After one of the driest summers in my memory, the week leading up to the race quickly made up for all the lack of precipitation. Downpours followed by showers, then more downpours to keep things dripping.
Corner Brook was overrun with licence plates from Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick.
Numerous trucks with tailgate pads, cars with racks, and so many riders practicing the endurance route. This route is a 17km track that really showcases the terrain, which I am lucky to call my local trails.
I am currently without Michelle (my old bike) while I anxiously await the arrival of Wendy (my new bike). So, this weekend it was my time to bushwhack around Stage 1 and 4 to capture images of the event.
At 11:45am, the first riders were off and I hung out in my little corner tucked away on Axemate located in Stage 1, which is a tough technical descent in the Humber Valley. I started to hear riders approaching in the slick trail conditions fighting their way down the course. Slowly shooting my way down and chatting with various spectators was a real highlight before making my way to Goldmine in Stage 4.
I could hear spectators and chainsaws followed by the familiar sound of riders smashing down the trail.
I allotted myself ample time to safely hike up the downhill trail and find my frames. As I get about one third of the way up the trail, I could hear spectators and chainsaws followed by the familiar sound of riders smashing down the trail. It was game on! The lower part of Goldmine is a smooth fast section of trail that allowed the riders to really open up the speed.
With all the energy of spectators fueling the last bit of the race for the competitors, that hour quickly flew by. Before I knew it I was walking out of it soaked, hungry, and extremely happy.
We have a really awesome bike community here on the island. To see almost 70 people ride this event – in poor weather conditions no less – was nothing short of amazing. With new trails being built, and more people getting into the sport, the future of mountain biking is looking great.
Big thanks to St John’s Enduro Series, West Coast Cycling Association, Freeride Mountain Sports, Cycle Solutions NL, and all the trail builders.
Local Advocate for Mountain Bike Atlantic: Newfoundland & Labrador