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Squamish/Whistler, B.C, Canada
This Blogtography is not a shameless self promotion but a way to keep in touch with folks and share my experiences of what I see and do through the eye of the lens. I feel fortunate to play a part in stoking people to get out and explore and find their own experiences no matter what they are. It really inspires me to capture a moment in time and tell a visual story. Quote- "If I only scrape a living at least it's a living worth scraping for ! " ( Dark Side Of The Lens)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

2009 World Police Fire Games ! Double Deuce !! XC and Road Race

A little shamesless self promotion... After years of taking photos of other people it's weird throwing images out there of myself.. Thanks Brian Green !!
The 2009 WPFG attracted over 10 thousand athletes from around the world. Every sporting event under the sun was held over the 10 days and all levels competed from weekend warriors to retired pros in their sport.
When the games were announced to be held in Vancouver I decided to compete in Mountain bike and Road racing after more than 18 yrs out of real competitive riding.
Starting last Aug I started my base building logging 20 hrs a week with training camps in Hawaii (most amazing place to put in winter miles..East Maul loop is a must do) mid winter and California in the spring.
Cycling B.C grandfathered me a Category 2 road liscence and Pro-Elite MTB liscence.
By the time the games rolled around I had about 45 plus races in my legs with mixed results. I had an early peak in March and was riding really well considering the amount of time out of the sport. Mid-April I had my 1st bad race and realized I was burned out. Went down to Peru for 2 weeks of fun MTB and thought it would be a restfull break but with the altitude and riding with 10kgs of camera gear I came home more tired than ever.
I took a week completly off the bike and felt better but still not the same tireless legs I had for the spring months. It was survival mode now, trying to figure out how to get the form back. Sometimes it felt like I needed to do more to get things done other day's walking stairs was a chore. I sided with more rest for the week heading into the Test Of Metal MTB race and then started stepping it up 2 day's prior. I was stoked to ride into a solid 9th Pro/Elite with a small mechanical that took me out of a group of 4.. I nipped their wheels at the finish but ran out of road.. Killer finish seeing those boy's looking back at me, stressing out as I closed the gap..
After Test back into the funk but had some good day's mixed in.. Just not getting results.
I went down to Bend Oregon as my last Prep for Fire Games and rode the Masters Category for the 1st time. 4 Stage race that ended up being as hard as anything else I've done this year. 2 time USA pro champ along with a number of National champs from USA and Canada present so it was full gas in every stage. No results there but rode ok and came home feeling stronger and motivated.
From there I had 9 day's to rest until the games and I mixed easy road rides with soft laps of the Whistler Cross Country course to get used to it, generally riding @ the hotest point of the day to get used to Whistler heat. I helped the organizer with some suggestions to dial in the course, mostly just to add some more zones for passing to keep flow going to those events.
My 1st race of the games was due on Aug 4th and on Aug 2nd I got the wicked 24 hr Flu.. That thing knocked me on my ass. I lost 3kgs in fluids ( mostly out the back side) and doubted racing all week. The day before the crit I was able to walk around without passing out so I went up to one of our local lakes and went for a swim.. the cool water seemed to revive me so I went for a quick ride and decided to go to the crit and maybe start it..I woke up feeling pretty good so I gave it a shot. There were not many Open men in the crit but it was still pretty fast and with everyone watching each other, trying to figure out who were threats it was looking like a bunch sprint. I could tell I did not have the deep snap because of my sickness but made some solid efforts to form a small group but everything got reeled in. Last lap last corner I got boxed in and took a dicey line tagging a pedal.. Kept the rubber side down but lost my momentum and ended up 5th behind Spain/Belguim and
3rd place Guy Biggar from Delta Fire Dept.. he has been on a tear this year, amped for the games and would have enough medals by the end of the week to sink a boat.

next focus was the MTB Cross country so the following day I went to Whistler to pre-ride the new course. The new additions were great and I was feeling about 90% now so super motivated to race..
RAce day 90 riders were on the line and holeshot was going to be important..Looking around it looked like there were a dozen guy's or so that were true rippers but I've also learned to never pre-judge or presume so I was going full throttle.
Gun went off and I fell in second wheel for the 1km lap to allow the field to sort itself out before the tight singletrack of Lost Lake.
It was pretty clear this was going to be a race between 2 of us and we rallied super hard for the 1.5hrs well clear of 3rd place.. Maybe it came down to who made fewer mistakes but Raymond Hall a Pro out of Oklahoma Fire rode a great race and hit the finish line 26 seconds in front of me for the W on a 29er !!
I had dug pretty deep and was definetly concerned about my recovery for the Friday Road race.. I missed my scedualled massage and made some panic calls through Whistler and Squamish and finally got hold of local ripper himself "Mike Charuk" for a killer massage..Next up.. fuel the engine..
Pasta and a big old Baseball sirloin for din din..
Next morning I arrived at the road race super early and went for a 1.5 hrs spin to loosen the legs and warm up. The day was cool compared to what Vancouver has been through and more or less welcome but I do enjoy the heat !!
Gun went off and a small group charged full gas but the peleton would have none of it. Except 1 Italian dude dangled off the front and crept away up the road. I considered going but did not think he was a solo threat judging by the size of his legs..looked more like a sprinter than anything else...Never Judge !!
3 laps in his move was looking serious as he had a 1 minute gap with the main group fluctuating speed and reluctance to go pinner for any length of time. With 35 km to go I popped away and quickly put time on the peloton and was soon joined by the winner of the crit who was from Spain. We worked together getting within 30 seconds of the leader but as we looked back we could see the main group single file ending our effort.
The effort ended when they reeled us in and the Italian started to put time on us again, ( He was an absolute monster out there) , . A solo counter attack was put in from a guy from Barcelona and he quickly rolled away with everyone unwilling to close it up.
With 7km to go we rolled over the top of the 1st climb and the pack was more or less strolling along, seemingly resigned to a bunch for 3rd.. nobody wanted to be the fool to do an effort before the sprint.... Cept for me !!
I knew I would be crushed in a sprint so I pulled the famous non-attack !!
I sat on the tops of my bars, looking non-threatining and just spun away from the group. As I got further away I quietly dropped into bigger and bigger gears until I was 53-11, in the drops chewing on the bars looking to put distance on myself and the Peloton. Damn 5km feels long especially in a head wind. I was stoked looking down at my speedo and saw 44 km an hr in the head wind.. Meant I had legz even though it felt like I was crawling. I quickly caught the guy from Catalonia and we worked together for a short bit.. He kept saying in Spanish 2nd place, 2nd place.. I was not sure what he meant for sure, whether he wanted 2nd or what so with 1.5 km to go I jumped away as a bit of a test an could see he was just hanging on for what he could get. I soloed in for 2nd behind Italy and he hung on for 3rd just in front of the Peloton..
Stoked !!
It's a wicked feeling having a plan actually come together for a good result !!
Thanks so much to :
My Partner Julie who puts up with either my resting or was her idea to go to Hawaii and that set me up with a great base for the season.
Corsa Cycles in Squamish
Tantalus Bike Shop in Squamish
Simons Bike Shop on Robson
Zoltan (Best damn massage period !!