Specialized Trail Crew – “Looking for a few good riders”

Specialized Trail Crew – “Looking for a few good riders”

“We’re looking for a few good riders. More specifically, we’re looking for a few avid mountain bikers.”

Wow what an opportunity! Use of a brand spanking new 2010 Stumpjumper FSR from the biggest name in cycling? To someone other than a “PRO” none the less! Although I have had many many years in cycling, have worked hard and offered my time to the sport I’ve never been sponsored! So I guess I better write up a nice little bio to make it impossible for the nice boys and girls at the Big “S” to pass up!

Passion – “a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept”

Burnt Bridge Circa 1992

Burnt Bridge Circa 1992

Hmm… a strong liking or devotion… I guess then you could easily say I have a passion for mountain biking which rolls back many years. My first true mountain bike was a Raleigh Safari in 1984 at age 10. While it was brutally heavy, clunky and downright slow (as most mid 80’s bikes were), It gave me freedom to explore the many local trails and overgrown logging roads which had not seen the likes of this two wheeled contraption. The family property became a location for building trails and getting muddy. I was hooked.

My first paying job was working at a local North Vancouver bike shop as a mechanic. This was just around the time that racing events started to appear and I competed in my first downhill in 1989. More racing, the introduction to technology such as suspension and clipless pedals, and even riding down the backside of Haleakala Volcano on Maui spanned the next number of years, continuing to ignite my passion for the mtb. I didn’t experience the ride of a Specialized mountain bike until 1992 with my purchase of a S-Works M2 Team from our local bike shop. In glorious red with yellow lettering this was the bike of legends. Ned Overend was already one of my heros, and now I had “the” bike!

The M2 instantly became my trusty companion. We travelled through Europe, met the Tour de France outside of Geneva and joined the Festival du VTT in the French Alps. For many years we rode the trails in and around Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Whistler, Dallas and to the 1994 World Championships in Vail Colorado where met Mr. Overend. Either loaded with paniers or lightened up for climbing prowess it would handle it all.

A setback in my riding occurred in 1995 when I tore my knee skiing. I was told it would be months before I should try riding, but only 2 weeks post op I was back on the bike, just coasting and lightly pedalling my way back to health. I spent many days rebuilding my strength in the knee and my M2 kept me on the trails.

A sad time came just recently when my trusty companion showed signs of the many miles of joy. It was a cool spring day and I had just finished washing my M2 when I noticed a small crack in the chainstay. Sure enough she was done. After thousands of miles, many great memories, gut busting climbs and epic downhills it was time for her to go to the great bike heaven in the sky.

I called up my local dealer who sold me that bike 16 years earlier and after some calls, a new 2006 Rockhopper frame was on it’s way to my door. While the M2 was sad to be missed, this new Specialized fit like a glove. It was amazing to see that after all these years, while my shape has changed, the fit and ride of a Specialized was still the same!

Riding in Squamish BC

Riding in Squamish BC

In the last few years, I have focused less on personal racing but more in advocacy and trail information in our local community. Both with my M2 Team and now with my Rockhopper, I have mapped thousands of miles of trails in and around Vancouver Island, developing maps for our local riding community and creating a community mountain biking website. Involvement in the Island Cup Mountain Bike Race Series, organizing trail days, meetings with local forestry companies, government bodies, and businesses to help with advocacy and keep trails alive and well are my current duties. On top of all this, each July I spend a week of my summer volunteering with the medical team for the BC Bike Race, helping many racers achieve their goals to win or just finish this amazing event. It’s also shown the worldwide popularity of Specialized bikes. Likely the most common bike on site, the many FSR variations seen at the race are the amazing evolution from the original mass produced mountain bike, the Stumpjumper.

When I saw this opportunity to be a charter member of the Stumpjumper Trail Crew, I felt this urge to submit my story. I’ve been in the process of figuring out a road trip that would include stops in San Francisco, Oregon, and many other fabulous riding locations, one stop being the world headquarters of the big “S” in Morgan Hill. Who would have thought such an opportunity to join this Crew might unfold!
My “passion” continues to drive me to the trails, and as pressure builds to close trails and restrict access, fuels me to continue my work to protect the future of mountain biking in my home town and hopefully around the world!

You can find my site for the local Comox Valley mountain bike community on www.cvmtb.com

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