DAY TO DAY LIFE OF A TEA DRINKING, TRAIL SEEKING DUBLINER LIVING IN VANCOUVER.

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CRANKY WORX AND RIDING NEW BIKES WITH FRIENDS

Where did the Summer go? One minute its May and you are planning all the rides and races you want to do and next thing you are dusting off the cyclocross bike and its September. This has been an amazing Summer for me once it got back to normal. I had friends come visit, Louise and the Dogs were home, I raced a bunch, rode lots of adventures, met cool new friends and saw lots of new bike things. Where do I start?

Road Riding has been huge for me this year. I treated myself to a new Propel Aero Bike (first road bike if bought in over 15 years). The Steed Ride Club was a great success and I had so much fun riding and sharing my knowledge with the group. I even showed them how to get a massive blow out and fix it with a piece of cliff bar wrapper. Im kinda ghetto like that. The guys on the team also got me into the WTNC Road Crits again this year and I had the best fun ever. It really helped with speed and intensity. Hopefully it will pay off for cyclocross.

I just did two trips to Whistler this year with friends but had a blast. Kyle stayed on for the Summer after Natalie and James went home and I had to show him all the trails on the Shore. He had such a blast. He’s a total ripper and once he get on the protein program he will be a force to be reckoned with. He’s still only 15.

While up in Whistler I got the chance to ride the new 2015 Giant Reign Advanced and I have to say it is a killer bike. The Spec, the ride quality and the price points are unbeatable. It could be a replacement for my Nomad in the coming months as I still want a ‘small’ ‘big bike’ to have fun on.

I got to ride with some new and old friends in Whistler over the Crankworx weekend. I rode a few of the EWS stages to see how hard it was. The Enduro guys need to be so fit now and posses amazing bike handling skills. I rode with Lyle from Acre Supply and Drew Paultier. We rode Mirco Climate, Yummy Numby and a few Lake trails.

This is Top of the World in Whistler. You should be able to see the valley and awesome view but it was cloudy.  Myself, Kyle, Jeff and Vince from POC headed up early on Saturday morning to get a lap in.

Kyle dropping in off the top.

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Oh the bicycle stunts competition wasn’t bad either. Some new kid called Brandon won.

Lots more to share in another post. Hang tight.

POSTER CHILD – BEAN AROUND THE WORLD COFFEE PROMO

Ive finally made it as a poster child. Hahaha not really but it felt great being on the wall of Bean Around the World Coffee Shops for the Summer. This awesome photo taken by Sean Travers last year of me was ideal to use for the promo with Cowboy Coffee, Steed Cycles and Giant Bicycles. Little did I know that it would be placed in all the stores and friends would be sending me photos of them with the poster. Great to be working with all these amazing companies here on the North Shore. The promo finished on August 31st so I will be available to sign any of the posters for you guys so you can put them on your wall at home….hahaha.

THE DOGS ARRIVE IN VANCOUVER

Louie and Ruby have landed in Vancouver and the excitement has reached 100. They are settling in and love the North Shore. They have been out on the trails lots too.

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Keep an eye out for their adventures this summer. As its summer here bike riding has become a daily activity with all our friends. Lots of new Irish people have arrived in the latest wave of newcomers.

This lady is back in my life and shredding it on the trails.

The Steed posse is growing and includes a new Irish member Miriam.

Trucks full of bikes every night too. Lots more summer activities to come. Stay tuned.

BC BIKE RACE INDUSTRY DAY – SQUAMISH

I was lucky to get the opportunity to ride the Industry day at the BC Bike Race this year and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to get the chance to experience the race from the inside. It has really got me pumped to try make the full race next year. Its on my bucket list as something I want to do.

Myself and Branden got the chance thanks to Sugoi Apparel and Shimano. The guys at BCBR do a great job and meake it a lot of fun even thou it hurts a lot. The course was 45kms or there abouts.

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We started in the back wave of riders and slowly worked my way up through the packs. It was day 6 for most of the riders and they were feeling it. I cheered them all on and gave them some of my local knowledge to help them out. I ended up finishing well and took 4th in the race. It was a great day out in the end.

TEST OF METAL 2014 – DEFLATION

This is the third year I have contested the Test of Metal and each year I swear I will not do it again but it has a little something that keeps attracting me back each year. My goal this year was to go sub 3 hours. I had put the training in and felt good on the lead up to the race. After a bad Nimby I was set to burry some demons. It all started great and I was will up on the road climb as we rolled through the streets of Squamish. 900+ riders this year and we all wanted to get into the first single track first. Id say I was within the top 100 as we entered the trail. I was within close quarters of the guys I wanted to race with and settled into a rhythm. The first fast gravel trail and I was in a large group of riders. Sitting at the back to stay safe and a Guy kicks up a rock, I avoid it but veer into the rougher part of the trail. I was lucky I stayed outta trouble or so I thought so. As I came to Jack’s Trail my bike didn’t have that punch up the little drag. I looked back and my tire was deflating quickly. I opted to pull over quickly and reach into my back pocket for a C02 to re-inflate it quickly and try not lose too many places. Back on the bike 30 seconds later and back into the long line of riders. Jack’s is one of my favourite trails. I passed lots of riders in here and just as I came to the end and out onto Alice Lake Car Park my tire went totally flat. Jeez. I pulled over and reached into my back pocket to grab a tube……there was nothing there! I had pulled it out at the last stop while grabbing my C02 and didn’t know…….gggrrrrrrrr. My race was done.

I was heart broken. All this hard work and nothing to show for it. I waited for over 40 mins for the track ambassadors to pas by but there was no sign of them. Luckily my friend Dave passed by and tossed me a tube so I could finish the race. It took me another 10mins to fit the back wheel back in after an over zealous marshal who was trying to help pulled my brake lever and locked my pads. Ah well.

Eventually I got going again and had given up. I just wanted to finish at this stage and hoped to catch some friends to ride with them. As I got back into the swing of things I got a good pace and began to catch riders (I was dead last). I was having fun trying to pass them on the downhills. As I popped out of the bottom of Rollercoaster I decided to try push hard and see if I could claw back enough time to finish under 4 hours.

I went hard along the fire road to the feed zone and then up 9 Mile Climb. I picked off hundreds of riders up here and down Ring Creek Rip. On the plunge I was flat out as I had no rear brake. As I hit the feed zone for the second time I knew how far I was from the finish and pushed hard. I was held up a few times by large packs but forced my way through and out onto the road before the last drag up the Smoke Bluffs and along the cycle path to the finish. I did it in 3hrs 57mins. Gutted but now driven even more to come back in 2015 and .10441426_10152289334538402_709643995204118564_n

 

WORLD TUESDAY NIGHT CHAMPIONSHIPS – ROAD CRITS

Road Racing….would you ever of thought you would see me doing that? Well Im actually having a ton of fun and the speed its giving me is awesome. The World Tuesday Night Championships is a staple in the Vancouver Road Scene. Without fail people turn up week in and week out to bash it out Crit style. The speeds are fast (Avg 41kph) and the corners are dangerous. Im riding in the Cat 4 Races which has a few wild riders who are only learning to ride in a group. There are a lot of sketchy moments but overall its fun. My aim is to build up speed for Cyclocross season. Here is a video of last weeks race in Glenlyon thanks to Dominic. You can see me staying up near the front and out of trouble. You get a good sense of the speed too.

I will be racing all season both at Glenlyon and UBC. Ill post up more pics as I get them.

NIMBY 50 ANOTHER YEAR

What is not to like about the image above?????

Is it the fact that you have started racing from the valley below with 400 other maniacs? Is it the fact that it has taken 101 of the toughest switchbacked single track turns to get to this point in the race? Is it that you are descending the hardest ‘xc downhill trail’ you have ever ridden? Is it the massive drop just off the side of these huge rockslabs? Is it that you can’t look to the right to take it all in?

The nimby 50 IS the hardest Mtb Race I have ever done. Anybody who claims its a walk in the park is lying or is on the juice. It brings Pro’s down to the mere mortal status. Last year I swore that 2014 would be my last time doing this race. After a busy month leading up to last years race I was ill prepared and not feeling good. I managed to finish in 3 hrs  11mins. Not what I wanted and I cramped up lots. For 2014 I had set a goal for redemption of 3hrs. I know its not a massive decrease but its a part of a bigger picture I am trying to achieve for the year. The pre-ride was an absolute disaster for me. I was holding up the gang and really feeling every climb. I was unsure if I could pull it off.

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Come race day I tried my best to stay positive and get a good start. That is the key to getting a better time. As we hit the road for the controlled start I kept my composure until we hit the gravel. You want to go as hard as you can but you know the race is long and tough. I just made my way up past people and tried to keep a steady pace. As we dropped into the first downhill I got caught behind a slower rider. Not really a problem as it would be bottlenecking up the whole way anyway. As we popped out onto the gravel road I just pushed on at a pace to keep my spot on the trail. Next stop is the massive climb. 101 turns of techy steep single track. Again sitting in traffic the pace felt a little slow but you can’t make many passes. I used the Waco Connector trail to get the fluids and food into me. The  Nimby climb was good for me. I felt strong and only dabbed once when a slower rider stopped on a corner. When I reached the top I grabbed another bottle and some banana’s for the awesome volunteers. Time to recover now and make my way to ‘Overnight Sensation’ which is a part of the Redbull Downtime race. I picked off a few riders and stayed safe. I knew if I was tense on this dh I would cramp on the next fire road.

The second half of the course is so gruelling and energy sapping. The Sphincter Rock and climb up to the crossover is one of the hardest parts. I felt tired but managed to ride most of it. A vast improvement on the pre-ride. I looked at the clock and I was at around 2.30 and had come to the conclusion that I would not make the goal. I rode the next steep climb while being heckled by Dre Heslter from behind who had punctured earlier. He wouldn’t let me give up. Sadly when he humiliated me by passing me on the steepest bit like he was out on a sunday stroll I dismounted and walked the last rock slab. On ‘No Err’ which is one of my favourite trails I took a stupid crash at the very start. I couldn’t believe it. It was a tiring mistake. After pulling myself out of the ditch I dropped the head and gave up. Back on the gravel road I shook some sense into myself and put the power into the pedals. I knew there was one last steep climb and the rest was downhill. As I crested the hill I looked at the clock…..I could do this if I really pushed.

I descended as fast as I could leaving the guys behind me. Then it hit me. The last part of the course had changed for 2014. There were two short sharp climbs in here. I cleaned the first one with speed and momentum. The second one nearly brought me to a total stop. My knee was sore from the crash and my chest was hurting for some reason. Oh yeah I had chest bumped the handlebars in the spill too. The extended part had a wicked steep downhill and joined back onto the first loop. As I dropped out I had another look at the clock 2.55. Can I do this? Nope! there was another new bit added onto the loop to bring you along a gravel road through a farm and back to the finish line. It added about another 4 km to the race. I crossed the line in exactly 3.05. I was so pissed off that I didn’t get under the 3hrs. Later in the day I calmed down a bit as the race had about 12mins more than it did the year before. So on the old course I would have been sub 3hrs. That doesn’t mean much as now I have to come back next year and real go sub 3. Wish me look.

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