Training Camp, February 2013
Our group of six junior cross-country mountain bike cyclists from the Calgary area joined coaches Philippe Abbott and Pepper Harlton and escaped the cold Alberta winter to test their technical skills on some of Victoria’s best mountain bike trails.
The area, commonly referred to as the ‘dump’, proved to be the exact opposite.The trails were in great condition and really accessible, which made it easy to explore. Five days of riding allowed us to cover most trails in the area. The camp gave us an opportunity to refresh and improve our technical mountain biking skills and do some endurance training. We started off most days with a ten-minute double-track climb up to the top of the mountain and then hit trails that wound through beautiful rainforest back down to the parking lot. The ‘dump’ impressed us all with the quantity and quality of the trails it had to offer. We were lucky enough to have three sunny days in a row, which left the trails mostly dry. But, of course because it’s winter in Victoria, it rained the next day, leaving us with wet, muddy clothes to take home.
As cyclists, we were well accommodated at the Robin Hood motel. They not only let us keep our bikes in their rec. room, they had a whole area set up for cleaning and storing them. The same room was equipped with a pool table, foosball and shuffleboard, which kept us entertained when we weren’t riding.
We were treated to two home-cooked meals during our stay; one night at the Ratzke family’s home and the other at coach Philippe’s parent’s home. Liah and I were happy to have a break from eating spaghetti and the guys were glad not to have to eat any more instant mashed potatoes.
I think it’s safe to say we were all very tired by the end of the camp, but anxious to get back on the trails. It was definitely a treat to be able to ride trails so early in the year. Now if only all this new snow would melt!