Test of Metal

The Test of Metal in Squamish BC was a weird weekend. After 2 weeks of very light training and finishing off bingeing on antibiotics things were starting to look up again. Being a little bummed at not racing Nationals or the World Cup it was time for a change of scenery so I decided on a trip back home to Jasper Alberta.

With Squamish kinda on the way home I figured I would stop by and watch some of the action of the 900 rider strong Test of Metal, which is one of the biggest single day mtb races in Canada. Pulling in late friday night I gave my friends Kelly and Erin Servinski a very last minute call for a place to crash. Like always they swung there door open and we had a fun evening listening to some of Kelly’s and Brian Bains racing stories. Having friends like these is pretty rad, especially when option B was to find a big pine tree to sleep under.

Saturday morning we woke up to a Costa Rican like downpoor. Feeling alright I began contemplating just riding the Test as a training ride, a suggestion brought up by two of the Kona higher ups, Mr Cox and Mr Wicks. It had been a rough couple of weeks on antibiotics but I had been off of them for 3 days and was feeling a little better each day. Signing up and paying $75 entry gave me the next motivation to try and win the first of 10, $100 primes, to payoff the training ride and for gas money. This plan worked as I out sprinted Chris Sheppard and Neal Kindree to the top of the first climb as they nervously watched each other as they were likely to battle each other for the win.

After claiming the first prime I eased up and fell out of the top 10, before thinking (danm.. I don’t feel like curling up in the fetal position on the side of the trail for the first time in 6 weeks.) Hearing the chase group of 5 riders was just 1 minute up I diesled up to them with Kona grassroot rider Patrick Means on my wheel. Now 6, we cruised through to the first feedzone with my teammate Sean Babcock doing most the work pulling the group along. Heading into 9 mile hill the group disintigrated as gravity took its toll on the riders and suprisingly I found myself alone in 3rd riding through what was a very steady rain. For the rest of the day I rode, and wiped mud out of my eyes, rode a little harder when I was told Sheppard was under a minute ahead, wiped harder as bigger mud pieces hit my eyes, and eventually found the finishline to finish up a very mucky and satisfying ride.

From the finishline it was straight to the medic tent to get water dumped over my eyes for the next 15 minutes which was very refreshing. A little later, Kona Queen, Wendy Simms roled across the line to claim the Woman’s victory on the day. It has been fun watching Wendy comeback this year from having another child as each week she seems to be a whole step faster. She seems to be coming into form just in time for BC Bike Race in a couple weeks when she, Barry Wicks, and myself will attempt a Kona domination of the event with our trusty mechanic/ redneck team leader Dave Mcnaughton keeping our bikes and minds on the trail.

Right now I’m up in the Rockies trying not to ride too much as it’s really easy to over ride your bike up here with the endless supply of trails and mountains at your doorstep!

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