Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Get Your Granny Gear XC 2011

Over the past few seasons, a typical May long weekend for an Alberta XC racer involved heading west of Edmonton to Fern and Harvey's MTB farm for the All You Can Eat Buffet of Bacon, Pain and Suffering XC race and the Trans Stony Marathon. The Bacon XC is my most memorable course as it was my very first XC race. I managed to finish so far behind the rest of the pack that they started the next race before I even finished my last lap. I came completely unprepared - no training, no gels or energy source (okay, that's a lie - I did have some bacon in the feed zone) and I ran out of water just after my second lap. Never so much pain have I felt. It was a truly humble introduction to XC racing. The following year at Stony Plain I managed to knock 40 minutes off my previous year's time for my first podium finish. Sweet revenge. Ahh, the gamut of emotions when I think of the Bacon XC race. Sadly, Fern and Harvey sold their land; and with the sale of the land, so goes the Bacon XC and the Trans Stony Marathon. Although the Bacon XC race is gone, it will live forever in my heart. Sigh.

Enter the Get Your Granny Gear XC race at Terwillegar Park in Edmonton, AB. As the saying goes, out with the old, in with the new. And this race is definitely new. The XC race will take place this year on the Sunday but rather than a marathon on Monday, a time trial and dirt criterium have been added to the agenda on the Saturday.

Saturday, May 21st will start with a time trail run on Fireman's Loop - a long double track climb followed by a technical, single track descent. The concept is simple - each racer goes separately and the person with the fastest time wins. This is definitely a race that can be won on the climb and lost on the descent.

The dirt crit, which will follow the time trial on Saturday, will be 3/4/5 laps on, surprisingly, a dirt track.

Finally, the Granny Gear XC race on Sunday, May 22nd will be a standard ABA XC race. I will be competing in the Sport Men's category. If you are coming out to watch, I will be the one at the back of the pack - feel free to point and laugh.

Check out the technical guide HERE and register for one, or all, of the races HERE.  Anyone who isn't racing, please come out and cheer on those who are competing! 

Thank you to Hardcore Bikes and redbike for organizing this ABA event.

UPDATE - Here are my pictures from Saturday.  Please leave links to other photos in the comments!

Photos from Dave Roberts - please respect copywrite properties! 

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