It’s A Fundemic!

Yep, a Mountain Bike Fundemic!

Once again, mountain biking is about to get a wee bit awesomer, with the Team Colin Epic Boom Prize Fundemic (not to be confused with last Fall’s Team Colin Epic Boom Giveaway Spectacular).

What exactly is the Team Colin Epic Prize Boom Fundemic?  It’s a boatload of prizes, that’s what.

Dan Marshall from Substance Projects has authorized the Team Colin Blog to give away a free registration to one of his XC Marathon races this season.  Sweet.

The good folks at Joyride 150 want to help you get in shape for the race season–or maybe just have some fun going for a sweet rip on their new FLOW TRAIL–and have authorized Team Colin to include a day pass to the park.  Boom.

But wait, there’s more.  Evolution Cycles run the King Weekly Race Series every Tuesday night, from May to September, and Jamie Davies doesn’t want you to feel left out, so he is giving away a free registration to one of their weekly rips.  Pick a Tuesday night from May to September, bring your A-Game, and bust a lung at Centennial Park.  Kapow!

And there’s even more!  Matt Morrish and Cycle Solutions  have Ryders Eyewear sunglasses, and the want you to look cool.  Bam!

And to top it all off–literally–how about a Team Colin hat?  Team Colin hats are the perfect way to celebrate the Team Colin Experience.  Kaboom.

To recap:

  • Free registration for an XCM race this season.
  • Free Joyride 150 day pass
  • Free pair of sweet Ryders Eyewear sunglasses, courtesy of Cycle Solutions
  • Free registration to a King Weekly Series race
  • Free special edition, artisanal cotton, blue camo Team Colin hat

It’s a Fundemic!

Entering is easy.  If you already follow the Team Colin blog, or if you already follow the Team Colin Facebook page, just type a sentence with the word “Fundemic” on the blog or the Team Colin Facebook page (yeah, it’s that easy).  However, if you aren’t part of the team, all you have to do is one of the following things:

OPTION 1:  Follow the Team Colin Blog.  It’s not as bad as it seems, and you can unfollow it at any time after the draw.

OPTION 2:  Follow the Team Colin Facebook Page.  Once again, it’s not as bad as it seems, and you can unfollow it any time after the draw.

The draw will be held live on Facebook, on April 10, at 5:57 PM.  Yes, Team Colin’s kids can’t eat supper until they make the draw.

THE SMALL PRINT:
Total value of “The Team Colin Epic Boom Prize Fundemic” is, like a billion dollars*
The draw will be held on April 10, at 5:57 PM.  Enter before that date to be eligible.
A full list of contest rules can be found at: http://www.there_are_no_rules.com
Unfortunately, if you can’t meet Team Colin at one of the XCM races, the hat and sunglasses cannot be mailed–but you still get your free reg. to the race, and the Joyride 150 park pass,
Finally, the terms, conditions, and prizes in the Team Colin Epic Boom Prize Fundemic may change because you know, Team Colin makes mistakes and forgets lots of things.
*estimated value

Riding Feels Good (P2A)

P2A-team-colin.jpgIt sure does.

And that’s why I ride…and think about it all day every day…and blog about it.

April is probably my favourite racing month.  No wait, it’s May.  Or maybe June and July.  Of course, August is pretty good too.  So is Septemeber…

You get the picture.  But April holds a special place for me because it’s the anniversary of when I started racing.  5 years ago, I typed “Paris to Ancaster registration” in my web browser.  A few minutes later, I held my breath, closed my eyes, and pressed “SUBMIT”.

To say that my life changed in that instant would be an understatement.

April is around the corner, and so is Paris to Ancaster, so…

So I’m racing.  And for the first time, I’m doing the full distance.  No qualifier at the end of the race, no doubt about whether I could have done the full distance, nothing.

I wrote about my choice to race the full distance this year, and here, in living colour, on the world wide web, is my rationale.  I titled the article “Why YOU Need to Race Paris to Ancaster This Year” but I’m not sure I gave an answer.  I know why I’m doing it this year.  What are YOUR reasons?

Riding Feels Good

This April, I’m racing the Steaming Nostril, Dan Marshall’s Homage to Ice, and of course, Paris to Ancaster.

April is Awesome.

Ride.

2017 Race Schedule

UPDATED:  MARCH 17, 2017)

It’s time.

It’s time for Team Colin to push a little bit harder.  With that in mind, when I registered for the 2017 P2A, I registered for the full distance.  And I’m terrified.  I usually do the half distance (St. George to Ancaster) and that always gives me a fair dose of doubt and anxiety.

And then, when I registered for the Homage to Ice (Dan Marshall’s first XC Marathon race of the year), I chose to do the full marathon distance.  On a single speed.  By the way, my single speed has an aluminium fork.  Yeah, no squish for me.

Why am I doing this?  Why is it time?  Because.  That’s the answer.  Because.

Because I want to finish a race and not have to say “I did the shorter distance”.

Because when I wake up on a race day, I want to make that day as awesome as possible.

Because my legs and lungs are screaming at me to PUSH.

Because.

So, I’m doing those races in April, plus the rest of the XC Marathon.  I’ll try to get to at least one O-Cup this season.  I love the Single Track Classic and Great Albion Enduro.  I’m game for the Kawartha Lakes Cycling Classic again this year, and I’d like to try to find the time to do a road race.  I’ll probably only get to one O-Cup, but I listed all the dates just because.

But wait there’s more.  Ontario is about to get a whole bunch cooler, with Dan Marshall’s, Substance Projects Stuporcross series.  Two big, boss, gravel races:  The Eager Beaver, and the El Bandito.  Awesome.

The cycling scene in Ontario is alive and well, and I am going to do whatever I can to experience as much of it as I can.

I’m going to kick off the Spring season on March 31, with the second “Team Colin Day, um, Night at Joyride 150” (more details to follow), and the season ends at the Toronto Bike Show and Sale, on October 14.

Here, for your reference is a calendar of all the 2017 races that I could/might/want/try to do, and YOU should definitely do.  Each race that I’m currently planning to enter is in BOLD.  The first race of the season is the Tour of Pelham (on April 2), then the Steaming Nostril (on April 9), followed by the Long Sock Classic (on April 15), and Hell of the North (on April 16). The first O-Cup is at Woodnewton (on April 23), followed by Paris to Ancaster (on April 30).  I’m planning to do the Steaming Nostril (Runny Nose distance), the full Homage to Ice, and Paris to Ancaster.

There are also a few Demo Days and such, but I don’t think the dates are finalized.  I’ll update this list when I find out.

2017 Race/Event Calendar 

March

  • March 31:  TEAM COLIN DAY, UM NIGHT @ Joyride 150

April

  • April 2:  Tour of Pelham @ Niagara on the Lake
  • April 9:  STEAMING NOSTRIL @ St. Jacobs
  • April 15:  HOMAGE TO ICE (Substance Projects XCM #1) @ Dufferin Forest
  • April 16:  Hell of the North @ Ballantrae
  • April 23: O-Cup #1 @ Woodnewton
  • April 25:  KING WEEKLY SERIES.  Every Tuesday until September @ King City
  • April 30:  PARIS TO ANCASTER @ Ancaster

May

  • May 7: O-CUP #2 @ MTB Kingston
  • May 13:  Epic 8 Hour @ Mansfield
  • May 20:  LONG SOCK CLASSIC (Substance Projects XCM #2 )@ Ganaraska Forest
  • May 27:  SINGLE TRACK CLASSIC @ Hardwood Hills

June

  • June 3:  THE HUMBLER (Substance Projects XCM #3) @ Northumberland Forest
  • June 11: O-Cup #3 @ Horseshoe Valley
  • June 18: O-Cup #4 @ Hardwood Hills
  • June 24/24:  24 Hours of Summer Solstice @ Albion Hills

July

  • July 9: O-Cup #5 @ Buckwallow
  • July 15:  Summer Epic 8 Hour @ Hardwood Hills
  • July 22: EL BANDITO (Substance Projects Stuporcross #1) @ Port Hope
  • July 29: O-CUP #6 @ Albion Hills

August

  • August 12: EAGER BEAVER (Substance Projects Stuporcross #2) @ Collingwood
  • August 26:  KAWARTHA LAKES CYCLING CLASSIC  @ Lindsay
  • August 27:  O-Cup #7 @ Sir Sam’s
  • August 27:  Grease Monkey @Paisley

September

  • September 2:  KINGSTON TROPHY (Substance Projects XCM #4) @ MTB Kingston
  • September 16:  GREAT ALBION ENDURO @ Albion Hills
  • September 23:  Fall Epic 8 Hour @ Hardwood Hills

October

  • October Something-or-other:  SAUSAGE SUIT ITT @ Dufferin County Forest
  • October 14:  FALL BIKE SHOW AND SALE @ Toronto

Most, but not all of these races are on the OCA website.

Here are some links to race organizers:

To help you organize a few of the big series, here’s a list of race series that I love:

Substance Projects XCM (presented by Cycle Solutions)

  • April 15:  H2i (Homage to Ice) @ Dufferin County Forest
  • May 20:  LSC (Long Sock Classic) @ Ganaraska Forest
  • June 3:  Northumblerland Humbler @ Northumberland County Forest
  • September 2:  Kingston Trophy @ MTB Kingston (Glenburnie)

Substance Projects Stuporcross (presented by Cycle Solutions)

  • July 22:  El Bandito (Port Hope)
  • August 12:  Eager Beaver (Collingwood)

O-Cup

  • April 23 @ Woodnewton
  • May 7 @ MTB Kingston
  • June 11 @ Horseshoe Valley
  • June 18 @ Hardwood Hills
  • July 9 @ Buckwallow
  • July 29 @ Albion Hills
  • August 27 @ Sir Sam’s

Weekly Series (usually May to September)

  • Tuesday:  King Weekly Series @ Centennial Park (King City)
  • Wednesday:  Spoke O Motion Weekly MTB Race Series @ Coulson Hill
  • Wednesday:  Superfly’s Wednesday Night Race Series @ Albion Hills
  • Thursday:  BikeNXS Durham Forest MTB Race Series

Phew, that’s one heck of a long lost. Better get training.

Ride.

 

PS

Did I miss something.  If you want to comment, add a race, or say something to me, you can comment below, or send an email to:  teamcolinblog@yahoo.com

35. The Bike Show!

Team Colin Goes to the Toronto Bike Show

Yay, the Bike Show!

Team Colin went to the Toronto Bike Show yesterday.

Awesome.

Some people go to the Bike Show to score a sweet deal on last year’s bike.

Some people go to the Bike Show to buy cheap tubes, lube, pedals, and other bike stuff.

Some people go to the Bike Show for the free energy bar samples.

Some people go to the bike show to watch the people, the BMX Jam, and the bike polo. Hey, how do they teach the horses to ride bikes?

Some people go to the Bike Show for the food court. I’m kidding. Nobody goes to the Bike Show for the food court.

Team Colin goes to the Bike Show because it’s a show…about bikes. Yay bikes.

By the way, I also go to the bike show to renew my cycling magazine subscriptions and DMBA membership, pick up a few t-shirts, maybe find a sweet deal on a jersey for my kids, look at bikes, buy some cheap sunglasses (because I always need more cheap sunglasses), gorge myself on energy bar samples, look at bikes, and just bathe in the Toronto cycling scene. It’s great to just be there. On a side note, thanks to Mark Summers and Joyride 150 for the pair of free passes. Boom.

I love the Bike Show. Yeah, it’s a show…about bikes…I already said that. But it’s so much more. It’s familiar, so fun, and every year it’s always just a bit different from the last. From the moment you line up outside at the CASH ONLY kiosks, to the immediate smell of the washrooms and general noise of the show, going to the Bike Show is like going home (well it would be if your home had too many bikes, lots of bike parts and accessories, and people who love bikes). Wait a sec, my home DOES have too many bikes, and too many bike parts and…

In a word, the bike show is EXCITEMENT. And the Team Colin contingent made it even more EXCITEMENT-ER this year. We were a giant group: me; my wife and kids; my neighbour; my riding buddy; and his buddy. On the drive down, I thought the suspension in my 11 year old minivan was going to bottom-out a few times. Boom. That was the sound we made when we hit a bump.  Actually, six BOOMS–one for each of the six other heads that hit the roof of the van

bike-show-family-2We stood at the entrance. “Should we go right and then down through the exhibitors, or should we go left to the Marketplace? Or should we just stand here and breathe it all in? Okay, bad idea, the washrooms are here.”

“Hey, let’s grab a sample of an energy bar first…hey, is that an Airstream trailer?”

“Look, the Thule booth has bike racks (um, what else would they have).”

“Better renew my Pedal subscription before I forget.”

“Look at the bike that dude just bought.”

“Okay, left, or right?” Hint, it’s always right.

Bike Show Report: Toronto Bike Show. March 4, 2017 (Better Living Centre, CNE)

First stop was the washroom. What?  The DVP had traffic, I have two kids, and I drank a giant smoothie before we left. After the washrooms, we sampled some energy bars, and then booked it to the right. We went to the cop booth first, and I got a few safety pamphlets and stickers for my kids.

Then we hit some double track for the next section.  bike-show-fcv

Wait a sec, this isn’t a Race Report. Sorry, habit.  Next, we hit the miscellaneous vendors and tourism booths, and then talked to the guy at the Forest City Velodrome Booth. This guy just oozed cycling cool.

 

We stopped to look at the Velofix truck. Sweet.

bike-show-velofixThen we zipped back up the aisle through a few other booths, to the Marketplace. I was looking for, you know, bike stuff.

The Marketplace was jammed this year. But there was nothing that really stood out. Long lines, not-so-great prices, lots of bikes.

 

Team Colin muses about buying stuff from the Bike Show:

It’s always awesome to buy some new bike stuff, but there are a few caveats. First, you’re often buying last year’s second-best models or stuff that didn’t sell. Second, you’re not supporting your local bike shop. Third, if you’re going to buy something, it should be really really cheap (when pedals are 30% off, but you paid admission, you’re not really getting a deal). Finally, if you’re going to buy a bike, don’t. Any good bike shop that you’re loyal to will match a Bike Show price throughout the year, and you won’t have to pay fifteen bucks to park, and fifteen bucks admission. Also, when you go to your LBS, you’re going to get service, a bike that’s right for you (not the bike that’s right for them to sell because it’s at the show), and you can do it on your own time, without battling the Bike Show crowds, and riding the Bike Show “test track”. I’m not slagging any shops that sell bikes at the show, and I’m not slagging people who buy a bike at the show, but I like to support MY local bike shops.

However, if you’re going to buy a bike at the show, I’d keep it to bikes that cost less than a thousand bucks. There are always smoking deals on those bikes.

Whatever you think about buying a bike at the show, DO NOT BUY A HELMET without looking at the production date. A cheap helmet that’s four years old is not a cheap helmet.

Honestly, I saw a lot of outdated, used, overpriced stuff at the show this year. Not cool.

But I saw a lot of awesome stuff too: Some fair deals on carbon wheel sets; lots of wickedly cool bikes; more wickedly cool bikes; and a bunch of like minded cyclists who were just there to check out a show about bikes. Sweet.

Also, lots of e-bikes this year. Not my thing, but still pretty cool.  You know, because an e-bike is a bike–with an extra e.

My top 9 highlights:

  1. There is a company called Trailblazers. They organize tandem bike rides for riders with vision impairment. Team Colin is totally looking into that.
  2. Watching my son do the plank contest with an 8 pound backpack on his back. Then, watching my wife do it with a 50 pound backpack.  So cool.
  3. The people from the Riding Le Bike Dans La Quebec booth. They were just fun to talk to. Energetic and enthusiastic. Totally not sure what they said, but the blueberry juice was awesome. List of Ingredients: blueberries. End of ingredient list.
  4. The riders at the Jakroo custom apparel booth. Man, oh man, I would love a Team Colin kit.
  5. The velodrome guy. This dude just oozed cycling cool.
  6. The IMBA guy gave us reusable IMBA bags! Sweet.
  7. The DMBA booth! Dan Little rocks.
  8. Everybody else. Riders are just so chill.

The BIKE SHOW. It’s a show. About bikes. ‘Nuff said.

There was lowlight this year at the Bike Show. The language in the music at the BMX Jam was absolute trash. I get it. Counter culture, “the man can’t hold me down”, tattoos, and such, but seriously, does every song have to be so corrupt?

Teaching my kids to ignore the N-word, the P-word, the F-word, and every other word that shouldn’t violate kid’s minds at the Jam was seriously uncool.  Not awesome.  Rant over.

No it’s not. If you’re playing music in a public space, don’t play trash.

At least this guy was repping The Boiler Room.  Sweet.

bike-show-boiler-room
The Boiler Room

Cussing aside, what a great day. After a few magazine renewals, my DMBA renewal, some cheap sunglasses, too damn many energy bar samples, a whole whack of processed meat samples, buying a shirt or two, and a vacuum-packed bag of 25 hot turkey pepperettes (that almost made it home), it was time for Team Colin to call it a day.

Any way that you slice it, the Bike Show is a show about BIKES.

And it’s awesome.

The 2017 Spring Bike Show. Boom.

 

 

Some not-so-great shots from the show.

 

PS

For the uninitiated, here’s what you can expect from the Bike Show:

  • Cycling Tourism: the different regions in Ontario and Le Quebec, and international cycling tours.
  • The Marketplace: last year’s bikes at okay prices, and LOTS of accessories.
  • Manufacturers and new Bike Stuff: feather light frames and carbon wheels (Mmmm, carbon wheels).
  • Cycling Advocacy booths: DMBA, IMBA, Wild Betty’s, Toronto Bicycle Network, cops and lawyers, share the road, CMHA, Trailblazers, and more.
  • The AWESOME booths: Forest City Velodrome, Superfly racing.
  • BMX Jam: Flying bikes!
  • Other vendors: Those bike t-shirt people, health stuff, cycling magazine subscriptions (Mmmm, cycling magazine subscriptions), energy bars, and so on.
  • Competitions: A mini-velodrome race, BMX flatland comp, Bike Polo, D’ornellas Roller Ride, and a plank competition at the TPL booth.
  • Kid’s stuff: The Kids’Action Zone, Trillium Trailblazers Youth Area.

 

Clydesdale vs Mini Clydesdale vs Wooly Mammoth vs Mini Mammoth

There is a great deal of debate online regarding the TRUE meaning of the Clydesdale category.  Here, very officially, and in no way a response to Dan Marshall’s post on Substance Projects, is the correct breakdown of categories:

Clydesdale:  220 pounds

Mini Clydesdale:  200 pounds

Wooly Mammoth:  220 pounds (only in a fatbike race held between December and March)

Mini Mammoth:  200 pounds (only in a fatbike race held between December and March)

 

See this picture?  251 pounds.  Grrrr.

H2i-substance-projects-team-colin.jpg

34. Snumbler ’17

snumbler-salsa-and-meBest fatbike ride ever!  Saturday’s Northumberland Snumbler, race #4 in the 45NRTH Ontario Fatbike Series, was, by far, the most fun I’ve ever had on a fatbike.  Ever.

Wait, the Frozen Beaver was 10 days ago, and the Snumbler was 3 days ago?  Yup, two fatbike races in two consecutive weekends.  Please don’t pinch me–if this is a dream, I don’t want to wake.

So awesome.

The Snumbler was another great gig presented by Substance Projects and Cycle Solutions.  It was also at my favourite place to ride, Northumberland Forest.

Annnnnd, I got to spend the afternoon with Dan Marshall of Substance Projects (and Liz, and Sherry, and Jen, and Simon, and yes, his mom and dad), and Matt from Cycle Solutions, and a whole bunch of other cool racers (including Wally Ess, the winner of the Team Colin Epic Boom Prize Giveaway Spectacular).

But wait, there’s more.  It was especially awesome because of THE COURSE.  The course was a beautiful piece of fatbike beauty.  When preparing for the Snumbler, the God of Fatbiking bestowed upon Dan Marshall a special gift.

I imagine the conversation went something like this:

Dan Marshall:

Hey, um, God of Fatbiking (picks kale chip out of his hair, you know because the dude has 4 kids), do you have a sec?

God of Fatbiking:

Sure thing Daniel.  What’s uppeth (because the God of Fatbiking sort of talks like a Shakespearean character)

Dan Marshall:

I’m having a fatbike race on Saturday, do you think you could help me out a bit?

God of Fatbiking:

Sayeth no more Daniel.  I will bestow upon you the Gift of Legendary Fatbike Race Design

Dan Marshall:

Thanks.  And hey, can you watch the kids for me next week…

And the rest is history.  No, the God Of Fatbiking didn’t watch Dan’s kids, the God of Fatbiking gave Dan the Gift of Legendary Fatbike Race Design.  It was sent to him from Fatbike Heaven, carried on the wings of a Fatbike Angel.

Full disclosure, the aforementioned conversation did not happen.  Also, there is no such thing as Fatbike Angels.  However, Fatbike Heaven is totally real.

The course WAS Fatbike Heaven.  I literally yelped throughout the race.  “This is so awesome”,  “Wohoo”, and “ILOVETHISCOURSE!”.

I was ready to race, and before the race even started, I was in a great mood.  I spent the morning (and after the race) with my family at my mom’s place, which is just down the road.  Also, Saturday marked my almost 1 year anniversary as a blogger, which is kind of cool.  Finally, I was just really stoked to be spending it with my other family–you know, my bike family.

I was SO ready to race. My LEGS were ready to race. My BIKE was ready to race–okay, I had to borrow a bike, but my borrowed bike was ready to race.  My HEART was ready to race.

And I was late for the race.

What? Since I was at my mom’s I had a relaxing morning sleeping in, and then chatting a bit–which is rare because I usually wake up at about 6AM on race day and scurry around my house until I leave.

I made it to the forest with just 30 minutes before the race. I was almost frantic: I forgot pedals for my loaner bike and had to find a set to borrow; I had to register; I had to find my dickie and my helmet liner; I had to stretch my booties over my shoes; I had to choose my gloves; I had to choose a second set of gloves; I had to (unsuccessfully) try to mount my GPS on the handle bars; I had to chat with everybody (because that’s just what I do); I had to jam some food in my belly (also what I do); I had to find my sunglasses; and I had to lock and unlock my car a dozen times because I kept forgetting all the things I needed (again, it’s just what I do).

I finished everything with about a minute to spare, and made it to the start line in a nick of time.

And I had to pee. Aw dang it.

And so, while actively peeing, I heard Dan outside the Port-A-Potty say “30 seconds!”.  I was already standing, so I actually tried to loosen my shoulders and neck, and when I was finished, while putting on my gloves, I tried a few deep knee bends.  I zipped my kit, put on my other gloves, and booked it out of the Port-A-Potty.  Except that I forgot to wash my hands, so I took off my gloves, took off my other gloves, sanitized, re-gloved (and re-re-gloved), and I was off.

Yay, last place and I hadn’t even started.

Race Report:  Northumberland Snumbler.  Northumberland Forest (February 4, 2017)

The race started with a gentle stretch of double track, and, within a few hundred metres, it rose into a gentle, winding, climb through a planned forest.  It levelled out onto a beautiful field of majestic pine trees lining the trail.  It really was a beautiful sight, and it was immediately apparent that we were in for something special.  The course conditions were perfect.  Hard and granular, with enough fresh stuff to dig into.

I passed about 10 riders in the first few k, and seeded myself behind a small pack.  The pace was a bit slow, but it gave me a second to breathe it all in.  We were climbing a tight, switchbacked hill, and there were 3 or 4 levels of riders snaking their way up  through the trees.  The communal aspect of riding through a forest with a group of people  was deeply moving, and I started to wonder what everyone else was chasing.  Were they like me and just loved the race vibe, the chance to test their endurance while staying fit, and a chance to love the Team Colin Experience?  Were they chasing a spot on the podium?  Were they just starting out, and pushing themselves to the limits to see if they could make it?  What else were they chasing?

Whatever our individual pursuits, we were all on the same trail at the same time, doing the same thing.  Group boom!

With the pace, it even gave me a chance to talk to a rider in front or me, and we had a nice race chat.

Back to the Race Report.  After a bit of less-than-perfect-but-still-awesome-singletrack, we hit the first of two climbs.  It was a nasty short one that took me off my bike, and made me dig in for a hike.  When that was done, we hit some more sweet, winding singletrack.  Seriously, the course was truly a thing of beauty.  A bit of double track, some more single track, a few trail crossings, and we hit the other hill.  It was a long winding bugger that pushed me to my limits.  I was behind Karen G., and she rode the whole damn thing.  I didn’t want to let her get away, so I let her pace me, skootched forward in my seat, dug into it, and pedalled to the top.  Killer.

The climbs were few though, and they weren’t really that tough, but all was forgotten in the last few k.  The last bit of the Snumbler was absolutely spectacular.  A bit of gentle double track, some twisty singletrack, and then Dan treated us to a long, winding, downhill that felt like it lead to the pearly gates of Fatbike Heaven (totally a real place).  Seriously, when we were descending, I felt like I was about to sprout wings and swoop along the course.  Long, winding, beautifully groomed, and fast.

“Woweee”.  That’s not a description of what I felt, it’s what I actually screamed.  True story.

And then the course got fun.  No kidding.  It actually got more funner.  The funnerest.

A bit of wide singletrack led us to the final downhill that was like a roller coaster.  I can’t commit to this fact, but I think I unclipped from my pedals, put my feet out and in front of me, and actually giggled.

Dan gave us a mach-speed stretch of doubletrack that led to the START/FINISH.  OHMIGOD.  I actually got out of my seat for a sprint.  A fatbike sprint, 10k into a race.  BOOM.

Around the START/FINISH for a second lap.  Lather, rinse, smile,and repeat.  I’m pretty sure I maintained most of my speed throughout the entire second lap.  I finished strong and happy.

Booking it through the FINISH line, I think I yelled “I love you Dan Marshall” dismounted, and gave Dan a giant MTB/Fatbike hug.

Hugs all around!

Who hugs at a bike race? That would be me. I know it’s not very MTB, and I’m pretty sure it’s the opposite of gnarly, but I’m a hugger.  I hug the people I care about, and I really care about these people. The weekend before,at the Frozen Beaver, when I really didn’t want to race, these people elevated my spirit. At the Snumbler on Saturday, when I really wanted to race, they just made my day that much lighter.  So I doled out the hugs.

Team Colin hug!

End of Race Report.

By the way I’m a big fat liar.  The God of Fatbiking didn’t give Dan the Legendary Gift of Fatbike Race Design.  It was all Dan.  DAN marked the course.  DAN lugged a tire around the course a week before the race to make sure it was awesome.  DAN gave us all a great day.

Hey wait, Dan Marshall is also the God of Fatbiking…  Who knew.

And can I talk about my bike for a second?  Once again, I had to borrow a fatbike for the race.  This time, Dan Marshall answered the call of the loser-who-sold-his-fatbike, and offered to let me ride his 2016 Salsa Beargrease XO1.

Wow.  Whattabike.  I’ve had some pretty sweet luck with fatbikes this year.  Not only did I demo a Norco Ithaqua 6.1, and a Trek Farley 9.9 (both at the top of their respective game), but I also got to borrow a Norco Ithaqua 6.3, and now this.  Which one do I like the best?  The Salsa Beargrease.  It was nimble.  It was quick.  It was a sherbet coloured fatbike dream.  It stands alone (see what I did there, because there’s no stand).snumbler-salsa-2

It actually made me a better rider.  I’ve always heard about Salsa’s legendary fatbike racing groove, and now I finally get it.  The Beargrease cut through the trail like a bullet.  I’ve never felt as fast as I did on the Beargrease.  Maybe it was the course, maybe it was the forest.  Maybe it was because we were in Fatbike Heaven (totally a real place).  Heck, a bit of it may have even been my legs and lungs.  I still don’t know, but I know this…

Best day of fatbiking ever.

Ride.

 

PS

I’m editing this blog a few days after my 45th birthday, and a few days (plus one) after my blog’s birthday, which is February 6.  I spent my blog birthday with my other other family (my students) and then I booked it to Joyride 150 for Birthday Laps.  Birthday Laps is when you ride your age in laps on the XC Trail.  I did 50 laps this year.  I turned  45, but 50 is a cooler number.  Boom.

Yes, I rode 40k on Monday evening.  Yes, I’m tired. Yes, it was awesome.  No, I’m not sure how I’ll make it through the week without showing a filmstrip…

Look at the bike again.  Here’s a sweet hero-shot leaning against the Cycle Solutions team support vehicle…

Here’s the factory spec sheet 2016 Salsa Beargrease X01.  Dan dialed it in with an X9/XX drivetrain, Raceface Turbine crank, XT cassette on Hope hubs (with Rolling Darryl rims), a Truvativ bar/stem/post, and Dillinger 4 tires (which aren’t studded, they’re “semi-studded”–his words–with 120 on the front and 80 on the rear.  He’s also got a Fabric seat, which I think are a new sponsor of the series.  Damn comfortable seat.

Just look at it…

snumbler-salsa-cycle-solutions

Hey, did I get this right?  If you have anything to say about this race, the fatbiking, that sweet Salsa up there, or riding in general, fire a message or comment at me.  If you want it to be public, comment at the bottom, and it you don’t, you can send an email to: teamcolinblog@yahoo.com