Taking our Summer Fitness into Fall


Coach Kevin loves to gravel ride and we all know he loves a BIG challenge! A HUGE congrats on coming in 2nd in your age group in the 5 day race against some real gravel pros!

Here is Kevin's Report:

The BCBR Gravel Explorer XLT race was held in the Penticton / Kelowna region of BC Sept 24-29.  The XLT is a 5 day off road stage race that in total covered 370 km and 7,500 m vertical.  See https://bcbrgravel.com.  It was billed as covering a mix of everything a gravel bike is capable of and it certainly tested the limits.  Each of the 5 courses located across the region featured very challenging long climbs and descents but incorporated a varied mix of fire roads, single track and trails.  We had perfect conditions to enjoy the spectacular scenery, dry, sunny and 25 degrees every day.

It was a serious but friendly and very well organized race supported by some big companies in the cycling world (Rapha, Easton, 3T, Bicicletta, RedBull, Maxxis, etc).  There were around 150 participants on day 1 and 50+ continued on for the full 5 day XLT race.  About a quarter of the XLT field were elites (brand pros or sponsored gravel race teams). I was blown away by how strong the female pros were, by about halfway through each stage I could no longer hold their wheels and they literally left me in their dust!

This was my first draft legal race and I leaned a lot about team tactics and cooperating with other riders. Definitely an amazing experience and thrill to ride at the absolute limit as a group off road.  Over the 5 days of racing and post race chilling  at the stage award ceremonies I really enjoyed getting to know some of the other participants.

I managed to finish the race without damage to myself or more importantly to the bike.  My bike set up held up quite well, I was running 53 mm tires @ 25 psi which were an advantage on the rough descents and soft sandy trails.  Quite a change from the 22 mm tubulars @ 100 psi I had on my TT bike!  But my 1:1 low gearing was barely adequate for the BC climbs.  Already working on changing gearing components and looking forward to the next gravel event!

If you would like to learn more about the event, here's link to the post race article - https://cyclingmagazine.ca/gravel/andrew-lesperance-wins-gravel-explorer-xlt-in-five-day-duel-with-rob-britton/


Courtney Douglass completed this tough but exhilarating trail race last week at the Ark. Trail and snowshoe races are a great way to spice up the training while having a blast. Here's a little inspiration for you to get out and give it a try!

Here's Courtney's report:

I took part last week in the Mad Trapper Relentless Ark Trail Race, a fall trail race that is held in Denholm, Quebec (approx. 1hr north of Ottawa).  I had decided to do the 10km, but the race offers various distances from a 3k "Try a Trail," to a 5km, 10km, 21km, 30km and 50km.  The event is held at the Race Director's home, and although the race isn’t on a ski hill, there are no flat sections.  The entire 10km race was on technical, challenging groomed single-track trail.  As the Race Director mentions on his website, and I can now confirm as true, “there are no flat sections of land here at all, with over 200 acres, it’s tough to find a single spot to pitch a small 2-man tent, if you’re not running up or down, then you're twisting and turning and wrapping your body around the trees on some super tight and technical singletrack.” 

Which I have to admit was “super fun” and challenging.  Adding to the race was the fact that the fall colours were at their peak.  The leaves were various colours of yellow, orange and red, making the course stunningly beautiful.

What makes this race special isn’t only the single-track, but also the feeling that you are part of the trail running community. The Race Director's goal was to create a completely unique series that emphasized fun and participation over hard core competition. And from my experience last week, I certainly felt that he succeeded at creating that atmosphere.  Race results are posted and the race winners were mentioned during the Awards Ceremony, but prizes were awarded randomly. The post-race party was probably the best I’ve been to, with an incredible amount of food and drinks.  From barbecue burgers, salads, chips, beer, and homemade brownies, I left the race site exhausted and very full. I definitely plan on returning next year!


Cheers, Courtney