Vedder Mountain is my home. I grew up in the Fraser Valley and learned to ride my bike on this mountain . To me Vedder mountain is this magical place that makes my dreams come true. After traveling the world I chose to live here because its just that good. Every year Vedder is on the calendar with some sort of race, over the years they have had dh and xc races, this year was a full on Enduro. Four stages, 21km total and 1200m elevation gain and loss on some of the best trails ever. I know this mountain better then anyone however I always manage to mess things up at Vedder come race day. I don’t recall a time in the recent past that I’ve been able to win a race on my home mountain. One year I came second to Chris Johnston after being a dumb dumb and racing the ore crusher in Squamish the day before and the day before the ore crusher skiing Mt Baker with no shirt on and getting the sun burn of a life time (scroll down to see the burn). Then there was the time I broke my chain rings right off my bike half way down my race run. So would this year be the year? Older, wiser and the right setup for the job, could I grab the win?
For race day I pulled out all the stops as far as my bike was concerned. Same bike I rode at the Nimby 50 XC race but I swapped out my 1400g NOBL cheater wheels for the NOBL 36mm wide rims with 2.4 Ardent tires. It was very dry conditions and the extra volume and tractor like traction was just awesome. It was like being semi fat with out being overweight, kind of like having a diet coke with a super sized big mac meal. Plus the wide rims give you crazy stability when the going gets going. I was so pumped with my wheel/tire choice. I also noticed a lot of guys riding in full “enduro” clothing, I opted for a lighter option. Thin XC shorts and a short sleeve jersey, its like short shorts for enduro. Who wears short shorts? I do when its 30c out. I also rocked my short finger gloves, I might have looked like a roadie but my hands were cool as a cucumber.
The race was four awesome stages of all the basic main stream FVMBA trails. All fun and flow, and nothing really beyond a blue. I don’t think I would take my mom down the course but any beginner – advanced mountain biker would have giddy fun on these trails. Going in I knew the course very well, but on the first stage I dropped a chain right at the top of the Den. I ended up just being calm getting off my bike and putting it back on, but then I was pissed off and rode with a little anger. With a little 7 month old at home I’ve put myself on a strict no crash policy, so I rode fast but well within policy regulations. Its always nice to hold my little girl after a day of shredding rather then breaking arms and such. Even with the chain drop I still ended up with the fastest time on stage one but knew I could do better. The next 3 stages were just regular business time, no crashing, no funny stuff, just being smooth and fast. After the dust settled, I had the fasted times of the day! I was very excited to finally win at Vedder and get the local monkey off my back. I think a lot of first time Vedder riders realized how good Chilliwack is and to me that’s the biggest win.