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Chris cut his time short in Chile this month with a crash on the 3rd day of the Andes Pacifico. He dislocated his right elbow and fractured it in 2 places. He has since returned home for surgery and is recovering well. He hopes to be back training and racing as soon as he can.
A big thanks to all the staff at Andes Pacifico that helped him out!!!
Interview starts around 41min. But check out the whole podcast with host Tristan Merrick!
Johnston wrapped up the weekend with a solid 12th and Wolsky 22nd out of a pro field of 130 of the worlds top racers!
It was great to get out with Videographer Tom Teller and capture some great content in Camas Washingtion
We had an unreal week in Crested Butte! Check out the Chainless World Champs at the end it was such a good event just flat out fun!
Flying to a race event is never an easy task. The amount of gear you can take is limited due to baggage restrictions and general mobility of getting from A to B when you arrive at your destination. Our trip to Angel Fire was quite the adventure. We had a set budget that blew out like a fat kid in a candy store. Heres the breakdown
I packed my car with my bike and a small bag and made my way down to Vancouver from Whistler. I arrive at Chris’s place, we pack our bike boxes with the goal of not getting swiped by excess baggage fees. We load the Van and cross the boarder to Bellingham Airport. On checking in Chris gets done for having his bike box overweight and has to juggle his luggage to meet requirements. That afternoon we arrive at Denver Airport and get talked into a massive SUV hire care that will fit our bikes and the potential for us to sleep in to save money on accommodation. On our way to Angel Fire we manage to get a stone chip in the window by a passing truck, dam! We finally arrive in Angel Fire at midnight and our idea of car camping fails and by 3am i am in the Angel Fire resort lobby crashed out on a lounge chair.
As Thursday morning arrives we meet our first budget blowout as we book into the Angel Fire Lodge for the weekend. After unloading our gear into our room we headed to the bike park for some practice laps of stages 2 to 5 but we were cut short by thunder and lightning and spot fires around the valley that would see us only get one practice lap of stage 2. We spend the afternoon resting and planning our practice for Friday.
We team up with 007 (Mason Bond) Friday morning to head out to stage 1 that is located just outside of town. After a 40min drive we find the transition to the start of stage 1. This stage was starting above 10,000 feet located in the alpine. The trail started of pedally and then ten minutes in it would drop down dramatically as you screamed down a rocky ridge trail lined with axe shaped rocks biting at your tires to the finish. The afternoon was spent back in the bike park practicing stages 2 to 5. The weather held out and we had an amazing time shredding the park.
Saturday was an early start we woke up and loaded our bikes onto the trailer to get the shuttle out to stage 1. The 20min Stage was tough, at the finish we watched about 20 people come down with flat tires. We had no problems running the Maxxis Highroller II EXO tires and made it down unscathed. Our result looked good but the elevation definitely gave us a hard time and a few boys managed to put some time in on us with their Colorado mega lungs. After stage 1 Chris was 8th and myself 12th.
The bike park stages were unreal and we were looking forward to pulling back some time. The racing was solid and the final results for the weekend would see Chris in 4th place and myself 8th. After the race we headed back up the bike park for a few more runs after the event. By late afternoon we were exhausted and we packed our bike boxes up and waited around for the podium awards. After the event was over we jumped in the SUV and B-lined it back to Denver. Ten Minutes in I get pulled over by a police officer and was issued a very questionable speeding ticket on the way into a small town just outside Angel Fire.
After driving through the night we arrive at Denver airport at 3am. We decide to sleep in the SUV until morning which involved an awkward game of human tetris to get comfortable, its not easy sleeping in the front seat of a car when your 6 foot. After confirming with Chris over the weekend about our flight departure time being 10am we were both very suprised at 8am when told that our flight had just left! We both had a very blank look on our faces of disbelief…..epic fail/budget blowout! We had a good 30min of mixed emotions but we usually keep ourselves pretty contained as we still have to hang out with each other for the rest of the season….haha . We asked about getting the next flight, in which we were told the next flight would be Wednesday. Pretty angry at our stupidity we gathered our thoughts and worked a connecting flight to Seattle and then a flight from Seattle back to our van in Bellingham. We arrived back in Vancouver late Monday evening. Looking back at our week in Angel Fire we may not have been remotely close to keeping budget but it wont be a race we will forget anytime soon!
Check the video recap of the trials in Angel Fire!
Round 2 of the Oregon Enduro Series was held in Bend over the past weekend! Races were greeted with a 4 stage enduro on a very fast, flowy and dusty course. Chris and myself arrived Wednesday evening and jumped straight into a few practice laps. The riding is very different in Oregon than what we are used to in BC but we are always happy to get our fix of high speed single track!
Check out some practice action below -
Bike choice for Bend was always going to be tough. The course probably has the most pedalling of all the rounds in the Oregon Series. In the end Chris stuck with the Bronson and I went with the Blur TRc. I went with the Blur for its acceleration, light weight and pedal efficiency in the hopes it was going to gain me some time on the more longer pedaly stages. I ran a Maxxis Highroller II up front to deal with the blown and loose high speed corners followed with an Ardent LUST in the rear for a bomb proof setup. Chris ran the Bronson and used the advantage of a slightly bigger wheel to keep his traction down in the corners and general flow on the course. He ran a Maxxis Ardent Exo front and rear for the race.
The dust and dry conditions are always difficult to manage. We opted for the Smith pivlock V2 max sunnies over goggles for the weekend. They have a larger lens and provided the best coverage for keeping the dust out of our eyes while on course and allowing us to breathe efficiently.
The video below best describes everyone post race. The burn of the dry air and dust that everyone consumed during practice and race day was pretty full on and left a lot of people coughing and splattering after the race.
The race was held over one day this year and after the dust had settled Chris was left in 2nd place ahead of Josh Carlson and Carl Decker with Bend local Adam Craig taking the win! It was great to see Chris get a taste of what he is capable of and lets hope this will continue throughout the season! I had a pretty consistent day keeping it up right with no crashes and was just outside the top 1o in 12th place. Seeing Chris killing it definitely adds fuel to the fire for me to get back where i left of last year biting on the heels of the top 5.
This year at the Oregon Enduro Series they have a new addition to the team. Tom Teller is the videographer of the series and has been pumping out some amazing race coverage. This little video is from race day in Bend, Chris has an interview and talks about the Bronson, i have a little clip on stage 2 on the step up and the video finishes with Chris on the podium!
Thats a wrap from Bend we are flying out tomorrow for New Mexico for the first round of the Big Mountain Enduro Series in Angel Fire
Last years assault on the North American Enduro scene was memorable, filled with good times, adventure, new friends and amazing experiences. We were just two guys out having a blast riding bikes. This year will be no different.
As winter rolled out for another season we were counting down the days for the first round of the 2013 North American Enduro Series. The Weeks prior we had our trusty home the “Thunder Pig” serviced and tuned up ready for another big year on the road. We had our last days of work for the season and with an early start to spring we were out on the trails getting up to speed and trying out new equipment.
After the stories shared from our experiences last year we had a small army of friends from BC that would join us at Hood River to get a taste for the enduro scene and see first hand at what all the fuss is about.
Over the years living in Whistler i have had the pleasure of riding with these people. They are not all racers but all of them have a passion for riding their bike! From adventuring in the Chilcotins, hanging out in the bike park, riding in the valley and ripping each others lungs out at the local toonie xc races, i have spent time with all these people separately in different areas of mountain biking. It was great to see this one format of riding bikes called Enduro has brought these people together to hang out for the weekend, ride together, laugh and share there biking experiences.
The competition this weekend was solid with a packed pro field which is great for the series. We had an interesting weekend of racing, i think the anticipation and mental game of hanging in the gym and on a trainer during the winter months waiting for the first race to arrive placed alot of pressure to come out of the gate swinging.
Chris had a good start but had a few minor issues and mishaps that seen him just inside the top 10. Lets just say he may have done stage 4 chainless from the start. Myself, well i decided to get a few soil samples one on stage 2 with a nice high speed wash out and then followed up with a scary fall on stage 3 that felt like i had a visit to the chiropractor that had me down for a while. It may not have been the results we where looking for but its early days and the season is long and we have plenty of time to get our groove on and back into the mixer! What i can say is that we had an amazing weekend shredding trail with a bunch of rad people!
The next stop in the Oregon Series is Bend! Bring your friends, hang out, ride hard and get a load of the enduro experience!
Big thanks to our 2013 affiliates – Santa Cruz Bicycles, Shimano, Fox, Enve, Race Face, Giro, Ergon, Maxxis, MRP, Smith Optics, Marx Conditioning, Suspension Werx, Boeshield T9, Nite Rider and Suspension Therapy.
A phone call from Chris on Friday had me excited. Chris had two sea plane tickets he had won from last year that had to be used the following day. The flight was for two from Downtown Vancouver to Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast. He proposed the idea of taking our bikes with us on the plane flying into Sechelt and riding trail along the sunshine coast back to the Ferry at Langdale. Well this sounded great! Chris described it as the Nomads Team Camp! “All the factory enduro teams have team camps, this can be ours” he said laughing. I dont know what they do on these camps but all i know is we were going to have a solid epic on the bikes come tomorrow!
I had an early start on my hands Saturday morning. Heading down from Whistler I had the option of parking at Horseshoe Bay close to the Ferry and riding 20k downtown Van too the Sea Plane Terminal. This sounded like a good plan, so when i get off the Ferry at the end of the day i could hobble back to my car and have a short trip back home. Leaving from Whistler I was up at 4am dominating a bowl of Weetabix! Every epic starts with Weetabix! I loaded up the black knight aka my VW golf and all round sea to sky highway froth mobile and was city bound.
The early morning ride from Horseshoe bay to downtown along Marine Drive was amazing. Looking down towards the Lions Gate Bridge the city was waking up and the sun was rising to a clear blue sky.
Chris was going to ride across the city from Kitsilano and meet us at the Sea Plane Terminal.
We loaded the Bronsons on to the Plane. We were lucky, if we had any other passengers booked for the flight our bikes would be staying behind. I wasn’t sure if those 650b wheels would fit into the plane. The pilot said they would fit but they are designing new planes to better accommodate this new wheel size and the large trolls that keep calling up about Enduro sea plane adventures.
The float plane ride was breath taking up and over the Lions Gate Bridge and out towards the Sunshine Coast. We landed at the Pub at Sechelt, perfect!
We stopped in at “Off The Edge Adventure Sports” Old mate Gary at the shop kindly loaded us up with a Map and told us to follow the red dots! He sent us out on a few trails from the BC bike race that would eventually see us head through Roberts Creek then out towards Langdale.
After missing a few key turns we climbed a bunch of fire roads too what felt like the moon! We then had to free bash a couple of clear cut areas to get back on track and onto the single track. Its not an adventure if you don’t get lost.
The sea plane pilot flew us over a couple of amazing waterfalls on the way in. We were lucky enough to pass them back on the trails!
Fire roads on the way up and single track all the way back down! We clocked just over 2000m of climbing during our ride!
Chris bar humping and jumping his way down a few jump trails in Roberts Creek!
Heading out of Roberts Creek on the trail hwy 103 we hit up a nice fall line decent called Viper and then headed out towards Langley. We ran into these future little shredders riding some new trail just above the skills park!
After descending down to Langdale we seen all the traffic arriving off the Ferry. Sweet! a quick sprint down to the Ferry and we can make it on and back to Horseshoe Bay, perfect timing!
After arriving off the Ferry we headed back towards my car. I was parked across from a nice little skate park. After 80km of trail riding on the Bronsons it would be rude if we didn’t drop in for a quick session to finish the day off!
The day was done! Tired and reminiscing about the good times i packed the car and enjoyed the sun going down heading back up the sea to sky while eating anything and everything on the way! I left Chris with a nice little 30km warm down ride back to Kitsilano i was happy i knocked that leg of the ride out earlier in the morning!
Breakdown of our little adventure!
- Bike from Horseshoe Bay to Downtown
- Float Plane from Downtown to Sechelt
- 80k trail ride from Sechelt to Langdale
-Ferry from Langdale back to Horseshoe Bay
You can check some more stats here – http://app.strava.com/activities/52391143
Now get out and ride summer is here!
Santa Cruz Bronson – Large Matte Black, Tennis Yellow Frames
ENVE Carbon 650B wheels and bars, Maxxis Highroller II Tires
Fox float kashima shock ctd adjust, Fox 34 float 27.5 fork ctdk 150, Fox doss dropper post
Shimano XTR brakes, cranks, chain, shifters, derrailuer and pedals
Ergon GA1 evo grips, Ergon sm3 pro seats
MRP G3 guide