This self described epic mountain bike race covers many of the world-class single track trails, climbs and decents that Pemberton, BC is famous for.
Beautiful views and a single lane bridge on the way to Pemberton
Team Kokanee Redbike
Evan Sherman give the NIMBYFIfty 2 Thumbs Up!
My race went really well. Since we were a bit asleep at the wheel, we started waaaay at the back of the pack. We should have caught on when people were lining up their bikes in the start shoot, 30 mins prior to the start, but we were too happy soaking in all the tubular pre race energy and good vibes.
With some MTB stage racing experience under my belt (BCBR, TransRockies, Furious3) I knew that I could move my way up in the pack. I bid adieu to my teammates and flowed up in the pack, steering clear of any sketchy riding activity. After burring a few matches, I made my way to the back of the leading group, and settled in around Mical Dyck and co. to start the first climb. Good sensations, legs didn’t hate going hard to bridge past 300 people.
I felt really good on the opening climb, and should have known better when I saw Mical sprint past me. Ah yes, the single track. So I got held up a little, but nothing to sweat about as it was early in the race and I really had no idea where I was positioned.
After that first downhill, along the flats, I motored into the front of the group, which included Mical and the other girl she battled for the win, and took to the 101 switchback climb and road really smooth up the switchbacks. Unfortunately, my granny developed a affinity for my chain, and I began to experience the dreaded chain suck, so I did want any smart racer would do – I stuck it in the big ring and hammered! This turned out to be a good strategy as I gapped that group behind me and moved up in the field with one other guy who, due to my over gearing, would grumble at me in the switchbacks, so I’d let him by, only to catch and pass him a minute later…oh well.
Dropper Post in Action (Photo Credit: Jon Anthony)
Man, the downhills were gnarly! And man was my new Rocky Mountain Element 999 even gnarlier! That bike is amazing, especially with my Specialized Command Post. Now yes, you don’t’ really need a dropper post around Edmonton, but for these BC types of races its a big advantage, even with the weight penalty. 2/3 Kokanee Redbike guys had one for the race and 3/3 Kokanee Redbike guys would agree – dropper posts are RAD!
On the downhills, I reminded myself to be “Smooth Like Lega”, a saying I often recite through my head as I race – in reference to Roddi Lega, one of my friends and secret racing heroes who is incredibly smooth and fast on the race course. The guy is a living legend – but that’s for another blog post.
After thoroughly cooking the legs riding the big ring all day, I was grateful to hear “it’s all downhill from here” and TT’d in on the last 3 ams of flat pavement to finish my first NIMBYFifty. I got interviewed by Brett Tippie, who told me we were crazy for driving from Edmonton for this, and I disputed that, arguing we were not as crazy as Tippie!
Photo Credit: Jon Anthony
As the results came out, Mark squeaked into the top 100 and completed the race in well under three hours, so considering he came into the race unaware ofthe trails, he felt he did quite well. Mike came in 17th overall and 3rd in his age category, which we were all very proud of. Josh survived a few crashes and finished the race despite the hindering injuries like the giant he is.
Yes, Mike got beat by an 8 year old in a pink dress
The NimbyFifty was a memorable race, and not just for the amazing mountain biking, but because it was the first Kokanee Redbike roadtrip. Hopefully, the first of many in the upcoming seasons. All in all it was a fun experience and we all agree that one of the coolest parts was being able to travel and stay as members of the team. Then having Evan show up to race was a bonus.
Photo Credit: Amir Shahrestani
Thanks for reading.
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!