I had heard there was going to be some changes to the 2011 Alberta Bicycle Association Mountain Bike schedule from the previous two seasons so I was quite excited when I saw the new schedule for the first time last week. You can find the complete schedule here, but the following are the events I will most likely participate in.
Date / Name / Organizer / Location
Sun 05/22 / Hardcore XC / Hardcore / Edmonton
|Mon 05/23 /||Edmonton Marathon /||Hardcore/Redbike /||Edmonton|
Sat 05/28 / Calgary XC / Dead Goat / Calgary
Sat 06/04 / Kananaskiker MTB Stage Race / Café Racers / Canmore
Sun 06/05 / Kananaskiker MTB Stage Race / Café Racers / Canmore
Sat 06/11 / Iron Lung XC / CMC/Bow Cycle / Canmore
Sat 07/09 / Perogy XC / RVC / Edmonton
Sun 07/10 / Perogy XC / RVC / Edmonton
Sun 07/17 / Mountain Bike Nationals / CMC/Bow Cycle / Canmore
Sun 07/24 / Edmonton Canada Cup / Alberta MTB Racing / Edmonton
Sat 08/27 / XC Provincials / Freewheel / Hinton
I took a few marathon races off my list as they have not been my focus previously. I did leave one marathon race on my list with hope that it will kick start my season. With my goals this season being less aggressive from last year, I feel I can relax my training to allow some longer races. Also, with this only being my 4th year riding, I finally feel like I actually have the fitness to complete an endurance race.
There will be one or two out of town races on here that I won't be able to make but at this point I haven't made a final decision which event I won't be attending. What I do know is that a personal schedule with races 4 weeks in a row (and 3 weeks straight in Calgary/Kananaskis/Canmore) will not be wife approved. With Lachlan's birthday falling in mid-June, the Iron Lung is most likely the one that will have to suffer for the third straight year.
As for local races, my two previous best performances have been at the Edmonton Canada Cup so I am hoping that I can have similar results in 2011. I think has mostly due to that the course suits my strengths; lots of roots and power climbs keep me out of the saddle for most of the race.
As for the remaining Edmonton races, I am not too sure where in the city these will be held. I assume that at least one will be held at Terwillegar Park but it is possible that both will be held there. I would like to see one of these races held in Strathcona Science Park. The Science Park was the home of the MTB race for the 2007 Western Canada Summer games so there is a suitable track available. In addition, there is ample room for parking and compared to Terwillegar, users at the Science Park are almost non-existent.
Finally, I was happy to see provincials at Hinton again this year. I had a great time last year as the course was a real test of mettle. The climbs were long and grueling but they weren't the hardest part. The descents were punishing enough on a hard tail that I was begging to climb. My arms and legs felt like I was riding a jackhammer as I tried to absorb the relentless terrain as we worked to the bottom of the hill. I can't wait to try it again in 2011!