The Race / Event Thread


#1

So an other season of racing is upon of us and I felt it would be interesting to talk about it and racing in general. Thru the years mtb bike racing has seen a varied level of interest from riders for the most part reflecting the overall market trends. But lately as the sport has increased in popularity the level of interest in racing has not fully reflected that. XC has always been king wither it is traditional or a longer term format and downhill has been a lot more challenging in terms of venue and numbers. Now we are seeing the growth of enduros in other parts of the world
I am interested to hear, if you have raced, if you planned on racing, if not why? What form of racing you would be more interested in? Personally I have raced, help organize and run races and volunteer to help others run their events. At some point there is always a conversation about what to do to get more participants out to these events. Here’s your chance to chime in.
Finally I will float this out there. Festivals have never been tried in the region to any extent. By removing the competitive aspect and focusing on a more communal event. Think guided group rides for differing skill levels, certified coaching for novices, music, bonfires, and skills competition aka wheel for distance, bike toss, night crit,etc. Would this be something that might attract the weekend warriors who otherwise have chosen not to get involved?


#2

I used to race in road running events, and for me it got a little too serious and took a lot of the fun out of it for me. When I fell back in love with mountain biking, I decided I wanted to keep it light and fun, which means not taking myself too seriously. I might do the odd race as a personal challenge (Tour of Elgin comes to mind), but I don’t see me entering many others, if any.


#3

Downhill is a tricky one around here. There are next to no locations that actually have a true DH hill now that Wentworth & Martock have closed their doors. The only hill I know of is Keppoch which is a 2.5hr drive from the city, which in turn makes it hard for the weekend warriors to truly get involved into the race scene. When Wentworth was opened I dont think numbers were the actual issue. There was always loads of riders, especially during the Fall Festival of Colors.
I think you would see the numbers climb drastically if there was a ski hill like Martock that was certrally located to the bulk of the population.
I have raced at Wentworth and in British Comumbia and would love to get back into racing if Martock opened their doors to us again! Not to mention the cost of racing here compared to BC. When I raced in a local circuit there, it would cost $5 for a lift accessed race and at the end you would turn in your ($5) plate for a beer. So essentially you raced for free. Now I’m out of the loop here but I believe it used to be relatively pricey to race here.

That’s just my outlook to the DH scene and Keppoch has done an amazing job, only if it was 30 minutes from Halifax :slight_smile:


#4

Yea I’m planing to start racing this year. The DH/Enduro is what I really want to do but I’ll do whatever


#5

I plan to get back into racing this year but only doing select events. I previously started racing to learn about other trail systems and meet other riders. I fell in love with the scene and did every off road race for a couple of years but then had a kid. Now he’s three and a bit less work so I want to have a few days for Dad this year. The Kentville Enduro is on my list and doesn’t require a BNS license. I might do one of the two Gorge DH races. I will probably race the Gore XCO and maybe do the Tired Tires Endurance.


#6

Roughly 25 years ago I did all the serious XC races in and around Calgary including ABA and Canada cup races. I even got to race at the world cup race alongside people like Cadel Evans and Allison Sydor (by ‘alongside’ I mean I did a much slower race on the same course they used and later watched them from the sidelines). These races were challenging and serious but at the time that was my thing and I extracted fun from those aspects. With the exception of the world cup event the races were mostly attended and viewed by racers and their families. I also did weekly weeknight casual races at Canada Olympic Park, a ski hill located in the city. These were fun because it was a relatively short course and you did between 1 and 7 laps depnding on your skill level. These races attracted a wide range of bikers from kids to adults, newbies to seasoned saddle jockeys. The races always ended with post-race giveways and refreshments in the lodge.

From there I moved into adventure racing which involved some pretty long isolated rides. You also rarely saw anyone but your team and were dead tired at the end of the race. Again the fun came from challenge for those who were serious. To keep with mountain biking I did the 24 Hours of Adrenline each year for about a decade and I’d say this was my favorite race and the hightlight of every summer. This event was huge, taking over the entire Canmore Nordic Centre and jacking up the biking vibe in the town of Canmore which was already littered with mountain bikers. This event was great because there were so many people out enjoying mountain biking and having a great time. You had serious solo riders and teams of 2 -5 riders riding the same course at the same time as corporate teams of 10+ people who just wanted to try a lap and party in the tent city for the rest of the event. There were people racing in costumes, people decordating their tents and trailers, a ‘24 minutes of adrenline’ event for kids, trials demos, midnight corn roast and movies, LeMans race start, vendor expo and basically just lots going on all the time for bikers of all abilities and other people to enjoy.

After moving to Halifax 12 years ago I mostly stopped racing for various reasons. I did the 8 Hours of Gore a couple of times solo but never got into the antics that went on at that event since I was being ‘serious’. The last few years I’ve been doing the Cyclesmith Tuesday night short track races with my son. It prevents me from doing ECMTB rides for a couple of months but I really enjoy getting to watch him have fun doing his race and then do my own quick burst of energy.

For my the fun comes from events that bring more people in and you get to see people experiencing newfound enthusiasm for the sport. What we need are events that bring more people out either to try it out or just get entertained on or off the bike.


#7

So many questions and comments in your post, hard to know where to start! Briefly, racing gets in the way of riding bikes, gas costs too much for me to want to drive far (I live in the boonies), and a two hour race takes up a 12 hour day. And I basically raced non stop for probably close to 15 years or more so I was just done. I think gore is back on in the regular xc format so I thinking of doing it because it was always a favorite course of min.


#8

I loved racing when I was younger, and did many races for many years. I’d love to do it again, but I don’t have time to train. Work always gets in the way. My current mountain bike is not an XC race bike so I’d not be competitive. I’d be more interested in some more enduro races. I find we have some good locations for Enduro that have lots of potential.

But these days I plan to go racing, then a paddling event comes up, or friends just want to ride for the weekend and drink beer around a fire, and all of a suddenly he race is forgotten about. Couple that with the asshole in Truro a couple years ago yelling at everybody and the other asshole at Blomidon Winery that lost his shit at an CX race, that I’d prefer to just drink beer, ride, drink beer, fall into a fire and wake up and go riding with friends again.

A non-competitive riding weekend would be interesting. Ride clinics, beer, fire, group rides, night rides, beer, demos, more beer, kids race, crit, skills event, CX demo, beer…


#9

As far as downhill is concerned, I would have to agree with Tossedsalads comment about racing wasting an entire 12 hr day. With DH races you get a couple practice runs and then 3 race runs downhill. So maybe 1-2hrs of riding at best.
I’d much rather ride a ski hill at my own leisure and do 10-12 runs in a day.


#10

I raced lots back in the early 90’s in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, got to do some Canada Cup stuff in Quebec and Ontario too. I was never too serious about training although I did give it a serious go for a bit and did see improvements in fitness… it was never really about the competition. I always got the most satisfaction from having a good time, traveling to new places, seeing new trails. I briefly thought about doing an enduro in PEI last year. I rode the trails the day before which was a blast and then it rained over night so I deiced to not bother doing the race, it just didn’t seem worth it. I won’t be racing anymore… I detest the competitive ego and pretentiousness that racing can perpetuate. I don’t want to be involved in that BS. Just going to go have fun on my bike, dig trails and share some fun times with friends, every ride is a festival!