XC8 Participants share their stories and experiences from the event...
XC8-Bow80, Ying and Yang
Sept 25, 2009
XC8-a great little race in [Buffalo] Pound Provincial Prak, Sask. Yes, Sask. the course takes you up their ski hill and then winds its way all around a river valley that ends at a dammed lake. The course is tight with some amazing single track. The hills are punchy and 2 or 3 are exposed.
The weather this year-HOT, DAM HOT! 34 degrees someone said. For 8 hours???? I knew it was going to be a race of survival so tried to get on the nutrition game early. Didn't work out quite that well as I also didn't want to lose sight of my main competitor Craig Stappler. He has a fast start I wanted to keep him in sight. He won the hill climb and got a free ride later in the race to the top of the hill. Lucky bum.
4 hours in it was Craig and I riding together out front. It remained that way for the whole race. With Pat Humeney taking 3rd on a single speed!! Lots of tactics came into play. I tried to stay out of sight and make my stops fast. The heat was getting to me mid race and I had to take in extra calories and water. I started to feel better in the last laps and went for it on the last one as I was past last year in the last lap.
Lots of people didn't finish the race due to the heat or modified their laps taking rests and sat in the shade for a bit. SMART. It was not the day to push beyond. Too hot and to much of a change from our otherwise cool summer.
|"Great race and well organized. Thank you very much for the excellent time and great company ... I have done Sea to Summit race in BC, 24 Hours of Adrenaline in Canmore and .. I feel that your race is the best value for the dollar and I am letting people know about this opportunity. When can I register for next year?"
-- Robin W. Camley, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
|"Thanks for a wonderful event last weekend. Great riding, great organization and lots of fun. We will be sure to try and get a few more "Canmorons" out next year."
-- Laurie and Gary Buxton, Canmore, Alberta.
|"Thank you Jay, executive, volunteers & sponsors! I have raced all over for the last 18 yrs ... from Quebec to Wyoming to Whistler & recently France ... and your race is as good as it gets ... what a great effort from your club & sponsors, it is not surprising the riders match it on the course! :) Looking forward to the pain & suffering next year"
-- Randy Lewis, Regina, Saskatchewan
2007 Result: 4th Place, Solo Male
XC8 2007: How do i love thee let me count the ways
1,400 dollars was the value of the Grand Prize 2007 Corsa World Cup
800ft of challenging climbs -- something for everyone no matter what your skill
83 racers took to the valley
40 is the number of years I have been on this earth
40 bucks was the price of a life times of great memories
34 teeth on my front chain ring... the smallest I have ever pushed
32-minutes for my fasted lap and 2-minutes more then the winner.
30-minutes of running trails with a broken chain.
20 tooth cog on an American classic single speed hub
16-minutes trying to beg-borrow-or-steal a spare tube and fix a stupid flat
15 lbs of superfly race bike that was not so super and didn’t really fly
14 bottles of water in 8-hours
13-hours of driving for the best race of the year
13 the number of laps I was capable of riding but didn’t!
12 the number of laps I wanted to do, but didn’t!
11 laps of repeatedly putting my chain back on… grrrrr!
10 registered single speeders that never bothered to show up. SLACKERS!
9.75 km of awesome trail
9 kudus go out to the hard working volunteers who put this shindig together!
8 Manitobans throwing it down!
8 isssss the number of hours I raced! Back at ya J ;)
7-hours of blaring tunes on the pod… thank God for ipods!
5-minutes of rain
4th place overall, and 11 laps of frustration, puttering, and running
4 very nasty crashes… all mine
3 provinces having it out… actually one province mopping up the floor with two others.
3 dead goats seriously kicking my butt… maybe that gives them the right to talk smack… not!
2-minute bonus (i.e., -2 minutes) for winning the prime, fat lot of good that did me.
2 times busting a nut at xc8, and definitely in for one more!
2 Awesome days at Buffalo Pound!
2 torn and bloody knees… both mine
2 is the number of times I was lapped by papa goat Single Speed Psycho Pat Doyle. Ride on dude!
2 other dead goats talking smack… wtf… not so friendly Alberta!
1 papa goat was cool with legs of steel
1.7 gear ratio… ridiculous!
1 MOPE... or so I am told ;D
1 broken helmet
1 lost power link
1 lost tube
1 lost ipod
1 broken chain (on a single speed… wtf)
1 chain dropped 5 billion times
1 useless chain tensioner that lambasted my race
1 broken collarbone… but not mine. Sorry dude!
2007 Result: 2nd Place, Solo Female
How to find 7,000 feet of vertical in Saskatchewan
After dinner, we headed to Moose Jaw. It was a 45 minute drive away, but we could see it the moment we were out of Regina. This place is flat. FLAT. Like, really, really flat. And we came all of the way here for a mountain bike race?
We stayed in a house that was built in 1908 and operates as a b&b now. Clean, comfortable, reasonably priced, friendly Saskatchewan hospitality and a funny lookin' little basset hound named Jenny to play with. Sure beats the Super 8.
The venue for the XC8 bike race was Buffalo Pound Park, which is just north of Moose Jaw. As we drove there, I was still confused about how there could be a mountain bike race hosted here. And then, there it was, a valley.
The race format was an 8 hour enduro, which means that riders see how many laps they can do of a prescribed circuit (which, in this case was 8.75 km) within that time frame. Eight hours is kind of intimidating when you are just getting started. Thoughts such as '10 minutes down, 470 to go' are not particularly productive, but inevitably enter your head. Fortunately, the circuit format offers more palatable bite sizes (45-60 minutes per lap) to focus on. As well, the practically non-stop singletrack prevents your thoughts from diverting away from the immediate challenges for very long.
There was 270m (885ft) of vertical per lap, which meant we were constantly climbing or descending. This is not the Saskatchewan that most people get to see. Less than one kilometre of the circuit was straight, flat double track. The rest was twisty, hilly single track, with a new challenge around every turn. From the hill tops, there were spectacular views of the valley. Autumn has arrived here already and the trees are changing colour. It was breathtaking (or was that the hill that took my breath away?).
Based on my first three laps, I calculated that I should be able to do 9 laps within the time limit. While I knew that I had not fueled by body well to that point, I was feeling strong. But, by lap six, my poor decision making had caught up with me and my performance started to deteriorate. My lap times increased. The hills felt steeper and the course more technical.
Lap seven was the hardest. My disappointment of realizing I could only fit in eight laps in was offset by the thought that I only had one more lap to go. Half way through my eighth and final lap, Pat, Erik and Craig lapped me again. It wasn't the fact that it was the fourth time they lapped me that was demoralizing so much as the fact that they looked fresh and full of energy as they blew past me. The new Deadgoat jerseys and shorts looked crisp and clean that one could have believed they were on their first lap.
Of the 80 or so racers, seven were Deadgoats - one mixed team of two (Gerry and Linda), three in the mens solo category (Erik, Pat and Craig), and two in the womens solo category (me and Trish). The mixed team placed sixth, despite TWO broken chains (Gerry has some seriously powerful legs). The three boys battled it out for the entire race, taking first (Pat), second (Craig), and third (Erik) overall and finishing with two more laps than the guy who finished fourth.
Trish finished with two more laps than me, but there's no shame at all in finishing behind a gal like that. It turns out that ninth lap wouldn't have made a difference afterall.
It was a good day to be a Deadgoat. This must be how the US Postal team felt at the Tour de France.
Deadgoats also cleaned up on the door prizes, with 6 out of 7 of us winning something, including a new 2007 Marzocchi Corsa World Cup for Erik (retail value $1,400 - which definitely makes the expense of a weekend trip to Moose Jaw seem worthwhile). The race organizers even gave me an Axiom hand pump for 'best dressed' for sporting my bee costume.
If you're looking to try an endurance race, the Offroad Syndicate and Blocks Saw & Cycle put on a really fun race. The XC8 is very well organized and takes place on an outstanding course. It was a great way to enjoy Saskatchewan.
2007 Result: 3rd, Solo Male
XC8, Buffalo Pound, Saskatchewan
1. Trish "I mean business out there" Grajczyk defending on her home turf.
2. Tori "Hi, I'm an endurance mountain biker now" aka. The Bee.
3. A Winnipegger.
Also of note, a prize went to Tori in recognition of the bee outfit.
1. Papa goat Pat "show no mercy" Doyle... laid the smack down on a leg busting climb at the 7 hour 15 minute mark, only to be glimpsed one more time in the distance by the chasers. I think Pat would even win with no gears. Or running. Or even crawling, just cause that's the kind of tough as nails shit he's made of.
2. Craig "I'm back" Stappler - nice enough to wait for a Bakke wipeout on the start of lap 13 (ever notice your handling starts to decline at the 7:45 mark?), then sprints to the finish for 2nd and takes it by 1/2 a second to...
3. BikingBakke who hangs on for third. Surprise of the day was that some mope who cut me off on the first climb took the hilltop prem of two mins I thought I'd pocketed - guess there wasn't a seperate one for singlespeeders.
Gerry and Linda overcame some adversity for 6th (Gerry started the day off by breaking his chain on lap 1 - too much power)... and had a second break later in the day.
We put in 13 laps (Trish 10, Tori 8), and finished in about 8 hours 20 minutes. Which was 114k of riding and 3,517m (11,500 feet) of climbing on my computer. I can tell you my right lat was cramping on the last two laps from so much high torque climbing and gripping the handlebars. If I heard right, the first place team did 10 laps, and 4th place solo did 11 laps.
The course was FANTASTIC. Funnest trail I've ridden all year, it never got old. Fast and flowy, technical came from high speed turns and fun rather than being a bone jarring course. Weather was great, a little sprinkle at 4pm but that's all. The three solo deadgoats put in lap after lap together, and I think we surprised the field in that Craig and I rode the whole 8 hours together in paceline form.
Deadgoats also cleaned up on draw prizes... I almost missed a Marzocchi Corsa SL World Cup fork cause I was busy drinking champagne from Trish's trophy, but clued in just in time. Sweet!
Ps. Maybe a category for first non-deadgoat next year is in order??