A big weekend in Chilliwack on June 2nd, 2013

Ricky and I both spent a lot of our racing careers in Chilliwack.  It’s a great training venue for both mountain bike and slalom racing, but other opportunities abound.  For my part, I didn’t quite realize to what extent until I ‘retired’ and pursued a more diverse set of interests.  I was in Chilliwack again this weekend, the river was at a great water level, and I didn’t go paddling.

After an all-nighter in the car, I arrived on Saturday morning and needed to stretch my legs out and get some fresh air.  So I drove up to Elk Mt. and ran up it.   35 minutes and you’re here, with big views of the Fraser Valley.



(Elk Mountain)

Then we got down to business.

We’re racing RedBull’s Divide and Conquer next weekend.  This year, we’ve teamed up with Joren Titus, a man not bound by gravity – this dude can run uphill – and we aim to repeat.  Last year’s race was super fun, with three hard legs and a very strong field.  This year will be no different – we’re going head-to-head with lots of old friends and sparring partners.

Anyway, we’re working with Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors and Clearbrook Coffee Company this year, helping to promote their Fraser Valley businesses.  So we have a team car.

We painted and stickered it up on Saturday afternoon and put on a barbecue for the whole crew.
Sunday morning brought the Vedder Mountain Super-D race for Ricky and the same ride for Connor, Melanie, and I.  Vedder has some of the best mountain bike trails in the world and they were in incredible shape.  So many bridges, stunts, and bermed corners.  Places to open up and places to hang on for dear life.  From the high trail, The Den, you can stretch the downhill out for 20 minutes!
(Race start)
There were over 100 racers.  I think that’s the FVMBA’s best turn-out ever.  Ricky broke his bike about half-way down and coasted to 8th place, less than a minute off the pace.
(Ricky, sending it)
Straight after the race, it was back in the car and off to ski Mt. Cheam.
The dudeman car was packed to the gills, with Ricky, Nathan, Melanie, Connor, Jon, and I, and Max the dog making the trip.  Nevertheless, with a little pushing, tailpipe collateral damage, and some strategic rock placements, we got it all the way to the snowline.
With just a few km to the base of the mountain, we made quick progress and were up to the saddle in a few hours.  It was late and the weather wasn’t so great – we were socked in a few times on the climb – but the snow was, so we turned it around and got in some good turns on the way down.

(A man and his dog)



(Nathan Etsell, Ricky, Connor, Melanie, and Max take in the view of Lady Peak and Jones Lake)


 (Connor, hucking it out of a natural booter)

All in all, about as good as weekends get.  And all right in the backyard.

For more of this energy hit up The Full Dudemen blog!


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