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Race Results - 2022

Race Report - Week 5

May 24, 2022

With the season well underway, and the sunshine shining strongly, last night marked our third new course of the year. In keeping with our philosophy of making the event progressively more challenging, our new course ditched the tight, twisty and flat southern trails in favour of bringing riders past the creek at the northern end of our tract of heaven.

Craig McFarlane exiting the singletrack and preparing the rip a long descent

A little twisty action shot riders back out to the firewood which then lead riders back into a flowing section filled with medium speed sweepers and a roller coaster of amazing switchbacks before blasting through a section soon to be filled with trilliums in bloom. Then the hardship began as we made our way up through 100m of climbing in a meandering trip back to the starting area. This course benefits riders will to take risks with traction through the fast corners and those who can identify the best lines and keep it pinned through the constant radius turns. 

Seamus Cullen taking the "hard" line with a sizeable rooty step-down

Before the race begins, we often have a brief chat about techniques, strategies, and race craft in general. One constant theme we come back to time and again is the principle of pacing. The theory behind proper pace is that your first lap should really not be your fastest. It is crucial to leave enough in the tank that you don't collapse after the first lap but instead can finish your remaining laps even faster - or, at least, not loose much on subsequent laps.

The idea here is that conserving your energy allows you to attack, or counter an opponents attack, deeper into the race. If you have completely blown yourself up and then a rider comes from behind deeper into the race, you may not have enough in the tank to respond in a way to hold your lead. Similarly, if you have been chipping away at a lead from another rider you need to make sure you can make an authoritative pass. Passes should always be performed with enough aggression that your opponent doesn't even want to respond. If you have done it right, they will be left hopeless and awestruck as you dig deep and drop a high-wattage hammer.

Phil Goodenough putting on a clinic in pacing

A perfect example of this lesson in action was Sport rider Phil Goodenough. Participating in only his second race, Phil rode with an expertise that defies his relative lack of experience. On his first lap of this new and more challenging course, Phil posted a solid 17:12.8. On lap 2, Phil took what he had learned from his first and crossed the line at 17:11.7 - only a 1.1 second second spread between laps! Remarkable stuff, really.

Phil earns a mention for his consistency, but even more so for his sportsmanship. Recognizing that he took a wrong turn on his third lap, he advised the timing crew when he got the finish and we were able to assess a reasonable penalty that kept the racing fair and competitive. A result attained unethically is never a result worth saving and sports is a tremendous barometer of character. Win or lose - one must do it with grace and humility. Riders like Phil lead by example!

The adults weren't the only ones having fun out there! Lila Van Schie is shredding the trails out there on the Mini-Me course.

The Mini-Me riders were also treated to a new and rippin' course. They were actually the first Coulson's Hill racers to christen a new bit of single track that appeared during the pandemic hiatus. These kids continually amaze with their grit and heart. Even when they find it hard, they never quit and the smiles on their faces at the finish line make all of the trail work well worthwhile.

See you all next week! Please share and spread the passion for our series - it's crucial to expanding the reach and introducing new riders to the sport.

Complete results with lap times, splits and more can be found at the link below.


Thanks to Al Muma for the photography. Complete photo gallery can be found here.

The Racing is Back and Better than Ever!

April 10, 2022

Last night marked the third outing in our 20-race series. is was a thrill to welcome back riders with a night (finally!) filled with sunshine, warmer weather and bone dry trails.

For many, the pandemic years brought along with them a lack of motivation to push themselves, a lack of opportunity to ride with good friends, and a lack of competitive activities that forces oneself to push themselves to the limit, and sometimes beyond, on a regular basis.

A robust field getting ready to start the race

The number of riders who have approached the registration table with an opening statement resembling, "I haven't ridden much for the past couple of years..." speaks to the broader and long-lasting effects of our social isolation.

However, Spoke O'Motion has the solution to your extra pudge! We have the solution to your reduced fitness. We have a collection of riders, just like you, looking for people with which to shred some corners, rips some berms, and schred the gnar. 

More than ever, there is also a need to welcome riders to organized cycling who hopped onboard the sport amidst the pandemic and are now looking to become embedded in our amazing community. Spoke O'Motion delivers that too!

This year, we have seen the results of the cycling boom in both the return of riders we haven't seen for years and a host of new riders to the series. We are thrilled with both ends of that cycling spectrum.

New riders abound! Logan Bickerton leads Sean Farley through the forest.

This year, we have seen the results of the cycling boom in both the return of riders we haven't seen for years and a host of new riders to the series. We are thrilled with both ends of that cycling spectrum. Many people full understandably intimidated at the idea of racing for the first time. My answer is this: Don't! We deliver a fun, relaxed atmosphere and our riders are all courteous and there for the joy of riding. There is no pressure outside of what you put on yourself and I promise that you'll meet some fantastic people.

Liam rips through the singletrack on his way to Novice-class victory!

The performance of the day belonged to little 7-year-old Liam Cullen who elected to skip Mini-Me - the category for riders less than 12 years old - and go straight to the open-age Novice category. Against grown adults and several youth, Liam took to the trail hoping for nothing short of victory.

In a previous outing, Mark Shillum snatched the win from Liam's grasp after Liam suffered some mechanical issues and was forced to pause his ride and get help. This week, his bike was freshly serviced, lubed and properly ready to rock. Mark used his power advantage from the start to steam past Liam on the climb, but Liam left nothing in the tank and eventually made the overtake.

"I went so hard I couldn't breathe for half a lap," reported Liam after the race. But the effort was worthwhile as, by the end of his second lap, Liam found himself a good 40-seconds ahead of the second place Mr. Shillum. Needless to say, it was a happy drive home.

See you all next week and be sure to spread the news about the fun, camaraderie, and amazing trails conditions at our Coulson's Hill Weekly MTB Series.

Complete results with lap times, splits and more can be found at the link below.


Thanks to Al Muma for the photography. Complete photo gallery can be found here.