Words by: Victoria Elliott
I was extremely excited to get started this race season with the MuddBunnies and living on the Island made the Island Cup Race Series the perfect way to race regularly without having to travel to the mainland.
A few years ago I raced the Cobble Hill race and was pretty devastated by how poorly I did and how challenging I found the course. So, signing up for my first race this year in the series was a little nerve racking. This first race was in March in Victoria. I have always found the Hartland trails particularly challenging so registering was a little overwhelming. When I arrived at the race that morning, I was met by Diana and the MuddBunnies tent. This was also the first time I met my fellow island racer, Sandra Hardy. It was a great feeling to have support at the race, especially since it was my first of the season.
I decided to race in the beginner category as I had not been riding in over one year and had not been training at all. I am very happy I decided to race beginner, as the one lap proved to be a perfect amount for me!
There were quite a few racers out to this first race of the series and it was intimidating. I believe I came in last in my category but I was not too surprised, disappointed, yes, surprised, no. Entering this race came with no preconceived notions of continuing on through the series, but meeting Sandra and learning that we had another island rider, Laurie Kalf, gave me new incentive to make it out to the races.
Sandra, Laurie and I carpooled out to most races together which was a great way to meet new riding friends and ensure I kept my word about going! I was able to travel to many of the popular riding trails on Vancouver Island that I had never been to before. This was exciting for me because the trails were awesome and I knew I would be able to go back to them to ride and have an idea about where I was going.
The only riding I did this season was when I was racing. As such, I was not able to really improve a whole lot, although I did improve. Since the series has concluded, I have been riding more and intend to keep training in preparation to race in the intermediate category next season. I absolutely loved my experience racing in this series, meeting new people, traveling around the island and most of all RIDING!
My two favourite racing memories this season were our epic Sunshine Coaster combined with the Powell River Island Cup race and the Series finals up in Port Alice. Many of the MuddBunnies met in Sechelt for the Sunshine Coaster race, which included the XC on Saturday and DH on Sunday. Sandra and I decided to race in the XC and then hop on the ferry to Powell River to race in the Island cup series the next day. The weather for both races was spectacular and the riding conditions were perfect! It was a fantastic weekend full of riding. I loved the trails in Powell River and we met some great people on the ferry and at both events.
The Island Cup finals were in Port Alice and here we experienced another epic weekend with amazing weather and fantastic riding. It was in Port Alice that I realized I had won the beginner women category and I was super excited! Unfortunately there were some organizational problems and I was not able to bask in the glory of my win. This was pretty disappointing. I still have not yet received the â€œprizeâ€ I was supposed to but I have not let this taint my overall experience of the series.
I am so thankful that I was able to be part of the MuddBunnies team and get out riding as often as I did. The MuddBunnies team was the support I needed to get me out on the trails and committed to riding again.
A huge thank you goes out to our 2012 Muddbunnies Race Team sponsors! Our racers have the opportunity to race because of these wonderful sponsors, please take a moment to visit their sites:
Red Racer Beer: www.redracerbeer.com/
Reflect Sports: www.reflectsports.com/
Dirty Girl Designs: www.dirtygirldesignscanada.com/
Design Out Loud: www.designoutloud.com/
Caps New Westminster: www.capsbicycleshop.com/
Different Bikes: www.differentbikes.ca/
Velocity Cycles: www.velocitycycles.ca/