Top of the World - GOLDEN HINDE
Island Cross the Rock #1 Beban Park
Momar Cumberland Glory
Since the BC Bike Race and my last paintball post my racing schedule have been pretty erratic and injury filled. A week after Paintball and with my sights set on some 100 milers in Oregon, I suffered a pretty serious knee injury playing booze baseball in a farmers field at my Dad's office party. My goals changed considerably as I went from racing to just being able to ride the bike. After dislocating my kneecap, and tearing the medial and lateral ligaments, I was unsure how stable the knee would heal. Fortunately things continued to steadily improve and I was running and riding again by the end of August
At the end of August, Jeff, Jay, my little brother James and I decided to tackle the Golden Hinde, Vancouver Island's tallest peak. It was a good test for the knee, and base training for the upcoming Momar Cumberland. Despite terrible weather the trip was a success and Jeff and I summitted successfully, Jay partially overcame his crippling fear of heights and James rekindled his love for the outdoors
September started like normal. With my knee back to normal, training commenced for Momar and Cross on The Rocks (Vancouver Island's Famous Cross Series) The Cumberland MOMAR
went fantastic. Kristenn and I, decided to challenge Jeff and Jay for Momar glory and we narrowly missed defeated the handsome Helly duo, crossing the line less than a minute behind them. Kristenn had a fantastic day as our team of two was less than 15 minutes
behind the overall leaders.
My Cross season started strong. Turning 35 this summer I thought I'd start my season in Masters and work my way back to the Expert category. My first race went really well and I felt strong finishing in 2nd place. The race was held at Beban Park in Nanaimo, and the course was fantastic, featuring the exciting BMX track section.
Following the first race of the cross season I was stoked and even started doing something I've never done in the past, cross specific training. That must have been my first mistake. On my way down to Norm Thibault's house for a 7am training session. I t-boned a deer riding upwards of 50km hour. Time seemed to freeze as my bike catapulted over the dumb little doe and I remember feeling its fur brush my cheek, right before I was pile drivered into the pavement. Totally in shock I jumped back on my bike and rolled down the rest of the 200m to Norm's. Norm thought it was completely hilarious that I had managed to completely tear out the left ass-cheek of my spandex and was quick to snap a photo before getting me to the hospital.
After spending most of the day in hospital with my Mom, thanks mom. The doctors informed me that although I had bruised my kidneys and damaged soft tissue in my back that my spine and pelvis were intact. Up until now, I've never had back issues. I don't recommend them. It's been a slow recovery and probably not helped by playing hockey in a mens league twice a week.
I made my return to the bike on October 31st for the NUTCASE INTERCONTINENTAL SINGLE SPEED CROSS CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE UNIVERSE Norm and Wendy's psychotic brain child. The race was a lot of fun, but I did not enjoy the the 500m Lemans start, too much jarring on my tender back. The highlight of the race was easily the random pyrotechnic show which consisted of the organizers throwing and shooting fireworks at the racers. Jumping the fire pit was also pretty cool.
Following the race, I suffered a bit of a setback with my back and stayed off the bike, missing the Duncan and Victoria cross races. I returned for the season finale at Shawnigan Lake School a.k.a. Hogwarts. The course was wet and muddy, but fantastic. If you've never raced cross on the Island you need to put it on your list. Norm and Wendy put together amazing events, and despite my stubborn misgivings about the sport, they have gradually transformed me into a devotee. My race went well, and after being shadowed by a persistent Victoria rider for the majority of the race, I was finally able to drop the hammer and gain a small gap that allowed me to finish in first place. Despite feeling like a bit of a sandbagger for racing masters and not expert, I was super happy with my race after only being on the bike 5 times since my accident. I was thankful for men's league hockey and the fitness I was able to salvage. With winter upon us I'm looking forward to playing in the snow. 1st race of the season Mount Washington Yeti Snowshoe Race. Can't wait. Cheers Justin