Skip to main content

Championship Standings - 2023

Compete weekly for a chance to stand on the podium in the season championships. At the end of the year, the top three riders in each category will earn a sweet medal and some swag from our amazing industry partners. 

Your top 12 races of the season count towards your championship totals, so you do NOT have to attend every race to win! There is opportunity for all and no single mechanical or missed race should cost you a chance at the Championship title.

Also be aware that during awful weather, the race may be assigned a "double points" night making it all the more important to get out there and chase for the podium!

Click for Series Standings

Week 5 - Every Dog Has His Day

June 5, 2023

The debut of a new course is always a source of joy for our riders. The chance to experience a new trail that has never existed before in the long history of our series brings with a chance for us to entertain and to challenge our riders.

Some courses weave tightly through the trees and test your low speed handling chops with relentless tight radius turns just waiting for you to drop your front wheel too low and send you over the bars. Other trails deliver bottom to top climbs that make you feel like your legs are on fire and that your lungs will burst.

This new course runs the entire length of the forest and incorporates many of the best trails that this tract has to offer. It's 4.15km length treats riders to fast, flowing downhills, has a couple of big jumps for the brave, has some beautiful twisty sections and enough climbing to reward those who have put in the work while being forgiving to those who are working on their pace.

Liam Cullen notches his first win of the season

With the return to longer laps, the Novice riders had to contend with only two laps of mayhem and, for only the second time this year, the best time was laid down not by Championship Standings leader, Kayliegh McFarlane or her arch-nemesis Kylie Ferguson, but by little Liam "The Lion" Cullen. Liam has had a bad habit this year of going out too hard and blowing himself up or crashing himself out with reckless abandon.

On this night, however, the stars aligned and Liam finished with a 2-minute gap on the field and also managed to post a solid 30+ second negative split. Excellent race management from this ferocious little competitor! It will be interesting to see if Kyle and Kayleigh can dig deeper next week and try to erase this gap. 

Paul Boken didn't miss a beat

Another name from season's past that rejoined the Coulson's crew this week is Paul Boken. Just because he hasn't been racing with us, his super strong results certainly confirm that his riding hasn't skipped a beat! Up against a very competitive sport-class field, Paul was battling hard in an effort to reel in Eli Weening in front while simultaneously defending against Ryder Cullen and David Van Schie on his tail.

Eli Weening can't be stopped

While Eli's pace couldn't not be countered - his lap times were competitive with Expert/Elite riders - Paul made a valiant effort to hang onto his wheel and made it clear that he intends to climb back to the Expert ranks in short order.

The battle between Paul, Ryder, and David came down to the wire for all three riders who finished within 24-seconds of one another to cinch up the podium spots - and, unfortunately, leave David just shy of the mark. Consistency, as usual, won the day as Paul lost only 26-seconds from his first lap to his last where Ryder lost almost a minute.

In fairness, Ryder rode a blistering 15:37 first lap and then suffered a hard crash just a minute from the finish that saw his gap over David evaporate and put Paul out of reach. On another night, this podium could be looking quite a bit different. Next week, I would anticipate Eli moving to Expert/Elite and there to be an amazing showdown for the podium.

Seamus almost notches his first Expert/Elite podium

The Expert/Elite category certainly saw it's share of drama as well this week. On the topic of what dogs did NOT have their day, Evan Knights made his debut on the Expert/Elite cat only to have his hopes popped - along with his tube - by a pointy rock on a blazing downhill. Similarly, I had my first outing in several weeks spoiled by a big nail in my rear tire that I picked up on a trail that I had just blown clear. Not all luck is good luck.

In the positive side of the ledger, two riders had celebratory results with Seamus Cullen edging ever closer to Aaron Wright thanks to his ongoing efforts on the road with our cycling club. Road miles may not offer the same sheer exhilaration as mountain biking, but the fitness gains are undeniable. Seamus continues to make immense progress and it won't be long before he will have the chance to take me down in a battle much like that between Ethan and Craig McFarlane

Kyle Rae takes down the King - Jamie Davies

One dog whose story just keeps getting better is Kyle Rae. After weeks of battling toe-to-toe with Jamie Davies, Kyle finally took Jamie all the way to the line and then blasted to the finish in a sprint that was almost too close to call. At the end of the race, Kyle beat Jamie by about half a bike length and, in so doing, handed Jamie his second loss of the season and notched his first win.

All of the drama, the passion, the thrills, and the spills return for another round next Monday. Here's hoping that some more riders can make it out to battle around our amazing 4km course!

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.

Week 4 - Turning Tables and Evolving Battles

May 29, 2023

Another stunning evening and another super exciting race filled with passes, drama, sprint finishes and crashes. Most importantly, we seemed to have really turned the corner from the "dark times" and people are genuinely stoked to be back enjoying group activities and organized sport. This is a win for restoring social activity, reconnecting with those we didn't see through the pandemic, and a saving grace for organizers who were at they wits' end on restoring attendance.

Eli Weening is on fire!

The "Ride of the Night" award has to be presented to Eli Weening. From the outset of the race, it was clear that Eli was a young man on a mission as he set the Sport-class pace with a heroic first couple of laps. To his credit, Eli didn't just rip hard out of the starting gate: Eli set the starting line on fire, blew down the timing tents, and left a trail of smoke behind him as the spark flying from his drivetrain threatened to set the whole forest ablaze. He didn't just ride fast "for a Sport rider" - Eli rode some of the fastest laps of the race. Fast enough, in fact, the his best lap was within seconds of the Elite podium lap times.

Chad Madaleno underestimated himself

Sadly for Eli, Chad Madaleno did not read the memo about Eli's extra serving of awesome-sauce. After racing with us for many years, Chad made his return to the fold a memorable one. After his warm-up laps, Chad figured that he would likely be battling for a podium spot in the Sport category and would save some Expert exploits for later in the season once he had time to prove his mettle and build some confidence.

Well consider it proven!

After dropping 8-seconds to Eli on the first lap and holding the gap on lap 2, Eli started to slow just a wee bit. Just an 8-second reduction in lap speed was enough for Chad to launch an attack that put Eli in his rearview - and Chad clearly doesn't check his mirror for tailgaters! Eli rode a stronger fourth lap, but it ws not enough to offer an opportunity to counter the uber-consistent Mr. Madaleno who rode to the finish in first place by a measly 1.7 second margin.

Phil Goodenough driving the sport-class train to the limit

But this was not the only exciting story in the sport category. There were several bunch sprints and many outcomes were uncertain right until the finish line. One of the best finishes came down to Craig McFarlane, Ian Travell, and Phil Goodenough. While Craig's son, Ethan McFarlane, may have notched another family victory to gloat about at the dinner table, Craig dug deep in a fantastic sprint against Ian and Phil and managed to lead the trio to the line while defending against Ian's ridiculously strong fourth lap. Had Ian not had such a rough first lap, I would expect him to be nearing podium contention.

The battles emerging on the hearty middle of the sport category have been very entertaining to watch. 

There is no victory to small to celebrate. Podium spots are limited but personal accomplishment can be measured in myriad ways. For some, it is simply finishing. for others, it is chasing down that rabbit that always seems just a few seconds too fast. But, whether or not you prevail on a given night, it is all progress towards a better you.

Tristan Abuton shows ons of potential

There are another two racers that warrant mention in the report. The first of whom, Tristan Abuton, is a new racer this season and another rider who was uncertain where to begin his journey. After joining the Novice field, and promptly trouncing the competition, Tristan eagerly jumped up to Sport class and has been making steady progress week-to-week. The most important part of development in any pursuit of passion is repetition. Coming out weekly for a full-effort 40-minute blast pushes your body and mind to a new place. A place where pain becomes background noise and speed is the only focus. When you find access to this state of flow, the world around you just melts away while you blast yourself to speeds you previously thought impossible. The key is to stop thinking and to be in the moment - akin to meditation. Be in the NOW.

Tyson Denobrega gets faster every week

Another rider deserving of a shout-out is Tyson Denobrega. By dipping his toes directly into the deep end by attending every race of the year so far, Tyson's progress has been remarkable. Every single race, Tyson has posted faster times and is edging closer to the top 10 in the hyper-competitive sport field. This week, he managed to pull almost 2-muntes off of his week 3 results and I'm sure his confidence is growing with each passing race. Another 30-seconds off of his week 4 results and Tyson is right in the thick of the top 10. Nothing drives future success like seeing progress. Keep hammering Tyson! 

Chris Staniewski may not have won this night...but he delivered the best air!

In the Expert field, everyone was excited to see the return of Chris Staniewski (alright...maybe not his competitors). In our first race of the season, Chris put on a show of remarkable strength and fitness by destroying the entire field on an aggressive trail bike - a bike engineered for lift-access, gravity-fuelled joy rides. Chris took this knife to a gun fight and emerged unscathed having sliced and diced his way to the top spot on the podium.

As such, it was with some trepidation that this opponents observed Chris' attendance upon a cross-country oriented race weapon this week. However, there was not to be a repeat of his week one heroics. Others have had a little more time to train their explosive power and sustained peak efforts. The bottom for the Elite podium was spectacular with Chris setting the tone with an opening lap of an eye-watering and lung-busting 8:55.

But, Jamie Davies and Kyle Rae did not surrender an inch more than necessary and clung to Chris' wheel until the surprising happened: Chris cracked. On lap 3, Jamie and Kyle both managed to pass Chris and then somehow managed to find yet another level and proceeded to run negative splits for the next two subsequent laps. At their fastest, Jamie pulled an unfathomable 8:42.

It just goes to show that nothing is a given, that there is always someone ready to take your crown, and that a race is never over until that wheel crosses the line. Never surrender, never falter, and never give up. Just when you are suffering the most, have faith that your competition is hurting just as much. Find it within yourself to turn off the pain, push past the tired legs and just send it!

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.

Week 3 - New Faces Light the Wick While the Veterans Blast Off

May 22, 2023

It is human nature to question what we do in our daily grind. Is it valuable? Does it satisfy me? Is there something else that might prove more fulfilling? After a very positive turnout for our third week of racing, I can tell you that I am beyond stoked to have revived our series for another season of action.

Harper Pogue completes her first race ever!

Satisfaction comes in many different flavours, but, in my mind, there is something quite unique about working in the cycling industry. In ways big and small, we have a unique opportunity to imprint upon people a model of healthy living, reinforce their love of the outdoors, and inspire them to push past their boundaries of comfort or fear to embrace a life free from self-imposed limitations.

In the store, we regularly hear stories prefaced with, "I'm too old to...", "I'm too out of shape to...", "I can't do that anymore..." I'm here to tell you that these outlooks are completely wrong. You CAN do anything. You are NOT too old/young/weak/heavy or any other such nonsense. Every journey begins with a step and the steps you take today are what defines your tomorrow. Nothing more and nothing less than your own daily decisions define who you are and who you can become.

Spoke O'Motion staffer Matt Noddle also made his race debut

So, with an eye to the future, it is a tremendous thrill to welcome new riders to the fold. Sometimes inspiration is found in young little rippers like Harper Pogue who rode a valiant first race to come in second to the always-smiling (and alway chatting!) Lila Van Schie. Other times we can look at new racers like Matt Noddle who wokred his butt off to hang with the established Novice riders and completed his own personal goal: To complete the race.

There is no victory to small to celebrate. Podium spots are limited but personal accomplishment can be measured in myriad ways. For some, it is simply finishing. for others, it is chasing down that rabbit that always seems just a few seconds too fast. But, whether or not you prevail on a given night, it is all progress towards a better you.

Steve Prosser rode his strongest race of the season

Even at the pointy end of the spear, rider progress and standout performances can happen at any time. Repetition is the route to success in everything! This Monday, Steve Prosser rode a determined race in an effort to hold the wheel of Jamie "Rocket" Davies and delivered a battle for the ages. Steve actually held the lead after lap 1 until Jamie launched a hard attack to push the pace on lap 2. Rather than surrender the position, Steve kept his head in the game and countered in lap 3 to regain the lead.

While Steve did ultimately surrender the lead to Jamie on lap 4, he managed to minimu=ize his losses and lose only 15-seconds to Jamie by the time the race finished. A remarkable performance by both athletes.

An epic battle between Chris Graham and Les Hegedus

Another fiery race-course battle was between series vets Chris Graham and Les Hegedus. These two have raced against one another for many years now and, as any racer knows, intense rivalries never get old. Win or lose, the heat of the battle is what makes the race so insanely satisfying. All of the pain, the self-doubt, the battle of will... it all fades when you make your move and, with a little luck, it sticks and allows you to rip to the line ahead of the competition.

Les rode a brilliant race and managed his pace like the experienced tactician he is. After his fist lap he was in 7th place - trailing Chris. After the second lap, Les was down another 10-seconds and Chris looked to have a strong position. However, Les stuck to his strategy and left enough in the tank to turn in a blazing 5th lap of 9:17. (Remember all of talk about "negative splits"? This nis what that looks like!)

Chris was, on this night, unable to respond to Les' ridiculous surge and wound up in a 25-second deficit by the end of the race.

Liam Cullen giving his all to outsprint Darcy Anderson

While Kayleigh McFarlane and Kylie Ferguson continue their battle in the novice category and treated us to another sprint finish - this time won by Kayleigh - the Sprint of the Night Award this week must certainly be awarded to little Liam "The Lion" Cullen against the hard-charging Darcy Anderson

Liam used his weight advantage (at 60lbs he has an advantage over everyone!), to attack Darcy on the middle fireroad climb. Once past Darcy, he shoulder-checked continually to evaluate the odds of maintaining his lead. Darcy had expressed concern over Liam's neck health but I assure you that Liam is rather elastic and is very used to hard crashes - he's a trooper.

As these two rounded the last corner before the finish line, Darcy was first to stand and start sprinting. Liam's shoulder check ensured that he was well aware of Darcy's intent the moment it happened and Liam responded with a full-effort counterattack and pounded his way to the finish line with a 1.1 second lead over the hulking Mr. Anderson. What an epic finish!  

Walker Prosser crossed the line in full celebration mode

Sometimes the racing feels super tough - we've all been there. Sometimes it feels like you are in your element; you are where you are supposed to be; you are experiencing the best version of yourself in the moment; you are alive and loving it.

That was Walker Prosser who, having nailed a strong 6th place in Novice, made sure that everyone understood his mindset when he hollered, "I was born for this!" every time he passed the timing tent.

Me, too, Walker. I am picking up what you a putting down, my young friend.

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.

Week 2 - The Story of Progess in Small Steps

May 15, 2023

Treated to another day of cool temperature and sunshine - that we unfortunately had to share with hordes of mosquitos and black flys - the racing at Coulson's Hill proved that what we are doing works. Our goal is to provide a competitive venue focussed on emphasizing the joy of sportsmanship, relishing the adrenalin rush of competition, and realizing the benefits on consistent hard work. These lessons transcend the hobby of cycling and, when applied broadly through our lives, can help us approach many aspects of our lives in a positive and meaningful way. Engagement with life itself is the most fundamental takeaway I hope this series instills in you all.

Kyle Rae personifies perseverance and courage

There is no better example of this approach to life than that of the inimitable Kyle Rae. Some of us talk about the challenges we face in life, the injuries or setbacks we have faced, and the struggle to return to the place we started. Life has truly (finally!) come full circle for my dear friend Kyle. Approximately five years ago, Kyle suffered an unlikely series of bike crashes that resulted in severe concussion symptoms. Not blessed with the same knowledge we have today about the severity and consequences of brain injuries, Kyle rushed back to his passion for riding and this decision cost him dearly.

This year, Kyle has returned to Coulson's Hill to resume his racing career with a smile on his face and a hop in his step that has been a long time coming. Through it all, Kyle put in the work to regain his health and had extraordinary support from his family, his extraordinary partner Lindsay-anne Townsend, and his many friends cheering his progress from the sidelines. His tenacity and courage has brought along progress and healing that was, at times, highly uncertain and his return to our series is an incredibly emotional and joyful reality. May we all have the courage to fight through tough times with the same graced and poise Kyle has shown.

To top off this incredible comeback story, Kyle has returned in fine form indeed and nabbed a second place finish this week after losing to Jamie Davies - the fastest man on earth.

Ethan McFarlane in a happy place!

Progress takes all kinds of forms, and another milestone that most of us can relate to is that moment when you finally beat your parent in competition. (I can still remember the first time I finally beat my dad at chess.) Such was the story this week when Ethan McFarlane delivered a smoking race to take down his dad, Craig McFarlane, by a 45-second margin.

At the beginning of the race, the strategic theme the riders were asked to embrace was that of the "negative split" where your first lap should not be your fastest. One must meter their output in such a way that you can get faster on each successive lap - or at least lose as little time as possible. Ethan clearly picked up that mantle as he rode four exceptionally consistent laps and worked his way from 8th place to 6th while simultaneously giving his dad a result to stew over for a week. It'll be fun to watch this battle evolve as the season marches onward.

Eli Weening pulled 6-minutes of his week #1 results on his way to the podium

The race this week was also dramatically faster for most of the field. In our pre-race chat on week #1, I implored riders to come weekly, to tough out the painful first month and to reap the results that certainly follow. Well here we are just an eek into the series, and the lap times are already plummeting. More than half the field saw their lap times improve by massive amounts. One of the strongest returns to form was seen in the Sport category where the podium complexion had changed significantly. Eli Weening, for example, took 6-minutes off of his first race results - in the process making it abundantly clear that youth is a powerful drug! With progress like this on display, we can look forward to a season of new rivalries where, from one week to the next, victory is up for grabs and nothing is a given. That's a recipe for exciting racing.

Kylie Ferguson pulling her friend Kayleigh McFarlane through the finish area

On the topics of hot rivalries, one of the tightest emerging battles belongs to good friends, and competitive skiers, Kylie Ferguson and Kayleigh McFarlane. While Kayleigh outrode Kylie in week one, victory is never certain. The two riders rode shoulder to shoulder all night long and it was ultimately anyone's race. Through the first two laps, the gap between the two riders was only 1 second. As they rounded the last corner and emerged on the finishing straightaway, the wick was lit and the two K's blasted their way to the finish line. In a reversal from week one, it was Kayleigh who snatched the victory on this night. As it stands, these two friends and now in a battle for championship points with Kylie leading with 38-points compared to Kayliegh's 36. 

Evan Knights on the hunt for victory chasing down Ryder Cullen

Another rider that saw massive 6-minute improvements was Evan Knights. What makes his story worth telling, however, is more than just his superhuman improvement in fitness and strength. It takes more than mere power to dominate a bike race. Times aside, Evan improved from a fifth place finish last week to the top step of the podium in week two through clever race-craft. Bike racing is like chess: It is not a matter of simply advancing your most powerful pieces in one fell swoop. The art of effective offence is to plan your attack carefully, identify your opponents weakness, and then exploit your strength and their weakness in one crushing movement that also reduces their willingness to counter.

Evan delivered a masterclass in race-craft this week by allowing Ryder Cullen to set the pace for the first three laps while Evan patiently sat on his tail. this allowed Evan to carefully plan his attack and to ensure he made his move where and when it would be most efffective. On his last lap, Evan launched a blistering surge and, as Ryder was already on the edge of his capability, the attack stuck. Evan powered to the line and captured a whopping 27-second margin of victory.

Remember everyone: Power gets you to the finish, but strategy gets you to the podium!

Next week the course gets reversed and it will be an entirely new experience. See you there.

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.

Racing is back and the stoke is high!

May 10, 2023

With our start having moved a little deeper into spring, our inaugural race of the 2023 season was bathed in sunshine and perfect temperatures. It was cool enough that standing around in lycra while waiting to get underway produces a mildly unpleasant chill, but once underway with the blood pumping and the adrenalin flowing, the fresh spring air provided some pleasant relief from the boiling temperatures of the blood coursing through our straining muscles.

Sport class gets underway - it's a full category this year!

With early season racing some people come to event fully-prepped with a winter in the rearview mirror packed with indoor cycling, fat bike riding, and various training regimens having bolstered their fitness and confidence coming into the season. For others, this first race offers the first "hard" ride of the season and it is truly a day of reckoning. An opportunity to have a chuckle about what could have been, to assess where we actually are, and to look longingly at where we want to go.

That is to say, if you found this first race rather tough - welcome to the club!

The Expert/Elite pack flies from the starting line

That said, while the perceived effort (and the corresponding amount of pain) never actually changes regardless of how fit you become, the speeds you can sustain certainly do and this weeks race provided no shortage of role models whose performances can serve to inspire and whose skills we can look to emulate. Of dramatic note this week was the absolute dominance of Chris Staniewski - a series veteran who is always a podium threat but on this day grabbed the race by the horns and set forth a display of utter dominance from start to finish. With lap times hovering around the 9-minute mark for all 5 laps, Chris has made his intentions clear. It is now up to the rest of the field to up their fitness game to present a challenge as the season continues.

What makes this even more astounding is that while many racers focus on shaving grams from their bikes in the relentless pursuit of feathery weight, Chris smashed the field with a full-fat Enduro bike with Fox 36 forks and loads of suspension travel. Maybe Lance was right after all, "It's not about the bike". Of course for Lance, its wasn't all about the training either but that's another discussion.

Anderson Rushton is chased through the woods by Lila Van Schie while Scooby watches the action

But our series is never all about the superstars at the top of the heap. It was a tremendous pleasure to welcome back some young series veterans like Anderson Rushton pictured above. Several young riders have made the huge jump from Mini-Me in 2022 to Novice this year and their courage and determination is the stuff of legend just as much as Chris' heroic display of power.  Brock Allen and Walker Prosser have also taken the leap this year and this means, for all of the young rippers, tougher courses, longer races and even tougher competition. Huge kudos to these young athletes for voluntarily moving up the ranks despite the challenges that come along with the leap. These kids are champions in every sense of the word.

David Collier being pursued by Ethan McFarlane through the pines

It goes without saying that attending a race for the first time - or the first time in years - can be an intimidating experience. Our goal is to make the series as welcoming, open, and diverse as we can. We draw in riders as young as 4 years old and we have had participants as old as 69. We don't discern between male and female participants but instead try to create categories based on ability. We are always looking for ways to extend the joy of organized cycling to more people. So it is always awesome to see new racers join the ranks. This week we saw several new faces join us and I hope their experience leads them to encourage other to come out and join in the fray. 

Kudos to David Collier, Kayleigh McFarlane, Kylie Ferguson, Trevor Hunter, and Tyson Denobrega for strapping on the race plates and testing their mettle. It was especially exciting to see Kayleigh and Kylie battle each other for an exciting sprint finish at the line. Kayleigh managed to cling hard to the third place position to claim highly-valued podium points in the series championship but I know that Kylie will be hungrier than ever next week having lost by only 0.6 seconds at the line. The battle lines have been drawn!

Kylie Ferguson in the hunt and chasing down Kayleigh McFarlane

Will the races hurt you both mentally and physically? Yup...if you go hard. But, with some repetition, these intense efforts will become a feeling you relish. A place where you mind and body wage battle against the terrain, against your fears and self-doubt, against your own good sense telling you to quit. And the person that emerges from the other side will be fitter, stronger and happier as a result. The people you meet along the way will be rivals, rabbits to chase and you may even find a nemesis or two but these relationships will all change your life for the better.

Thanks to everyone for their participation this week and I look forward to our next race.

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.