October 13, 2008

Geoff Kabush kicks ass

As I mentioned in the last post it the cycling facilities at the Juan De Fuca Recreational Centre have been in danger of being leveled for an indoor soccer facility. Everything is still unclear about the velodrome, but the Greater Victoria BMX association managed to strike a deal with the WSPR that runs the facility, to save one of the BMX tracks on the site. This means that the recreational BMX track that is next to the Velodrome will still be flattened as planned but the new one, built in 2007, will be totally redone to work better with the younger age democratic that is the biggest part of the BMX Vic. users. The track will be flattened and drainage issues will be dealt with, and a new more moderate track built possibly as early as next spring. That is most likely great news for the BMX community in the area, although it is possible that some of the more advanced riders will be peeved about loosing the more advanced course. So, it looks like one of the three cycling facilities has been saved, but the other track, and the Velodrome still face demolition. That work will not commence until the court case is settled and hopefully the court will decide that it should not commence at all. On a lighter note: The Cross on The Rock Cyclocross series on Vancouver Island are in full swing. The second race took place on October fifth and I had the privilege of being able to attend. The series are cheap for competitors (I believe about $15) and the racers don't need a racing license. This and the added interest in Cyclocross in general, resulted in a great race with over 80 competitors in 4 skill divisions. The events are free for spectators, and I can't really think of a much better use of my sunday afternoon than to go watch a bicycle race. I have to admit that I'm not all to familiar with who's who in bike racing, weather it be road, mountain or cyclocross, but I was exited to get to see Wendy Simms (kona) the four time Canadian CX Champion, and the olympians Geoff Kabush (Maxxis), and Errine Willock (Webcor). Geoff was amazing and a crowd favorite as he rode up the "unrideble" run-up. I watched him do that two times with a smile on his face the whole time, and he did it with such an unbelievable skill and ease that I was blown away. I think he just did it because he could, since running up would probably have been quicker, but what I show! Here's a picture of Geoff climbing the run-up, I don't think I'd make it up that on my mountain bike and its 2,35" tires, but Geoff made it look easy on his skinny tubulars. I heard cheers from the crowd after I moved locations to get a more complete photographic documentary of the race, so I can only assume that he rode up that hill on all of his ten laps. The great thing about photographing Cyclocross is that you can catch every competitor at all parts of the course, that is if you're willing to work for it and run about a little bit. I had a great time at the race and by the looks of things, so did all of the competitors. I've fallen for just another part of the cycling world, and I'm now dreaming of a Cyclocross bike. In the meantime I'll cobble together a bike to race in the beginners race this coming Sunday. It'll be my first Cyclocross Race and my third race of any kind on a bicycle. I'll be racing my trusty old M500 Cannondale mountain bike with a singlespeed set up. I won't be winning anything, but I'm sure as hell going to have some fun, and then I'll shoot the rest of the race after competing.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Amazing picture of Jeff Kabush! Got any more? Not much of Cyclocross in Iceland even though it makes much more sense up here than road racing.
Regarding the Victoria cycling facilities it's striking that the so often called "The Cycling Capital" of Canada is going backwards in cycling accessibility and facilities while the rest of the world is really progressing. Even Reykjavík is in the process of making bicycle commuting a feasible option with bicycle lanes, bicycle chevrons on the streets and now recently building a Dirt Jump/Free ride park and a beginners BMX track.
Living "close" to Copenhagen has a contagious effect on bicycling culture, to bad Victoria seems to be losing it's contagiousness.

Keep up the good work on On-biking!