2013: My First Season Racing


#1: P2A-Paris to Ancaster (April 14, 2013)  

  • CX/MTB Race: point to point (St. George to Ancaster)
  • Time: 1:53:56
  • 40k
  • 8/37 (category)
  • 104/595 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:41
  • Gap: -14 minutes
  • Bike  Norco Torrent
  • Muddy, so much fun, and life changing. Awesome first race. Every worry, every anxious thought, every stress: pfft. It wasn’t easy, but I conquered it. Plus, I rode up the escarpment!

#2: H2i-Homage to Ice (April 20, 2013)

  • MTB Race (Substance Projects XCM I)
  • Time:  1:54:20
  • 25k.
  • 10/19 (category).
  • 27/51 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:41
  • Gap: -27 minutes
  • Bike:  Norco Torrent
  • Cold but fun.  I booked it! At the end of the race, everyone seemed so serious and hardcore. I felt like a wallflower at a Grade Six dance. On the plus side, I won a spot prize.

#3: LSC-Long Sock Classic (May 18, 2013) 

  • MTB Race (Substance Projects XCM II)
  • Time:  2:23:52
  • 32k
  • 14/17 (category)
  • 29/33 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:39
  • Gap: -43 minutes
  • Bike:  Norco Torrent
  • Killer course.  There’s a hill on top of a hill–it hurts. My back was killing me for the last 31k of the race. The Ganny seems just too tight and twisty, and I never felt like I got up to speed. It was just a slog. In the last few km, I met a rider who was experiencing similar back pain. We rode together for a while, before I regained some energy.

#4: Northumberland Humbler (July 6, 2013)

  • MTB Race (Substance Projects XCM III)
  • Time:  2:07:33
  • 30k
  • 16/21 (category)
  • 32/49 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:30
  • Gap: -37 minutes
  • Bike:  Norco Torrent
  • First MTB race ever in Northumberland Forest.  Such a hot day. The first 2ok was long and windy single track. Great course.

#5: Kingston XC Marathon Championship (July 27, 2013)

  • MTB Race (Substance Projects XCM IV)
  • Time:  2:33:53
  • 37k
  • 13/19 (category)
  • 24/40 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:55
  • Gap: -38 minutes
  • Bike:   Norco Torrent
  • Long, flat, and bumpy.  HOT day.  Killer course. It seemed to go on forever.

#6:  Paul’s Dirty Enduro   (September 21, 2013) 

  • MTB Race
  • Time:  3:11:05
  • 35k
  • 28/45 (category)
  • 53/125 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 2:00
  • Gap: -1:11
  • Bike:  Norco Torrent
  • It poured rain for the entire race.  Couldn’t shift due to chain suck. 6k detour.

#7:  Tour de King (September 22, 2013) 

  • MTB Race: point to point
  • Time:  1:54:39
  • 35k.
  • 8/20 (category)
  • 13/46 (overall)
  • Category winning time:  1:30
  • Gap: -24 minutes
  • Bike:  Norco Torrent
  • It was freezing.  The day before poured rain, and it snowed on the way to this race. I didn’t have appropriate riding clothes and freaked myself out before even parking the car. However…it was a very fun race.  I had my first flat tire in a race, I fixed it, and I kept going. Hmm.


2014: Year 2

 #1:  Tour of Bronte-Dirt Dash (April 5, 2014)

  • MTB Race: 5 laps
  • Time: 1:19:04
  • 25k
  • (no category)
  • 10/17 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 55:39
  • Gap: -23:27
  • Bike:  Norco Torrent
  • It was cold, it was WINDY, everyone else was on a 29er, and every pedal stroke was a struggle. I finished.

#2:  H2i (April 12, 2014)

  • MTB Race (Substance Projects XCM I)
  • Time: 1:25:36
  • 20k
  • 11/12 (category)
  • 18/25 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:01:21
  • Gap: 24:30
  • Bike:  Norco Torrent
  • 1k hike a bike through 12” deep snow, super windy on the long road section, a billion bails in the deep snow that wasn’t groomed for Clydesdales, and a lousy day overall.

#3:  P2A (April 27, 2014)

  • CX/MTB Race: point to point (St. George to Ancaster)
  • Time: 2:10:58
  • 40k
  • 6/21 (category)
  • 182/489 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:45: 12
  • Gap: 25:44
  • Great race! Worst cramp in the history of the world about 100 m from the finish line. I felt strong, and I felt powerful. Learned to carry my bike through the mudslides, and I just rode.

#4: Long Sock Classic (May 17, 2014)

  • MTB Race (Substance Projects XCM II)
  • Time: 2:27:44
  • 35k
  • 19/27 (category)
  • 36/51 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:36:50
  • Gap: 51:00
  • Nothing memorable. I just rode as hard as I could. Overall a good race. The hill on top of the hill was still a killer.

#5:  Lake to Lake 29er (June 15, 2015)

  • MTB Race: point to point
  • Time: 1:51”04
  • 29k
  • 27/40 (category)
  • 93/208 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:10
  • Gap: 41:04
  • Race started at the bottom of the escarpment (who does this). Flew over my bars at about 6k—killer rib bruise for the next three weeks.   Felt strong throughout, even in the last few windy road km. The pro experience was nice at the end when the announcer called my name as I crested the hill to the finish. Lost my GPS when I bailed. It was returned.

#6:  Northumberland Humbler (July 5, 2014)

  • MTB Race (Substance Projects XCM III)
  • Time: 2:07:32
  • 35k
  • 25/31 (category)
  • 47/65 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:32
  • Gap: 35:11
  • The first 20k was pretty good. The 6k on the other side of the road was a KILLER. The last 10k seem to last forever.

#7:  Kingston XC Marathon Championship (August 30, 2014)

  • MTB Race (Substance Projects XCM IV)
  • Time: 3:00:34
  • 37k
  • 26/31 (category)
  • 45/50 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 2:01
  • Gap: 59:28
  • I hate this race. HOT, still bumpy, and so technically demanding. The new addition behind someone’s house was terrifying and I seemed to walk more than ride.   I hate this race.

#8:  Hardwood Single Track Challenge (October 18, 2014)

  • MTB Race (Pulse Racing)
  • Time: 1:49:25
  • 25k
  • 13/26 (category)
  • 39/90 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:30
  • Gap: 19:58
  • John as taking a whiz and we were still at the car—in the far parking lot—when the race started. By the time I made it to the start, everyone was long gone. I passed 51 riders! In the last 1ok, my legs just kept pedaling, I felt strong and fast. Better, I made it down a killer descent (and the photographer nailed a sweet shot of me when I finally didn’t look like chubbo) My first actual RACE!


2015:  S15

#1:  Steaming Nostril-Runny Nose (March 29, 2015)

  • CX/MTB Race (point to point)
  • Time: 1:38:29
  • 35k
  • 7/33 (category)
  • 7/38 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:24:13
  • Gap: 14:07
  • For the first 25 minutes, I couldn’t find a pace. Lots of riding buddies and groups doing it together. They seemed to be riding slow, but I didn’t want to charge ahead, only to be passed and mocked. Maybe they knew something. Also, leaving the pack meant I would be on my own. There was another pack about 500m ahead. I broke free, and made it to them. They were riding slow too. What was I missing? I had the legs, so I broke free, and spent the next 20k on my own. Against the wind. A very strong wind. With 10k to go, I met a strong rider who had a five minute detour for a pee break. We talked as we rode. He was on a CX bike and felt the pain of my 26 hardtail MTB. When I told him I couldn’t keep his pace, he told me to drift him for a while. I did. Five minutes later, a marshal yelled to us (and another rider) that we were “Ten, eleven, and twelve”. Huh? How did that happen? 8k to go, I had legs, I was riding strong, and I was close to the top ten. A few minutse later, I talked to him but he didn’t answer. I looked back and he wasn’t in sight. I rode. Coming up to the last 2k, I was alone on the icy shore of a river, then I was behind two more riders. We came to the bottom of a giant staircase. I dismounted behind the two riders. They told me to go ahead. Bike up, two steps at a time. Climbing stairs after 34k of cold riding isn’t fun. Step step step. At the top of the steps, I just knew the other two riders were on me. 100m to a turn around, and the finish line 100m after that. Go. At the turn around, I looked back to see how close they were. They hadn’t climbed to the top of the steps yet. 7th place. Hmm.

#2:  H2i (April 11. 2015)

  • MTB Race: 2 laps (Substance Projects XCM I)
  • Time: 2:01:30
  • 20k
  • 19/23 (category)
  • 40/50 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:21:20
  • Gap: 40:09
  • What the hell? After a too brief warm up, my familiar chain suck killed me—on the first pedal stroke of the race. On the first pedal stroke of the race. After a few km arguing with my chain and chain ring, and some horrible gnashing of my chain on my bottom bracket, I gave up. No gears. Not a great race. But I rode my bike on a Saturday morning, and you can’t beat that. Plus, Dan Marshall created a Clydesdale category, and I placed third.

 #3:  P2A-Paris to Ancaster (April 26, 2015)

  • CX/MTB Race: point to point (St. George to Ancaster)
  • Time: 1:50:04
  • 40k
  • 5/40 (category)
  • 104/635 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:39:36
  • Gap: 10:28
  • I came 5th place in a huge race—on a 26” hardtail MTB. Yeah, that just happened. I spent the entire race just behind the main pack. No cramp, I rode up the bloody escarpment, and I felt great.

#4: Long Sock Classic (May 16.2015)

  • MTB Race (Substance Projects XCM II)
  • Time: 2:20:48
  • 35k
  • 23/32 (category)
  • 45/50 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:39:59
  • Gap: 41:59
  • Annnnd, I’m back. First race on my new Norco Revolver 9.1 (picked it up the night before). Sweet ride, but I don’t know what happened. Some races are just plain bad.

#5   Northumberland Humbler (June 27, 2015)

  • MTB Race (Substance Projects XCM III)
  • Time: 2:11:46
  • 35k
  • 31/38 (category)
  • 53/72 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:35
  • Gap: 36:11
  • I didn’t feel okay during the race for a single second. I tried a warm up before the race, but I think I rode too hard. Every minute of the race was tough. The last 5k were even more tough. Not a great race in terms of results, not a bad race, just a race. 2nd place Clydesdale, but I really don’t think I earned it. The new bike was awesome.

#6:  Across The Highlands Challenge’15 (July 18, 2015)

  • MTB Race—in Mabou, NS!
  • Time: Not sure
  • 40k
  • No category
  • First overall
  • There was no official timing. It felt more like a group ride, and the vibe was pretty cool. Rustic trails, great atmosphere. There was a nice mix of crude single track, farmers fields, gravel roads, rail trail, and laneways. Great ride. I did the shorter distance, and finished about 20 minutes before the next rider–but most riders ride the longer race that summited the highlands. I’m still calling it a win. I rode my 26” hard tail. 

#7:  Kingston XC Marathon Championship (September 5, 2015)

  • MTB Race (Substance Projects XCM IV)
  • Time: 2:41:19
  • 37k
  • 27/36 (category)
  • 60/84 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:48
  • Gap: 53:46
  • Once again, a punishingly hot day. The start line was across the street from the parking/finish. I was running late and left for the start with just enough time. I missed the laneway to the start line, and made a 3km detour to the next concession. When I realized my mistake, I booked it back to the start. Everyone was gone. Not a soul to be seen, and I was dying from a 6k ride (of which I sprinted half). There were 84 riders were ahead of me. So I rode. Hard. I’ve always been terrified of warming up too much. It wasn’t a problem. The 6k rock garden was still a killer, and the course was still so damn bumpy, but I rode as best as I could.

#8:  Paul’s Dirty Enduro (September 20, 2015)

  • MTB Race (Pulse Racing)
  • Time:2:07:53
  • 30k
  • 22/61 (category)
  • 41/116 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:43
  • Gap: 24:21
  • The stars lined up, the sun beat through the clouds, and I rode hard. I was strong, agile, and good to go. My new bike was humming. I felt I was just behind the lead pack for most of the race, even though I couldn’t believe it, but I knew other riders were breathing down my neck just out of sight. At the feed station, I tried to unclip, but couldn’t, and fell down. Nothing serious. I guzzled some feed, and I was off before the pack arrived. If I could just clip in…damn. On the climb just above the feed station, I realized there was a problem with my cleat. I checked my GPS time, dismounted, and took a look. I lost a screw from from my cleat, and it was rotating. 1 minute lost. I got my allen key and tightened it up as best as I could. Another minute lost. I tried to clip in, in the middle of a hill, and…the next pack was on me. Four riders passed me, and I lost another minute. I finally clipped in and found my pace, but I had to make up some time. I passed three of the four riders. With the fourth in sight, a tree jumped in the middle of the trail and smoked me. I went down hard, and was wedged between two trees, at a 90 degree turn. Riders were on me like crazy. A fellow rider tried earnestly to help me up, but I couldn’t unclip, and I was a pretzel. After a few minutes, and a hundred riders passing me, I got up and pedaled on my way. Sort of. There was a Mexican restaurant special where my front rim used to be. One large taco coming up. My wheel was warped so badly that it actually stopped twice on each rotation as is rubbed against the fork. With 4k to go, and zero DNFs under my belt, I did what I could. I rode. At the finish line, there was a collective “Ohhh” when I hobbled in. I had to take my shoe off to get my clip out. Shoeless, warped to hell, and a bit sore, but it was a Sunday in September, and I rode the race of my life. Boom.

 #9:  Hardwood Single Track Challenge (October 18, 2015)

  • Time: 1:59:08
  • 25k
  • 8/18 (category)
  • 26/85 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:40
  • Gap: 18:48
  • Hmm. I felt strong, but I didn’t get the result I wanted. There were a bunch of jams, but I rode well otherwise. I always start at the back of the pack because I’m terrified of the middle, and it’s usually not a problem, but today it was. I got to thinking. Maybe it was a problem in other races as well. I pushed hard. Nothing spectacular.

#10:  Overdrive Race Series (November 8, 2015)

  • Time: 1:02:51
  • 20k
  • No category
  • 1/3 overall
  • Last race of the season. Cold as hell, with few riders, but it was November, and I was racing. Sweet.

S15 Other

15 x King MTB Weekly Series (Tuesdays)

  • Time:  varied
  • a few km.
  • Don’t know/Not sure (category)
  • Pfft/A lot (overall)
  • Gap:  huge
  • Leslie Summers at Joyride150 called me one day, at about 2:30, and asked “Are you doing the King Series tonight?”.  I didn’t know what the King Series was, so I went, I raced, and I had a blast.  The other riders were amazing.  Each week, I battled for last place.

Durham Forest Thursday Night Race (Thursday)

  • Bad, bad, bad result.  Fun race.  Good vibe.  I would’ve done others, but the Tuesday night race usually killed my week.


2016: 6ixteen

#1:  Frozen Beaver (January 9, 2016)

  • Fat Bike Race (45NRTH Ontario Fat Bike Series-Substance Projects)
  • Time: 2:15:20
  • 15k
  • 9/13 (category)
  • 13/24 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:33
  • Gap: 41:46
  • Slush. Slush. Slush. Two laps of the hardest riding/bike hiking ever. Warm day. My second time ever on a fat bike. My first time was the night before. Get on your bike, pedal, get off your bike, walk. Whatever. I couldn’t stay on my line, and spent much of the race flying over my handle bars. I was on a borrowed bike, wearing borrowed boots, and it didn’t matter—because it was a Saturday morning in the middle of the winter, and I was on a bike.

#2:  Snumbler (January 23, 2016)

  • Fat Bike Race (45NRTH Ontario Fat Bike Series-Substance Projects)
  • Time: ??
  • 20k
  • ?? (category)
  • ?? (overall)
  • Category winning time: ??
  • Gap: ??
  • It was my third time on a fat bike, so I can’t say this unequivocally, but I think it was a perfect day of fat biking. It was really cold, but not too cold, and the trail was spectacular. Passing was so tough, and I spent a good portion of the race dogging it, but I lacked the confidence to pass, so it wasn’t a huge problem. Great time.

#3:  Kingston Snophy  (February 6, 2016)

  • Fat Bike Race: timed 1.5hours (45NRTH Ontario Fat Bike Series-Substance Projects)
  • Time: 1:22:43
  • 20k (4 laps)
  • 6/8(category)
  • 8/20 (overall)
  • Category winning time: 1:36:59
  • Gap: 14:31 (less one lap)
  • Who cares about the details of the ride, the race photographer caught me getting sweet air off a jump. Boom.