The second edition of the Hardcore BIkes Royal River Valley Rumble went off this May as the kickoff to mountain bike racing in the Edmonton area and it was the first ‘official’ event attended by Kokanee Redbike. With the constant threat of a rain in the forecast, apprehension built as the venue, they tried and true mountain bike race location of Terwillegar Park is notorious for energy zapping, slippery sticky clay when conditions are went. Luckily the weather people were completely wrong and sunny skies greeted all the racers throughout the day.
Home base for the day
With Shantel off to Germany for work and Josh out with a sore knee, Sheldon, Mark, & Mike lined up at the start line to represent Kokanee Redbike.
Smartacus all smiles before the start
Here is how Sheldon’s race went:
I was, let’s say, ‘curious’ about how my race was going to go. RVRR was not only my first ABA MTB race of the year, it was also the first time on my MTB bike this season! All in though, it ended up a pretty solid race for me. The course was laid out well. It was fast, and not too, too technical, which was ideal at this point in the season.
After the first lap, things came back to me pretty quickly and I was able to settled in and race. That said, now in Sport, even though I felt my endurance was there for the 3 lap distance, my speed isn’t quite yet. Off the line, I pedalled my way all the way back to 2nd last place, before picking my way back up past a few guys by the end… Lots of work to do if I’m going to move up the field in this category.
The Rooty Decent was not problem for Smartacus on his trusty Rocky Mountain
Dr. Jung, A.K.A Greazy Panda, had a solid opening effort of the season, and hammered his way to a well deserved 6th place in Expert Men. Knocking on the podium door, watch for big things from this hard charging XC racer. We’d ask Mark for a race report, but with his impressively HUGE vocabulary, we feared we couldn’t fit it all into one post! (Watch for his NimbyFifty race report – I hear it was a pretty awesome experience).
Greazy Panda given’s his all (Photo: Chris Ring)
As for me…I had a pretty awesome result. I’m always unsure how my legs will be after another winter in Edmonton, and I am very pleased that I came out firing. Off the gun, I was sure to be near the front in order to stay out of trouble and to test the legs to see how well they’d come out of hibernation. Turns out they were pretty good, and I was able to comfortably sit in 2nd position for half a lap. Always leery of going too hard too soon, I measured my effort and moved into the front of the race and throttled it for a bit, just hovering below red line.
Leading the charge (Photo Credit: sangudo)
On lap 2 of 5, the wily vet Mike Vine bridged up to me after I had opened a small gap and we started to work together for a lap or so. The Mike & Mike alliance was short lived though, as Vine wanted to see what I had each trip up the rooty climb. I responded well to Vine’s first and second attack as I was able to reel him back, but on the 4th lap, too much fatigue had set in, and the gap he opened by punching it up the same said rooty climb was enough for him to hold and stretch out to a minute by race finish.
I’m pretty satisfied with my 2nd place as I moved up one spot from last years RRVR result of third. It gives me confidence going into the NimbyFifty, which is proclaimed as North America’s most technical XC race. (watch for our NimbyFifty report soon).
Thanks for reading and see you at the races!