Nimby 50- Onwards to The World Solo 24 HR Champs

  1. If there was one race to represent Canadian Mountain biking  it would have to be the Nimby 50 in Pemberton BC.  Set in the sun drenched Pemberton Valley surrounded with snow capped mountains it makes for the perfect location for a weekend out on the bike to take in the raw beauty and ruggedness of our country.  

 

Meeting up with my Oregon buddy Sean Babcock and his crew from Sellwood Cycle  we set off for a night of camping under the stars at Mosquito Lake.  An early jump off the dock into the frigid waters fired up the bodies on race morning then it was off to join the 225 other racers to tackle one of Canada’s rowdiest XC courses. 

The early morning swim paid off as Sean and I worked together to ride away from the rest of the field on the switchback riddled Nimby climb ascending to an eagles view of the valley below.  Sean would drift back a bit as we headed over the top and onto the gnarly overnight sensation descent tossing us straight back down the mountain over some rocky ledges and steep dusty chutes.  It’s a rad descent but also nerve racking as its a good way to wreck yourself and your bike if you get to rowdy.  The final portion of the race through the steep undulations of the Mosquito lake trails is a great place to totally crack.  The rough course winds itself around and over small rock outcroppings with pitchy 1-3 minute climbs between some rock rollovers.  Hearing the gap was 3 minutes back to Sean I kept the gas on but lowered the risk level to prevent any catastrophes.  

After 35 km of rough and gnarly riding it was a relief to hit the last 2 km fire road to cruise into defend my title from the year before and the $1000 to go with it!  Finally taking a chance to look around at the beautiful surroundings and soak in the warm sun rays  I was in a state of peace figuring the work was over for the
day.  Not quite… Kaboom!, my rear tire detonated, not sure what the hell it hit but there was no air left in it that was for sure.  Figuring Sean was only a couple minutes back at that point I made the call to ride the rim into the finish.  It was squirrely with the tire acting like a rutter sending the back end all over the place as I set a steady tempo for the finish line.  Half way down the finishing straight with 500 M to go I took a glance back and depressingly saw Sean right there closing the gap quickly just 30 seconds back.  Damn, what was suppose to be a nice cruise to the finish line quickly turned into an all out sprint trying to cling on for dear life.  There was one tricky dog leg to make going across the highway then a drifting corner into the finish line as I’d get there with 9 seconds to spare and the highest heart rate I’ve seen all year!

When the dust settled it was quite the relief and a good reminder that no race is ever over until the fat lady is singing.  The rest of the day we had a great little party/bbq at a scenic farm under the snowfields  of Mount Curries standing tall above us.  Eventually we started to over heat and all the pasty white Canadians started to burn red like lobsters as the sun hasn’t been scene like this since last September.  The only cure was a lake swim to cool the engines and relax after a pretty epic day to start the Canadian summer!  

I’m already looking forward to this race weekend next year, but right now the mind is focused on getting two bike boxes full of Kona Hei Hei’s  and gear as I head off to the World 24 HR Solo Championships in Italy!  Flight day is today and game day is June 2-3. 

For info on the World 24 HR Solo Championships check out:            http://www.wembo.com.au

Picture Credits:  Terry Evans

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