Kootenay Krusher

Josh & I decided early on this winter when we were planning our race calendar to be sure to not miss the Kootenay Krusher for another year.  The Kootenay Krusher is a 50 km single track mountain bike race at the beautiful Nipika Mountain Resort.

Along with guest Evan Wishloff (Pedalhead – watch for his guest post coming soon), Josh and headed out to Nipika Moutain resort.

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Team camp for the weekend.

Most of the 25 km course paralleled the Kootenay River, with is turquoise blue waters and undulated up and down with a total of 800m of climbing for the 50 km race.  Rough and bump fun I must say!

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Josh & Mike on one of the many sections of course with sweet views of the Kootenay River.

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Pre-riding the course

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Loving every meter of trail

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Spectacular views of the Kootenay River

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Get that guy a beer!

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Can’t beat the views of this place

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Rocky Mountain Element & Instinct ready to rock

Off the start the start I went to the front and spun out my 32-11 gear as best I could and figured this was as fast as I would go to lead out the group.  The 1st couple of kilometres were on the XC ski trail, so there was lots of room to move around.

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Starting out at Nipika

As the course turned a sharp right and climbed it’s way up, a few guys pushed the pace, including Peter Knight who put in a solid dig up the climb.  I knew the ski trail got steep just before entering the singletrack, so I launched an attach up the steepest pitch and entered the rough and bumpy false flat trail in 1st position.

From there I just kept the throttle close to the redline for a few minutes and I opened up a decent sized gap on 2nd position.  I never new what the time split was however I was able to get out of sight – which is almost more important.  It’s hard to chase down someone you can’t see in a race.

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Lettuce Hamburger for the pretend glutarded

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Sorry buddy, theme the rules

I had one minor crash up top on the ’15km’ loop of the course, where a moment of inattention resulted in washing out my front wheel, which evolved into me eating a Kootenay dirt sandwich.  I picked myself up and dusted myself off and got going again…slowly trying to find my rhythm.  It was a good reminder to always stay focused during the race and try to stop your mind from wandering to waffles and maple syrup.

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This was thoroughly entertaining

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Chillin’ before awards

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Great loot for the win – Beer and a Pillow.  Drink the beer, then use the pillow – in that order

In the end, I won the race with a time just over 2:45 – setting a new course record.  For my efforts I received a rather large bottle of beer and a camp pillow to sleep the beer off with afterwards.  Riches in deed.IMG 2474

Fastest Man and Women on the day posing with Race Organizer Lyle

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New Course Record

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Josh scored some sweet swag too…a Magestic Horse decorative Flag.

This was a really great event and I plan to be back.  This is a great place to go where everyone can camp at the venue, enjoy a few brews around a campfire, and rip some sweet singletrack.

See you at the races!


Why I Ride

I recently had a close friend who I hadn’t ridden with in a while pose I very simple but inherently deep question to me: “Mike, you still ride a ton…why do you ride?”

On that beautiful Kelowna spring morning, as we enjoyed the silky smooth tarmac, I began to collect my thoughts to answer Evan’s simple question.  Wow, so many reasons, where do I begin…?

Photo 18I love it.

I love the pursuit of fitness.  I love to see how I can push my body to new heights.  I love how I can continually grow with the sport of cycling and how my passion does not fade.  I love the feeling my body provides when I’ve pushed it to a new level in training and it’s now going through the remarkable process of adaptation.  The ability of the human body to adapt and change truly amazes me.


It makes me look under thirty, not mid-thirties.  I feel pleasure when I reveal my age to non-cycling related colleagues and new acquaintances.  More often then not, people are genuinely surprised to hear that I will be turning 35 this fall.

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It helps me think creatively and gives me the opportunity to create clarity in my thoughts.  I have my best ideas while out on the bike.  Some runners I know like running because it is a form of meditation – their brain closes down and don’t really think anything.  For me, it’s the opposite.  Churning away a constant cadence seems to stimulate my creativity, so much so that sometimes I have to stop and write stuff down.


I have broken knees and riding makes me feel normal – not like a 70 year old man (I really feel like an old man with my knees when I stop riding for a duration of 2 weeks or more).  I was in a bad car accident when I was 16, and I injured my ‘good’ knee while playing hockey in ’09, so for me, cycling is a form of constant therapy.  Honestly, I have pain walking down stairs when I haven’t’ ridden for a couple of weeks.  It’s almost something I must do to stay ‘normal’.


I get really cranky if I don’t ride and I become a grumpy moody bugger (just ask my wife!).  This one is pretty straight forward.  I admit it.  I’m a cranky bugger, but riding buffers all of that crankiness.

I love the sound of a free wheel buzzing in the silence of a calm morning.  It’s like music to my ears.  Like the gentle whizzing of a fishing rod, or the soothing sounds of crickets chirping on a warm summer’s eve, the sound instantly puts me in my happy place.

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It is a reminder of how great life really can be.  I mean, riding a bicycle is one of the best things life has to offer in my opinion.

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At the end of the day, why do I ride? It’s just part of who I am.