The Canmore Enduro

The first race of the Kootney Rockies Enduro series has gone off with a bang as it was well organized and fantastic. Enduro racing has a format unlike any other type of racing because only the descents are timed and the ascents have a maximum time allowance. The timing system at the Canmore Enduro was something you had to get used to because you have to scan in and scan out. There are no lasers catching you blaze through the finish line like Steve Smith. The course allowed friends to ride together and compete together. It is such a cool event, and there is a need for more during the racing season.

I can’t really comment much more on the racing because the only racing I was doing that weekend was from a lawn chair at the finish line of stage one. The best action of the day was seven flat tires, big skids through a grass field and monster HUCKS off the eye-dropper.

Truthfully, I have been struggling to find a topic to write on regarding the Canmore Enduro. I cannot comment on the racing due to a dislocated shoulder sustained Saturday evening during a pre-ride so I want to write about the journey of injury healing. Everyone has sustained an injury…fractured bones, strained muscles and broken emotions. This is going to be my journal of injury recovery. The reality is I am looking at one year of no riding, two years before I can be back at full strength.


Happy burger after a painful end to a day.

Pre riding the first half of the Enduro course, I was left wanting more climbing. Not feeling warm enough, I dropped in on stage four. The brakes have been turned off and I am gaining velocity. I just started to find my rhythm when up ahead I spot a choke point. Pick a point and thread the needle. CRACK…my bar end strikes the left tree. “Bitch.” I get on the binders and everything stopped, and the pain starts to hit. My left shoulder has come out-again, for the fifth time. “What am I doing with my life”, the questions start running, “Why?” Thankfully, there was another rider on the trail to help pick up the pieces. An inner tube as a sling and gear loaded in the bag, it was time to make the painful walk and ride out. Without the help of Anne, the ride out would have been a lot shittier.

I have to give big congratulations to Anne on her super cool third place!


After driving to the hospital, my shoulder was put back in by Dr. Bicet and the awesome, gentle staff at the Canmore Hospital. Putting a shoulder back in the joint is one of the most painful things you can experience. I am scared of the fact that the last couple of sessions did not need drugs of any kind, which means my shoulder joint ligaments are stretched out. I have the feeling that if my shoulder was compared to a supermarket food, it would be lean ground beef.

Right now, there is nothing to report. The swelling has not dissipated and everything is still sore. I have just posted the events that have led up to a hamburger joint, and I realize that I really do not like talking about the event. For some reason, the flood of emotional pain always comes back, and even though I feel normal, my heart rate elevates. The numbing ache that’s with me goes away as it feels like the fight or flight response is getting triggered. Even watching the video makes me feel sick.

For now, the rounds of physio, chiropractic and massage therapy start. Wednesday is going to be the day that the surgeon tells me things are broken and that he can fix it. What is hardest about going through surgery is not the physical healing, but the rollercoaster of emotions. Medical science separates body and mind, but it just doesn’t make sense. For now, I have laid the groundwork for installments of injury recovery. I am more interested in exploring the emotional link to the physical healing as I work on round two of surgery, the healing of my left shoulder and comparing it to how I healed from having my right shoulder rebuilt.

If anyone wants to know how Enduro racing is. Ask Brent at redbike. He ripped the whole thing and loved every minute of it.




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About Sarns

Cycling is my passion and I love all things bike related including racing MTB & Cyclocross. Driven by what is the lifestyle of a cyclist, my love of cycling is steadfast and I hope I can share my passion with others on the road, the trails, or over a good cup of coffee.

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