My Canmore real estate business took a back seat for the day on June 13th as I competed the inaugural 5 hour mountain bike race at the Canmore Nordic Centre called the ‘Organ Grinder’.
The Canmore Nordic Centre have, over the past year, had a real focus on cutting new trails throughout the complex which has re-ignited the excitement in the Mountain Bike community in Canmore. The new trails and trail system that the Nordic Centre have developed for the Mountain Biking community at large needs to be commended, they have trails for all abilities and levels and they are attracting riders from near and far.
The race course for the Organ Grinder used a system of trails that made one lap about 12kms long and used both old and new trails. Primarily run all on single track the course had everything that makes mountain biking fun – tight gnarly climbs with exposed roots and rock, steep descents, rock drops, table top jumps, bermed corners and long steep double track climbs that made your legs feel like they were about to fall off. Put all these elements together in a 12km lap, add 200+ mountain bikers and 28 degree heat and you have great race on your hands.
My race was tempered by a chest cold I’d been fighting for a few days and made breathing a little more difficult that usual so I rode a conservative race, which for me means taking my time on all the climbs and letting everything hang out on the fast, fun, technical descents – I decided early on in the day that if I was going to push my body while feeling under the weather I was damn sure I was going to enjoy it as much as I could.
I ended the day completing 5 laps or 62.5km in the 5 hours of racing, 1 less lap than I had as a goal but 5 more than I thought was going to be able to complete when I woke up that morning, so overall a great day on the bike. I have no doubt that this will become an annual event and all the talk amongst the competitors at the end of the day was how much fun the course was. A huge shout out needs to go out the race organizers and all the volunteers that helped marshal the course and cook the great BBQ after the racing was done. These events would never happen without the support of volunteers and I know all the racers appreciate what they do to ensure these races are successful.
It’s been back to work for the past 2 weeks since the race but now I’m starting to focus on the next race I am competing in – the 24 hours of Adrenaline on July 26th. Thankfully I will not be competing as a Solo competitor but I am on a five-man team that will try and compete for the title in that division of the race. Keep an eye out on this blog for a race update once I’m done. Until then, I need to get back on the bike and continue the training.