’s important for later…]*

I could see and hear them up ahead now and again, so i knew i wasn’t too far behind. I put in a bit more effort down off Black and into the Cypress check-point, and i only conceded around 2 minutes to the guys (a bit more to Shaun). I fully expected to bring some of that back on leg 2 though, especially on the Hollyburn chute. My support crew, Will, had my nutrition ready on-the-fly, and i was reloaded (Honey Stinger gels and water, the entire race) without missing a step.

I kept controlled across the next technical bit, and then really opened it up on the ski-run section. That’s when i got a bit complacent for a second though, and wiped out HARD. The combination of my speed, the angle of the sun, and taking my eyes off the trail for a split second, and i was cartwheeling through the rocks. I dismounted my cartwheel with a wicked finish too; the back of my head onto a rock!

Now, i am no stranger to hitting the deck on the trails. (Years of hard mtb riding, and me and the dirt know each other well). I picked myself up pretty quickly, but right away i knew the wipe-out was a good (bad) one. I had dinged by hip and my knee on rocks. I must have hit a nerve or trigger point, because my right leg was numb and totally powerless. I couldn’t put any weight on it

OH ****!! …

Walk it off Mike…walk it off…it’s a long day, don’t panic!

It took a good minute, but then the feeling started to come back. I kept it at a slow jog for the next little bit, and eventually i built back up to a solid clip. My head was kinda sore too, but i was running again.

Get back on the game plan Mike…problems are just part of the day….work through it

As i came through the section right before the Dam (the half way point), i caught Shaun. He was struggling a bit on the downhill stuff, and i got past him. We came in to the dam pretty much together, about two minutes down on the guys. I could hear my girls cheering. They have the absolute best ‘Go Daddy Go’ cheer, and it definitely got me motivated to keep grinding it out. Once again, Will was on point, and i was re-stocked in no time.

I was putting in a solid effort climbing up Nancy Green Way (up to Grouse), when Shaun went flying past me. The guy climbs like a billy-goat, and he motored right past me. Once we hit the trail again, he was gone and out of sight. I knew i was moving pretty good though, so i didn’t panic. With that said, my earlier crash was starting to show its teeth. The climb up from Grouse really hurt…i was getting little electric pains on my right leg every step. I don’t want to make too much of it though. Everyone has their own issues in a race like this, and I was prepared to have to deal with something like this. I reminded myself to enjoy the day. This was exactly what i signed up for.

Shut up leg…you have along way to go yet!

It was nice to crest the climb on Fromme and cruise the flowing technical sections down to Mountain Highway. I caught and passed Shaun again, and this time i was pretty sure it would stick. As i popped out on to Lynn Valley Rd., i caught sight of Graeme. I didn’t surge to catch him, but i passed him near the beginning of the Varley trail. At that point i started prepping myself for the last quarter of this race:

All or nothing from the Gazebo to Deep Cove.

Once again, i was really happy to hear my cheering family, and to grab a refill from Will. I was really present at that moment, and just enjoying the process. I was excited about the challenge i had set for myself on the last leg. I was told that Gary was about 3:00 ahead at that point. Obviously, knowing he was within range gave me a bit of a boost.

I left the Gazebo at FULL GAS.

Dig deep! Suffer! This is why i’m out here!

Pretty quickly, i knew i was making time on both Nick and Gary. I could hear ahead as they went through the crowds every now and again, and i knew i was moving fast. When i hit the bottom of the Seymour grind, it was nice to see Adam Campbell on the trail. He was genuinely excited to be watching the front of the race be so close, and he confirmed that Gary and Nick were just ahead.

My electric leg flared up a bit again on the last climb, but i didn’t at all panic. At this point in the race, it was all about fuel, not pain management. Going full tilt means that i burn glycogen at a scary pace, but i had to take the chance…all or nothing. As i turned right onto Mushroom trail, looking down the rocky decent, i caught sight of Nick! I was pinning it, and came up on him pretty quickly. I could see that he was struggling a bit, so i went past him with a surge.

Then i tripped and hit the dirt…again (uggghhhh, that hurt), and dropped my last gel.

Back up in a flash, re-pass Nick, and pedal to the metal again.  I crossed the Mt Seymour Rd. and was surprised to see Will waiting for me. It wasn’t in the plan to have him there, but it was a total bonus for me. I needed calories badly!!

I grabbed a small flask of cola from him and he let me know Gary was 30 seconds ahead. I guzzled the cola and pinned it. No guts, no glory!

It’s a short trail section before getting kicked out onto Indian River Road, and i had Gary in my sights. I knew i was pretty screwed for fuel though, and the coke i just had was barely covering the deficit i had been in. So, here’s the plan I came up with…

Absolutely pin it on Indian River Rd and catch Gary. Then, bluff him, and go past him as hard as i can for a good 30-60 seconds. Then, hang on for dear life, and hopefully he cracks.

BUT….i got within 10m of him before he turned off the road and into the trail. He saw me coming, and he kicked it into another gear. I tried to respond, but i was totally blown. I pin-balled off a couple trees, tripped and almost bailed again, and Gary peeled away from me. You just can’t run technical stuff fast when you’re blown! I still had to try to hold it together though, Nick was right behind me.

It was ugly, but i managed to stay upright, and to hold off Nick. As i hit the home stretch, with 200m or so to go, i looked at my watch…4:42. At that point, somewhere in the back of my foggy brain, i remembered seeing that Kevin Titus held the masters course record: 4:42 something. I don’t know where i got the energy from, but i kicked…and i kicked hard. I crossed the line with absolutely nothing left. It was quite surreal for a quick moment: everything dimmed, time slowed, and the world went silent. Thankfully Gary was right there, because as he hugged me he pretty much stopped me from blacking out and going down.

I was pretty out of it for the next few minutes. Lots of people talking to me and congratulating me. Family and friends all around me, asking questions. I’m sure i wasn’t making much sense though. It took me a while to focus in and get my bearing again, but it was a great feeling having all that support around me. The next couple hours were really fun. The atmosphere was amazing, and i was on a high. I really enjoyed just being at the finish and soaking it all in.

Unfortunately, by around 1pm, my wounds started to over-power my endorphins. I was hobbling pretty badly, and a solid headache had set in. My wife Jodi let me know that it was probably from the bloody bump on the back of head…ouch. My girls had put in a big day cheering and playing, and they were shutting down too. They needed to get home, and i needed a bit of time alone. We packed up the kids (both fell asleep within about 2 minutes) and headed back the race start to grab my car. After sending them all home, i was happy to have a bit of down time by myself. I had time to kill before the awards, so i grabbed something to eat and set up a lawn chair in the shade to chill out. It was fun to talk with so many people at the banquet. I heard so many great race stories; everyone had to battle their own demons out there.

On the drive home i had time to really reflect on how my race went. It was pretty much perfect. I was tough as nails, and i accomplished all three of my goals. My process was flawless. To top things off, there were a few surprising outcomes from my effort: I had the best KK debut on file, ran the 3rd fastest time ever, and set a new master’s record.

Now, some of you may say, “but you didn’t win”.

But winning was not one of my goals. I ran my perfect race…period. I can’t control what my competitors do. Gary was the faster man out there. I’m content to take second place in a full-throttle, tank emptying, battle to the end. I have no regrets whatsoever.

I definitely have my fingers crossed that i get in the lottery again next year. I learned a lot racing it this year, and i have new goals on the BP.
Thanks to my buddy Will for crewing for me (again), and thanks to all the volunteers and the organizers. You guys put on one hell of an event. Absolutely top notch.

Next up for me is a few days rest, then back at it. I need to get in some big mileage days. The Squamish50 is only 4 weeks away. Nick and I (along with several others) will be fighting it out in the 50 miler!

Specialized How-To: Fix a Flat

March 2, 2013

A flat tube can leave you stranded if you don’t know these simple steps for repairing or replacing it. Flats happen to everyone, so be prepared and watch this video to learn what you need to carry with you and how to use those tools to get rolling again.

Winter Tune-Up Packages Now On Sale!


February 4, 2013

For a limited time only, Steed Cycles is offering our Comprehensive Tune-up package for $45 – a 40% saving over the regular price of $75. The Comprehensive Tune-up includes:
  • Full bike safety check
  • Brakes adjusted
  • Gears adjusted
  • Wheel trued and tensioned in the truing stand
  • Hub and headset bearings checked and adjusted
  • Suspension pivots checked
  • Drivetrain lubed
  • Tires to proper pressure
  • Test ride
  • 15% off brake pads, cables, housing

To claim this offer, please print this coupon and give to mechanic when you drop off your bike.

* SOME CONDITIONS APPLY. PLEASE CONTACT STEED CYCLES FOR MORE DETAILS. Offer Expires 02/28/2013. Parts and Installation not included.

Meet Your Maker 50 :: Whistler- The Hard Way

This all started back in April, when a friend told me about a new trail running ultra marathon, called Meet Your Maker. It was to happen up in Whistler: 86km long, and 3750m up and down. I had never entertained the idea of running that far, but when i took at look at the course, there was no way i could pass on giving it a try. Lost lake, Comfortably Numb, Blackcomb, P2P, Whistler, Rainbow… you get the idea. I immediately registered, then put it in the back of my brain. I had a few mtb races and a few triathlons to take care of first, before i could worry about an 86km running race.

July rolls along, and it’s finally time to log some big trail runs. Thankfully, my buddy Will is a sucker for punishment too, and he accompanied me for several of my long(ish) trail runs. Knowing that i respond well to hard efforts, I still managed to put in a fair bit quality too. That’s kind of how things started to head off track though. I had a really solid base built up, and i was feeling like a champ on the trails by early August. I did a trail half marathon in Squamish (August 11th), and despite having a nutritional meltdown, i had a promising 2nd place showing. Why would i then want to take a day off (or 2)? Better to do a three hour hard hill run the next day, then a hard ride the next day, etc…and dig myself into a DEEP hole.

With three weeks to go to MYM, i was screwed. Broken down and tired, i did my best for the next two weeks to ease my body back to health. Thankfully, by Thursday of last week i started to feel some pep back in my legs. I hammered a short quality workout on Friday, pretty much just to get my confidence back, and on Saturday we headed up to Whistler. The only real issue on my brain now was that my longest run, ever, was 42km.

I’ll jump right to the meat of the action here: 6am start, and the first leg was pretty much a warm up. The second leg was the famous Comfortably Numb trail, back to Base 2 of Blackcomb. After the first aid station (10.6km), Mark Bennett, Phil Villeneuve, and myself were out front racing for the top spots. The three of us ran together, at a comfortable pace, all the way to Blackcomb. The only issue that popped up was my shoe choice. You see, i went against all common sense and wore a pair of shoes that i had only worn once before (my previous go-to shoes had been causing me blisters, and i didn’t think i could survive in them). My proprioception was a bit off, and i was catching my toes a lot. I hit the ground eight times on Comfortably Numb. Thankfully, the only real damage was a dislocated ring finger. I snapped it back in place, swapped my ring to the other hand, and hardly missed a step.

When the 3 of us hit the aid station at the bottom of Blackcomb, i decided that i would be better off in my other shoes (the blister causing ones). Mark and Phil disappeared up the ski slope ahead of me as i swapped my shoes, reloaded on food, and soaked in some cheers from my cheering squad. I wasn’t worried too much though; I liked the idea of doing the 10km climb on my own and at my own pace. I was well aware that pushing hard early would really bring out my lack of mileage, and could crush me. The next 8km up hill was a slog, but the 2km after that climb was absolutely brutal. No more cat track, no more groomed trail, just steep and rocky. I rolled up to the Rendezvous aid station unaware of where Mark and Phil were, pretty much expecting that they put about ten minutes into me. I grabbed food from my drop bag, hopped on the Peak2Peak gondola, and went about eating and taking care of my now blistering feet while enjoying the view. When the Gondola was just coming in to dock, i was pleasantly surprised to see Mark and Phil pass underneath. They were only about three minutes ahead of me.

Before the race, i had expected this next leg (top of Whistler to Creekside) to be where i would absolutely crush it. Technical downhill running is what i love, and what i am really good at. My morale took a serious kick in the balls though, because within a few strides i knew my feet were f#cked. The route was very steep, and my poor, blistered toes were getting hammered in to the ends of my shoes on every step. By the bottom, not only were the blisters killing me, but i was well aware that i’d be losing a few toe nails by the end of this.

As i ran in to the Creekside aid station, Mark and Phil were heading out. I really wanted to try to go with them, but i had to attend to my feet again. (Note: my friend Will was my amazing support crew, and met me at all the lower aid stations). I had to grease up my toes with vaseline, put on new socks, and toss back on my ‘tripping’ shoes. I got a chance to see my girls too (see photo above). Reloaded with food and water, off i went….and i f#cking tripped twice in the first 500m. I hammered the side of one of my feet in the process, and did some good damage to it. Stage 5 was going to be about survival.


This is about when Jens Voigt popped into my head: “Shut up legs”.


As i ran the first couple km of this stage, i was doing a full-body assessment. My lungs, legs, and energy level felt pretty good, but my feet were absolutely killing me. I was actually wincing as i ran. I had to have a real talk with myself about being such a pussy. Once i told my feet to shut up, and came to terms with the consequences that would imply after the race, i started to really move. I had started stage five, 5:00 down on Mark and Phil. I got to the end of stage five, 2 minutes down…and feeling strong. But again, I had to take care of my feet.

I lost three more minutes as i lubed, put on new socks, and swapped back to my ‘blister’ shoes. That put me back to 5:00 behind, but i knew i could make time on them. 21km to go. By my math, if nothing changed, it could come right down to the line. I was having a solid run on leg 6, pretty much prepping myself for the all-out, tank-emptying effort i was planning on the last leg (7). Then i saw Mark!! Talk about motivation. Mark is a really strong runner, and we have gone head to head several times before. I could see from the way he was running though that he was in a bit of trouble, and i was able to pull past him. Good legs and surging confidence are a strong combination.

I was flying in to the last aid station, with about a minute on Mark. As I dropped my pack and grabbed some cola (no food or fancy energy drinks at that point). I skipping the foot care, and Will yelled that Phil was 2:30 ahead (pretty much what i expected). At that point a switch closed in my brain, and the previous 75km and my sore toes and feet were totally forgotten. It was now a 10km trail run, with a 2:30 stagger. I went out hard! I doubted that i could hold the pace for the full 10km, but all i needed was to get Phil in sight. If i could see him, i was prepared to go to a very dark and painful place for the win. After about 4k the route popped out onto the paved trail around lost lake. It felt like butter to hit my stride on that section. I rolled along at around 3:30/km pace, which was right on the rivet for me at that point.


Then…..YES…..Phil !


From behind, i wasn’t sure if he was hurting or if he was cruising in for the win. I came up on him pretty quickly, and kept on going. I needed to get past him and not let him latch on to me. I didn’t know how much i had left in the tank, but i pushed hard for the next few km’s. When i got about 3km from the finish, I was out of any fuel and running on fumes. The tell-tale signs of a blow up were creeping in to my system. To keep running for those last 3km, I had to go to the bottom of the well…and then some. I hadn’t looked back once since passing Phil, and only when i was 200m from the finish did i know i had it.

The second that i crossed the finish line, my body took back control over my brain. I became painfully aware of my feet again, and was totally staggered with fatigue. I could barely stand as i took my shoes off and hugged my wife and kids. I was so happy to have them there, along with my good friend Will. It took a few minutes for me to pry myself out of the tiny, internally focussed, little bubble i had been in all day. When i did though, it was amazing to see the crowd out to cheer, and to see Phil and Mark as they crossed the line.

After doing a bit of a finish line interview, which i was quite incoherent for, i tried to go ice my legs in the creek. Bad move…my body fully shut down, and i was on the verge of passing out. Thankfully, Will was with me and on his game. We were back at my rental condo in no time, where i spent the next 2 hours in the bathroom (toilet and shower) shaking uncontrollably. Jodi did her best to look after me, but i was a mess. I finally laid down and immediately fell asleep for an hour. Then, believe it or not, i woke up feeling pretty good. I had stopped shaking, the battery acid had trained out of my stomach, and i actually ate something.

I had just enough time to say good night to my girls and to answer their “why are you walking so funny dad?” questions, before heading over to the awards. The crew at 5peaks had put on amazing race. Every person at the awards, dirty and bloodied, exhausted and hobbling, had a smile on their face. The logistics of the event are staggering: 3500 flags marking the trails, covering 86km of amazing Whistler trails, 6 fully stocked aid stations, and too many volunteers along the way to thank. Phil and Mark really made a race out of it, and i think we supplied an exciting fight to the finish.

I will definitely be back next year to defend. The feeling of leaving absolutely everything that you have, out there on the course is pretty addicting.

In case you wondered what a 50 Mile mountain running race will do to your feet, here is a nice picture.

Something For The Ladies Event

Endless Biking and Steed Cycles in partnership with Pearl Izumi, Giant Bikes and Rocky Mountain Bikes, present SOMETHING FOR THE LADIES a free event designed to introduce woman to All Mountain and XC mountain biking on Vancouver’s North Shore.

On Sunday July 8, 2012, Endless Biking and Steed Cycles will be offering a free event for woman. The purpose of this event is to introduce beginner and intermediate woman mountain bikers to all mountain and XC riding right here in our own backyard – Vancouver’s North Shore.

This full day event (9am-2pm) will consist of two parts. The morning session will consist of a guided mountain bike tour into the Mount Seymour Demonstration Forest including an instructional course that will introduce participants to the basics of bike handling and riding skills. The afternoon session will consist of two short seminars on woman’s specific riding equipment including clothing, bikes, gear and woman’s specific fit.

The morning session will start at Endless Biking and will be lead by professionally qualified instructors and guides. Event participants can expect to be introduced to numerous trails in the Seymour Demonstration Forrest that will leave a smile on any beginner to intermediate rider. The instructional session will go over the basics of body positioning and bike handling. Participants can expect to leave this morning session with a new inventory of trails to explore as well as a better understanding of your bike when riding more challenging terrain.

The afternoon session is all about an introduction to woman’s specific riding equipment including clothing, bikes, gear and woman’s specific fit. This session will be held at Steed Cycles where event participants will have the opportunity to speak with industry professionals from Giant Bikes and Pearl Izume on the benefits of woman’s gear. While you are learning about woman’s gear, there will be an opportunity to enjoy some food and refreshments.

All participants who attend both the Endless Biking and Steed Cycles events will leave with a complimentary gift bag packed with coupons, trail maps, a water bottle and other tokens of our appreciation. Additionally, all participants who attend both events will be entered into a draw to win one of four prizes with a total value of $300.

Benefits to all participants include:
– A two hour guided mountain bike tour into Vancouver’s North Shore
– A complimentary instructional session lead by professional mountain bike instructors
– Two seminars introducing participants to woman’s specific riding equipment including clothing, bikes, gear and woman’s specific fit.
– Food and refreshments at both locations
– A Grab Bag full of discounts, including discounts on rental bikes and future purchases from Endless Biking and Steed Cycles.
– A chance to win one of four draw prizes
– The opportunity to meet more like minded female riders!

This event will be limited to 30 participants and spaces will fill up quickly so don’t wait! To register for this free event, please visit our online registration page here. For more information, please email chris@steedcycles.com. Thank you and we look forward to riding with you on July 8th!




Boogieman Trail Day #5

May 26th, 2012 By Bill MacEwen

Meeting at Bean Around the World for Coffee!

On a perfect sunny saturday Steed Cycles, Giant Canada & Sean Gerke headed up Boogieman to repair some old bridges and breathe life into a tough but classic shore trail. As we walked up from the base, there was a healthy amount of smack talking… “Back in the day I sent that thing on my hardtail with a rigid fork in toe clips!” etc. It was a good start.

Before Shot

We scrambled our way up the steeps and made it to a rotting and awkward uphill bridge. Sean had put in a ton of work before hand, clearing out much of the old wood and installing new stringers.

After Shot!

The new bridge is much more stable and gets you onto the rock faster. An alternate route through a swampy mudbog was thoroughly decommissioned.

The next section was a steep, gnarly piece of woodwork that spat you out into an equally steep right hander and a chewed up chute. The wood was gnar, but in good shape so we left it there and focused on cleaning up the chute.
The chute was braced with stone and wood and topped with gold. The braking area below had become littered with loose rocks, so we raked those aside.

Big thanks to Steed Cycles, Giant Canada, the volunteers & Sean Gerke for making this happen!

-Bill MacEwen

Buffed filled-in section, view from below! Sean Pettersen plans his next x-up line.

Sometimes you’re the hammer…

May 16th, 2012 By Mike Murphy

“Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail”

I love that quote, and it was so appropriate on May 12 at the Barley Mill Pub Bare Bones Duathlon in Penticton.

Let me back up a couple days first though. About the middle of last week I decided that racing a duathlon (on the road) was a more appropriate event to take part in this weekend, rather than the Ore Crusher mountain bike race. The fact that i have a Half Ironman event coming up on June 3, got me thinking that some time on my TT bike wouldn’t be a bad thing. Of course, i had set up my TT bike on the trainer a few times in the previous few days, but it hadn’t seen the actual road since last summer. Here comes the foreshadowing: as most people know, TT bike positions take some time to adapt to, especially when coming from a mtb position.

So Friday afternoon rolls along, and seeing as my mom was in town to help with the girls, my wife lets me sneak away to Penticton for the Saturday duathlon. I grabbed a motel room, had something to eat, and was sound asleep by 9. Up at 3am, i had a few hours to kill before the 2pm start time. By the time 7am rolled along, i was more than ready to head out for a spin on my bike. I wanted to both pre-ride the course, and test out my bike position. Pretty much right out of the gate, i knew i was in a bit of trouble. My left glute/hamstring insertion was really tight. I was tempted to overhaul my position right there at the side of the road, but my common sense stepped in and said not to make any last minute position changes (even though i really hadn’t adapted to the position yet anyway). As a positioning starting point, i had basically just transferred my mtb measurements over to my TT bike. Obviously this wasn’t ideal, but i had to start somewhere.

For the rest of my morning pre-ride, i did my best to stay relaxed and not strain my left leg any more. Once i got back to the hotel (with a lot of time to kill before the start) i did a lot of light stretching and tried to stay relaxed. Thankfully, the Giro was on tv, and i had something to occupy my brain with while i waited. Did i mention that the race start was set for 2pm? I am definitely a morning racer/trainer, and  2pm is usually when my body is in a real down time. It’s tough to gauge your nutrition for an afternoon race, but i had think i managed it fairly well. An extra big-breakfast at 11, and by noon i was feeling good and headed over to the registration to get set up.

Attach my bike number, do a run warm up, and fast forward to the gun going off.

Right off the bat, as expected, 2 guys went off the front; one of them being Jeff Symonds, so no surprise there. The 5k run was three laps (same course for both 5k runs). After the first lap, Scott Trembley, myself, and Graham Hood had formed the second pack. I wasn’t wearing a watch, so i just went by feel. We didn’t hammer the run, and i felt within myself as we hit T1. I was kind of excited to see how my mtb fitness would transfer over today. I had a great Cyclocross-style flying mount out of T1, and just slipped ahead of Scott….for maybe a few seconds. He blew past me in no time, and Graham wasn’t far behind him.

As i watched those two guys cruise away from me on the bike, i did my best to just race my own race. I felt powerless and uncomfortable on my TT bike, but i knew that i needed to relax a bit and just let them go (not that i had a choice really). My left side was really tight, and i had to soft pedal to be at all comfortable. After about another 10km, a few more guys went past me, and my legs still hadn’t come around. The strong headwind wasn’t helping my cause, especially since my front race wheel is a really deep HED Stinger 9. I was getting blown all over the road, and even had to ride on the pursuit bars for a couple sections. When we hit OK Falls and started the climb up McLean creek (opposite direction to IMC) i was actually a bit relieved. Now I could sit up and stand up, and give my tight glutes a bit of relief. A couple more racers went past me on the flat section that followed the climb, and right around then i started to feel some power coming back. I managed to put a solid effort in back to Penticton, and wasn’t falling backwards anymore.


Right out of T2 i put the hammer down. I moved up a couple positions right away, but then i sort of ran out of people that i could see to chase after. Add in a bad diaphragm stitch, and my laps 2 and 3 were nothing to brag about. I did my best to keep my effort honest at the end, but i felt like a bag of crap for most of run 2. If i heard Steve King correctly, i finished in 8th position. Which, in all honesty, was where i deserved to be. I just didn’t have it on the bike, and i was definitely the nail today.


The silver lining from the race though, is that my TT position can only get better. Which, if my math is correct, means i will go faster. If only riding my TT bike was as fun as riding my mtb…