8hrs of Trek

The Fall Epic 8hr Relay race is always one that draws a large crowd of riders who are looking to challenge themselves, ride with friends, and brave potential cold weather.  But this year was full of sunshine, great trails, tons of smiles and good memories.

Trek had 4 teams in the race this year – Trek Canada which consisted of Jon, Steve Heck and Taylor Near, Trek Factory with Emily and Adam, Batty Trek with Eric, Rick, Eden and Mark, and Trek Toronto which is the consistent and long running team of Barry, Gavin, Steve and Tim.

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It was a good day all around, after Adam, Eric and Jon lead out the first lap on the open trail at a blistering pace.  From then on it was Team Strategy, recovery, food and timing that became the topic of discussion under the Trek tents.  Each team had their own challenges with order of riders and crashes, and of course legs that grew less and less willing to go hard, but it turned out to be a great day.

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Adam and Emily easily won the Mixed Pairs category, and almost won the Overall Pairs category.  When you get these 2 riders warmed up and pulling off triple laps, there’s not a lot of people who can keep up.

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The Batty Trek team had a set back with Rick’s crash (hurt his shoulder but he’s ok now…) but were able to recover with some strong laps to finish just off the podium.  Napping is key to recovery… as Mark demonstrates here.

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Trek Canada was in control right from the start with a lot of strong laps and no mistakes, although everyone hated the dreaded “Field Crit” section at the top!!  A great ride from everyone put them on the Top Step with 19 total laps.

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And the Trek Toronto Team are always in a back and forth battle each year, winning the Summer Epic 8hr but coming a close 2nd in the Fall Edition.  Only a few minutes back of first, but when you are on the course and being affected by slower lapped riders, sometimes a few minutes is just too hard to make up.

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All in all a great day once again, and thanks goes out to Glenn and everyone at Pulse Racing for another successful race.

Rides to toughen you up…

As the end of the MTB season approaches, the rides tend to get longer, more challenging, but also more fun!!  Everyone loves to ride their bikes in the cool fall weather through the beautiful leaves – the only difficulty is that the rain sometimes catches up with you!!

Crank the Shield happened this past weekend and Peter made the trip up north to challenge this last running of Ontario’s only 3 day MTB Stage Race. Peter won the first Crank the Shield in 2008 and so adding a win to his 2014 campaign and the honor of being the first and the last winner of CTS was on his mind.

PG CTS

The weather was wet and cold going into the weekend with Friday and Sunday turning into nice chilly but sunny fall days while Saturday had rain and cold temperatures that challenged all the participants to dress well for the conditions.

Peter’s weekend was made easier by the ‘Rock Star’ Service provided by the Trek Canada mechanics who were there helping out many of the Crank the Shield participants. Taylor led the washing part of the Trek Store service ‘assembly line’ and made sure he could site his spray with a custom Pressure Washer Scope Light.

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The Bike of choice for the weekend was the SuperFly 100 which made short work of the rough Canadian Shield terrain but also locked out completly to allow Peter to gain time in his aero position on the long road segments.

PG CTS2

A solid weekend up north. Thanks to The Trek Store of Toronto/Aurora/Barrie and Superfly Racing for the support over the weekend.  Thanks to Apex Photography for the great shots of Pete’s “smile”….
Jon also put in some solid training miles while helping those in need.  Joining the Ride for Karen after several years off due to scheduling conflicts, it turned out to be a perfect fall day of sunshine, no wind and great people.
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The ride typically gather over 300 riders, and the new venue and route were a treat to ride.  Kirk and Kris Tobias have been organizing the ride for over 12 years now, and have raised a total of $2M+ to send kids with cancer to camps in the Muskoka region.  This years ride saw a collection of over $150,000, and twice that many smiles!!
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A top quality ride that draws a variety of riders on the 25, 100 or 160km routes with Marshalled groups, great lunch, loud cheers and good friends.  The Trek Store has been a long supporter of Kirk, Kris and the RFK and believe strongly in their efforts and passion.  Thanks to all those who joined the ride, and those that offered their financial support along the way.
The weekend following the RFK belonged to the Ontario Provincial Championships at Horseshoe Valley Ski Resort.  A tough, hilly and demanding course would once again challenge riders to perform their best.  Jon was the only one able to attend the event since Peter was recovering from CTS, Mitch was back at school in San Francisco, Karlee was just returning to the bike after her recovery, and Soren had her wisdom teeth out the day before!!!
A rainy and cool weekend greeted the races, with pre-riding needing to happen early in the day due to the heavy rain that fell all afternoon and evening.  Race morning brought even more rain for the early races, but slightly drier trails in the afternoon that changed the course from “splashy” mud to “peanut butter” mud.
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Jon was still on the mend from his “Welcome back to school” cold, and struggled technically due to his time off the bike.  After a collection of crashes in the first lap, he got himself together and tried to stay on the bike for the remainder of the race.
After a difficult day on the bike, Jon was still able to come away with the Provincial Championship, and in doing so also secured himself the Ontario Cup Series win.  Not all days on the bike are full of sunshine, but sometimes you just have to put your head down and do what you can.
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As we look ahead, the racing doesn’t slow down – it just changes bikes!!  Mountain bikes will still be ridden, but the focus for Jon and Peter will shift to cyclocross, and the fast, muddy, suffering life that it bring.
We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it though!!!

World Championships – Norway style!!

Over the long Labour Day weekend, Mitch and Soren traveled all the way to Norway for this year’s World Championships.  After the long flight and some adjusting to the new time zone, it was course inspection time.  Lap after lap, this new course proved to be a physical and mental challenge, and one that required exception skill.  Tough climbs, tougher descents and no real place to rest and recover – this would be a battle to the end!

Soren’s first World Championships, and with no expectations other than “Try my best and have fun,” she was called up in 30th place with a great 2nd row start.

soren balcony

A great first few laps and digging deep, Soren was working her way up the field and feeling strong, until bad luck caught her.  After making a pass and opting for the A-Line, her front wheel got stuck in a rock that sent her flying over the bars onto the roots and rocks.

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As all great racers do, her first thought was to get back on her bike and make up any lost time, and then assess damage to the bike and body.  Her body was bruised and she felt some pain in her wrist, and her Superfly wasn’t shifting so well any more.  Riding to get to the pits sent her chain into her spokes, forcing her to get off to yank it out.  After re-mounting, another hill saw the chain return to it’s jammed position, this time for good.  Choices: DNF or run…. so she ran!!

soren running

After several sections of carrying her bike because the chain wouldn’t let the wheel spin, she finally made it to the pits where the Team Canada mechanics were able to get it running again.  Back in the saddle, Soren fought her way back towards the front again, coming across the finish line in 28th spot – not too bad considering what she had to overcome!

So one purple cast, two tired legs and many lessons learned, Soren is back home for some much deserved rest and recovery.

soren cast

Mitch has attended the World Champions several times, and was hoping to overcome the bad luck from last year (he was struck by a car during his warm up ride suffering minor injuries and a broken bike.)  A good call up position and a member of a strong Canadian U23 team that included 4 other Canadians, Mitch was off the line strong and fighting his way up the dusty road.

Mitch climbing

Mitch has a great way of riding consistent laps and keeping the pressure on, so he worked his way up to 17th position half way through the race.  The rough course then made it’s first attack on Mitch, flatting his tire and forcing him to also visit the Pit Zone.

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It’s always hard to re-motivate yourself after an unplanned stop, but Mitch is a fighter and returned to a state of “Full Gas.”  He continued to work his way back towards the middle of the pack until he also had a significant crash.

Mitch crash sequence

It took a while to get his legs back under him, but Mitch was able to hang on and come across the line in 31st position – an improvement from last year but not an ideal end to his U23 career.

Mitch descending

With the 2014 season behind them, it’s time for these 2 youngsters to get back to school before preparing to do it all over again!!

Ride for Karen – a Great Cause!!

This coming weekend (September 7th) is the annual Ride for Karen charity ride that benefits children with cancer by helping send them to summer camps in the Muskoka region.  It is a great event that was started 14 years ago by members of the Trek Family (Kirk and Kris Tobias) after the passing of their mother.  Since it’s humble start, the ride has grown into an event that draws over 300 riders and generates $200,000+ every year.  2013 saw the Ride surpass the $2Million mark – an amazing accomplishment and a lot of great memories for kids!!

This year, since the RFK does not conflict with the OCup schedule, Jon will be able to attend the event again.  The rest of our riders will be at Worlds, in San Fran, or the US, but that does not mean we don’t still believe in the event.

If you would like more information about the Ride, or would like to join us for a great day, please check our the link HERE.

Ride for Karen 2012

To help support less fortunate kids who will benefit from the RFK, please sponsor Jon.  Secure on-line donations can be made HERE.

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Any and all support is greatly appreciated, with 100% of money raised going directly to the children.

Rain, shine, wind or cold, the Ride for Karen is always a high class event with many great sponsor (including the Trek Store), run by good friends, and with the purpose of “Riding Hard Building Hope.”

Crankworx, Midland and….. ??

The last couple weeks has seen Trek Canada prepare for a variety of different events from a  variety of it’s riders.  With World Championships on the horizon, that is the #1 goal for Mitch and Soren, but they also have a few things to accomplish before getting on a plane.

Mitch has been polishing his training after the 2 North American World Cups down in San Francisco, enjoying the warm sunshine, ocean breezes, and school prep so that the start of September can be an easier transition from the bike to the desk.

Soren used the Midland OCup as a building block for Norway also.  Rather than race her normal Junior Expert category, her coach had her race with the Cadet boys to give her someone to chase.  He also threw in a few “race challenges” for her, pulling her off her bike to make her run the hill, do push-ups or deal with a “flat tire.”  Mentally and physically she is fine tuning her skills, and it will be a great chance for Soren to display her skills on the biggest stage that mountain biking has to offer.

Midland 140Jon also raced the Midland OCup, and was glad to get out on the course Friday before the massive rain storm on Saturday forced pre-riding to be cancelled.  The course actually dried up really well for the afternoon races, and Jon found himself off the front several times, only to have his lead eaten away by lapped riders.  On the last lap though, he was able to put in one last hard effort after a crash to get the gap that held to the end.

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Post Podium, Jon joined in with a few other “Masters” let’s call them, to take part in a Retro Ride.  The group broke out their oldest bikes, clothes, glasses, shoes and 90’s Dream Parts.  Thanks to Dathan for the  bike, we hope you saw how much attention it drew.

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Peter was out racing in B.C. this past week.  He and his girlfriend Molly quickly found themselves on the Ryan Leech Podcast (LISTEN)

The Canada Cup finals at Whistler were on Friday over a rocky course and hard fought battle with Norco’s Andrew L’esperance who had a late race crash allowing Peter to claim the 5th spot on the podium .
There was minimal time for celebration Friday night as, after the initial date was cancelled earlier in the summer,  Canadian Marathon MTB Nationals had been rescheduled for early Saturday morning . An extra bottle cage, a few more tools and Clif Shots and day 2 of racing went off hard with many of Canada’s best endurance racers on the line. Kona’s Kris SNeddon and Cory Wallace were the favorites and animated the race from the start, eventually getting the best of Canadian XCO champ Geoff Kabush and putting over 24 min into Peter who was happy to roll in for 6th.
Karlee has had some recurring problems from her crash at Nationals, with post concussion symptoms causing her to take some time off the bike and rest.  She has returned to her hometown of Winnipeg for some Family Time, and we look forward to her healthy return shortly.
Thanks to those who were able to make a donation to Soren’s Norway cause – your help is appreciated.
Keep posted to more stories and photos about Worlds and the rest of Trek Canada’s exciting adventures!!!

Help Soren get to Norway!!

After what is turning out to be an amazing year as a first year Junior racer, Soren has qualified for to represent Canada at the World Championships in Norway!!!  This is an amazing achievement and the result of hours and years of committment to the blood, sweat and tears that are the Mountain Bike Badges of Honour.  Since she was a young girl riding and skiing the trails of Hardwood Hills, she has finally reached the first step of her hard earned dream.

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And now she needs your help.  To help compensate for some of the cost of the trip, Soren has been selling food at the weekly races, cutting grass, washing dishes, babysitting and whatever else she can think of to pay for this trip.

If you would like to be part of Soren’s support team, please follow the link HERE to her fundraising page.  Any and all help is greatly appreciated by Soren, and is just one more reason why Trek Canada loves it’s fans!!

Milky Soren

Be part of something great…. be part of Trek Canada!!

Playing at the Big Shows

These last couple weekends have seen Trek Canada riders challenge themselves on some of the biggest stages in the Mountain Bike World.  With World Cup races at Mont Ste Anne and Windham New York, as well as Canada Summer Games happening at the same time, it was a time to focus and perform.

For Mitch, Mont Ste Anne has a history of winning the battle, and unfortunately this year continued that trend.  A good start on a course that many describe as the toughest on the World Cup circuit, Mitch worked hard to pick off the racers that started too hard.  At the top of the climb, and at the furthest distance from the tech zone, Mitch made a pass that resulted in a flat tire on the descent.  Running a bike in cycling shoes is not only humbling but also painful, but that is what Mitch had to do in order to continue moving before ultimately being pulled by officials.  Windham’s World Cup would be a different story though, with Mitch feeling and riding like he did in the earlier World Cup races.  This year’s course included a huge amount of climbing, making it a challenge for all racers.  A clean start, strong climbing and a well paced race left Mitch breaking away from a group of chasers to finish in a strong 12th position.

MB Windham

Peter also made the trips out to MSA and Windham New York, his first World Cup races of the year.  With no UCI points, which leads to late call-ups, Pete had to work hard and ride consistently to pick his way through the strong field of the world’s best.  Making his way through the field at MSA in the heat, Pete ended up getting pulled by officials with 2 laps to go.  Windham found Pete in a better call-up position, although a fast start and short punchy hills weren’t a match for Pete’s riding style.  Never one to give up, Pete continued to fight hard and chase down riders before finally getting pulled with 1 lap remaining.

Windham World Cup

Karlee was also at the World Cup races, although her first stop at MSA proved to be a tough one.  The course’s features, such as the infamous Beatrice, are difficult for the riders at the front of the group, while most riders near the middle are forced to run them.  It was a disappointing DNF for Karlee before some more training and then heading off to Windham.  Still being a little beat up from MSA, Karlee chose to race the Eliminator at Windham, making it through the qualifying rounds and chasing down a 15th final position.

KG Short track

Soren was also racing last weekend, but at the Ontario Summer Games in Windsor.  With her Mountain Bike power, she was able to easily win the MTB Time Trial, and also pull away from the field in the Mountain Bike race…. 2 for 2.  The MTB relay is always a fun event to ride and watch, and Team BOMS finished up in 3rd overall.

SM CSG MTB

The Road Time Trial was next, and since Soren doesn’t race road, she just went out and hammered her way to a 4th place finish.  Stepping up to the line in her first official road race, Soren wasn’t sure what to expect, and just rode hard throughout the race.  Staying in contact for the end, she was able to get in on the sprint to finish up a strong 2nd in her age group.  A lot of races in a short amount of time, and an impressive showing from a girl with a lot of potential.

SM CSG Roadie

 

Next up for Trek Canada is a local Ontario Cup race in Midland, the Crankworx Canada Cup in Whistler… and some well deserved rest!!